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(Credit: Bjork)

Film

The strange Harvey Keitel film that inspired a Björk masterpiece

Björk has always maintained a very personal relationship with cinema, having drawn inspiration from a wide variety of works while working on her own iconic projects. Having worked with filmmakers such as Lars von Trier and Nietzchka Keene, the music legend has also proven that she is capable of delivering magical performances.

Recently, Björk also collaborated with Robert Eggers on his new Viking epic The Northman where she appeared to be the perfect manifestation of the unique cinematic environment constructed by Eggers. Although the film did not meet financial expectations, it was praised by many critics for Eggers’ uncompromising vision.

On previous occasions, Björk has often cited multiple films which have inspired her on her artistic journey through the years. In addition to more popular choices, she claimed that the 1973 Polish surrealist masterpiece The Hourglass Sanatorium had a huge impact on her artistic sensibilities and her views about the human condition.

Björk’s love for cinema has definitely resulted in many obscure references since she was also inspired by a lesser-known 1993 film The Young Americans which starred Harvey Keitel. It played a huge role in the creation of the song ‘Play Dead’ from her iconic Debut since she actually penned it for the film.

“It was actually fun because the character in the film was suffering and going through hardcore tough times and at the time I was at my happiest,” Björk explained in an interview while talking about the song. “It was quite liberating to sit down after writing a whole album to write from someone else’s point of view.”

In The Young Americans, Harvey Keitel stars as John Harris – a Drug Enforcement Agent who is tasked with the responsibility of travelling to London and dealing with a crime boss (played by Viggo Mortensen). Even though it is not one of Keitel’s most popular projects, it’s definitely an interesting watch for fans.

She added: “The particular character was pretty fucked up, you know. In the film, he had a girlfriend who just wanted him to be happy and in love and he just couldn’t get his head ’round it. It was just me trying to imagine what he would say to her. Things he never actually said to her in the film but things he would have said to her.”

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