what to watch when you're stranded
Random header image... Refresh for more!

SCORE! The 150 greatest OST’s – pt. 3 (of 15)

130.) I Want to Live! (1958) – Johnny Mandel

Johnny Mandel’s soundtrack to the great Robert Wise’s film about a wayward woman whose life spirals out of control is jazzy with a Latin tinge, full of bongos and flutes and sudden changes in tempo and tone, meant to represent the protagonist’s low-class lifestyle, which back then meant jazz. Here’s track 4, “Henry Leaves”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

129.) Coffy (1973) – Roy Ayers

Jack Hill, one of the greatest b-movie filmmakers of all time, gave Pam Grier her first leading role as Coffy, a nurse who’s kid sister is hospitalized after shooting some contaminated heroin, and who hits the streets in search of revenge. This contribution to the world of Blaxploitation soundtracks comes courtesy of jazz-turned-R&B vibraphonist Roy Ayers, and is an altogether funky affair. Here’s track 4, “Aragon”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

128.) Elephant Man (1980) – John Morris

David Lynch’s first feature film after Eraserhead was produced by Mel Brooks, starred Brooks’ wife Anne Bancroft, and was composed by Brooks’ frequent collaborator John Morris, who had scored Brooks’ parodies and comedies – not the composer you’d pick for a dramatic art film about a disfigured side-show freak in Victorian England. But the soundtrack is magnificent, with dark segments played against lighter, carnivalesque ones, lending the soundtrack as creepy a feeling as anything Angelo Badalamenti would compose for Lynch’s later films (in fact it sounds like Badalamenti lifted entire segments for Jeunet and Caro’s City of Lost Children). Here’s the title theme:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

127.) Mickey One (1965) – Stan Getz & Eddie Sauter

Like many of the directors of the American New Wave, Arthur Penn was influenced by the French Nouvelle Vague, who themselves were inspired by American film noir. So it figures that when Penn made Mickey One, a crime film about a comedian (Warren Beatty) on the run from the mob, that he’d dive deep into the New Wave handbook and emerge with a movie full of jarring cuts, inventive camera angles, atmospheric lighting, and moody JAZZ! It’s a fantastic soundtrack, melodic at times and challenging at others, marked by Stan Getz’s West-Coast-Cool tenor stylings. Here’s track 5, “The Succuba”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

126.) Daimajin (1966) – Akira Ifukube

Akira Ifukube composed the soundtracks to many of Ishirō Honda‘s most memorable movies – including Gojira (aka Godzilla) – but his score for Kimiyoshi Yasuda’s haunting film about giant stone God-statue rising to protect a nearby village from an evil warlord is his best, filled with rumbling bass clarinets hitting unbelievably low notes, traditional Japanese drumming, and an orchestra of strings, which fuse to create the perfect ominous, otherworldly atmosphere you want out from your kaiju eiga. Here’s the main title theme:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

125.) ¡Mátalo! (1970) – Mario Migliardi

Cesare Canevari’s western, also known as Kill Him! is reportedly one of the trippiest of the genre, a psychedelic mood-piece filled with wild camera angles, heavy use of slow motion, and a climax which features boomerangs – all which place it firmly on my list of “must-watch Westerns.” And if it’s anything like the soundtrack, which is filled with acid-tinged fuzz guitar and weird discordant sounds, then I’m sure it will not disappoint. Here’s the theme song:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

and here’s track 6, “Old Town”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

124.) Beat Girl (1959) – John Barry

Edmond T. Gréville’s beat-era film about strippers, divorces, and rock and roll is nothing to write home about, but the soundtrack, by Mr. James Bond himself, John Barry, is instantly recognizable, a guitar riff that immediately transports you to the era. Here’s the main title:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

123.) Z (1969) – Mikis Theodrakis

Costa-Gavras’s political thriller is the true story of a Greek cover up, and Mikis Theodrakis’ soundtrack mixes folk music heavy on the Bouzoukis with passages of tension-filled atmosphere, a smattering of jazz, and even caps it off with a couple of traditional songs. It’s a fantastic soundtrack. Here’s track 2, “To Yelasto Pedi”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

and track 7, “Batucada”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

122.) Donne-moi la Main [Give Me Your Hand] (2008) – Tarwater

I’ve read mainly negative reviews of Pascal-Alex Vincent’s movie, which I have not seen, but the soundtrack is amazing, composed by Tarwater, the German post-rock/electronic band comprised of Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok. Here’s track 3, “The Blacktop”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

and track 9, “Wednesday’s Child”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

