Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Music and Movies

To me the arts are a complicated thing. You have paintings for example, which some people just sit and stare trying to figure out the meaning. Maybe there isn't a meaning, maybe the artist just drew what popped into their head.
The same with photos. When someone takes a picture why does it have to convey the emotions the photographer was feeling or trying to capture. Why can't it be about capturing a moment in time before it flutters away never to be captured again.

Music in film and television is vital. It tells the audience whats happening. It reminds me of the Shifty eye dog episode of The Simpsons. Dramatic music makes him look sinister, though changing the music behind it would change it to a jovial nature or whimsical. How do you know he wasn't checking for traffic before he crossed the road?

Aside from music leading the narrative, i like when the soundtrack is part of the movie in more than a 'background noise' way. Films where the music and whats happening on screen are intertwined are brilliant. Recently there has been Inception, Tron: Legacy and Social Network that have all amazing soundtracks which i love listening to but are part of the film too.

Some films have also given me new bands to listen to. Wristcutters: A Love Story introduced me to Gogol Bordello, a band which i now love. Garden State introduced me to The Shins and Stir of Echoes introduced me to Rolling Stones via Paint it Black, the soundtrack to Juno, to me, was amazing. It determined the pace of the film, showed the same emotions as the characters.

As well as soundtracks having good bands, music that is made specifically to the film are detrimental to a good film. Who here cant hum the Superman Theme? Or the theme to Star Wars. John Williams and Danny Elfman played some of the best ones of my childhood. Which is why i suppose that Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman sound the same :)

Classic soundtrack overtures like the ones in Shawshank redemption, Gladiator, and even Star Trek are also brilliant to have in a film. To me a film that has stagnant score behind it, or music that doesn't fit anything that happens on screen is a flop.

This is the overlying music from JJ Abrams Star Trek.

Its the theme that plays over pretty much anything dramatic that happens in the film. Its haunting in a way but i love it.
Speaking of haunting music and the correlation between film and music, that will be addressed in my next post.
But i will leave you with my first love of music in movies/trailers and the one that got me more into what happens in film other than actors speaking.

This is a trailer for the 2007 film Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor) Its a brilliantly visual film, great story but this trailer is what did it for me. Lots of WTF moments happening at once and when the yellow bus enters the screen, that music that kicks in was it. The band are called M83 and that track made me search them out straight away. Give the film a watch and also the bands album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts.

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