Saturday, February 28, 2009

Discuss: Good Music From Mediocre Films

by Elisabeth Rappe

In the wee hours of the morning, one has little energy to do anything constructive -- which is how I ended up exchanging YouTube music links with Dave Chen and then realizing, "Hey -- this would make a good post for a slow news day!"

Like any film fan, I love soundtracks. When I was a young teen, I bought nothing but film soundtracks because I thought it was cooler than buying popular music. I wasn't discriminating, and bought soundtracks whenever I had enjoyed a film or a bit of flute music that played. This resulted in my owning a few appalling choices like The Man in the Iron Mask, but hey, we've all bought embarrassing albums.

But over the years, I have found that some really lovely pieces of music have been wasted on middling films. I thought I'd list a few of them here so they receive a small moment of recognition -- and in order that you'll share a few lost themes with me. Or you can just chide me for liking really obvious, sweeping pieces.

If there's a piece that defines what I'm talking about, it's probably that oft-used theme to DragonHeart -- the film wasn't great, the piece might even be a little cheesy, but it gets used for every trailer with mountains or a sword in it. I think they even played it at President Obama's Inauguration:

A completely forgotten piece is John Williams' theme for Seven Years in Tibet -- I believe I bought the score thinking the theme would actually be what played in the trailer. Probably a bit "typical" of Williams and a little repetitive, but undeniably sweeping:

Another one I find rather hypnotic is the Kyrie for the Magdalene from The DaVinci Code. I find it amazing that someone (Richard Harvey, apparently, not Hans Zimmer) actually wrote a kyrie prayer for a Dan Brown adaptation:

So, those are some of my selections -- time to share yours. Remember, we want to rescue scores from mediocre or forgotten films, not just highlight good ones from films that deserved them.

Original here

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