Music by VICE

Greta Gerwig Secured Music for Her New Film in a Goddamn Sweet Way

The actress and filmmaker wrote personal letters to Dave Matthews, Alanis Morissette and Justin Timberlake, for permission to use their songs in 'Lady Bird.'

by Lauren O'Neill
Nov 22 2017, 4:15pm

Image via YouTube

You remember those stories of people making "creative" video resumes from a few years ago, which seemed designed to put your A4 sheet of paper with a hotmail email address to shame? This is like the film soundtrack version of that, but nice. Indie darling actress and screenwriter Greta Gerwig has made her directorial debut with the film Lady Bird, currently on theatrical release in the US and due out in cinemas from 18 February in the UK. It's a coming-of-age story which takes place in 2002, and as with all coming-of-age stories, music plays a pretty important role.

Especially crucial to Lady Bird's narrative are "Crash Into Me" by Dave Matthews Band, "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake, and "Hand in My Pocket" by Alanis Morissette. So instead of submitting dry, boring rights requests, Gerwig wrote personal letters to each of the artists, requesting use of their music, as she told late night host Seth Meyers on his show.

To Justin Timberlake, she wrote that "Cry Me a River" is "sultry and sullen and infectious—what 'Gimme Shelter' must have felt like to the kids of the late 60s," and describes how it was intended to soundtrack a scene where two characters "full on make out." She told Alanis Morissette of her longstanding admiration ("You made a lot of girls feel like they could do anything,") and her letter to Dave Matthews—addressed to "Mr Dave Matthews," no less—says that "it is impossible to imagine" Lady Bird without "Crash Into Me."

What's awesome is the sincerity with which Gerwig writes about the music she loves: her way of talking about (and to) the artists she loves are very endearing, and extremely relatable for any music fan. And anyway, any movie which puts Dave Matthews Band front and center has to be worth a watch, right?

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