This slipped by earlier in the month. A new film – “West of Memphis” is opening in the UK in January 2013 [official website], and the sound track has a stellar cast: Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Patti Smith, Band of Horses, Bob Dylan, Henry Rollins, and more.
The film is a documentary about an 18 year attempt to get a re-trial for three very young men wrongly convicted for murder. It is getting really good reviews, and looks really interesting – the trailer is below.
It is directed by Peter Jackson – yes, he of Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and, of course, Bad Taste (without doubt his finest hour – see the trailer) fame. Pitchfork reports:
Earlier this year, it was reported that Bad Seeds/Grinderman bandmates Nick Cave and Warren Ellis were scoring another film together. Now, the full soundtrack has been unveiled for the documentary West of Memphis. It features Cave and Ellis, Band of Horses, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, and more. West of Memphis: Voices for Justice is out January 15 via Legacy.
West of Memphis trailer
The film was directed and written by Amy Berg, and co-produced and co-written by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings). It analyzes the controversial case of the West Memphis Three, who were originally found guilty in 1994 of murdering three eight-year-old children and freed last year after 18 years in prison. West of Memphis focuses on their supporters, and points to a victim’s stepfather as the actual murderer, according to Reuters.
Several of the artists on the soundtrack voiced their support for the West Memphis Three, including Smith, Vedder, Rollins, Natalie Maines, and Marilyn Manson. The film is getting a limited release in New York and Los Angeles on December 25. Below the tracklist, check out the film’s trailer.
West of Memphis: Voices for Justice, track listing
- Henry Rollins [ft. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis]: “Damien Echols Death Row Letter Year 9”
- Natalie Maines: “Mother”
- Lucinda Williams: “Joy”
- Camp Freddy: “The Jean Genie”
- Tonto’s Giant Nuts [ft. Johnny Depp & Bruce Witkin]: “Little Lion Man”
- Marilyn Manson: “You’re So Vain”
- Band of Horses: “Dumpster World (Live)”
- Citizen Cope: “DFW”
- Eddie Vedder: “Satellite”
- Bill Carter: “Anything Made of Paper”
- The White Buffalo: “House of Pain”
- Bob Dylan: “Ring Them Bells”
- Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: “West of Memphis Score Suite”
- Tonto’s Giant Nuts feat. Johnny Depp [ft. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis]: “Damien Echols Death Row Letter Year 16”
- Patti Smith: “Wing (Live)”
- Bill Carter: “Road to Nowhere”
Following from the original Paradise Lost film and its two sequels, West of Memphis follows the events of the West Memphis Three, a case in which three teenagers — Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin — were arrested for the murders of three 8-year old children; Christopher Byers, Steven Branch, and Michael Moore. The West Memphis Three were subsequently convicted of murder and remained in prison for more than 18 years, being released just prior to the third Paradise Lost film. West of Memphis focuses on Terry Hobbs, stepfather of Stevie Branch, one of the victims of the 1993 crime, as a potential suspect due to physical evidence linking him to the crime and damaging statements made by his ex-wife, former neighbors, and most recently his own nephew, who claims Hobbs confessed to him.