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“I’m Talking Love” an emergency replacement

from The Accused starring Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis, directed by Jonathan Kaplan and produced by Sherry Lansing and Stanley Jaffe.

I’m Talking Love:  


Over the years I’ve had number of requests for the song “I’m Talking Love” from “The Accused”. This was the song that Jodie danced to during the scene leading up to the horrific rape. In the film the song continues and is joined by dramatic score as the guys rape jodie on the pinball machine. Having to watch this scene over and over in the process of writing the score was definitely challenging emotionally and had a deep impact. It helped when director Jonathan Kaplan told me about how Jodie actually had to comfort the actors after many of the takes and reassure them that she was ok and wanted them not to be afraid to portray as accurately as possible the ugliness and intensity of the violence that was involved in the scene. Jodie went on to win a much deserved Oscar for her portrayal.

Back to the song.  Originally, Jodie chose the song that she danced to during the shooting of that scene. It was a hit by a very well known artist. We were coming down to the wire in post production and the producers were not able to convince the artist to sell them the rights to use the song. They were convinced that this particular song was so key to the film that the offer went higher and higher. The artist did not want his music and image connected or supporting the act committed in the scene. This was an understandable concern, though I think the film told an important story and was a contribution to the cultural discussion of rape. When it finally became clear that the song would need to be replaced, there were only a few days left before the scene had to be mixed. It would be very hard to find a pre-existing song that would exactly match the tempo and feel of what Jodie had danced to so all eyes in the room turned to me. No pressure or anything. I had been very focussed on the dramatic score so quickly shifted gears and put together a rough idea of lyrics,  melody and feel and brought in my friend, fellow composer and musician extraordinaire Ross Levinson who helped complete the song and develop it into a polished funky recording on a very tight schedule. We recorded in NY with singer Vanessa Anderson and guitarist Kenny Mazur. It was a bit scary presenting the song to replace something that everyone had been so attached to, but there was a happy ending. Everyone was pleased (and relieved) with the results and into the film it went. In the scene as things got more and more dire the orchestral cue slowly overtook the funky rhythms and supported the tragedy of what was going on. To see how that worked, check out the film. Here we’re posting the song only.

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I spent the majority of my adult life composing original scores for film and television, working on a wide range of projects (The Terminator, Big Easy, The Accused, True Lies), with an amazing assortment of people( James Cameron , Katherine Bigelow , Arthur miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford). I took some time to examine my life and realized that my youthful dream of using my talent and creativity to make a difference in the world was not being fulfilled in Hollywood. I ended up turning that exploration into a one man musical called Borrowed Time.