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Filmmaker Letter

Filmmaker Letter

Song to Song

by producers Sarah Green and Nicolas Gonda


Song to Song is set against the vibrant music scene of Austin, Texas, one of the fastest growing cities in the States and a mecca for young people. We've all lived in Austin for some time, and were inspired by the many young people we met who don’t feel like they belong anywhere else and are drawn to a place that, like them, is still figuring itself out.

The idea was to show a pair of couples drifting through the world, living from mood to mood, song to song. It's great fun—backstage at music festivals, interacting with rock stars, falling in and out of each other’s beds.

The ubiquitous music festivals in Austin gave us many opportunities to reach out to musicians, both well-known and starting out. A remarkable number, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iggy Pop, Black Lips and Lykke Li responded positively to the idea of participating in the film; some performing, some interacting, as themselves, with our characters. Working with these artists, and filming at the festivals, kept us firmly grounded in Song to Song’s wild world, and gives the audience the visceral experience of being right there themselves.

We roll and tumble with our characters, ultimately realizing that their agendas and ambitions, while connecting them on the surface, in fact only serve to keep them apart. There is a moment in the film, when Patti Smith is singing her song “My Blakean Year” to Faye, played by Rooney Mara, while simultaneously, Faye is reading Blake aloud to BV, played by Ryan Gosling, and we begin to understand that without Mercy, without Love, without Forgiveness, we have nothing. Will our characters move toward these ideals? Will we?