Sunday, April 8, 2012

Film Music of 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

From sparse, eerie pianos that know all the evil in Lisbeth Salander's world to restrained sonic landscapes layered with industrial noises & looping rythms, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross's score for Fincher's latest is clearly distinct from their Oscar winning (& Hanz Zimmer beating) Social Network score, & fits Fincher's new film like a black latex glove. A bold, ambient electro metal score that is gloomy, mesmerising &, when it needs to be, truly unsettling.     

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Alberto Iglesias

Rich, classy & atmospheric, Alberto Iglesias' score perfectly compliments the reserved intruigue of Tomas Alfredson's masterfully detailed film. The jazzy horns nearly bumped it to first place.

The Chemical Brothers 
(Tom Rowlands & Ed Simons)

The grinding beats for the fight & chase scenes are easiest to remember, with good reason, but the Chemical Brothers' score for Joe Wright's coming-of-age thriller is far more than a thumping electro score cut to action sequences (although there's nothing wrong with that). The clip above includes two good examples of the score's more haunting, thematic parts: the lullaby vocals & baby mobile chimes of Hanna's Theme evoke Hanna's coming of age in a world of wonder & danger, while The Devil is in the Details channels the sound of a theme park carousel on its last legs to capture the film's demented fairy tale theme. A diverse, exciting score.

The Tree of Life
Alexandre Desplat

An epic, impressionist score for an epic, impressionist film that takes in family, childhood, dinosaurs, God, the universe & everything.
Cliff Martinez

The perfect score for the year's slickest film: smooth urban beats channeling the slick artifice of the 80s while building an undercurrent of romance, tension and real feeling. Compared to Martinez's also excellent Contagion score, its the restrained atmospherics of Drive that really impress. Give this clip, for example, at least a minute to kick off, and two to really impress. Retro synth pop tunes from College, Electric Youth, Lovefox & Desire don't hurt either. 

The Artist
Ludovic Bource

A score that spans the film's full running time & speaks on behalf of its characters, channelling Hollywood circa 1930. Despite Kim Novak's accusations that the romatic themes ripped off Bernard Herrman's classic Vertigo score, this is still an epic, massively charming & effectively nostalgic achievement. 

Hans Zimmer

Inventive, playful, occasionally raucous Mexican flavoured western score.

Jane Eyre
Dario Marianelli

Weighty, brooding pianos & soaring strings to match Jane's hidden passion & heavy heart.

The Adventures of Tin Tin
John Williams

Like a brisk stroll down a cobbled European street suddenly diverting into an unexpected adventure: a playful, adventurer's score with jazzy basslines & interesting instrumentation.

Take Shelter
David Wingo

A minimal, mysterious score of ambience, dissonance & rhythmic bell sounds, reflecting the eerie uncertainty at the core of Take Shelter and building up to an emotionally epic climax.

Near Misses:
Hugo - Howard Shore
Moneyball - Mychael Danna
Another Earth - Fall on Your Sword
The Descendants - Various