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#81 Yervant1


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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:51 PM

Hollywood Reporter
Nov 17 2017
How Chris Cornell Found Inspiration for His Song From Armenian Genocide Film 'The Promise'

11:00 AM PST 11/17/2017 by Melinda Newman

Steve Pyke/Contour by Getty Images
"Rather than people thinking, 'Wow, what a horrendous thing that happened a century ago,' I'd love for them to realize that it is happening now and the fact that the warning signs are always the same," the late singer said a few weeks before his May 2017 death.

Even though the Armenian genocide depicted in Open Road's The Promise took place more than 100 years ago, when Chris Cornell wrote the searing end-title theme, he wanted to bring awareness to similar atrocities going on today.

"Rather than people thinking, 'Wow, what a horrendous thing that happened a century ago,' I'd love for them to realize that it is happening now and the fact that the warning signs are always the same leading up to a genocide," said the late Soundgarden singer in an interview a few weeks before his May 2017 death and shortly before the film, starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac, opened.

However, when Cornell wrote "The Promise," musically he stayed rooted in the past. "That was a conundrum I hadn't dealt with before. I couldn't have any popular music references that are natural to me" like Led Zeppelin or The Beatles, he said. He also didn't want to write a strictly period piece tied to the early 1900s, using only instruments that existed in Armenia, "because the song needed to do a bigger job, it shouldn't be confined by geography or time." He settled on acoustic guitar, piano, tympanis and strings, with orchestration by the late Grammy-winning arranger Paul Buckmaster.



Lyrically, Cornell, who earned a Golden Globe nomination in 2012 for "The Keeper" from Machine Gun Preacher, drew from The Promise writer-director Terry George's script and rough edits of the film, as well as research — reading and watching documentaries — about the genocide. He told the story from the perspective of a young man singing to a photo of his father or grandfather about the inspiration they had provided by persevering through horrendous acts. Though not Armenian, Cornell also drew upon his wife's Greek heritage since her ancestors were affected by the same World War I genocide that led to the death of 1.5 million Armenians.

Cornell, who donated proceeds from the song to the International Rescue Committee, an organization that provides assistance to those fleeing conflict, wanted to leave viewers with a sense of hope. "The hope was built into the story," he said. "To me, the challenge was being able to distill it in a couple of verses and a chorus.


#82 Yervant1


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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:52 PM

Pan Armenian, Armenia
Nov 16 2017
November 16, 2017 - 14:02 AMT
Deadline: Could Armenian Genocide film theme song win an Oscar?

Posthumous Oscars are rare, but Chris Cornell, who died in May at age 52, stands a chance of winning one, or at least being nominated, for his moving theme song from "The Promise", a movie about the Armenian Genocide, Deadline says in an article about whether the song will make it to the final shortlist or even win the award afterwards.

The film is an epic-like love story from director Terry George that is set during the Armenian Genocide and the last days of the Ottoman Empire. It opened in the spring through Open Road Films but is hoping to be remembered at least in this category on behalf of Cornell.

"Although competition for the Best Original Song in movies is fierce this year — with recent past winners providing hot new prospects in music-centric films such as Beauty and the Beast, Coco and The Greatest Showman, not to mention the efforts of eight-time nominee Diane Warren and Oscar winner Common for the stirring “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall, to mention just a few — the story behind the powerful song is compelling reason enough for its consideration," Deadline says.

"Cornell had married into a Greek family and often heard stories about similar treatment to the Greeks during the Turkish-ruled Ottoman Empire, so he already felt a personal connection. At the time of the film’s spring release, Cornell was quoted as giving reasons for his participation. “The Promise to me is mainly about paying homage to those we lost in the Armenian Genocide, but it’s also about shining a light on more recent atrocities, ” he said, adding that he was inspired by the strength and perseverance of those who were affected by these tragic events and in places such as Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda and now, Syria."

The orchestral arrangement for “The Promise” is by Paul Buckmaster, who legendarily did most of Elton John’s arrangements and who passed away last week.

In Beverly Hills, the Los Angeles Committee of Human Rights Watch had a fundraising dinner that raised more than $1.8 million and also introduced the inaugural Promise Award that recognizes an outstanding song, TV show or film that advances the values of equity and justice in an original and powerful way. It went to Cornell for “The Promise” and was accepted by his widow, Vicki Cornell, who was accompanied by his Soundgarden bandmates. Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic performed the tune to a standing ovation.


#83 Yervant1


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Posted 03 December 2017 - 08:53 AM

Pan Armenian, Armenia
Dec 2 2017
Chris Cornell gets Satellite Award nom for Armenian Genocide film song

Chris Cornell's solo track "The Promise", which the artist had written and recorded for the 2016 film of the same name about the Armenian Genocide, has been nominated for Satellite Award in the category of Best Original Song, announced recently by the International Press Academy.

The late Soundgarden frontman has also been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Rock Performance.

'The Promise' film has raised awareness about the atrocities during the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and recruited the general public and leaders from around the world to fight for human rights with its #KeepThePromise social media campaign. All proceeds from the film are being donated to non-profit organizations and humanitarian causes – including the establishment of The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA.

Cornell too donated all proceeds from the song to the International Rescue Committee, a charity that responds to humanitarian crises by helping to restore health, education and economic wellbeing, among other things, to people stricken by conflict.

