I believe and have stated firmly that the two best collaborations between filmmaker and musician are Krzysztof Kieslowski & Zbigniew Preisner, and Bela Tarr & Mihaly Vig. Last week I wrote a post about Kieslowski and Preisner, and so this week I’m following it up with one on Tarr and Vig. Bela Tarr is one […]
Arguably the greatest collaboration between filmmaker and score composer was Krzysztof Kieslowski and Zbigniew Preisner. The greatest filmmaker of all time working with the greatest musician of modern times. What could go wrong? Absolutely nothing. Their work together was nothing short of perfect, and there are times while watching a Kieslowski movie and hearing Preisner’s […]
If you’re a blogger, there’s a chance that when you write, you listen to music to get you going. I know I do. It helps me concentrate and get what I want to write out, especially with reviews. So I thought I’d make up a short playlist of some of the music I listen to […]
When music occurs in film, as we all know, it’s either soundtrack or score. I think more focus is put on the soundtrack than one of the most important parts of the film, the score. It represents the mood and feeling of the movie, and can carry all the emotions without even speaking a word.
Magnolia by Jon Brion
In my favourite movie of all time, I could list hundreds of reasons why I love it as much as I do, but one of the top ten would have to be Jon Brion’s fantastic score. I bought the CD a few months back, and it’s been playing over and over almost non-stop. It’s easy to miss it while watching the movie, but every time I watch it now that music is in my mind; I notice it, and it affects me. It’s an almost perfect score, for a perfect movie.
American Beauty by Thomas Newman
Thomas Newman’s score to Sam Mendes’ breakthrough feature manages to be consistently soft, even when it’s in its angriest mood. The complex layer of disputing emotions conveyed through the music track the path of the characters as they are pulled along a storyline of uprising and downfall. An incredibly original, poignant and affecting score that’s enough to put a tear in your eye every time:
Mulholland Dr. by Angelo Badalamenti
The film’s reliance on music is extraordinary, and even though not all of it is composed by Badalamenti, much of it including the terrific ‘Love Theme’ is. It’s incredibly sad, moving music that lulls the viewer into the same dreamlike state of frightening dystopian disorder that Lynch does with his film. Listen to it for yourself:
Requiem for a Dream by Clint Mansell
Arguably the most well known score on this list, Clint Mansell’s score, while being overused in various advertisements and television programs, consists of much more than just the popularised, searing Lux Aeterna. The downward path of drug abuse portrayed in the film and it’s effect owes a lot to the music, which subliminally makes it seem more horrifying and disturbing, if that were indeed possible. Check out this piece from the score, which is nowhere near as appreciated as it should be:
The Fountain by Clint Mansell
The second album from Clint Mansell also features some of his best, most underrated work as a composer. While the film itself was rather disappointing and conflicted among critics, the score is an inarguable success. The track ‘Death is the Road to Awe’ is one of the ten best pieces of musical score I have ever heard, and it’s not the only one worth mentioning. So much of the album is pure brilliance.
Those are my picks. I could list more, but this is plenty of listening material for you guys for now. Hopefully you can find the time to listen to some of the tracks above… there are many more on YouTube. If there’s anything you’d like to add, leave a comment below.
Stanley Kubrick was a master of many things when making movies — direction, cinematography, set direction — but one of the top choices he consistently made was musical. From Dr. Strangelove right down to Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick made musical choices that were insanely memorable. Here are perhaps the five most memorable:
1: We’ll Meet Again, Dr. Strangelove (1964)
The image of countless bombs exploding as this calming music plays is a simply magic use of contrast. If the world were to end as abruptly and annoyingly as it does in Strangelove, this music playing would make it a damn sight more comfortable – and funnier!
2: The Blue Danube Waltz, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1967)
The beautiful outer space has never looked so stunning as when Kubrick portrayed it alongside the amazing music of Strauss. Classical music made a memorable debut for SK as he mixed memorable imagery with insanely calming tunes.
3: The Thieving Magpie, A Clockwork Orange (1971)
That fantastic scene as Alex and his droogs walk down the riveria, frozen in thought, as this classical piece plays and violence breaks out will be forever ingrained in my mind. A scene which uses violence in a manner which makes Tarantino look like butter.
4: Sarabande, Barry Lyndon (1975)
Kubrick’s three hour biopic based on the novel is one of his best, most ingenious films, a sadly underrated film that glows with excellence every time you watch it. And this haunting theme… I never get tired of it.
5: Waltz No. 2 from Jazz Suite No. 2, Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
It’s a little bit inventive, a little bit haunting and a little bit cheeky. One of my favourite classical waltzes (beaten only by #2 on this list), and one which always brings to mind the shocking opening shot of Kubrick’s final film.
Any music from Kubrick I missed? What music (from any director or movie) do you think was particularly memorable or well-chosen? Leave a comment below.