Saturday, August 07, 2010

Two of my new favorite scores: The International & District 9

The International (2009) was a great conspiracy thriller with Clive Owen looking haggard, mean, and sexy.  It also boasts an impressive score done by Tom Twyker, Johnny Kilmek, and Reinhold Heil.  I hadn't heard of any of these composers but The International's score is in the vein of Jesper Kyd's Hitman scores; atmospheric, electronic, menacing, salt and peppered with some interesting non-Western influences.  The score is one of those that seamlessly blends with the settings and action on screen.  It evokes in me feelings of doing cool clandestine shit, the kind of Euro-thriller score that makes you wish that you are the wheel man, driving a graphite colored car through the sickly green lighting of a tunnel while the other occupants check the action on compact submachine guns and smoke.  Maybe there's a blade expert from Lyon absentmindedly honing a blade while watching the passing traffic, he knows enough English to curse.  Maybe there's an Austrian Turk who is monitoring the target on a Sony Vaio.  You get my drift.  A good number of the tracks don't stand well alone but work better in album listening.  The Calvini Hit has a mixture of sparse bridges, tension building strings, and a forceful bass line.  The Guggenheim Shootout is the second longest track on the album (and one of my favorite sequences in the film).  My favorite track is Istanbul which is the most "action-y" track and possibly the most Jesper Kyd-esque.  Well worth picking up.

Clinton Shorter's District 9 score is a great pairing with The International.  It's a very bleak score for a very bleak movie.  The action cues (like Exosuit) are sharp and short.  It's not particularly original - "wow I've never heard a score like this" - but it's still a great score and well worth owning...if only for Get Him Talking.

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