121.) The Belly of an Architect (1987) – Wim Mertens & Glenn Branca

I’ve never really been a fan of Peter Greenaway’s films, with their cold theatricality and inflated self-importance, but of all of them, Belly of an Architect is by far the one I can almost say I like. Perhaps it’s because of Brian Dennehy, an actor who brings some passion and conviction to the otherwise pretentious affair. Or maybe it’s the soundtrack, which features compositions by minimalist composers Glenn Branca and Wim Mertens, and is chock full of swelling, twirling piano motifs, driving flutes, and even the occasional oboe. Here’s track 7, “Time Passing”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

30 down, 120 to go!

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).

Check back in the coming weeks to see the rest of the countdown.

And be sure to leave feedback!

Enhanced by Zemanta

September 6, 2010   No Comments

Fantastic Fifties’ Noir – PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET

PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET is what happens when a hardboiled director makes a hardboiled movie.

Samuel Fuller was a maverick filmmaker, a true independent whose direction was economical yet dynamic, filled with inventive camerawork and characters that felt grittier and more real than their mainstream counterparts. Never really achieving Hollywood success, Fuller worked on the fringes, on low-budget B-grade pictures where he could experiment without having to backlight the stars. In the 1960’s he became a darling of the French New Wave, who championed Auteurs and criticized the hacks who were killing Cinema (oh where are you now, Cahiérs du Cinema…?) Loosely adapted from a story by Dwight Taylor by Fuller himself, Pickup on South Street (1953) is a fine introduction to Fuller’s universe, where everyone is always at the end of their ropes, dregs of society just trying to survive. The underrated Richard Widmark plays Skip McCoy, a petty criminal who accidentally pickpockets microfilm on the subway and gets into a whole heap of trouble. The Feds suspect he’s involved in a Communist plot and set out to bust the spy ring, but Skip doesn’t like being pushed or manipulated, which leads him – among other things – to utter the classic anti-patriotic line, “don’t wave the flag at me!” which disturbed audiences at the time to no end. There’s an edge to the characters in this movie that you don’t get from movies of this era, in the naivete of the gorgeous-yet-victimized Candy (Jean Peters) and the backstabbing stool-pigeon (Thelma Ritter, who was nominated for an Oscar). The performances are pitch perfect and the black and white cinematography perfectly captures the urban world of gray. If you ever find yourself hankering for a good old fashioned piece of pulp, I suggest you pick this one up – it’s a masterpiece. In fact I’ll start you off, because even though there doesn’t seem to be a trailer on youtube, there is the entire movie in 9 parts. Here’s the first:

And check out Sam the man himself, as he talks about the movie’s opening and other subjects as well:

Enhanced by Zemanta

June 25, 2010   3 Comments

Good Sci-Fi Pulp – SPACE TRUCKERS

SPACE TRUCKERS is an enjoyable b-movie space romp from an era before CGI ruined everything.

Say what you will about the quality of this ambitious Stuart Gordon 1996 effort, but you can’t fault it for not being entertaining. It’s not the most original or well-written movie, as a galaxy-hopping average joe becomes embroiled in a plot to create a super soldier which may backfire and destroy the world – but the acting is good (courtesy of Dennis Hopper, Stephen Dorff and Debi Mazar) and the effects are above par. In fact if you’re as sick of CGI as I am then this is the perfect movie for you, filled with old-fashioned practical effects – monsters made of latex, model space-ships, and camera tricks from the days of old. The movie even plays up its low budget, as wires are left purposely visible in scenes with “weightless” bottles floating around. All in all you get the feeling Gordon and crew are just having fun, and it translates to the viewer. Plus where else are you gonna get to see a “square pig” – the future of the pork industry?

May 19, 2010   No Comments

  • Some of the topics discussed on the isle

  • Meta