On it’s own, the jangling banjo tune featured in the 1972 film Deliverance doesn’t have a hint of foreboding to it.
I have been a huge fan of Matthew Borne and his ballet company New Adventures since I saw their production of Sleeping Beauty on tour in 2013. His award winning productions usually lean toward the avant-garde, such as a gender swap production of Swan Lake. In Borne’s ballet version of Edward Scissorhands, he keeps Danny Elfman’s original score, and preserves the film’s pinnacle scene where Edward creates snow by scraping an ice sculpture for Kim. I especially love how Edward’s twitchy hand motions are carried over in the choreography.
Set in the tumultuous 1960s, Across the Universe is a surreal look at love, loss, and self discovery centered around the music of the Beatles. Although many of the musical sequences are dizzying dreamlike fantasies, the film is grounded with sobering moments of reality, including one standout scene set to Let It Be. Director Julie Taylor deftly cuts between scenes from the 1967 Detroit riot and a family receiving news of a soldiers death to illustrate the simultaneous devastating effects of the Vietnam War and civil unrest. The song itself is a tribute to the simple vocals of the original recording and the soaring gospel version recorded by Aretha Franklin. The first clip is an inspiring behind the scenes look at the filming process and Carol Woods’s original audition, the second is the actual sequence in the movie
Netflix’s science fiction drama Dark is known for its twisting time travel plot, but it’s the other parts of the shows production that add extra layers of depth to its story. From the distinct color pallet carried by its set design, props, and costume departments to the music used, you can see the thought that is put into every aspect of the show.
Season two of HBO’s science fiction masterpiece Westworld begins tonight, and along with mind-bending plot twists and stunning scenery, the show has also become known for it’s use of music. The show is set in a hyper-realistic western theme park, and show composer Ramin Djawodi uses covers of popular songs mixed in with his own original score for the soundtrack. This serves to not only set the mood for the show, but to remind audiences when they are watching scenes set in the park that they are not watching a period piece, but a modern story set in a manufactured world. Songs featured range from Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, House of the Rising Sun, and several by Radiohead.
I’ve written before about the many times I snuck forbidden horror movies past my parents thanks to the nondescript cases of VHS rentals, and Suspiria is one of those films. An Italian horror movie cowritten and directed by Dario Argento, it follows an American ballet student who joins a prestigious dance academy in Germany, and discovers its sinister secrets. I remember watching it with my friends and laughing hysterically at the strangely dubbed dialogue, incredibly saturated colors, and continuity issues (that pesky courtyard breeze!) I didn’t have a huge appreciation for it at the time, just a nostalgic fondness since I discovered it with friends. It wasn’t until I watched interviews about the filmmaking process of Suspiria that I began to see it in a new light. It turns out that dubbing in lines was common in Italian movies at the time and the vivid colors are the result of using technicolor film, the same used in The Wizard of Oz, and Gone with the Wind. It was used in Suspiria to create bright bold …
I love everything about this cover by Tarja and Nightwish. The strains of Toccata and Fugues leading into the song, the theatrical lighting, the hordes of metal fans crammed into an opulent theater. If a metal version of Phantom of the Opera ever went on tour, I would definitely be first in line for tickets. https://youtu.be/RYzmAQMsR2c
This week I've been down a rabbit hole trying to weed out all of the apps on my phone that I don't need or use. In the process I've discovered that I really haven't been using many of them to thier full potential. My Fitbit app can track my run times, and lets me choose a playlist to listen to at the same time. The app from my local grocery store lets me download coupons to my loyalty card so I don't have to search them out, print them, and remember them when I go shoppping. I haven't really used coupons in the past because it seemed like too much work, but I'm definitely giving it a try now. Anything to have more money for offbeat day trips and quirky lapel pins. All of this lead me to start exploring the Roku app that we have constantly streaming news on th TV in out waiting area at work. We usually stream The ABC news app, and I found that they offer live streams of differant …
Aside from the main title music, no song is more featured in Game of Thrones than The Rains of Castamere. With lyrics lifted directly from the book, it tells the story of a victory by Tywin Lannister over a rebellious House, and was memorably used as as a foreboding hint of foreshadowing in the tragic Red Wedding episode. You can read a detailed rundown of each episode it is featured in here, and brush up on the song’s full backstory as well. There are many versions of the song floating around on YouTube, but my favorite is Tina Gou’s haunting cello version. Her arrangement of the music includes traditional Chinese instruments and her video for the song features an incredibly elaborate headdress. I also love the compilation user Mostafa Adel created of several scenes featuring the song. It’s well edited, and manages to show the importance the song has played over several seasons of the show while also being spoiler free.
This week for me is just one big countdown to the Game of Thrones season premiere. I've been listening to the season 6 soundtrack on my way to work every morning while drinking coffee out of my favorite Tyrion Lannister mug, and either wearing my raven lapel pin or elaborate black jewelry. I've spent my lunch breaks reading other Game of Thrones blog posts, like this great one over at Pop Cultural Studies. It's an awesome recap of some of the best scenes from GoT that you forgot were your favorites. I've also been scouring Pinterest for Game of Thrones inspired meals and cocktails for Sunday. You'll have to check my Instagram feed to see what I cook up! Game of Thrones Playlist: Main Titles- Ramin Djawadi Blood of My Blood- Ramin Djawadi Light of The Seven- Ramin Djawadi Needle- Ramin Djawadi Coronation- Ramin Djawadi Feed the Hounds- Ramin Djawadi My Watch Has Ended- Ramin Djawadi The Red Woman- Ramin Djawadi Hold the Door- Ramin Djawadi Khaleesi- Ramin Djawadi Maester- Ramin Djawadi A Painless Death- …