The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing, and we’re being treated to a host of new releases from across the globe. This week, in celebration of Cannes, I’m going to take you on a journey through three of my favourite movie scores of all time.
Into The Wild- Eddie Vedder
Eddie Vedder’s score from the 2007 movie Into The Wild is a breakthrough piece of soundtrack engineering, perfectly reflecting the wild openness of the movie. I’m an avid follower of Vedder’s charmed career; named number 7 “Best Lead Singer of All Time” by Rolling Stone, Vedder uses his distinctive voice to explore the wild journey of the films protagonist as he travels nomadically across modern America.
Into The Wild premiered during the 2007 Rome Film Fest, was nominated for two Golden Globes and two Academy Awards; but it was Eddie Vedder who took home gold when he was awarded Best Original Song for the soundtrack’s final song Guaranteed.
The Virgin Suicides- AIR
Next comes the score for Sofia Coppola’s 1999 breakthrough The Virgin Suicides, composed by French, dreamy, electro-pop duo AIR. Whilst the film features a range of songs from 70’s performers, AIR took the biscuit with an original score that truly encompasses the rose tinted, suburban desperation of the movie.
The most recognisable tune is probably Playground Love, a harmonious, melancholy exploration into young love; encompassing electronic and classic sounds that together weave a rich musical tapestry, cradling the movie’s dark yet innocent undercurrent.
AIR released a separate soundtrack the year after the movie was released, which was nominated for Best Soundtrack at the 2001 Brit Awards. As a further credit, the album was named the “49th Greatest French Rock Album” in the French edition of Rolling Stone. If that’s anything to go by, I’m going to guess that the rest of the list was pretty epic.
Where The Wild Things Are- Karen O and the Kids
Karen O, in my eyes, is the perfect artist to envision the score for one of the most fantastical movies since The Never-ending Story. Karen O and the Kids wrote the soundtrack for the 2009 fantasy drama Where The Wild Things Are, which is alive with animatronics, costumed performers and CGI. For me, her music has always has always been synonymous with true theatrics, encompassing perfectly tailored costume, dance, and music in a real multi-faceted experience.
The film is childlike but frightening, and the soundtrack manages to create a double-edged atmosphere of darkness and innocence with a real rugged feel. In a way, it’s the hybrid child of Into The Wild and The Virgin Suicides, giving the listener a feel for childish virtue and raw emotion.
For me, soundtracks represent complete cohesion of senses. They represent a crossing of creative genres and absolute sensory experience. Without soundtracks, movies would remain on a single plane of experience, but with soundtracks we become, unbeknownst to ourselves, completely kidnapped by the themes.
So keep your eyes and ears peeled during the festival, because there’s nothing better than discovering a gem of a movie whose soundtrack can truly take you away from your own reality.