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Music in film

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Old 09-16-2017, 03:55 AM
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Default Music in film


Just a thread to discuss any use of music in film - what do you particularly like, or hate? Are there any particular film composers that you rate, for example? Any favourite film themes? (POTC for me!)

And what about the use of songs, classical music etc in film. Anything that really stands out for you? Personally, I love Kubrick's use of Strauss's 'Thus spake Zarathustra' at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Purcell's 'Funeral Music for Queen Mary' at the beginning of A Clockwork Orange. (Both films kinda went downhill after that for me lol)

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Old 09-16-2017, 09:29 AM
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Could not stand the score for Dunkirk.

For one, it was way too loud in the sound mix -- in a theater anyway -- and used to unnecessarily pump up the tension in scenes that absolutely didn't need it.

I wouldn't say it spoiled the movie (which I didn't like all that much anyway) but it was pretty annoying.
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:43 AM
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I think classical music can be used to good effect in movies. The Wagner in Apocalypse Now was a brilliant choice -- but it's been kind of ruined by parodies etc.

I also like popular music that reflects a time or era. Scorsese is a master at making just the right choices.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:50 PM
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I generally love any Hans Zimmer film score - Blade Runner particularly. Also, the film Hannibal...Vide Cor Meum is stunning. Inception...list goes on and on.

https://youtu.be/RxabLA7UQ9k

https://youtu.be/1llrZefm8AU
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:43 PM
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He's OK. But with Dunkirk, he really blew it.

Didn't give enough credit to the audience or even the filmmaker, in my opinion.

You see a downed pilot trying to break his way out of his canopy before his plane sinks -- that speaks for itself.

The ambient sound of the water and his own breathing and physical effort would have been terrifying enough.

Sometimes you need to know what to leave out...
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Sometimes you need to know what to leave out...

Good point.

I think one of the most ingenious uses of music in a film is in the original Dawn of the Dead. Instead of the usual clichéd 'scary' music type score you get some fast-pumping action music, some eerie synthesisers and, most strikingly of all, the cheesy mall music. For me, anyway, this is a potent mix that really adds so much to the film. Even the mall music - in fact, particularly the mall music, with its element of banality and even comedy - likewise the utterly goofy 'The Gonk' played over the end credits. It complicates your response as a viewer - just how are you meant to react to these zombies, the characters, the whole situation. Or maybe the whole thing is just cheesy. Even so, I think it's a very effective film.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Leila View Post
Good point.

I think one of the most ingenious uses of music in a film is in the original Dawn of the Dead. Instead of the usual clichéd 'scary' music type score you get some fast-pumping action music, some eerie synthesisers and, most strikingly of all, the cheesy mall music. For me, anyway, this is a potent mix that really adds so much to the film. Even the mall music - in fact, particularly the mall music, with its element of banality and even comedy - likewise the utterly goofy 'The Gonk' played over the end credits. It complicates your response as a viewer - just how are you meant to react to these zombies, the characters, the whole sb
ituation. Or maybe the whole thing is just cheesy. Even so, I think it's a very effective film.
I've never seen Dawn of the Dead -- but that makes all the sense in the world.

I recently saw Manchester by the Sea -- a really good mix of original and classical music. Same technique as in some of the Kubrick films -- when you hear the recognizable classical pieces, the dialog and other sounds fall away. It's pretty effective.

It really depends so much on the movie. While I appreciate a good score/soundtrack, sometimes it works best when it's almost subliminal. Sometimes a few notes on a piano is sufficient.

No Country for Old Men comes to mind as something with very little music. And Hitchcock used music very sparingly. There isn't any in The Birds -- just those ominous bird chirps and squawks.

P.S. I was just corrected. No Country... has no soundtrack...

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Old 09-18-2017, 03:20 AM
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The right score can raise an otherwise ordinary film to extraordinary heights. If you watch Jaws without John Williams compelling themes it's actually quite dull, and Jerry Goldsmith's score for Basic Instinct makes it easier to mistake it for a classy piece of noir instead of the exploitative shite it actually is. Same with The Omen. In some ways he gave those films their credibility.

My favourite film scores include anything by Thomas Newman and Jerry Goldsmith. I've recently discovered Alexandre Desplat, I'm a big fan of French composers.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:55 AM
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Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino, based on the true story of a bank robbery uses no music, except an Elton John song playing over the credits. It works pretty well like that, I'd say. Actually the absence of a score tricked me at first into thinking it was more like a documentary.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by flyingtart View Post
If you watch Jaws without John Williams compelling themes it's actually quite dull...
Interesting. How can I watch Jaws without the score?
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Interesting. How can I watch Jaws without the score?


Turn on closed captions and turn off the volume.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Turn on closed captions and turn off the volume.
That reminded me of this -- a music video with no music.

Pretty good for a laugh...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHkhIjG0DKc
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
That reminded me of this -- a music video with no music.

Pretty good for a laugh...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHkhIjG0DKc
Inspired me to go back to John Cage..

How about Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. An hour of guitar feedback. Very relaxing.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Leila View Post
How about Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. An hour of guitar feedback. Very relaxing.
I remember the first time I listened to that. I was like -- it's Lou Reed -- there must be SOMETHING to it...
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