Bill Murray is without doubt one of the most loved actors in Hollywood. As well as appearing in the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife as Peter Venkman, a role that fans have been hoping to see him take on again for decades, the actor is never too far from screens, whether it’s appearing in the latest Wes Anderson movie, or making a guest appearance at an awards show, fans of the one time Saturday Night Live regular are thankful of any opportunity to see him. So the arrival of the first trailer and official poster for his Cannes-bound concert movie, New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilization, is something to shout about.
Filmed on the last performance of his New Worlds tour of Europe with world-class cellist Jan Vogler in Athens, Greece, the show is a celebration of the many types of art that have had an influence on the cultures of Europe and America and created a bond between the two continents over the years. The 2000 year old stage used in the performance also sees the pair being joined by pianist Vanessa Perez and violinist Mira Wang for a performance filled with music and poetry spanning hundreds of years, with themes of love, heartbreak and hope. Just another string to the Murray bow.
There are few who can exude enough to charm to enthrall an audience like Bill Murray, and with inclusions from Bach, Van Morrison, West Side Story and Walt Whitman among many more, Murray brings a humorous, touching and thoroughly entertaining air to the program than in the wrong hands could be an absolute bore-fest to those not into their classical music and poetry. The movie is also produced by Murray, who oversaw the entire editing process from start to finish to ensure the end result is the best it could be in his vision.
The recording was captured by director Andrew Muscato, with a full production team including Tanja Dorn, Karen Duffy and Emma Doxiadi. The concert is put out as a production of Neda Films, Dorn Music and Makuhari Media, and receives its premiere at Cannes next month. The poster revealed is designed by New York based designer Jeremy Stein and captures the feel of the film impeccably, showing a sketched image of the Murray holding a single red rose with an amphitheater as a backdrop. In the trailer for the film, Murray can be seen performing “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story and Walt Whitman’s poem, “Song of The Open Road, 9.”
This is not Murray’s first foray into musical specials, having previously released A Very Murray Christmas, when saw the actor seeing his Christmas plans going awry, leading to Murray and friends covering various popular festive songs such as Fairytale of New York. Proving that Murray is not just a great actor, but also a fantastic and greatly loved all round entertainer, just like many fine wines, he only seems to improve with age. Having seen his work turning from all-out comedy to more thoughtful and cultured offerings, this latest concert film is the culmination of many years bringing something different to audiences worldwide that they may not in other circumstances have even bothered watching.