March 27, 2007

Holy Dread! and Other Epic Musical Pieces

I purchased Clint Mansell's soundtrack to The Fountain today from iTunes. I had been wanting to purchase it in album form for a while but everywhere had it for an exorbitant pricetag of roughly $27, which is really just ridiculous in this day and age for a 10-track album. I guess the packaging was really great? Anyway. Why spend $27 on that when I can buy it from iTunes for $17? So that's what I did. Even though it's totally worth $27, I feel like keeping that extra $10, alright!

Just listening through it now is extraordinary. It all sounds of epically... epic. I'm not even sure there's ever been a film score like it. At times sounding more like a rock track from the '70s than a traditional film score, it then throws in strings (by the Kronos Quartet, just as they did for the score to Requiem for a Dream). It sounds like it has Angelo Badalamenti-inspired (Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive) synthesisers and then throws in electric guitars. It's amazing.

"Death is the Road to Awe" is definitely the peak, but they're all so good. "Holy Dread!" and "The Tree of Life" and "The Last Man" and "Work" and "Xibalba"... aah, so good.

I don't think it bests Mansell's Requiem for a Dream score (another Darren Aronofsky film), but on it's own right it's amazing. I also don't think the film it comes from (er, The Fountain) is better than Requiem. Actually, I know it's not. There are some elements from the film that haven't stuck with me quite as I think they should have. Hugh Jackman's performance has. The design and the look sure has. The music most definitely has. But listening to the soundtrack makes me go back to it. It does what all great film scores should do. It should work both in and out of the film. So, even though the film won't be in my Top 10 of the year, Mansell's score is clearly one of, if not the best of the year.

Watch out for it come UMA awards time.

By the way, I believe it was Javier who lamented The Fountain tagline as being "What if you could live forever" instead of the far greater, grander and romantic "What if you could love forever". Well, one thing I neglected to mention on here was that the tagline used in Australia was actually the latter "love" one. It really is better (see below).

(click to enlarge)


adam k. said...

Really? I really prefer The Fountain to Requiem, simply because Requiem is just too depressing for me to ever watch again. I just don't really have the urge to see it anymore. Fountain may be messier, but it just seems so much grander, not to mention less suicide-inducing.

Though I concede that Requiem may indeed be the better film. I DO NOT however think Requiem has better music. The music was the best thing about The Fountain, and I could listen to it forever, whereas Requiem just has that same depressing theme over and over again, however great it is, and I just never get the urge to listen to it. So I have to respectfully disagree with you on that one.

adam k. said...

Also, bear in mind that I was quite ambivalent toward The Fountain on first viewing.

I dunno, I really can't wait to buy it so I can watch it more and really decide how I feel about it. But no film this year took me to the places it did. It just really stands out.

J.D. Judge said...

The Fountain is incredible. And thank you for this, because I just go the entire album from Rhapsody. I forgot how frickin incredible the music is. It certaintly wins my award for Original Score, almost hands-down. But everything about it is brilliant and beautiful. Haven't seen Requiem for a Dream and I think I really should. Though it could actually the rare film that completely scares the crap out of me in the first half-hour and I never try to see it again, like The Passion of the Christ. I have to wait until the last half side of May to see it again. :(

And your verification code was "xpygme". Hehe.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Adam, see I could watch Requiem again. It's not exactly something I want to do but it's so great that I'd be cheating myself if I didn't. The Fountain didn't hit me with the completely sucker punch that Requiem did.

JD, you really must see it. Just for Ellen Burstyn if nothing else (but there's plenty more to love).

adam k. said...

I remember actually really loving Requiem at the time and I wouldn't mind watching it again, it's just in the realm of "too depressing to watch frequently." Whereas with The Fountain I just wanna BUY it NOW and watch it ALL THE TIME. Hee. Maybe that's just cause of Hugh.

Though watch me go and buy Requiem now. I believe the DVD is cheap, and stuffed.

And Ellen Burstyn is indeed amazing.

adam k. said...

Glenn's you're talking about Australian $ for the Fountain score, right?

Cause here you can get it on amazon for $17 and on iTunes for less than $10.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Yes, Aussie dollars. I did a currently conversion just now and

AUS$27 = US$21

AUS$17 = $13

Pretty much every normal length album on Australian iTunes is $16.99 and a single song is $1.69. Although EPs and longer albums and rarer stuff can be more expensive.

Anonymous said...

God I've missed this blog, and the blogosphere in general. Thanks for the shout out, can't believe one of the international posters actually went with our idea ;)

(Love you).

Kamikaze Camel said...

er, is that you Javi?

Javi said...

Yes! sorry, unfortunately Blogger hates me lately...

Kamikaze Camel said...

YAY (that you're here. not that blogger hates you. that sucks)