Swiss Army Man is a film that is literally unlike any other you’ve ever seen. While you’ve no doubt heard about the movie’s divisive premiere at Sundance (read my positive review here), A24 has been ramping up the marketing campaign for the unique buddy comedy in tremendous fashion, with two spot-on trailers that capture the tone of the movie and now with a lyric video for the original song “Montage” from the film. Written and directed by Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), the movie stars Paul Dano as a man stranded on an island who, as he’s about to commit suicide, finds that a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) has just washed ashore. He and Radcliffe’s character subsequently embark on a journey that is at once hilarious, sweet, sad, and incredibly strange.
One of the many highlights of the movie is the original score by Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and Robert McDowell, and this lyric video for the song “Montage” simultaneously reveals some new footage from the pic and highlights the hilarious/sweeping music that Hull and McDowell crafted for the pic. The score is unique in that Daniels didn’t want to use any instruments for the film, since the characters themselves would dream up the music, so the entire score is done acapella with Dano and Radcliffe handling some of the vocals themselves.
“We had to write a lot of the material before the movie was shot so that the actors could sing along while filming. After the movie was shot, we did traditional scoring at our studio, where we watched the footage and added music (voices). Nearly a year after we began working on the movie, we flew to LA to record the final vocals from the actors to really make it sound like this score is taking place inside of a crazy dudes mind. It was and is surreal. The end result is at times really trippy and lonely. There are also songs that have over 100 voices singing and sound outside of anything I thought we would be able to create. What we aimed for was something really beautiful that can evoke emotions without having to always use lyrics or any traditional instrumentation. It’s an up and down journey that parallels the travels and conversations of these two characters. It was easily one of the greatest experiences of our lives. It really pushed and stretched us to think outside of the box and outside of our comfort zone. I’m thrilled that we finally get to share it.”
As you can see, the film’s title refers to how Dano puts Radcliffe’s corpse to use, finding a number of ways to aid in his survival and serve as amusement. And the original song, while downright terrific musically, has a comedic edge to the lyrics that are right in lock-step with the sense of humor of the picture as a whole.
This song, “Montage”, is going to be released as a single this Friday, June 3rd, ahead of the full soundtrack release on June 24th, which is excellent news. Check out the video below, and if you want to play with your own Swiss Army Man, click here. Swiss Army Man opens in theaters in NY and L.A. on June 24th and nationwide on July 1st.