~from Times Online
The late Pope John Paul II is the star in a new “trip hop” music video backed by the Vatican which is expected to challenge for the number one slot in the Christmas DVD charts.
With music composed by British composer Simon Boswell, an agnostic who made his name scoring for Italian horror movies, Santo Subito! is intended to build on the growing cultic veneration of the late Pope and add impetus to the campaign to make him a saint.
The DVD, to be launched in the UK by Universal, the company that publishes Amy Winehouse, takes its title from the “Make him a Saint immediately” chants cried out by crowds at the Vatican at the funeral.
Mr Boswell, who wrote the music for films such as Shallow Grave and Midsummer Night’s Dream, said the style of the music in Santo Subito! could be described as “trip hop, trance-like and contemplative.”
It uses footage of the late Pope’s visits to places such as Africa and Auschwitz, as well as of scenes of him greeting pilgrims outside St Peter’s in Rome. The late Pope knew of the project and would have cooperated with some new material, but was already too ill by the time it was underway.
The DVD has been produced by the Vatican’s own record label, St Paul Multimedia.
Mr Boswell said: “It is not a documentary at all, it is very much an impressionistic view of his life, set to music. The music ranges from hip hop through acoustic guitar to orchestral recordings and Gregorian chant. In a couple of the clips, Pope John Paul II is singing.”
Although nothing was shot specially, the DVD contains a mixture of archive material and footage that has not been seen publicly before, filmed by Mimmo Verduci, known in Italy for pop promos and commercials.
“Images have been manipulated and presented in an avant-garde way,” said Mr Boswell, who is divorced and living with actress Lysette Anthony.
He said he was an agnostic. “I think it has been a distinct advantage not to have been a Catholic. I did not feel intimidated by the subject matter. The first piece I had to score was the Ten Commandments. I was basically working out which ones I had already broken.”
The DVD’s producer, Vincent Messina, has described Mr Boswell as a “musical genius” who would be “the world’s number one composer” if he had been born in the US and not Britain.