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Your favorite movie soundtracks...

Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 4:24am

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jawajohnny

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I came across this article, and thought it might be fun to post here: Which ten movie soundtracks would you bring to a desert island with you?

I guess you can take it literally, or just post your favorite scores. Aside from the obvious, I'm not sure what mine would be yet..
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 5:56am

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Atom

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#1 in my book for listenability, without a doubt:
-The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford

Then, ohhhhh let's see:

-The Island
(Amazing, haunting, and iconic- who woulda thought? Used in everything)
-Batman Begins
-The Shawshank Redemption
-Jurassic Park
-Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
-Ferris Bueller's Day Off
-Curious George
(half because it's cheating-it's all just Jack Johnson randomness he 'composed' for the film)

Can't think of more really good ones just yet past those...
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 6:04am

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JasonX1024

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I have a couple:
Black Hawk Down Original Score by Hans Zimmer and various artists
We Were Soldiers Soundtrack
THe Wackness Soundtrack
The Warriors Original Score
...some others, too tired to type them
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 6:15am

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CX3

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The Last Samuri
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 6:52am

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ajjax44

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Layer Cake
The Rock
Armageddon
Terminator 2
Spy Games
Face/Off
Snow Falling on Cedars
Gladiator
Almost Famous
300

Top 3 Video Game/TV Show Soundtracks
**Battlestar Galactica
**Hitman: Contracts
**Hitman: Blood Money
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 7:24am

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Harvey

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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Cinema Paradiso
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Empire Strikes Back
Fargo
The Godfather Part II
Road To Perdition
Rushmore
Singin' in the Rain
Speed Racer

Honorable Mention:
2001: A Space Odyssey
A Clockwork Orange
Chinatown
The Prestige
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 7:26am

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B3N

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Black Hawk Down,
Gladiator,
Superman Returns,
American Beauty,
Rock n' Rolla,
Road to Perdition,
(Not a film but still awesome) Planet Earth
Batman Begins,
Face-Off,
Smoking Aces,
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 7:53am

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Garrison

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Moulin Rouge
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 9:30am

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Sollthar

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Ohhhh, soundtracks!! I want them all... smile

Those are CD's I can listen all through and love every single track:

Batman (Danny Elfman)
The Mummy Returns (Alan Silvestri)
Independence Day (David Arnold)
Gladiator (Hans Zimmer)
Chicken Run (Harry Gregson-Williams)
The Time Machine (Klaus Badelt)
Godzilla (David Arnold)
The Rock (Hans Zimmer / John Powell / Harry Gregson-Williams)
X-Men The Last Stand (John Powell)
Medal of Honor (Michael Giacchino)

Last one's a game soundtrack, bit still. Giacchino brings big budget film scores to games. Awesome orchestration and score.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 9:56am

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Simon K Jones

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I'd go for...

Fight Club
Battlestar Galactica
Empire Strikes Back
Starship Troopers
Crouching Tigger, Hidden Dingo
The Incredibles
Lord of the Rings (can I have all 3?)
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 11:56am

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Tim L

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I also vote for the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, in particular the first one (Fellowship of the Ring).

Also, while most of the soundtrack is simply well known 50's songs, the theme for October Sky (Mark Isham) is one I can't shake from my brain for days at a time. I love it -- it's perfect.

I don't see many movies, but most anything lush and orchestral would work for me. (I'm assuming this desert island has electricity and a stereo, or some way to recharge batteries.)

Oooohh, speaking of desert island, I suppose some Pirates of the Caribbean music would seem appropriate. Will Keira Knightley be there? With a bottle of rum?

Last edited Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 1:07pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 12:01pm

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Simon K Jones

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Tim L wrote:

Oooohh, speaking of desert island, I suppose some Pirates of the Caribbean music would seem appropriate.
It's more efficient to just go for the Gladiator score, then you've got the Pirates score as well. And pretty much everything else done by Zimmer in the last 10 years.

Will Keira Knightley be there? With a bottle of rum?
That'd certainly make the time go by easier.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 1:09pm

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Sollthar

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The Pirates Themes are done by Klaus Badelt, not Zimmer. Just for your info. smile

But they do sound a bit alike, at least the main themes.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 1:13pm

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

The Pirates Themes are done by Klaus Badelt, not Zimmer. Just for your info. smile
Oh, I know that. But Badelt was part of Zimmer's studio and the whole thing pretty much felt like Zimmer saying "I don't have time to do some stupid pirate movie, just take my Gladiator themes and rework them a bit, don't take too long over it as nobody's going to see this film."

