Paul Mescal’s roles leave an impact, with the movies he chooses reflecting a daring artistic sensibility. He delivered an iconic needle drop moment while “Under Pressure” in “Aftersun,” but the Oscar nominee is now turning into a musician himself.
Mescal stars in dance-infused film “Carmen,” and released a music video featuring original song “Slip Away.” Nicholas Britell of “Succession” fame composes the original songs, with Mescal’s co-stars Melissa Barrera, The D.O.C., and Rossy de Palma lending their voices to various tracks.
“Carmen” follows a woman (Barrera) who is forced to flee her home in the Mexican desert following the brutal murder of her mother. Carmen survives a terrifying and dangerous illegal border crossing into the U.S., only to be confronted by a lawless volunteer border guard who cold-bloodedly murders two other immigrants in her group. When the border guard and his patrol partner, Aidan (Mescal), a Marine with PTSD, become embroiled in a deadly stand-off, Carmen and Aidan are forced to escape together. They make their way north toward Los Angeles in search of Carmen’s mother’s best friend, the mercurial Masilda and owner of La Sombra nightclub, a sanctuary of music and dance. Carmen and Aidan find both solace and their unwavering love for each other in the safety of Masilda’s magical refuge, but time is running out as the police hunt closes in.
Sony Music Masterworks released “Slip Away,” an original song co-written by Oscar nominees Britell and Taura Stinson, plus legendary rapper and songwriter The D.O.C., and Grammy-winning singer songwriter Julieta Venegas.
“Carmen” is directed by Benjamin Millepied, with executive producer Britell spending six years in close collaboration with the director-choreographer. The final 30-track collection is a body of music as expansive as the film itself, one that soars with majesty and intensity and leads listeners on an unforgettable journey. Millepied’s complete re-imagining of “Carmen” tells its story through an experimental dreamscape of a film and is an experience to behold.
“When Benjamin first approached me about ‘Carmen,’ I remember feeling strongly that I didn’t want to ‘update’ or ‘re-arrange’ any of Bizet’s music. There are already so many incredible adaptations of ‘Carmen.’ We wanted our approach to be quite different: to write an original score and original songs, imagining this as a ‘Carmen’ from a parallel universe,” Britell said in a press statement. “This approach also felt right given Benjamin’s instincts to take an experimental and dream-based approach to the feeling of the film.”
Director Millepied agreed, saying, “Nicholas and I spoke about the music for the film for years before we began production. The original ‘Carmen’ evokes a complex tapestry of cultures. We wanted to include those as well as remain open to and discover other influences that emerged from our own exploration. I asked Nicholas to write a few pieces ahead of time — dances and songs, but also score. His music inspired such visceral imagery and atmosphere. Our collaboration was a dance of sorts. The result is a rich landscape of music, fully connected to the narrative and visuals.”
Curry aka The D.O.C. compared the “Carmen” soundtrack to having the same “energy of an early NWA record.”
For “Slip Away,” Mescal croons with an acoustic guitar in a stripped down performance of the emotional ballad. Check out “Slip Away” from “Carmen” below.