Interview: Spike Lee Talks "Oldboy," Playlist He Created Inspired By The Film

Interview: Spike Lee Talks "Oldboy," Playlist He Created Inspired By The FilmImage via FilmDistrict

You made an interesting point that, if you were locked away for 20 years, where would be the first place you look for music? It would probably be the Billboard Top 100 for whatever years.
Here’s the thing though: if I would’ve had two years instead of a week, I could’ve been a lot more thorough. But that’s a lot of years to go through and a lot of stuff, I had to look through my iPad and I had to take the songs I like and find out the year it was and all that. It just made it easier, simpler to go by Billboard industry-standard. But it’s not necessarily the best music, to me, as I would say. I just wanted to use it as an experiment and go strictly by the Billboard Top 100 R&B/Hip-Hop songs each year for the last 20 years because I couldn’t come up with my own list.

We know there aren’t any tracks in the movie, since it’s all score. But if there were any tracks that don’t have to be on this list, what would represent Oldboy?
Well, the song that we wanted to put in, but couldn’t afford it, was a Frank Sinatra song, “It Was a Very Good Year,” from the classic album, September of My Years.

Let’s talk about the movie a little bit. When did you first see Oldboy?
When it came out [in 2003].

And from the looks of the trailer, which looks amazing by the way, it definitely has that Spike Lee-touch. What types of things did you want to preserve from the original?
Thank you very much. The script was written by Mark Protosevich, and he had the really hard job of finding out the spine for the original but still making it new. That’s a very, very hard thing to do. Because there are just certain things, certain set pieces that you have to have from the first film. So he did a very good job of that. But when you do a film that’s as beloved as this, you know, there are people that think that it’s sacrilege that you’re doing it, so we knew that going in. Josh and I knew that. And Josh, before he even signed on to the film, he met with Park [Chan-wook], the director of the Korean film, and asked for his blessing. And Park told him, “I look forward to seeing the film. Just go out there and make your own film, don’t try and duplicate what we did.” So that’s the spirit in which we did the film.

Yeah, you can definitely see some things from the original that were taken to this, but you can definitely see some pieces that are original to the vision I think we tried to put forth.

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