Of course, I make exceptions for the AWESOME classic piratey style music for when the Black Pearl is sneaking about. That stuff is great. Everything else is just Gladiator.

Amusingly in the office the other day we were doing a 'guess the film' competition with some music, and at one point the PotC theme came on. Everybody genuinely went "GLADIATOR!"

But they do sound a bit alike, at least the main themes.
They certainly do. smile
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 1:22pm

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mikeh

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Letters from Iwo Jima...kind of fits with the whole island thing! smile

And the Good, the bad, and the ugly. Greatest soundtrack......ever.

In my opinion at least...
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 5:22pm

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jawajohnny

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Lots of John Williams:

Star Wars
Indiana Jones

Harry Potter (I wish he comes back for DH)
Schindler's List
Jurassic Park
E.T.


Eragon (Patrick Doyle)
The X-Files (Mark Snow)
Finding Nemo (Thomas Newman)
Pirates of the Caribbean (Klaus Badelt composed the first, Hanz Zimmer the sequels)
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 5:40pm

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Mellifluous

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Once Upon A Time In The West
Three Colours Blue
Le Comte De Monte Cristo
Superman The Movie
Battlestar Galactica Season Two
The Red Violin
The Island
Sunshine
Magnolia
Paper Tiger
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 11:39pm

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Evman

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All three Lord of the Rings (The Complete Recordings, of course) would satisfy me for a lifetime.

Hell I could listen to "The Lighting of the Beacons" for days without getting bored of it.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Mar 2009, 11:58pm

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Atom

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Oooooh, now I simply must add:
-Ratatouille
-Armageddon
-Transformers
-X2
-Superman Returns
-Enemy of the State
Posted: Tue, 3rd Mar 2009, 1:19am

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Jabooza

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I don't know about this desert island stuff... but here are some good scores:

(Not in order)
Star Wars (all of them)
Lord of the Rings (all of the them)
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Edward Scissorhands
Sleepy Hollow
Batman
Psycho
Vertigo
Chinatown
Spider-Man

Well... I don't know if those are actually my real top ten, so here's some honorable mentions:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; The Snake Pit; Superman; First Blood; King Kong (1933); Signs (horrible movie though); Waterworld; The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly; Pee-Wee's Big Adventure; North by Northwest; Hulk.

That's all I can think of right now. smile
Posted: Tue, 3rd Mar 2009, 3:12am

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Moonloon1

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#1. STAR WARS IV
#2. STAR WARS III
#3. Flash Gordon (Queen) the old one the movie kinda sucked but I liked the music.
#4. Lord Of The Rings (all)
#5. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
#6. X Files
#8. Pirates of the Caribban
#9. Batman (Danny Elfman)
#10. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Posted: Tue, 3rd Mar 2009, 3:20am

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Travis Kunze

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This isn't a fare question as according to what you said were only allowed to bring the soundtracks, but nothing to listen to them with.
Posted: Tue, 3rd Mar 2009, 4:12am

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Jabooza

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Harvey wrote:

2001: A Space Odyssey

Moonloon1 wrote:

2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey actually doesn't have a custom score. The music in the movie is entirely pre-existing classical music.
Posted: Tue, 3rd Mar 2009, 4:31am

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JasonX1024

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Hmmm
Enemy At the Gates
Friday the 13th OST
everything from X-Ray Dog (independent Studio check em out!)
Apocalypse Now
Sunshine -Peggy Sussed smile
Fight Club- I dont usually like electronic but this soundtrack had some good numbers from the Dust Brothers...thats it
Posted: Tue, 3rd Mar 2009, 4:56am

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Harvey

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Jabooza wrote:

2001: A Space Odyssey actually doesn't have a custom score. The music in the movie is entirely pre-existing classical music.
Yes, but the question was about soundtracks, not scores, so I think 2001 should count.
Posted: Tue, 3rd Mar 2009, 6:28am

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Moonloon1

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Jabooza wrote:

2001: A Space Odyssey actually doesn't have a custom score. The music in the movie is entirely pre-existing classical music.
Semantics, there was a score composed and conducted for the movie but Stanley Kubrick didn't like it. I don't care the music used fit so well.
Posted: Tue, 3rd Mar 2009, 4:22pm

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Thrawn

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Star Wars III for sure, but if I had to have a list..

