James Franco charms. Natalie Portman collapses in glamor. Matt Damon militaristically dissents. Robert Duvall prepares for something big. Tilda Swinton exhales with dissonance and awe.
These are the visual cues from the New York Times Magazine’s “Fourteen Actors Acting” video feature, but they’re also the musical themes that accompany, composed by man-about-town Owen Pallett.
It’s an exhilarating piece, running in tandem with the mag’s Hollywood Issue out this week. The video vignettes run in a minute or less for each actor, each personality interpreting their idea of a “decisive moment,” of “classic screen types.” But for me, the music makes it.
Pallett has fun with his, well, palette here, utilizing the Czech Symphony Strings to realize 14 different (black and white) visions, with other actors including Javier Bardem, Jesse Eisenberg, Chloe Moretz, Michael Douglas, Jennifer Lawrence, Noomi Rapace, Vincent Cassel, Anthony Mackie and Lesley Manville.
It’s a neat little self-contained project and a sweet opportunity for the Canadian songwriter, violinist, composer and collaborator.
Of course I’m particularly taken, too, with the James Franco clip, because oh my.
Watch the whole thing here, it’s worth it.