×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Grizzly Bear’s ‘Valentine’ to the movies

Grizzly Bear - 'Blue Valentine'

From the start, director Derek Cianfrance had one band only in mind to score his movie “Blue Valentine”: Grizzly Bear. And the beloved Brooklyn independent band had happily and eagerly agreed.

But then the realities of modern moviemaking intruded.

“Derek contacted us about three years ago,” says Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste. “We were really excited. We were between albums, and we were ready. They hadn’t shot yet, and we couldn’t compose without seeing anything, so we were in a holding period.”

That “holding period” turned into extended delays as the shooting schedule for “Blue Valentine” was pushed back. Ultimately, by the time Cianfrance was ready for the band, it was promoting its breakthrough album, 2009’s “Veckatimest,” and couldn’t stop to score the picture.

“We’re not professional movie-scorers,” says Drost. “We haven’t done it before, and we knew it would take a long time for us. … It was such a bummer.”

With no new music to offer, Grizzly Bear threw open its three-album vault to Cianfrance. “We said, ‘You can have every album, take all our instrumentals, you can do anything you want,’ ” Droste recalls. “We knew the budget was limited. The smallest fee you can think of was fine.”

Remarkably, Cianfrance and his team were able to take the elements provided by the band and used some songs in recognizable form, but sliced and diced others to create an underscore that mirrors the movie’s desolate theme of a deteriorating marriage.

“You don’t know if any of it works until you put it up against the picture,” says music supervisor Joseph Rudge. “It just shows how well-produced their music is and how well it transfers over as a score.”

In the few spaces where Grizzly Bear material didn’t work as underscore, musician Matt Sweeney provided previously unreleased material.

Rudge hoped Grizzly Bear could at least provide them with one original song, but even that proved impossible. “We really wanted to give them something new,” Droste confirms. “But it’s a moot point,” adds Rudge, “because what we have on screen works so well.”

Get more from Eye on the Oscars: Music:
Music branch can’t please all the people | Song category hangs by thread | Daft Punk immersed in ‘Tron’ | Songs in contention
Contenders:
Michael Brook | Carter Burwell | Danny Elfman | Grizzly Bear | Jan Kaczmarek | Rachel Portman | Anton Sanko

More Scene

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

  • The CalArts REDCAT Gala 2019 Honoring

    Pixar's Pete Docter Honored at CalArts REDCAT Gala

    Pixar’s Pete Docter reminisced about his days as a student at CalArts on Saturday night at the 2019 CalArts REDCAT Gala, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award. For the wide-eyed boy from Minnesota, where life was more routine, attending CalArts “was a free-for-all. It was eye-opening in a lot of ways,” he recalled. “But [...]

  • Sasha Pieterse, Eli Brown, Sydney Park

    'Pretty Little Liars' Spinoff Unexpectedly Coincides With College Admissions Scandal

    It was a case of art imitating life at Saturday night’s Hollywood premiere of “The Perfectionists” — Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff about a scandal involving college students striving for excellence by any means necessary. The TV show’s debut was coincidently preceded by a real-life college scandal involving Hollywood celebrities who allegedly didn’t let a [...]

  • Keira Knightley'The Aftermath' film screening, Arrivals,

    Keira Knightley Talks 'Aftermath,' Alexander Skarsgård and Another Itchy Wardrobe

    The reigning queen of period pieces, Keira Knightley, knows a thing or two about historical clothing. “Lining. Lining is always important,” the Oscar-nominated actress playfully advised on Wednesday at the premiere of her post-WWII drama “Aftermath.” “If you get a lot of itchy stuff always put lining in it. I have learned that from having [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content