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Windows on the World
On May 7, 2019, IRIE was invited to attend a special screening of the independent film, ‘Windows on the World’, directed by Michael D. Olmos (Filly Brown) and produced by Robert Mailer Anderson and Vicangelo Bulluck. It was a memorable night of independent filmmaking. Seriously! This is why we go to the movies!
Co-written by Robert Mailer Anderson and Zack Anderson, ‘Windows on the World’ stars Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica) and Ryan Guzman (Everybody Wants Some) in a father-son drama about the aftermath of 9/11.
The feature film tells the powerful story of an immigrant’s son and his epic journey from Mexico to New York City in search of his father, an undocumented worker at the World Trade Center’s famous Windows on the World restaurant, who goes missing on September 11, 2001. In his quest to find his father and save his family, Fernando will experience love and befriend an eclectic group of international characters that help him restore his faith in humanity. Along the way, Fernando will also discover the hard truths about his father, the melting pot of America, and the real immigrant experience.
The film is named after the famed restaurant located on the hundred-and-seventh floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center until it was destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
The idea for ‘Windows on the World’ stems from Robert and his cousin, Zack’s upbringing. They were both raised in a crazy environment; an underclass and working class environment that also became very rural, very fast for them. Robert and Zack attended high school in a little town called Boonville, California. In Boonville, there were a lot of people that weren’t seen, a lot of people doing labor work. They were migrant workers predominantly from Mexico. Their work went unseen and under-appreciated here.
When 9/11 happened, the events were extremely tragic on so many levels that everyone began asking why, why, why but not necessarily asking who.
A New York Times Magazine photo essay of people, just photos of families holding pictures of their loved ones that they said were in the building, caught their eyes. Seeing the photos, they remembered that the people were from all over the world. They were from Morocco. They were from Guatemala. They were from Nigeria. They were all told that their family member wasn’t in the building, which meant that they didn’t work there. This didn’t help the cause. These people couldn’t have any sort of closure.
Robert and Zack decided that this would be their next story. This is what they needed to write about. The result is an emotional story that moves the audience. The film features a storyline and writing that truly tells the immigrant story. It’s a film that needs to be watched by everyone. Why? Because it’s our story.
The soundtrack for ‘Windows on the World’ has its own dramatic story. When asked about how the music came together, Robert Mailer Anderson, aka the ‘Black Lion’, smiled and said, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. You see, when negotiations were completed to secure the first song from the soundtrack, a karaoke version of ‘New York, New York’, Robert was left with no money in the budget for the remaining songs. ‘Windows on the World’ was a film that needed a soundtrack, not a single.
So Robert started writing his own songs and leaning on his friends for their work. Les Claypool (musician, singer, songwriter, producer, author, director, and actor), best known as the founder, lead singer, bassist, primary songwriter, and only continuous member of the rock band Primus, gave a song to the movie.
Robert started writing other songs, both melody and lyrics, while collaborating with his friends from the S.F. Jazz Collective.
The extraordinary soundtrack includes a new song with vocals and guitar by David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and blues hall of famer Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica. Vocalist Emily Braden is the fantastic voice to ‘Every Tear I Cry for You’. Plus original jazz music from members of the SFJAZZ Collective (past and present), Eric Harland, David Sanchez, Edward Simon, Obed Calvaire, Robin Eubanks, Matt Penman, along with Taylor Eigsti. Our favorite track is Abiodun Oyewole doing a new version of the classic ‘Last Poets’ poem, ‘New York New York’.
Windows on the World
01. Inside Of Us All (ft. David Hidalgo, Charlie Musselwhite)
02. Every Tear I Cry For You (ft. Emily Braden, Sean Jones)
03. Fernando’s Theme – David Sánchez
04. Lou’s House – Harland Voyager
05. Don’t Break My Heart Again – The Collective Quintet
06. New York, New York – Abiodun Oyewole*
07. Party People – The Live Wire
08. Can You See Me Falling – New World Order
09. Black Lion Rap- The Black Lion
10. Renaissance Man – 26 Reds
Pre-Order Soundtrack Vinyl:
IRIE invites you to Pre-Order the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack available on 12″ vinyl from
Ropeadope and UpCal Entertainment.
Spotify Playlist | IRIE on SPOTIFY – June 2019
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