-Batman Begins
-X3
-Pirates of the Caribbean
-Indiana Jones: Raidars of the Lost Ark
-Lord of the Rings
-Superman Returns
-Back to the Future II

But otherwise it's pretty hard to beat Episode III of Star Wars. So much emotion packed into the music..
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 1:45am

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Rawree

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"There will be Blood". Partly because I'm a huge Greenwood fanboy and also because it's possibly the most interesting and exciting film music I've heard and stands up well with or without the film.

Something which I find with John Williams' scores in particular is that, because they rely so heavily on character themes, it becomes difficult for me to distance them enough from the movies to enjoy them just as pieces of music. Similarly, this use recurring themes for certain characters means the score can start to get a bit...pantomime-y ("It's the hero, quick big epic fanfares", "Oh no, it's the villan: low brooding horn section" "It's the female lead's big scene so get ready with lush string and woodwind arrangements".) which works well in a film but not so well without the characters. For me anyway.
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 5:49am

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Sollthar

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("It's the hero, quick big epic fanfares", "Oh no, it's the villan: low brooding horn section" "It's the female lead's big scene so get ready with lush string and woodwind arrangements".)
Funny, that describes exactly what I like the most about filmmusic. That very use of different themes for characters and settings, so that the music tells a story of it's own. Filmmusic without proper themes is totally uninteresting to me. smile

Different tastes I guess
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 6:18am

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Serpent

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I'm sure I'm missing some, but my favorites off the top of my head would have to be The Lion King, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars OT, and Jurassic Park.

Jabooza wrote:

Harvey wrote:

2001: A Space Odyssey

Moonloon1 wrote:

2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey actually doesn't have a custom score. The music in the movie is entirely pre-existing classical music.
The topic is about soundtracks though, doesn't necessarily have to be written for the film, right? I don't listen to music scores unless it has vocals. I do sometimes, but only to relax or something, not casually.
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 9:26am

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danielchallans

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I cant believe no one has said Blood Diamond. i think the score to that movie is fantastic! biggrin
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 9:30am

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

("It's the hero, quick big epic fanfares", "Oh no, it's the villan: low brooding horn section" "It's the female lead's big scene so get ready with lush string and woodwind arrangements".)
Funny, that describes exactly what I like the most about filmmusic. That very use of different themes for characters and settings, so that the music tells a story of it's own. Filmmusic without proper themes is totally uninteresting to me. smile

Different tastes I guess
I tend to like both. As Rawree says, motif-based music I tend to strongly associate with the movie, which can be a great listening experience at times (try playing DOOM with the Starship Troopers score playing in the background....awesome! In fact, I gotta try that with L4D....). Other times I want to enjoy great music out of context, at which point I'll go for something a bit more abstract like Fight Club or The Planets (TV documentary, not Holst) - much more conducive to, say, doing some writing.

As for the pantomime aspect, I think that depends on the subtlety of how the themes are worked in. Howard Shore and John Williams are both great at reinventing their themes - Williams' constant reworking of Darth Vader's theme, for example, is pretty nifty. My current personal favourite when it comes to thematic music and cunningly reworking themes is Bear McCreary's work on Battlestar Galactica, though.
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 10:44am

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Mellifluous

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Rawree wrote:

Similarly, this use recurring themes for certain characters means the score can start to get a bit...pantomime-y ("It's the hero, quick big epic fanfares", "Oh no, it's the villan: low brooding horn section" "It's the female lead's big scene so get ready with lush string and woodwind arrangements".) which works well in a film but not so well without the characters. For me anyway.
I agree, actually. I dislike thematic music. E.g. playing variations on the same piece of music every time a character is onscreen. What about character change/development? Sure, they're the same person but why just a darker/lighter version of the same piece of music etc? Ugh.

