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General discussion about what's out for the couch.
274

favorite movie soundtracks?
Topic by: artifex
Posted: December 6, 2003 - 1:28 PM PST
Last Reply: December 27, 2004 - 10:52 AM PST

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author topic: favorite movie soundtracks?
hamano
post #41  on December 9, 2003 - 5:24 AM PST  
> On December 8, 2003 - 7:06 PM PST artifex wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I made a movie list with all of these, and it's getting very long. Please make sure you're mentioning what are really your favorites, not just nifty or obscure ones

Oh, ho oldkingcole, you are a cruel monarch!
artifex
post #42  on December 9, 2003 - 7:52 AM PST  
> Oh, ho oldkingcole, you are a cruel monarch!

It was an interesting list. I think, oldkingcole, you should make individual rent lists like "Best Nyman Films" and "Music John Williams might have written himself" and "Barry Good Music."
underdog
post #43  on December 9, 2003 - 10:34 AM PST  
Yeah, hard to top OldKingCole's list! :-) I second the Bernard Herrmann recommendations.

The opening credits to North by Northwest and Vertigo both always give me goosebumps, for the score and the way it weaves with the dizzying title sequences. Talk about grabbing an audience and not letting them go right from the very start. (Ditto Psycho.)

C
oldkingcole
post #44  on December 9, 2003 - 1:36 PM PST  
I seem to have butchered the spelling of Bernard Herrmann's name, too. This is what happens when you try to post a detailed list like this at 4 in the morning. :-) For the record, there's two "r"s and two "n"s in Herrmann.

Also, looking at the list today, it's interesting to me to see how, in the 50s and 60s, scores to historical costume epics predominate. Then in the 70s and 80s, they give way to sci-fi and horror scores.

Do you think certain genres of movies tend to give composers more freedom to write interesting music?
rsingh
post #45  on December 9, 2003 - 3:49 PM PST  
The English Patient
Pulp Fiction
Reservior Dogs
larbeck
post #46  on December 10, 2003 - 11:55 AM PST  
Rsingh! Do you know you look a lot like Hamano did when he was younger?
hamano
post #47  on December 10, 2003 - 12:22 PM PST  
> On December 10, 2003 - 11:55 AM PST larbeck wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Rsingh! Do you know you look a lot like Hamano did when he was younger?
> ---------------------------------

Since the war, we all look the same...
kamapuaa
post #48  on December 10, 2003 - 6:36 PM PST  
> Do you think certain genres of movies tend to give composers more freedom to write interesting music?
> ---------------------------------

I think it's more that the big-event movies are the movies most likely to have higher budgets, and be able to pay for the top talent in the industry - I noticed about 1/4th of your list was John Williams soundtracks, and John Williams isn't going to do a quirky documentary that's filmed cheap and recieves a limited release.

The prime exception didn't get much mention on your list - movies made partially or entirely as vehicles for popular musical acts. I think "Hard Day's Night," "Blue Hawaii," "Superfly," "Saturday Night Fever," and others, all deserved a place on your list.

Reminds me, I saw "Nashville" a few months back, and even though the music was generally awful, there was a lot of it, and I thought it did a good job showing Nashville's musical scene - both the stars & the wannabes, the big concerts and the jug band inaudibly playing at a drag race. Can anybody recommend a movie which does a good job at showing off a musical "scene"? Hopefully with better music?
postmod
post #49  on December 10, 2003 - 9:43 PM PST  
i have an embarrassing soft spot for the score of last of the mohicans.

hedwig and the angry inch had amazing music.

and mark mothersbaugh's soundtracks for the royal tenenbaums and rushmore are some of the best damn soundtracks around.

as much as i've loved much of danny elfman's work, it tends to remind me of edward scissorhands, whatever the movie. sometimes this effect is disconcerting.
oldkingcole
post #50  on December 11, 2003 - 4:57 AM PST  
> On December 10, 2003 - 6:36 PM PST kamapuaa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > Do you think certain genres of movies tend to give composers more freedom to write interesting music?
> > ---------------------------------
>
> I think it's more that the big-event movies are the movies most likely to have higher budgets, and be able to pay for the top talent in the industry

This is true, of course. Sci-fi films, in particular, are prone to huge budgets because of the cost of the special effects. But there are well-funded non-sci-fi pictures too, and they often don't seem to have musical underscores that are as memorable. How come basic dramas like Mystic River, or A Few Good Men or A Time To Kill are so conspicuously missing from the list? They all star expensive actors and seemed to have been given A-movie budgets, so presumably they could hire top movie composers. Indeed A Time to Kill's score is by Elliot Goldenthal, and he did make my list, just not for this film.

I think there is something about fantasy and sci-fi films which makes composers feel more free to go out on a limb and compose something a bit more extreme or quirky.

>- I noticed about 1/4th of your list was John Williams soundtracks,

Yes. I know some people have the notion that he's some sort of bombastic hack, but I think -- especially during the 1970s and early 1980s -- that he was one of the best practitioners of the art.


