Copy Editor, Graham Moore’s Favourite Film Soundtrack: Moon (2009)
Moon – the multiple award-winning 2009 directorial debut of Duncan Jones (Source Code, Warcraft) – is a veritable, minimalist masterclass. With a budget of $5 million and a cast consisting of little more than Sam Rockwell and a disembodied Kevin Spacey, Jones creates atmosphere in abundance, and this is aided in no small way by the stellar Clint Mansell soundtrack. Eerie and tense, Mansell’s reverberating and piano-focused score teases out emotion. It’s perfectly crafted; always illuminating but never overshadowing. Sometimes, the best soundtrack is one you can almost forget is there. Here, the music integrates so beautifully that film and score are practically inseparable. A story of isolation and humanity, Moon and Mansell are the perfect marriage – a superbly understated score for a criminally underrated film.
“a superbly understated score for a criminally underrated film.”
Screen Print Editor, Ben Faulker’s Favourite Film Soundtrack: Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
I could’ve selected an array of films to write a love letter to here, and I certainly racked up more time deliberating over this than I did for my modules. But, alas, I composed myself and chose to give an eye-opening amount of praise to Karen O and The Kids’ lively, unapologetically juvenile original soundtrack for Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. The 2009 adaptation is a horribly under-appreciated film, and the catchy, folky melodies work as sharp, yet outstanding contrast to the dark, unsettling tone of the film. Jonze wanted ‘simple melodies that were emotionally complex’, and Karen O and The Kids delivered, with a youthful cocktail of boisterous, noisy tracks (All Is Love) and slower, murkier numbers (Food Is Still Hot). It’s raw, acoustic, and a perfect counterpart for a film about the sensitive, unrefined nature of child emotion. The soundtrack helps brilliantly in contributing to the film’s juvenile disguise, which is simply a red herring for its underlying, dark examination of how children explore their mental state.
“A lively, unapologetically juvenile original soundtrack”
Screen Online Editor, Molly Gilroy’s favourite Film Soundtrack:Like Crazy (2011)
Dustin O Halloran’s piano-focused score for Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy (2011) touches raw in its listeners – and by that I mean it usually makes me bawl my eyes out. It is sonically mesmerising. O’Halloran’s light touches flow across an audio/visual barrier, capturing the instants of Anna and Jacob’s naive romance with staccato fragments of the film’s exploration of inquisitive first-love in ‘Campus Walk’. Yet, such moments of idealism are counter-balanced with sonic anxiety, followed through in ‘We Move Lightly’, as ethereal strings gradually increase their power, and the stability of love is questioned and interrogated. Each track flows seamlessly and interweaves itself into the visual-diegetic moments, acting as a third-party narrator of unspoken emotions. O’Halloran’s style, reminiscent of classics such as Debussy, captures the nuance-beauty of love, and those fragile moments of in the film when such love is never enough. The final track ‘Opus 37’ is five minutes and twenty-two seconds of utter tragic-perfection, speaking, in tearful volumes louder than the film’s dialogue, of the harsh reality and unidealised bitter-sweetness of love.
“It is sonically mesmerising”
Deputy Editor, Tash Ebbutt’s favourite Film Soundtrack: The Great Gatsby (2013)
Baz Luhrmann’s rendition of The Great Gatsby has turned an iconic classic into a film I absolutely adore. The film technically has more than one soundtrack, but I want to focus on the orchestral score. I find that classical music within a film can really heighten the emotional value of a scene and its content. I enjoy all manner of soundtracks, but recently this particular one has really resonated with me. I find it fuels me through essays and revision beautifully, and it must be down to the inclusion of the soulful Lana del Rey combined with strings and pianos. ‘Magic Tree and I Let Myself Go’ and ‘Hotel Sayre’ are both beautiful and are my go to studying tracks. In all honesty, some of the pieces are rather sad but maybe this is why I love it so much at present. It reflects all my academic struggles… All in all, I highly recommend. The actual movie soundtrack and the separate jazz based soundtrack are also amazing so you really should go check them all out!
“classical music can really heighten the emotional value”