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Posts Tagged ‘Phillip Seymour Hoffman’

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Paul Goldfinger, Editor.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman*  was a great actor, although he sometimes made weird movies. In 2010 he directed his first film called “Jack Goes Boating.” It’s supposed to be a romantic comedy, but the four characters are depressing. I forced myself to watch it for the sake of the soundtrack, but we couldn’t get  past the first half.

The music, on the other hand, is varied and interesting. We recently posted one of the songs on BF — a re-do of “Blue Moon,” which is quite wonderful.  Here is the link:

The song which opens the film, however, is “The Rivers of Babylon” by a reggae style (“rock steady”) Jamaican group from the 1960’s and 1970’s called the Melodians who had embarked on some Rastafarian themes in their work, resulting in an international hit called “The Rivers of Babylon” recorded in 1969.

The song was chosen to open the movie, and I really liked it. Then I listened carefully to the lyrics (I’m always first attracted to the music — then the lyrics.)

It turns out that the Melodians were using parables taken from Psalm 137 which tells the story of the invasion of the ancient kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE. This Jewish nation was destroyed by the Babylonians who , after demolishing the first holy Temple, carted off most of the Israelites to Babylon (now Iraq).

The rivers in the song title refer to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. What does this Bible story have to do with the movie? — I ‘m not sure.

The middle east around 586 BCE.

The middle east around 586 BCE.

But here is “The Rivers of Babylon” from Jack Goes Boating. —   (*Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed in 2014.)

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