75 years ago, on this date, Billie Holiday recorded a song that Time Magazine would call song of the century: Strange Fruit, a song written about a lynching in the South.
Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939. She said that singing it made her fearful of retaliation but, because its imagery reminded her of her father, she continued to sing the piece making it a regular part of her live performances. Because of the poignancy of the song, Josephson drew up some rules: Holiday would close with it; the waiters would stop all service in advance; the room would be in darkness except for a spotlight on Holiday’s face; and there would be no encore. During the musical introduction, Holiday would stand with her eyes closed, as if she were evoking a prayer.
"Her and Lost In Translation are connected to each other. They’re very much on the same wavelength. They explore a lot of the same ideas. This all makes sense since Spike Jonze and Sofia Coppola were married from 1999 to 2003 and had been together for many years before that. Sofia Coppola had already made her big personal statement in regards to love and marriage right when the couple was on the verge of divorce; Her would be Spike Jonze’s answer to those feelings. What makes it even more poignant is that Her never feels resentful or petty. It feels more like a legitimate apology. It’s an acknowledgement that, in the end, some people aren’t meant to be with each other in the long run. Some people do grow apart. Lost in Translation is about a couple on the verge of growing apart, Her is about finally letting go of the person you’ve grown apart with and moving on.”