> The prime exception didn't get much mention on your list - movies made partially or entirely as vehicles for popular musical acts. I think "Hard Day's Night," "Blue Hawaii," "Superfly," "Saturday Night Fever," and others, all deserved a place on your list.

This reflects my background, I guess. A good song-score can work well for certain kinds of (typically, youth-oriented) pictures (and Saturday Night Fever is a prime example), but I think more often than not, the fact that the songs are not composed specifically for the scene, and that they can carry with them all kinds of other associations that individual audience members bring with them to the theaters, that song-scores in general are a different kind of entity from music specifically composed for a scene.

I did include Pink Floyd's The Wall, and mentioned the effectiveness of the songs in Last Night, but generally, I am just less interested in song-scores. Naturally, my favorites list is going to reflect that bias.
larbeck
post #51  on December 11, 2003 - 12:42 PM PST  
> On December 8, 2003 - 5:29 PM PST Ayato wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Ah crap going off topic again.

Ah - "Ain't it Kwel????"

As far "Dune", is was the David Lynch film, not the mini-series that had one of the biggest shock at the end when I read the credit and discover that TOTO did the music!! Love it!

And I just GOTTA mention one anime soundtrack by name for anyone who wants to discover the pleasures of J-rock - "Bubblegum Crisis Best Collection". The purists will hate me for saying this, but this soundtrack album is *almost* better than the anime itself! Note that is all from the 2032 series and not my coverted 2040 series that I worship like the Sun.
mdraine
post #52  on December 11, 2003 - 2:59 PM PST  
These soundtrack CDs make an ideal backdrop for a solitary late-night reverie:
Ennio Morricone: Il Grande Silenzio/Sweet November , Morricone's majestic orchestration for The Great Silence provides a voice for the mute antihero of this overlooked spaghetti Western.
Nora Orlandi/Alessandro Alessandroni: A Doppia Faccia/Devil Walks at Midnight Alessandroni's haunting use of electric guitar and breathy female vocals in La Terrificante Notte Del Demonio (aka The Devil's Nightmare) will appeal to fans of Goblin's Argento soundtracks.
Piero Piccioni: Camille 2000 A score of heart-stopping beauty carries Radley Metzger's Eurotrash sex tragedy.
Piero Piccioni: Il Dio Sotto La Pelle Title translation: "God under the Skin." Haven't seen the film, but love the psychedelic soundtrack.
And Dudley Moore's Bedazzled invokes swinging London, better than any Austin Powers movie.
hamano
post #53  on December 12, 2003 - 2:42 PM PST  
Oh, another recent one I forgot to mention. I LOOOOOVE the score Yann Tiersen wrote for Amelie!!!! Paris Cafe accordion music, with Michael Nyman as the organ-grinder's monkey, would be how I would describe this wonderful music. An eclair of romance filled with nostalgia flavored cream! YUM!
dpowers
post #54  on December 12, 2003 - 4:01 PM PST  
with the tiniest hint of narcotic booze.
dpowers
post #55  on January 7, 2004 - 7:03 PM PST  
soundtracks list from a film comment article last month. 101 movies total - about 70 at GC - from 1933-2001.
dpowers
post #56  on January 8, 2004 - 1:20 AM PST  
i think there's to be another list of furry movies i mean fern movies i mean feral movies i mean oh what do i mean anyway next month there will be another list.
dpowers
post #57  on January 8, 2004 - 12:37 PM PST  
i'm not holding my breath for many of the earlier movies to become available on DVD, which means the front end of the list is always going to be out of chronological order. i'm keeping the article though so as things are released, i can extend descriptions. i encourage everybody who's interested to try finding that issue of the magazine (the article is not available online) - film comment, nov/dec 03 issue, $4.95 - the full article is 19 pages long and the writing is very very good.

also there is a fabu-cute picture of anita loos in the 20s on page 47 - very flattering crop of the cover photo on this page.
dpowers
post #58  on January 8, 2004 - 12:43 PM PST  
oh yeah and uma thurman is on the cover, with sword and killer pout
RWaller
post #59  on January 8, 2004 - 4:13 PM PST  
Is this the place to whine about Hatari? I finally got hold of this DVD and found to my horror and disappointment that the luscious Henry Mancini music (among his very frothiest and cleverest) was not only squeezed onto a mono soundtrack, but for the most part buried inaudibly behind the background noise. Are there any plans to do anything with this film? I guess John Wayne fans don't care about music, but how about the Mancini fans?

Contrast this with the restored Bernard Hermann Vertigo music track, which was painstakingly redubbed from the original stereo masters in the Universal archives. WOW! when I heard the title theme swell for the chorus, I felt like cheering.
dpowers
post #60  on January 8, 2004 - 4:52 PM PST  
that reminds me, the real article has some information about most recent publication of all the soundtracks. (i've seen some other articles that say the information is slightly inaccurate.)

still - like you're saying - just because the movie score is pretty or made john caps's list doesn't mean the music got front and center treatment in the sound mixing, originally or in video release.
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