We’ve recently finished our first film soundtrack for ‘Beyond Clueless’, a documentary about teen films by Charlie Lyne. I’ve always been drawn to film soundtracks.You know, those moments of euphoria you feel when watching someone gorgeous walk down a corridor in slow motion, an obscure Led Zeppelin track filling your eardrums? Well luckily they can be yours to take home: just buy the soundtrack and you too can be lost in a story, you can feel what it’s like to do something exhilarating.
For example having an affair with a US senator, or walking out of your job triumphantly – the whole office inexplicably watching you go in awed silence – or killing a man with your bare hands. Feeling the bones in his face smash beneath your knuckles. Stick on ‘The Electrician’ and let Scott Walker take you there. The marriage of sound and screen can be beautiful, and I find it unendingly interesting. Sometimes films can be dirging, messy crap, but if the music is right, there’s always the chance they will stun you with a moment of absolute perfection. Likewise a film stripped of its audio accompaniment seems empty and awkward. You’re immediately aware that you’re watching people being filmed saying words to each other that someone else wrote for them. Music gives films context, a way of introducing the audience to the narrative.
‘Donnie Darko’ does it really well. The hallway scene where we’re sped through locker love-ins, pre-teen girls choreographing a dance to ‘Notorious’ by Duran Duran, snorted cocaine, and a thoroughly upset teacher. All with Tears for Fears’ ‘Head Over Heels’ tying it together perfectly. So much good music has been discovered thanks to film soundtracks, for example ‘You and Me’ which was an unreleased demo by “lost” soul band Penny and the Quarters. It was used on ‘Blue Valentine’ and has since become adored by heartbroken Ryan Gosling fans the world over.Film soundtracks are a doorway into a more cinematic life, and who doesn’t want that?