The Satellite Awards will take place on February 10.


#84 Yervant1


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Posted 13 December 2017 - 02:08 PM

Critical Hit
Dec 3 2017
The Promise (DVD) Review – A powerful, harrowing look at the Armenian genocide
Posted on December 13, 2017

War movies are a regular staple of the movie world, which we see released every year. Sadly, even movies about genocide are becoming more commonplace. Most are decent, but it becomes increasingly difficult for war movies to stand out as a result.

The Promise is one of those movies that looks to stand out from the crowd, though perhaps not because of its style or angle, but more purely because of its subject matter. Whereas most war movies focus on the events of World War 1 and 2, The Promise instead takes us to 1910s Turkey to focus on the Armenian Genocide instead.


The Armenian Genocide is one of those tragic events in history that is little publicized and recognized despite the incredible depravity of the events rivalling the holocaust of World War 2. The Promise looks to change all that by bringing the plight of the Armenian genocide to the big screen. Sadly, the film didn’t quite achieve its purpose as it mostly tanked at the box office, but hopefully it can gain some life through its DVD release and be seen by more people.

As a war film that harrowingly displays the genocide of a race of people, The Promise can easily live up there with many of the best films of its type. It’s perhaps a little light on raw combat, but is heavy in its portrayal of brutality and draws you in to the despair of its characters remarkably well. The film achieves this by not trying to get too caught up in the greater war effort or vast battle scenes, but instead focusing on a small group of people as they fight for their survival. To perhaps clarify further, it will more than likely move you emotionally about the genocide and the lives lost than it will envelop your senses as a war film.


Director Terry George (who co-writes alongside Robin Swicord) has created some tight emotional drama around the production’s beautifully scenic backdrops that keep the film pretty to look at, without distracting you too much from the emotional heart of the story.  The story focuses on its small set of main characters and how they each experience the genocide in different ways.

There is Mikael (Oscar Isaac), an apothecary who moves to Constantinople to study medicine, but not before he vows to return and marry the daughter of a wealthy neighbour who will be funding his studies. However, once in Constantinople, he befriends Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), an Armenian woman from Paris and her American suitor (Christian Bale) who is in the country to report on the Ottoman empire.

Needless to say, the Ottoman Empire’s plans for genocide interfere with their intentions and they all end up trying to fight their plight in many ways. There is a lot more going on in the story, but the script focuses on the leads as much as possible, creating high emotion through their experiences rather than trying to desensitize the viewer from other details of the war.



However, as much as The Promise is a war movie, it is also trying to be a love story and this is where some of its cracks start to show. Much like how Titanic was a remarkable technical achievement showing the horror of the ship’s tragic sinking, but forced you to watch the frequently iffy romance to get through it, The Promise unfortunately does the same thing.

It is perhaps a little more realistic and covers a wider period of time to make its relationships feel more believable, but the film’s characters lack a lot of chemistry and the love story has an almost forced pacing as a result of it trying to be shoehorned into the bigger story. Indeed, the very reason the film is called The Promise relates to a romantic promise made in the early part of the film. It feels a little pointless as it actually gets fulfilled rather early on before the film focuses more extensively on their escape efforts. It’s not a terrible story, but one that probably didn’t need to be there.

There is more than enough motivation and story for the film to drive its purpose forward without the need for characters trying to be involved in a love triangle. Given the grimness of the events, it also feels a little insensitive to the cause.


This lack of chemistry though is through no fault of its actors who are simply superb. Oscar Isaac in particular as the Armenian medical student caught in the middle of both war and love does a superb job with not only the accent, but in conveying the full emotional despair of his character. Similarly, both Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale, while perhaps not having as good material to work with, continue to provide the film with a lot of heart. The dialogue in the film is perhaps not its strong point and there are several times when the actors end up having to deliver beyond it to pull you into this story.


You shouldn’t be watching The Promise for its love story though and while it does feel tacked on, it doesn’t detract from the grimness of the war and the strong message the film is trying to convey about the Armenian genocide. Hopefully it can start a trend for many other films to follow in showing this piece of at-times disputed history and bring it to more general acceptance.

The Promise is a grandiose and powerful war film that deserves to be seen if just for its unique subject matter. The love story that the script is built upon is not strong, but watchable enough to not exactly make you regret the investment you make in the movie.  It’s a gritty film that’s not going to leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, but its grim tale is powerful enough to win you over to its cause.

Last Updated: December 13, 2017



#85 Yervant1


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Posted 26 August 2018 - 07:59 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
Aug 25 2018
Cher slams DirecTV for misrepresenting Armenian Genocide film
August 25, 2018 - 11:04 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - American pop singer Cher, who has Armenian roots, has slammed DirecTV for what seems to be a misrepresentation of the movie "The Promise", which portrays a love triangle against the backdrop of the horrors of the Armenian Genocide.

"This has no meaning for most, but DirecTV, "The Promise is not about "Ottoman Empire Crumbling into chaos," the "Believe" singer said on Twitter.

"It's about the Armenian Genocide. Turks massacred two million innocent Armenians. Women and children were raped and driven into the desert to starve. Men were hung, or worked to death."

Cher has been vocal in the process of the international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide. She supported the film "The Promise" by "Hotel Rwanda" director Terry George both during filming and after the premiere.



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