Springsteen slated to shoot a video in Philadelphia

December 06, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

Could that be Bruce Springsteen on the Parkway singing "Streets of Philadelphia?"

Sources involved with the production of Jonathan Demme's "Philadelphia" report that the Boss will be in town today and tomorrow to shoot a music video for his theme song to the forthcoming film.

Mr. Springsteen and the video crew are expected to set up at a number of outdoor locations in the area, though where remains a secret.

The hymnlike "Streets of Philadelphia," which was written by Mr. Springsteen, is the opening song in the compelling AIDS drama starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Mr. Demme will helm the music video for his company, Apple Pie Productions.

Sharon Pinkenson, director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, which helps filmmakers secure police and street permits needed for production, would not comment on when the video shoot would take place. However, she said that "approximately six locations in the Greater Philadelphia area will be used."

"We can't divulge the exact locations," Ms. Pinkenson said, "because of the nature of the shoot.

" Such secrecy is required, she explained, "because of the celebrity-sensitive and time-sensitive nature of the project. It's being shot on a tight schedule."

"Philadelphia" -- which is already enjoying tremendous word of mouth in the film industry, including Oscar talk for both of its stars -- will open in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto on Dec. 22.

The film opens with a montage, set to Mr. Springsteen's rhythms, that offers a composite -- and not always upbeat -- portrait of the city. Scullers on the Schuylkill, hip-hop dancers in a park, visitors to the Swann Fountain on Benjamin Franklin Parkway and longshoremen working along the Delaware are among the images in the extended sequence.

Any of these locations could serve as backdrops for Mr. Springsteen's video performance, which is expected to be intercut with clips from the "Philadelphia" montage.

Mr. Demme is a practiced hand at making music videos. The filmmaker, who won an Oscar for "The Silence of the Lambs" and also directed "Married to the Mob," made the Talking Heads concert film "Stop Making Sense." He has directed videos for Talking Heads and New Order, and is known for his love of music.

For the soundtrack to his 1986 film "Something Wild," Mr. Demme assembled such artists as David Byrne, Celia Cruz, Fine Young Cannibals and Oingo Boingo. And in the late '80s, the director produced Konbit: Burning Rhythms of Haiti, an anthology of Haitian popular music.

For the soundtrack to "Philadelphia," Mr. Demme has brought together 10 artists representing idioms from pop to opera. In addition to Mr. Springsteen, artists include Peter Gabriel, Sade, Indigo Girls, Maria Callas, Spin Doctors, the Haitian group Ram, Broadway singer Pauletta Washington (spouse of "Philadelphia" star Mr. Denzel) and Neil Young.

Mr. Young, the first musician signed to the project, closes the film with his heart-rending acoustic ballad "Philadelphia."

Epic Records will release the soundtrack, titled "Music From the Motion Picture "Philadelphia,'"' on Jan. 4. A spokeswoman for the label said that it would be sent to radio stations by Dec. 27. At the moment, only Mr. Springsteen's song is scheduled to get the video treatment, she said.

Philadelphia was also the setting of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's video "Summertime," which celebrated the sunny pleasures of Fairmount Park, and Boyz II Men's "MotownPhilly," which glorified certain South Philadelphia pantheons of cheesesteak and education.

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