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PJ Harvey Makes Film Debut Of Biblical Proportions

February 24, 1998 12:00 AM ET

Polly Jean Harvey has completed her first-ever acting role, starring in Hal Hartley's biblical espionage thriller The Book Of Life.

The cathartic singer/songwriter, known for her searing lyrics and blues-rock backings, plays Magdalena, Jesus Christ's bodyguard, in the 60-minute film, part of a series of shorts commissioned by ARTE, a French and German arts channel.

Harvey has also written new music for the movie, which features Martin Donovan as Jesus Christ. The Book Of Life is scheduled to premiere in France this fall, although it will likely be shown at film festivals before then.

In addition, Harvey's as-yet-untitled fifth studio album, currently in its finishing stages, will be released by Island later this year. Harvey and Hartley struck up a friendship when he used her single "Water," from her 1995 set To Bring You My Love, in his film The Amateur.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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