Soundtrack September: Heavenly Movie Soundtracks & More

We’re coming to the home stretch of Soundtrack September but don’t worry there’s still plenty left!

The Reverend Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade, contributed a wonderful piece entitled “Heavenly Movie Soundtracks”. Here’s an excerpt with a link to the full article:

While the first soundtrack recording I recall buying was the inescapable STAR WARS by modern movie music maestro John Williams, it was Williams’ follow-up score for SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE that really struck a chord (no pun intended) with me. I will never forget the dramatic impact Superman’s main title march had on me, accompanied as it was by the film’s literally soaring opening credits. Williams brilliantly utilized a variety of styles to underscore the superhero’s story, from his origin on the doomed planet Krypton to his climactic showdown with arch-nemesis Lex Luthor. The score also includes the song “Can You Read My Mind?”, although it is performed in the film by Margot Kidder as more of a spoken word recitation, with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.

The SUPERMAN score was nominated for a 1978 Academy Award but lost to Giorgio Moroder’s innovative electronic score for MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. Moroder would go on to score a number of successful 80’s movies, including FLASHDANCE. In my opinion, however, Moroder’s best work is his alternately lyrical, intense and sexy score for the 1982 remake of the horror classic CAT PEOPLE. David Bowie co-wrote and performed the film’s title song, which was recently resurrected to awesome effect in Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.”

Read the rest of Reverend’s Reviews: Heavenly Movie Soundtracks at Movie Dearest.

Next up, Fletch from the brilliant Blog Cabins, billed as: “Movie reviews and commentary made fun”, pointed out a piece he wrote last year about his 5 favorite soundtracks and here are a few of his choices and a link to the rest:

PULP FICTION (1994) People give a ton of credit to Quentin Tarantino for kick-starting or re-starting careers, but they’re usually talking about actors. However, the man has probably been a bigger force (dollar-wise) when it comes to rejuvenating the careers of soul, R & B, pop and surf musicians from the 60s and 70s. His breakout film featured songs from artists as diverse as Dick Dale, Al Green and Urge Overkill, no doubt selling millions of albums for them in addition to the sales of this film’s soundtrack.

Favorite Track: “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” by Urge Overkill.

RUSHMORE (1998) If any director has rivaled Tarantino in terms of quality and diverseness when it comes to his films’ soundtracks, it’s Wes Anderson. This one is all over the place, with great tracks from classic rock starts like John Lennon and The Who to folk star Cat Stevens to jazz to Mark Mothersbaugh’s brilliant scored tracks. Brilliant all around.

Favorite Track: “A Quick One While He’s Away” by The Who.

Read the rest of Fletch’s Favored Five: Movies Worth Listening To at Blog Cabins.

More later

Soundtrack September Selection #6: FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE

Ernest Dollar, director of the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill, gives us Soundtrack September selection #6:


“The soundtrack to FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE is a shock to Western ears but so evocative as it brings to life Eastern culture. The screetchy and whiny sounds of Chinese opera grow with each listening and act as a porthole into China’s colorful past. Just as these operatic pieces have you daydreaming about the Great Wall, the modern Chinese love ballads on the soundtrack with push you off the parapet. Ever wondered what a Beijing Bryan Adams would sound like?

Released in 1993, FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE became one of the top 100 movies, opening the door for other successful movies and introducing many new audiences to the peculiar and hauntingly beautiful sounds of Chinese opera.”

More later…

Soundtrack September Selection #2: SUPERFLY And Some Runner-ups

The 2nd pick for Soundtrack September comes from Lars Trodson from Roundtable Pictures – an independent production company that takes the time to feature film essays on their website between their work on feature films of their own. Lars picked a few runners-up in addition to his #1 pick too. Take it away, Lars!:

“I think my favorite overall soundtrack is for SUPER FLY (1972), written by Curtis Mayfield.

On multiple tracks, Mayfield not only writes great movie music, he also examines the characters in the film. His lyrics are not afraid to condemn some of the movie’s themes: Mayfield is no fan of the way the drug pusher known as Super Fly makes his living. In ‘Freddie’s Dead’ he movingly depicts the senselessness of a death by drugs. The soundtrack is a true American classic and the music elevates SUPERFLY out of its routine action origins into something truly moving.

I think my favorite movie theme song is “Theme From SHAFT” (1971) by Isaac Hayes because it not only fits the criteria of having been written exclusively for the film, but it amplifies the title character. The music is exciting. It captures the essence of the experience of the film – energetic, sensual, tense, funny. The music’s got cinematic and emotional qualities. You can’t find a better theme song.

Third runner-up for me is Ry Cooder’s Evocative music for Walter Hill’s SOUTHERN COMFORT (1981). Hard to find a more haunting theme song than the eerie, foreboding track he created for that film. Right on the money.”

Thanks Lars and good luck on your film projects!

More later…

Random Babble On A Hot Sunny Summer Day

Hey folks – just a quick post to touch on some odds ‘n ends.

First off, I was a guest on Raleigh News And Observer critic Craig D. Lindsey’s podcast “Uncle Crizzle’s Critical Condition” this last week. Please visit his blog and download it – I believe it’s a good listen.

Secondly, I want to announce Soundtrack September. All during the month of September there will articles, lists, and all kinds of movie soundtrack related whatnot. I’ll be inviting writers from all over the blogosphere to contribute so please feel free to send in your thoughts on favorite scores and soundtrack recordings. Should be a blast.

Third, the trailer for a new comedy due in Febuary 2010 just premiered at Comic-Con 2009 (and hit the web) last week entitled HOT TUB TIME MACHINE.

This absurdly titled movie stars John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Clarke Duke, and Rob Corddry as 4 bachelor partying guys who just happen to discover that…well you know. Watch the actually funny trailer here for what I think is going to be next year’s SNAKES ON A PLANE; well title-wise you see.

That’s all for now. I’ve got a lot of fabulous Film Babble Blogging to come so please stay tuned.

More later…