Do many people take notice of film scores? I do but perhaps that’s because of my musical upbringing and history. I watched a thriller last weekend called The Box, a morality tale masquerading as a thriller starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella, and directed by Richard Kelly, best known for directing Donnie Darko. The film is based on a short story, Button Button by Richard Matheson, and tells of a couple’s dilemma when given a box by a mysterious stranger. I rented it from iTunes as it was in their Rentals for 99c category, always a favourite resource of mine!
The most remarkable element of the film was the score by Win Butler and Regine Chassagne from Arcade Fire and Canadian composer Owen Pallett. It had a noir-ish quality with a taut orchestral score, very reminiscent of film scores from the 40s and 50s. I thought it was amazing. Apparently the soundtrack was supposed to drop after Arcade Fire’s third album earlier this year but I can’t find it anywhere so I think it’s still unreleased. Watch an interview here with Richard Kelly where he discusses working with Arcade Fire.
After watching The Box I had a nostalgia moment and decided to rewatch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two. It has a score by one of my favourite film composers John Williams. Williams is responsible for some of the greatest film scores ever created. The man is quite simply a genius – almost the cinematic musical equivalent of Keith Richards, AKA The Human Riff, in that Williams can create scores that resonate and that are instantly recognisable. Williams has won five Academy Awards (and with 45 nominations is the second most nominated person after Walt Disney) four Golden Globes, seven BAFTAs and twenty one Grammys. For examples of his amazing work have a look at the below. The first one is one of my all time favourite pieces of music from a film.