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SCORE! The 150 greatest OST’s – pt. 10 (of 15)

60.) Mishima (1985) - Philip Glass

Paul Schrader, the writer of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and countless other classics directs this biographical film about Japanese author and mega-personality Yukio Mishima. The Philip Glass score is hypnotic and ethereal, as is his score for Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line, which might have gotten the nod were it not packed with dialogue. Also recommended by Glass is Music from Candyman, as well as the Koyaanisqatsi-Powaqqatsi-Naqoyqatsi scores. Check out track 12, “The Last Day”:

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and track 14, “Mishima: Closing”:

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59.) The ‘Burbs (1989) – Jerry Goldsmith

Joe Dante directs this underrated black comedy starring Tom Hanks, which takes place in a prototypical American suburb, where strange new neighbors, the Klopeks, stir up suspicion among the residents. Jerry Goldsmith is one of the most pedigreed of composers, responsible for the score of Papillon, Planet of the Apes, Chinatown, Gremlins, Rambo and Poltergeist. His score for The ‘Burbs is inventive, dark, and full of bells, violins, gunfire and quacking ducks- and seems to have been a profound influence on Danny Elfman. Here’s the main title, “Night Work”:

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and track 6, the gunfire-filled “Let’s Go”:

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and track 15, “The Note”:

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58.) An Elephant Called Slowly (1969) – Howard Blake

James Hill directs this film about a 5 year old elephant called Poly-Poly (or Slowly-Slowly) who lives out in the African wilderness, and the foreign couple he adopts – in this sequel to Born Free. Howard Blake, who also composed the orchestral score for Flash Gordon, supplies the funky music filled with bass clarinets. Here’s track 1, “An Elephant Called Slowly”:

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and track 3, “Mr. Mopoji – Wild Dogs”:

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57.) After the Fox (1966) – Burt Bacharach

This Vittorio De Sica directed film scripted by Neil Simon stars the amazing Peter Sellers as The Fox, top criminal mind and master of disguise, who escapes from prison and immediately plans his next job, pretending to be a famous director on the set of his new movie in order to smuggle gold into the country. This score comes courtesy of the great Burt Bacharach, composer of the songs “ target=”_blank”>Close to You” and “ target=”_blank”>What the World Needs Now,” who also composed the scores of What’s New Pussycat?, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the original Casino Royale. Check out the always entertaining Peter Sellers collaborating with The Hollies on the title song, “After the Fox”:

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and track 6, the swanky “Italian Fuzz”:

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and track 15, “The Via Veneto”:

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56.) Yojimbo (1961) – Masaru Satô

Akira Kurosawa borrowed the themes and plots of Dashiell Hammet’s Red Harvest and created the masterpiece that is Yojimbo, the tale of a wandering samurai who arrives in a town ravaged by two competing gangsters and plays one side against the other, a narrative later re-recycled to become Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars. And where Leone had Morricone, Kurosawa had Satô, who also scored The Hidden Fortress, Throne of Blood, as well as Hideo Gosha‘s The Wolves, Kihachi Okamoto‘s Sword of Doom, and several Godzilla films. His work on Yojimbo‘s score features rhythmically intriguing melodies like the following main title:

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and track 3, “White Horse Lodge”:

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as well as track 23. “Women”:

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and track 45, “Strange Basket Dealer”:

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55.) Q the Winged Serpent (1982) - Robert O. Ragland

Larry Cohen is king of the B’s, the man responsible for The Stuff, God Told Me To, and Hell Up in Harlem. In this well crafted low budget monster movie, a giant flying lizard – the mythical Quetzalcoatl - terrorizes New York, and only an out-of-work, ex-con piano player (played by Michael Moriarty) knows the location of the monster’s nest- and he ain’t telling. Ragland’s score is full of target=”_blank”>theremins, bass clarinets, and all the other goodies you’d expect from a good ol’ fashioned monster movie. Check out the main title:

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and track 16, “Ritual In The Warehouse”:

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54.) Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) - Luboš Fišer

Jaromil Jires directs this surreal Czech coming of age film which feels like an elaborate dream filled with vampires, priests, underage girls in silk pajamas, magic earrings and burnings at the stake and has something to do with menstruation. Whatever it’s about, it’s highly recommended, in large part because of the music, which is enchanting, ethereal, and full of angelic voices and eerie melodies. Here’s track 5, “Losing the Way”:

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and track 9, “Dense Smoke”:

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and track 12, “Disquiet”:

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53.) Il Postino (1994) – Luis Enríquez Bacalov

Michael Radford‘s commercial and critical hit tells the tale of an uneducated postman hired to hand-deliver the mail of exiled poet Pablo Neruda, the famous Chilean poet, who learns something about love and the power of poetry along the way. The soundtrack by Luis Bacalov will teach you something about love and poetry as well, filled with warm strings, a forlorn accordion, and a chorus of clarinets. Here’s track 2, “In Bicicletta”:

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and track 11, “Milogna Del Poeta”:

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52.) Evil Dead (1981) - Joseph LoDuca

The movie that launched Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell’s careers tells the tale of 5 friends, a cabin in the woods, a book of the dead known as the Necronomicon, and an unspeakable evil determined to claim the souls of all. It also features a memorable score by LoDuca, who would go on to score Raimi’s proto-remake/quasi-sequel, Evil Dead 2, as well as TV syndicated powerhouses Xena and Hercules. In Evil Dead he employs staccato plucking of strings, electronic swells, and weeping violins to create a palpable sense of dread. Here’s track 1, “Introduction”:

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and track 4, the pluck-heavy “Rape of the Vines”:

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and track 6, “Automatic Writing”:

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51.) Mirrormask (2005) – Iain Ballamy

Writer Neil Gaiman and Graphic Artist-turned-Director Dave McKean – frequent collaborators on the Sandman comic book series – collaborate on this fantasy about a girl named Helena with a bed-ridden mother who falls through the looking glass into a strange world filled with bizarre creatures and masked inhabitants, where the white queen has fallen ill and can only be saved by the MirrorMask. The music is fractured, haunting, and yet beautiful, mirroring (sorry) the imagery. Here’s track 3, “Spanish Web”:

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and track 24, an eerie rendition of Burt Bacharach’s “Close to You”:

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and track 25, “A New Life”:

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and track 27, “Butterfingers”:

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Click to see part 1 (OST’s #141-150) , part 2 (131-140),  part 3 (121-130), part 4 (111-120), part 5 (101-110), part 6 (91-100), part 7 (81-90), part 8 (71-80), part 9 (61-70), part 10 (51-60), part 11 (41-50), part 12 (31-40), part 13 (21-30), part 14 (11-20) and part 15 (1-10).

October 25, 2010   No Comments

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