Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Film soundtracks?

What difference does a film's soundtrack make? Do you actually notice the music in a film?

Having recently upgraded our television to a "bigger than Ben Hur" sized model, we've been watching more movies than usual. I noticed with recent films we've watched, like "RIPD", that there was a notorious lack of music through it, whether it be a bold idiosyncratic orchestral score, or a well chosen set of tunes from popular music (along with a lack of any other redeeming features as well). Even "The Fast And The Furious" has a soundtrack where all the songs sound identical to each other, and none of which make any impact or do much to enhance a scene.

And yet, in the kids movies we are often forced to endure, the music is often well chosen and perfectly suited to a scene. Even in films like "We Bought A Zoo", the scene where the zoo looked like being foreclosed on without a large capital injection was perfectly soundtracked by "Hunger Strike" by Temple of the Dog. It's a great song on its own, but it lifts the scene in the film over and above the level of ordinary.

Last night's film on DVD was "Walking With Dinosaurs". It's a good, fun CGI romp through the pre-historic world (with a loose plot), but the use of well-chosen songs makes certain scenes stand out. For example, there is nothing particularly magical about the two main characters losing their herd and having to hide within another herd of animals heading south for the winter. Throw in Fleetwood Mac's drum-heavy track "Tusk" as a soundtrack and you have something special.

The use of Lord Huron's "Ends of the Earth" magnifies the power of the aurora borialis scenes in the middle of a slow point in the film.

What films have songs in key scenes that elevate the emotions for you? Let us know in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a big fan of the use of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", covered by Santa Esmeralda in the lead up to The Bride's fight with O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill Vol 1. Very exhilarating

    Also "End of the Line" by Daft Punk in Tron: Legacy is a fantastic lead up toward a few dramatic scenes in Castor's nightclub.