Thursday, April 14, 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 Philip Glass. There’s a certain quality about Glass’ music that often makes it a guiding force of the films in which it’s used. One of his first filmic contributions was the soundtrack for “Koyaanisqatsi,” a unique documentary with no dialogue or story. His track “Prophecies” is absolutely beautiful, and it was repurposed to magnificent effect in the Mars scenes with Dr. Manhattan in the 2009 film “Watchmen.” In this past Monday’s Movie on the Mind, “The Truman Show,” Glass wrote original music to score the more serious moments, while Mozart took the more comic scenes that served as part of the show-within-a-movie. “Underground Storm” accompanies a particularly memorable, movie-shaping scene, and also kicks in again the moment the closing credits start to roll to abruptly change the mood and send the film off in a dramatic manner. My favorite Glass composition, of course, is the music for “The Hours.” I saw the Oscar-winning film by myself when I was fourteen years old, and I was hypnotized by the astonishing score by Glass, which really helps to make the film come alive. Additionally, after I had already written this, I immediately recognized the score from that film, repurposed as a closing anthem for the Tribeca documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi." Imagine that! Listen to the first track, “The Poet Acts,” and then treat yourself to the gorgeous last track. Turn your volume up for these clips, and enjoy!

Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

The Truman Show (1998)

The Hours (2002)

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