Even the idea of identifying a film by its piece of music kind of makes me shudder. To me, if you're noticing the music as a theme so much rather than as a perfect, unobtrusive accompaniment to what's going on onscreen, it's not doing its job. I especially dislike Williams' orchestral approach of musically accompanying the slightest visual cue.

Edit: Bear McCreary's music is good, but I shudder every time he brings in that Adama Titanic-on-steroids theme.
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 3:49pm

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Sollthar

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I'd actually argue that good film music exactly does recreate the films themes and development through musical terms. It's what I personally, as a director, would go for at any point.

Williams is brilliant in writing themes for characters and musically develop them during a score and so are Silvesti, Elfman and many others. Obviously, I can understand how these differences might not be apparent to someone who is not familiar with musical language as much, but in good scores, they're definately there. (The Star Wars Episode 2 score comes to mind, which hits the characterization of Anakin / Vader tons better then the actual film - The Independence Day score by David Arnold also does a lot of different things with mainly 3 themes all though the movie and hits what little subtelty the film has perfectly on the head).

Identifying a film by it's music is a quality sign of good film music for me. Terminator 3 for example is the perfect example: I couldn't even get into the Terminator feeling because the Terminator themes was just not there. It's not a Terminator film without the Terminator theme. Every Terminator film immediately fails for me if it doesn't have that theme. It's as much part of the universe as Arnold Schwarzenegger or the Endo-Skeleton.


A good film music, in my book, is one where I can listen to the music, wihout ever having seen or heard anything of the film, and I could roughly tell what it's about. Where it plays, what characters are being described, what happens, what's on screen, how does it all feel etc.
(You know it's about machines, being somewhat calm, slow but unstoppable when you listen to the Terminator Score. You can totally get the sense of movement and character for "Jack Sparrow" in his theme - it's just the "pirate" thats entirely missing. But, I'd say, same goes for the film. Depp is a rock star, not a pirate. So the music does what the film does in a sense, though it gets more dirt for it...)


Personally, I don't like filmmusic with vocals in it. In fact, I don't like music with vocals in it at all (Unless it's a choir or a language I can't understand). But sung text is something I just can't get into. Tell a story through music, instruments, instrumentalisation, orchestration, chords, motives, themes etc, not words.

It's just a different way of listening to music I presume. And as with most things, taste.
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 4:19pm

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

I'd actually argue that good film music exactly does recreate the films themes and development through musical terms. It's what I personally, as a director, would go for at any point.
I'd say there are ways of expressing the themes of the film in the music without having to directly rely on Williams-style leitmotifs, though. That's kinda expressing the film's themes in a very literal, obvious way. ie, Film Theme 1 = Music Leitmotif 1. Film Character 2 = Music Leitmotif 2.

While I love Howard Shore's LotR stuff, I tend to prefer his more non-melodic, atonal stuff he does for Cronenberg. It doesn't have recognisable musical themes as such, but it reflects and enhances the themes of the music perfectly.

Same with the Fight Club score. I don't believe it has specific themes for characters etc, and each track is very different. However, it reflects the anarchy and danger inherent in the film's story perfectly.

I'm not saying either approach is better or worse, by the way, because I love 'em all. smile
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 5:57pm

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Sollthar

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Yeah, but I'd say what makes Williams standout is his ability to write themes that are so highly memorable. You often walk out of a film and are able to hum or whistle the theme (Indiana Jones, Star Wars, ET, Jurassic Park).
While that's cool, that's not necessarily what I mean. I totally agree, you don't have to have a hummable motif. But musically, there needs to be a musical theme (Which doesn't have to be a melody. A theme can also be percussion or even just an instrumental theme. theme =/= motif).
Shore doesn't usually wrote memorably melody themes, but he does write themes. Even his more "anarchic" scores have musical themes.
There are some great examples of music without actual motifs, but with cool themes.

But yeah, both can be fun and totally fitting for a film. I'm also up for both. The only thing I just really really dislike is when a film uses music I can hear on the radio. bah. smile
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 8:28pm

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Evman

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My favorite quote about film music comes from Steven Spielberg (referring to John William's music, of course).

He says something along the lines of "My effects artists and I can do a great job of making those bicycles fly in E.T. That's the easy part. But what makes the audience fly right alongside them, is John's fantastic music."

