You, me, the music, and me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

MARIE ANTOINETTE Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Verve Forecast B000782202 (2006)

Released to mixed reviews and booing audiences at Cannes, Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette was one of the strongest American films of last year, and contained perhaps the most uncompromisingly singular vision to be found in a "mainstream" picture this side of Martin Scorsese's The Departed. Like Coppola's previous film, Lost in Translation, it carried itself forward mainly on mood and emotion; because of this, it was the kind of film that people either loved, or hated, or simply didn't see its "point". And, like Lost in Translation (and most of Scorsese's films), it was released in conjunction with a soundtrack album that, in its choice of (mostly) popular music and songs, seemed to receive just as much care in its production as the film which it accompanied.

For the film, Coppola chose a mix of the baroque-era sounds of composers such as Domenico Scarlatti and Antonio Vivaldi and the early-1980's new wave/post-punk of bands like Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. The album itself leans more heavily in favour of the latter, though the two styles complement each other wonderfully (the lead-off track, Siouxsie's "Hong Kong Gardens", is preceded brilliantly by a brief orchestral version of the song's theme). The two-disc set is filled out by modern "retro" groups such as Air, the Strokes, and the Radio Dept., and each disc closes with a soaring elegy by the Cure ("Plainsong", "All Cats Are Grey"). Like the movie for which it was compiled, Marie Antoinette expertly creates a world of mood and emotion that is all its own and from which a listener will be reluctant to leave.


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