Seeing Music 2
Films can be saved by music. Try watching the opening sequence of ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ with the sound off – it’s like seeing someone’s terrible home movies. But with the John Barry score in place, it’s transformed to something special. This year, the excellent score to ‘Inception’ lifted the visual elements and showed the director understands the effect of music – whereas it becomes obvious that the director James Cameron can’t ‘hear’ music. When you watch ‘Avatar’, listen to how it’s almost ruined by a bombastic score full of musical cliches.
I liked the opening tension notes of ‘Barbarella’ so much I made them into my ring-tone. The stunning score for ‘Witchfinder General’, which evoked Greensleeves, was never released as a CD, but remains a high point in counterbalancing visuals and music. Other perfect storms of music and image would include the Strauss waltz for 2001, Vangelis for Blade Runner, Jerome Moross’s score for The Big Bountry, John Williams for Jaws, Michel Legrand for The Go-Between. More recently, the score for Sunshine worked beautifully with the visuals – maybe SF inspires good music.
What’s your best audio/visual match?