Thursday, April 7, 2016
Trying to license 'Killing An Arab' for a film
Update: And the trailer uses 'The Caterpillar'. (Thanks spiralcure)
Writer/Director Marina Person recounts her struggle to get the rights to use 'Killing An Arab' in her new film, 'Califórnia':
Most tricky in Person’s long quest to curate the perfect soundtrack was securing the rights to The Cure’s “Killing an Arab.” The song, inspired by Camus’ “The Stranger,” has been mired in controversy since its release, due to racist misinterpretations of the song’s lyrics. Because in “Califórnia” it accompanies a particularly moving sequence and helps to define a major character, Person reached out to The Cure’s people before filming to receive tentative permission to use the song. However, by the time she was in post-production months later, and had the cash to secure the rights, she was greeted with an altogether different reaction.
“The answer was like, ‘What?! You cannot use it! What?! Who told you you could? You know [Cure frontman] Robert Smith wants to forget he wrote a song called “Killing an Arab.” ’ They were really upset,” she reveals, postulating that the Charlie Hebdo attacks may have rendered parties more wary of giving the go-ahead. Nonetheless, she did not give up.
“I said, ‘No, you know, you have to! I’m going to London and, like, go on strike. I’m going to do a hunger strike in front of Robert Smith’s house; he must let me use it!’ I was kind of desperate,” she recalls.
Following this rejection came a weeks-long process, during which Person scribed several extensive emails detailing her reasoning behind wanting to use the song, which found their way to Smith — who tried to convince Person to use a different Cure track in its place instead. After much debate and handwringing, she was eventually granted permission, which brought Person some much-needed relief. “I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. I was totally obsessed with it.”
“Califórnia” screens Sat., Apr. 16 at 6 p.m., Mon., Apr. 18 at 9:15 p.m., and Fri., Apr. 22 at 7:15 p.m. at Regal Cinemas Battery Park (102 North End Ave., at Vesey St.). Screens Thurs., Apr. 21 at 3:45 p.m. at Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea (260 W. 23rd St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Visit tribecafilm.com or call 646-502-5296 for tickets ($20 plus $3.50 phone or web processing fee; $10 for the Apr. 21 matinee, plus processing).
Posted by Craig at 9:55 AM