Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Token Themes

Welcome a new weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. I’m a hugely enthusiastic fan of film scores, and music is far too often an element of cinema that goes unrecognized. Therefore I present a platform for a look – or rather, a listen – to some fantastic film scores. I’ll be selecting a composer and one or more of their film scores for your listening pleasure, embedded from YouTube.

This week’s featured composer is Angelo Badalamenti, whose main claim to fame is the TV series “Twin Peaks.” Though that doesn’t officially count as a film and I like to try to keep my TV topics separate from this site, it bears mentioning (and listening to) because it so influences the other work Badalamenti does. If you’re in the market for something that can be creepy, moody, dated, and gorgeous all at the same time, he’s your man. That’s part of the reason why he’s scored a number of David Lynch projects. While it’s not my cup of tea, take a listen to the main theme from “Blue Velvet,” Badalamenti’s first David Lynch score. To fully capture the Lynch/Badalamenti vibe (and to blur the lines between TV and film for a moment), watch the opening credits to the 1990 TV series “Twin Peaks” and then listen to “Laura’s Theme” set to that iconic shot of the dead Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic. I particularly love the abrupt, jarring shift in tone that comes around the 1:56 and 3:33 mark. Back to film, I can’t appropriately convey the awesome nature of his theme to the incomprehensible Lynch film “Mulholland Drive,” and it’s similarly difficult to explain just how much it contributes to the surreal, dreamlike feel of the film. For variety’s sake, here’s one non-Lynch composition, also one of my favorites, from the Jean Pierre-Jeunet film “A Very Long Engagement.” Fans of that film should have no trouble remembering the importance of “Matilde’s Theme” around 1:08 in to the structure and thematic nature of the film. Enjoy your listening, and while you’re at it, watch “Twin Peaks” and “A Very Long Engagement.”

Blue Velvet (1986)

Twin Peaks (1990)

Mulholland Drive (2001)

A Very Long Engagement (2004)

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