To an extent, every movie relies a great deal on its soundtrack for emotional context. But some movies/scenes would just straight up suck if they didn't have the music they eventually ended up with. Sometimes its the music making the scene memorable.
Watching the Star Wars Begins
series made it painfully obvious that Star Wars is one such case. Almost every emotional scene in the series has John Williams making it infinitely better. He has probably scored more iconic dialogue-less moments in movie history than any other. Here are a just a few off the top of my head:
- Imperial March
- Binary Sunset
- Duel of the Fates
- Star Wars Opening Crawl
- Superman Opening Credits
- E.T. Bicycle Chase
There is something about his music that makes a scene feel genuine and sincere, in spite of scoring some very overwrought moments. I saw Jurassic Park over the weekend so its very fresh in my mind and here, the soundtrack nails the feeling of wonder and astonishment as the camera pans to the Brachiosaurus. Sam Niel does his usual thing and completely overacts. But the scene is still amazing in spite of him. It could've been even better if they had just muted all the actors for the 3 min duration.
BTW it happens to be John Williams's birthday today so a happy birthday to him!
Apart from his catalogue, the Blue Danube from 2001: A Space Odyssey
is another obvious scene that completely relies on its music to sell
the idea of a space airline to its audience. The pumping 'Clubbed to Death' track in the Matrix
made you sit up and listen to Morpheus's abstract bullshit about 'the system'. Blade Runner
is able to pull off its slooooow camera pans and lethargic pacing thanks to Vangelis. Last year, Tron Legacy
left me wondering if I just seen the longest and most well-produced music video in history. Inception
's BWWAAAH has been bored into our brains for eternity. The ending piece (Time
) was a great example of how to build up audience anticipation and then leave them hanging.
The sad thing about most of these memorable soundtracks is they eventually become so overused that your ears start bleeding on mention (Requiem for a dream
anyone?). So at the risk of exploding eardrums, dare I ask - are there any scenes you remember that fit this peculiar category ?