Thursday, September 29, 2022

Dir. Jeymes Samuel Talks ‘The Harder They Fall’ and Film’s Star-Studded Soundtrack | WATCH

*Director and composer Jeymes Samuel joins Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1 to discuss his new film “The Harder They Fall” and it’s accompanying star-studded soundtrack which features Kid Cudi, JAY-Z, Coffee, Seal, and more.

Samuel discusses the origins of the film, how he approached the soundtrack, Hollywood’s misrepresentation of Black people in Westerns, “Black Woman” by Fatoumata Diawara and Lauryn Hill, and more.

Jeymes Samuel Tells Apple Music About The Origins of the Film…
We shot in New Mexico, Santa Fe, so we shot on all real locations… To me there was no version of this movie that Idris wasn’t in. We been speaking about it for so long. So for me Idris was always Rufus Buck… but then Jay came on board. Me and Jay have been really cooking The Harder They Fall since I was doing The Great Gatsby and They Die By Dawn, the short film. So Jay was always involved… Then he brought on James Lassiter who Is a good friend of ours and Will Smith’s partner in Overbrook Entertainment… So really it was me, Jayell, and James Lassiter. We were the main core producers. And then there was also Lawrence Bender who is Quentin Tarantino’s producer and he introduced me to a friend of mine called Boaz Yakin who came and he did a revision of the script… So we had this team and then Jay, Jayell and James Lassiter had their deal through Netflix, so this movie didn’t even get a chance to be shopped around, it was housed. Jay was ready, he was like, “you ready?”  I was like, “Wow this just got mad real mad quick.”

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The Harder They Fall soundtrack cover

Jeymes Samuel Tells Apple Music How The Soundtrack Ties Into The Film…
“Guns Go Bang” comes over the title sequence, because you know what’s happened Ebro? We’ve gotten into an age where soundtracks have nothing to do with the movie no more. And I really wanted to make a statement and put something out that has direct correlation, every single song, direct correlation to the story and the movie. Because we miss that, even the score. There was a time where as a baby I would leave the cinema and I would be like, (Jeymes hums the theme to Indiana Jones) Raiders Of The Lost Ark, (Jeymes hums the theme to ET) ET, we don’t do that no more! What was the last memorable score? And not to downplay any other composer or soundtrack maker but there was a time where the soundtrack, you would listen to the soundtrack for Superfly, like “Freddie’s Dead,” it’s like, what happened? We don’t have that no more in soundtracks. But The Harder They Fall soundtrack every single song directly correlates to the film, espeically on “Guns Go Bang.”

Jeymes Samuel Tells Apple Music About The Misrepresentation of Black People in Western Films…
Black people were living amongst Native Americans, and I always say to people briefly that Black people were never slaves, ever. We were enslaved. There is a huge difference. But just the scope that Hollywood has shown us the Western through, as soon as they show black people there, they’re always slaves, or ex-slaves… Always something that takes them off the beaten path… So even post-slavery there was decades of the old west. Where were the people of color? The truth is they were all over the place. So were the powerful women. It’s just that Hollywood has given us a narrow viewpoint of the white male and the law according to him. But if you go back in time you see all these characters, Cherokee Bill, Rufus Buck, Nat Love, Bill Picket, Gertrude Smith, Jim Beckworth, you’ll see all these characters really existed. So what I did is assemble all of these real characters. It’s not a biopic, it’s a fictional story but all of these real characters and I put them in one place, in one time so no one could ever tell us that they didn’t exist or this is just a work of fiction, and I called it The Harder They Fall.

Black Woman (The Harder They Fall) Fatoumata Diawara & Lauryn HilJeymes Samuel Tells Apple Music About “Black Woman” by Fatoumata Diawara & Lauryn Hill… 
I really wanted to make a statement with regards to the western right? …People of color in a Western, they are always treated less than human, and ex-slaves and all that which is not true. One fourth of cowboys was Black, the term cowboy was used on black people, white people were called cow-hens. And every time they showed women in the old west no matter what color they are, they would be subservient or serving a man. So I made a particular point to show women in this movie, Black women, like really strong, and they’re not subservient… they’re bosses. They’re their own bosses, they’re business owners. When they go to war they go to war. You see it all in this movie. So the song “Black Women,” I want it to not only emphasize that point but also bring two women together from our diaspora, right? Two women together from seemingly two opposite sides of the globe and show how in unison they are.

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