Thursday, March 31, 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 Jon Brion, who has a mere nine feature film scores on his resume, but I could immediately reference three of them before I even checked out his other credits. Brion is a master of combining dramatic themes with interestingly upbeat and quirky modifications that really help to set the tone of the films in question. The four films listed below are also each distinctively unique and uniquely distinctive. The first, which sadly seems to be mostly absent from free online listening, is Paul Thomas Anderson’s layered 1999 film “Magnolia.” There’s a clip embedded below about Brion scoring the film, and you should turn the volume way up to get a peek at that. Brion’s score for that film is also paired with songs like “Wise Up” and “One is the Loneliest Number,” and I can conjure up images of frogs falling from the sky and coincidences being described every time I hear any of the music associated with the film. The first of Brion’s collaborations with Charlie Kaufman, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” is a perfect melancholy tune to encompass the relationship between the film’s fading main characters. Everything written, score and song, for “I Heart Huckabees” is just brilliant and so wacky, and I’ve embedded “Monday” below. Lastly, here’s a rather beautiful piece from Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, New York” called “OK.” Listening to all of these, I'm easily transported back to the magical worlds of all these movies.

Magnolia (1999)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Synecdoche, New York (2008)

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