Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Of movies and music

I’m fond of listening to motion picture scores. With music, the audience can easily connect to the current mood and feel of a movie scene. Having said this, I think music is a very important element in filmmaking.

When I listen to movie soundtracks, I just close my eyes and try to remember the scene where I heard the soundtrack being played. This kind of music also helps me go to sleep, just like classical music.

From my collection of original motion picture scores, I’ve listed five of my favourites in random order:

1. Atonement / Dario Marianelli

In as much as I love the film, Darion Marianelli did a great job in composing the music for Atonement. I find it very creative to use the tapping sound of a typewriter as an additional sound accompanied together with the piano (if you’ve watched the film, you will hear this in the opening scene where Briony is typing her story. In fact, on the album, the title was named after her). Another beautiful track in the album is “Elegy for Dunkirk”. This was played during the scene where Robbie was roaming around Dunkirk after they’ve won the war. And regarding this scene, I was really impressed by the camera work! The scene was shot by only one camera, following Robbie as he walked around the area. The grandeur of the location can be seen, showing the damage caused by the war, wounded soldiers begging for help, and people singing the elegy in celebration of their victory.

2. The Fountain / Clint Mansell

I love Clint Mansell’s music. Just like “Requiem for a Dream”, the music he composed for Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain is simply beautiful. Now I know some people didn’t like the film, it was even booed during the critics screening in Cannes, but I must say that the soundtrack is a must have for soundtrack fanatics. Some notable tracks in the album are “Death is the road to awe” and “Together we will live forever”. The song “Death is the road to awe” can be heard playing during the latter part of the film where the astronaut Tommy was about to reach Xibalba while “Together we will live forever” is played during the movie’s closing credits. The use of piano and strings added to the gloomy and mystic tone of the film.

3. Kite Runner / Alberto Iglesias with Sami Yusuf for the song Supplication

I first heard about Alberto Iglesias’ works in the movie soundtrack of The Constant Gardener. For the Kite Runner, the theme is heavily influenced by Middle-Eastern music. Notable tracks include “Kite Tournament”, played while Amir and Hassan are trying to topple their competitor’s kites in the tournament, and “Supplication” sung by British singer Sami Yusuf. Listening to “Supplication”, one would agree that Islam is a religion of love and peace. It was played during the scene where Amir was searching for Sohrab in the streets of Pakistan until he reached a mosque. He wasn’t able to find Sohrab, so he prayed, and when he went back home, he was surprised to see Sohrab sitting on the stairs waiting for him.

4. Ratatouille / Michael Giachinno

By far, Ratatouille is my best soundtrack ever composed by Michael G. He is also the music composer for Speed Racer, The Incredibles and Mission Impossible. My favourite tracks in this album are “Le Festin” performed by French singer Camille played during the final scene, “100 Rat Dash” (the title reminds me of “100 Mile Dash” in The Incredibles OST) played during the rat extermination scene in the earlier part of the film, and “Dinner Rush” that can be heard during the scene where Remy and his rat people helps Linguini in preparing the food at Gusto’s kitchen.

5. The Lord of the Rings / Howard Shore

I was so happy the first time I grab hold of my copy of the LOTR: The Complete Recordings. I think this is a must have for LOTR fanatics. The music captured the magic of middle-earth. With songs sung in Sindarin, Quenya, Dwarvish, Old English among others, I think it’s just appropriate to use such language as to make the songs authentic and genuine to Middle-earth. One of my favourites is “Glamdring”. Remember the scene in The Two Towers where The Balrog and Gandalf fell from the Bridge of Khazad-dum, fighting while they’re falling into the darkest regions of the Misty Mountains? This was the song being played. A little trivia: Glamdring is the name of Gandalf’s sword; he used this sword to defeat his fellow Maiar, the Balrog.

So there you have it! Now you got an idea what’s been looping in my Zen Microphoto. By the way, after writing this entry, I just realized how boring I am. LOL


iriz said...

did you ever think of shifting career, like...film making? ;0)

i remember watching a movie with you and you're very particular with the background music and every instrument playing, you can distinguish one sound from the other.for me it's a gift.

this is so you... ;0)

Eben said...

When you say 'this is so you', you mean this is so Eben the autistic? Haha!

"did you ever think of shifting career, like...film making? ;0)"
- Several times friend. Kaso magastos hindi afford. :)

yoshke said...

Although it has been widely criticised, Phillip Glass's score for THE HOURS really gets me every freakin' time.