A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to head down to Los Angeles for some Kubo and the Two Strings fun!
Kubo and the Two Strings is in theaters August 19th
While I was there I got to see some interesting and fun behind the scenes activities around Kubo, including interviews with the cast. More on that next week…
One of the most interesting things about Kubo (in my opinion!) is the use of Origami throughout the film. Not only are Kubo’s storytelling abilities visualized with origami characters, but the theme is peppered in unexpected places, like the clothing of the characters in Kubo. Everything is reminiscent of the ancient folding art. While at the press event I met an origami master.
These origami animals are each single sheets of paper, folded until the shape takes place. Some use two pieces for color choices, but all start off as squares. The master has been doing origami since he was a child, when his parents bought him a set. 19 years later he does it as a living. I had found out he was the one behind my surprise box of roses that showed up at my doorstep back in May.
Something else that was so interesting to me – talking to fellow Portlandian Travis Knight, director of Kubo and the Two Strings and president of Laika Studios. The subject of music came up, in particular Regina Spektor’s soft yet powerful version of the Beatles’ classic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps“, written by the late great George Harrison.
I grew up in a Beatles’ household. My mom was an enormous Beatles’ fan (a gift that my mother bestowed to me). We listened to the Beatles’ record on a 8-track in my dad’s blue Cougar coupe. Beatles were just kind of part of our life. It was essentially the soundtrack of my life and one song that I love, my mother and I loved more than anything really was While My Guitar Gently Weeps and when we were thinking about this movie and tried to come up with some kind of a musical accompaniment that was evocative of the ideas and the themes that were running through the movie, my mind kept going to that song because it really is a timeless expression of love and empathy, which is fundamentally what this movie’s about. George Harrison wrote the song by picking up a random book at his mother’s home, opening a page, and blindly putting his finger down on a phrase. That phrase was “gently weeps”, and the song was born.
Listen to the song here. It really sets an amazing tone for the entire film, and amazingly it really tells the story of Kubo in its own way. Regina Spektor pays beautiful and haunting homage to the essence of the song while keeping in the Japanese theme of the film. It’s one of my new favorites.
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