John Williams may be getting a bit lazy (I now have heard two separate instances of him directly copying himself in 4 separate movies), but you can't deny his ability to generate a magic that most films can never achieve.


Howard Shore created such a complete and cohesive score for the LOTR films that it's hard to imagine. 2 years before he ever recorded the theme for Gondor, it was heard as a single instrument solo, ever so subtly layered under the Council of Elrond scene in FOTR, during a speech by Boromir.

Gollum's theme is very similar to the ring theme, on purpose, and uses a very specific instrument that was used only in the Shire, to show his connection to the Hobbits. Not to mention that the entire theme sounds incredibly schizophrenic (I wonder why...?).

Still the best musical moment in the trilogy, the Beacon lighting scene works entirely on Shore's music, as it combines elements of the Gondor theme with elements of the Rohan theme, as these two ancient allies talk to each other for the first time in centuries. A story told entirely through music and pictures.

And of course, the theme at the end of ROTK, "Into the West", isn't confined to just the end credits. It is born during the scene where Gandalf literally recites some of the lyrics to Pippin, and is slowly built throughout the film, under any reference to death or perseverance.

The depth of the music is unbelievable - and just listening to the music, I could probably literally play the entirety of each movie in my head.
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 8:50pm

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ben3308

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Evman wrote:

The depth of the music is unbelievable - and just listening to the music, I could probably literally play the entirety of each movie in my head.
This is probably why Nick Cave's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford works so well for me, because it's great, sort of non-thematic music by itself; but when listened I can imagine clearly (spoiler alert) the cadences in the track that denote Ford's brother killing himself, or the set up to Ford himself being murdered. Just very potent in terms of emotion, but it also spells out (to say it bluntly) what happens cohesively enough that I would, at times, rather 'watch' the film by listening to the music than see the film itself.

Which is funny, considering how damn good the cinematography of it is.
Posted: Thu, 5th Mar 2009, 9:34am

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

But yeah, both can be fun and totally fitting for a film. I'm also up for both. The only thing I just really really dislike is when a film uses music I can hear on the radio. bah. smile
Source music can work well if used appropriately, I'd say. If it's used to be 'cool' then, yes, it can be irritating.

If it's used slyly and only when it makes sense (eg, when there's a radio in the background of the shot, or a car driving past etc), then it can be hugely effective. TV show The Wire does this - it has no scored music at all, and constructs its score through restrained use of source music and careful atmospherics.
Posted: Thu, 5th Mar 2009, 5:29pm

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Jabooza

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Serpent wrote:

Jabooza wrote:

Harvey wrote:

2001: A Space Odyssey

Moonloon1 wrote:

2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey actually doesn't have a custom score. The music in the movie is entirely pre-existing classical music.
The topic is about soundtracks though, doesn't necessarily have to be written for the film, right?
Yeah, I guess for some reason I was thinking of "scores", not "soundtracks."
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 10:31am

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Jonnie

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Not in order

1) Joker theme from dark knight (just that one note i think adds so much emotion

2) Requiem for a dream (even though it's used on like 99% of youtube videos

3) The Fountain

4) LOTR

5) Batman (Nolan's)
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 11:23pm

Post 42 of 43

DVStudio

Force: 4983 | Joined: 22nd Nov 2007 | Posts: 1845

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Here's my list:

-The Dark Night
-iRobot
-Independence Day
-Star Wars
-300
-Harry Potter
-Footloose

Just to name a few...

mikeh wrote:


And the Good, the bad, and the ugly. Greatest soundtrack......ever.

In my opinion at least...
I'd have to disagree. Footloose had an awesome soundtrack and Star Wars was probably the greates one ever.
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 11:54pm

Post 43 of 43

mikeh

Force: 1025 | Joined: 3rd Jan 2007 | Posts: 330

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DVStudio wrote:

Here's my list:

-The Dark Night
-iRobot
-Independence Day
-Star Wars
-300
-Harry Potter
-Footloose

Just to name a few...

mikeh wrote:


And the Good, the bad, and the ugly. Greatest soundtrack......ever.

In my opinion at least...
I'd have to disagree. Footloose had an awesome soundtrack and Star Wars was probably the greates one ever.
Well, watch the last shoot out without music and tell me what you think of it. The music enhances the movie like no other. Plus I said "In my opinion.."