I’m a dancer, so music has always been a very important part of my life. Truth be told, however, my taste in music, which happens to very eclectic if not somewhat bipolar, is based much more on gut reactions than any sort of foundation of expert knowledge.
In addition to dance and music, I absolutely LOVE movies, which is actually how I find most of my music. When I was young, I didn’t often listen to anything outside of the ballet variations during rehearsals or endless amounts of (brilliant but nevertheless endless) Fleetwood Mac, Springsteen, Beach Boys, and Cream of Clapton my mom played on repeat. I had maybe 20 songs memorized and didn’t even truly realize there was more than just one song on the Titanic soundtrack.
Once I started paying attention to movie music though, I became obsessed. The more movies I watched the more I realized just how vast the world of music was. Whether it was the “Imperial March” or that Smiths song playing in the beginning of the 500 Days of Summer trailer, I was listening.
Why? Because there’s something about the music playing in the background of a memorable scene that overwhelms your senses and awakens your deepest self, whether you realize it or not. It has the power to really trigger that emotional side of you, sometimes even without your permission. And despite the fact you probably don’t have a live soundtrack playing as you strut across the parking lot every day, a great song or score often manages to make a scene feel all the more real and meaningful.
The purpose of this feature is to highlight and share some of my favorite examples of movie music—both soundtracks and scores. I’ve been delighted to find that we actually have quite a few great albums in our library. I’ve already ranted on for much longer than I originally intended, so I’ll try to not go too in depth with my first pick, but for the few of you out there who decide to regularly check in, (*Side note: You’re the best!) you can expect a little more focus on the music and hopefully quite a wide range of great songs and albums in the future…
For my first pick I decided to go with Ruby Sparks, a great comedy-drama movie that came out in the summer of 2012 that sadly most people seem to have missed. It’s a really fun and charming Pygmalion spinoff that stars Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the screenplay, and even includes a cameo appearance from Michael Silverblatt for you Bookworm fans out there. It’s directed by the same couple who did Little Miss Sunshine, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, and even features music by Nick Urata, of the band DeVotchka who created the popular score for LMS.
In addition to some very peppy French songs that I can’t help but hold a dance party to every time I listen to them (Plastic Bertrand, Holden, and Sylvie Vartan are my favorites), the soundtrack includes a really beautiful score by Urata. Each piece adheres to a uniform, soulful style of strings and humming voices while remaining individually unique. Each one has something different to say, a different part of the same story to tell, and does so with great earnestness and sincerity. It’s a fabulous soundtrack and a great film if you get the chance to check it out.
That’s it for now, I swear. Be sure to keep checking back for more installments of Movie Music!