Born in Lebanon, composer Gabriel Yared was very familiar with Khalil Gibran’s novel “The Prophet.” “I came across this book when I was a teenager,” he reveals in our recent webcam chat (watch below), “and was struck by how it was written, the words, the ideas, the spirituality.”
He never imagined, however, that it would one day be adapted into a film. “It’s kind of gospel, and you cannot make a film just of teaching and chapters on love, on death, on work and drink, etc.” Yet an acclaimed film has been made of it, an animated at that. “The Lion King” helmer Roger Allers supervised a team of eight different directors each bringing their own unique visions to Gibran’s collection of stories.
Yared, who goes back-and-forth between live action and animation, says of the creative process on this picture, “Funnily, it’s very close to the way I like to work, usually. I like to be involved in the project since the beginning, and in animation you have to be because the animation is made on the music.”
Perhaps best know for his work with the late director Anthony Minghella, Yared won an Oscar for “The English Patient” and nominations for “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Cold Mountain.” “It was so important to work with him creatively,” he remembers, “and each time he brought me to somewhere else. I did ‘The English Patient’ with him, and many people asked me to be romantic, epic, etc., and Anthony each time asked me to do something else, something different. To renew myself.”
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"Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet" photo credit: GKIDS