Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inglourious Basterds - the Soundtrack (2009)

My main problem with Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is the absolute bullshit soundtrack.

Perhaps I am missing vital information but I am curious as to why Tarantino cherry picks Ennio Morricone cuts when the master is still alive and composing original scores. The same can be said for Lalo Schifrin, Charles Bernstein, and Jacques Loussier - though the latter hasn't done a film score since the late 90s. Several of the Morricone cues can be found on the A Fistful of Film Music Anthology released in 1995! IB's soundtrack is amateur, repetitive and lazy. He reuses Charles Bernstein's title track from White Lightning for chrissakes (Side note: White Lightning is my favorite Burt Reynolds movie. Check it out ASAP). He used it in Kill Bill Vol 1 and IB. From Kill Bill Vol 2 he recycles Il Mercenario (ripresa) by Ennio Morricone.

The piece de resistance of this self-derivative mess is David Bowie and Giorgio Moroder's Cat People (Putting Out Fire). This title theme from 1982's Cat People is from my least favorite era of Bowie's work. My dislike of early 80s Bowie aside the sequence when this track plays is beautifully shot and could have been one of the best scenes of the movie if not for the ham-handed use of Cat People (Putting Out Fire). Some people left the theater during this part and didn't return.

Tarantino once managed to meld music and image with a deft touch that rivalled Scorsese. Now his soundtracks are as dull and repetitive as his movies.

The Soundtrack Listing for Inglourious Basterds

The Green Leaves Of Summer by Nick Perito
The Verdict (La Condanna) by Ennio Morricone
L'incontro Con La Figlia by Ennio Morricone
White Lightning (Main Title) by Charles Bernstein
Il Mercenario (ripresa) by Ennio Morricone
Slaughter by Billy Preston
Algiers November 1, 1954 (from Battle of Algiers) by Ennio Morricone & Gillo Pontecorvo
The Surrender (La Resa) by Ennio Morricone
One Silver Dollar (Un Dollaro Bucato) by Gianni Ferrio/The Film Studio Orchestra
Hound Chase (from 'White Lightning') by Charles Bernstein
Bath Attack (from 'The Entity') by Charles Bernstein
The Fight by Jacques Loussier
Davon Geht Die Welt Nicht Unter by Zarah Leander
The Man with the Big Sombrero by Samantha Shelton And Michael Andrew
Ich Wollt Ich Wär Ein Huhn by Lilian Harvey & Willy Fritsch
Main Theme from Dark of the Sun by Jacques Loussier
Cat People (Putting Out Fire) by David Bowie
Mystic And Severe by Ennio Morricone
The Devil's Rumble by Davie Allan & The Arrows
What'd I Say by Rare Earth
Zulus by Elmer Bernstein
Tiger Tank by Lalo Schifrin
Un Amico by Ennio Morricone
Eastern Condors by Sherman Chow Gam-Cheung
Rabbia e Tarantella by Ennio Morricone

p.s. The scores that Tarantino "pays homage" to are individually excellent as well are some of the movies they accompany. I whole-heartedly recommend tracking down both.

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