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Films without Music


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#1 Robert Edge

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 12:15 PM

Picking up on another thread, can anyone think of fiction feature films that have no or little music?

Did Louis Malle, in My Dinner with Andre, use Satie other than in the last few minutes? What about stage plays adapted for the screen? Certainly, the film versions of Tennessee Williams's plays aren't an example. The stage version of Glass Menagerie contained music by Paul Bowles, and Alex North did a jazz score for the film version of Streetcar.

While we're at it, anyone have favourite film composers or favourite film scores?
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#2 Markus

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 12:36 PM

You can take a look at pretty much any of Michael Haneke's films. Newest and probably best example would be Caché. He doesn't use any music, except diegetic music.

I really like the scores of Jim Jarmusch Films, although the best is of course Yojimbo's! Those drums ....

Edited by Markus, 13 February 2006 - 12:37 PM.

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#3 Nico Hardy

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 01:31 PM

Buñuel's "belle du jour". No music or score whatsoever.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 01:42 PM

Hitchcock's "The Birds" just has experimental sound efx as a "music" track I believe.
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#5 Robert Edge

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 01:42 PM

I just had a quick look at a couple of Eric Rohmer's films:

L'amour, l'apres-midi (Chloe in the Afternoon). The only music appears to be a brief sequence of electronic music, by Arie Dzierlatke, in the opening credits.

Pauline a la plage (Pauline at the Beach). No music in the credits, and the only music in the film, by Jean Louis Valero, is background music in a scene in a dance bar, and music from a record player, to which characters dance, in a couple of beach house scenes.
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#6 Matt Frank

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 01:57 PM

Castaway has no music while he is on the island. Only the nature SFX if I remember correctly.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:12 PM

Castaway has no music while he is on the island. Only the nature SFX if I remember correctly.


As I mentioned before, "Coma" has no score for the first half. But I think he was asking for films with no score at all. What about Bresson's films? I can't remember if they had scores.

I have quite a big soundtrack collection but my tastes are pretty mainstream. I got hooked on soundtracks when I was a teenager, when "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters" came out, my first soundtrack albums. My parents had the LP for "2001" and "Dr. Zhivago" which I listened to as well.

First Jerry Goldsmith scores I bought were "Logan's Run", "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", "Masada", and "Alien".

So for a long time, it was Goldsmith and Williams, with perhaps Goldsmith being slightly ahead.

Other favorite scores: Planet of the Apes (Goldsmith, not Elfman), El Cid, Legend (Goldsmith version), Vertigo, Psycho, 13th Warrior, Lord of the Rings, Superman, Empire Strikes Back, Ben Hur, Ennio Morricone westerns, Nino Rota's Fellini scores (8 1/2 in particular), some of Vangelis' themes, pieces by Randy Newman, Thomas Newman. Amelie had a nice score.
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#8 Robert Edge

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:16 PM

Woody Allen's Interiors has no music, including during the credits, with one exception. Near the end of the film, there is an engagement party during which the characters put on a record player, and dance to, two jazz instrumentals: Tommy Dorsey's Keepin' Out of Mischief Now and The World's Greatest Jazz Band's Wolverine Blues.
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:19 PM

The Dardenne Brothers did not use a score for their Palme d'Or winning 'L'Enfant'
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#10 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:21 PM

Picking up on another thread, can anyone think of fiction feature films that have no or little music?
.

While we're at it, anyone have favourite film composers or favourite film scores?


---The 1939 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' has no music,.
Bela Lugosi 'Dracula' only has 'SwanLake' over the main titles, Some Wagner in the theatre scene, but this is being played at the theatre and some wnd title music.

Prior to 'King Kong', music in a non musical film was quite rare.

My favorite scores are Prokofiev's for 'Ivan the Terrible' and 'Aleksandr Nevskii'.
I would say that the 'Tatar steppe' theme from Ivan is one of the most beautiful bits of film music ever.
It's recycled in Prokofiev's opera 'War and Peace' as the Kutosov/Mother Russia theme.
'War and Peace' was written at the same time as "Ivan Grozni and Eisenstein worked on the libretto.

---LV
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#11 Matt Frank

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:21 PM

I don't think Gerry had any music in it until the very end.

Thomas Newman has been my favorite for a while. I love the American Beauty score. I used to collect a lot of scores but have gotten out of the habit recently.
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#12 Steven C. Boone

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:25 PM

Roughly the first act of Wong Kar-Wai's "Days of Being Wild" has no score--one of the most efficient, elegant examples of exposition I have seen.

Also, "A Woman Under the Influence"-- if I remember correctly.
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#13 Robert Edge

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 03:06 PM

As I mentioned before, "Coma" has no score for the first half. But I think he was asking for films with no score at all.
...

My parents had the LP for "2001"...


Yes, although Markus makes an important distinction between a score and music that is inherent in the action, what he calls diegetic music, examples being Pauline at the Beach and Interiors.

Has anyone heard Alex North's score for 2001? I gather that Kubrick dumped it in favour of Zarathustra.

It's interesting that Woody Allen, himself an accomplished musician, would make a film with only about three minutes of diegetic music in it, and that it would be regarded by some people, myself among them, as his finest film.

Leo, as far as I am concerned Prokofiev was a genius - amazing range, gorgeous melodies and I love the musical humour in his lighter compositions.

No votes for the theme to The Pink Panther? I think that it is absolutely perfect for Clouseau/Sellers.
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#14 Thomas Cousin

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 03:26 PM

I don't think Gerry had any music in it until the very end.

Thomas Newman has been my favorite for a while. I love the American Beauty score. I used to collect a lot of scores but have gotten out of the habit recently.



hello,
actually there is music in "gerry" in the beginning of the movie. the beautiful piece of music by arvo part called "spiegel im spiegel". it's so quiet and beautiful as the car of the two gerry drive in this desert road.

i am so glad to hear about movie music here. this is not going to become movie music forums, but it's such a pleasure to read about that here.
as a big lover of film music, i feel more often the need to listen to certain piece of music (and also non-soundtrack of course) when preparing a shoot.
like paintings and photography, music is such an inspiration in terms of feeling, mood, pace for shooting some scenes.
for some time now, i start more and more to make the comparison between how cinematographers light and compose and how music composers create some pieces.
and movie music is such a "creator" of abstract pictures. you can imagine them in your head, feel the deep emotions, be anxious, be sad, be melancholic and so on ...

maybe this can become a topic for itself, but i sometimes want to light and frame as someone plays music.
there is so much examples : i find the work of janusz kaminski so musically speaking for instance : a kind of sweetness with dark tones. a melancholy feeling ponctuated by big shafts of light that resonnate like some big instruments in the background that makes you feel physically connected to the picture. like when you feel the music in your body as well as you hear it.
and i also think about harris savides, whose lighting sounds like a large symphonic orchestra, with dark and deep tones, low sound, and slow rythm, like tragic dark operas. coupled with low voices and choir, profound and sad but rich and intimidating.

oh and just to add that i also respect enormously the splendid music of thomas newman. very talented composer. and always intriguing and new.
and to support a french composer, just listen to the magic and beauty of alexandre desplat's scores. it's wonderful


thomas
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#15 Sol Train Saihati

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 04:05 PM

Vera Drake... Diagetic Music Only I think? I also remember hearing that the actors were encouraged to hum any fitting music that came to them, as they saw fit.
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#16 Thomas Cousin

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 04:10 PM

oh, and thinking of the real subject of this topic,

i'm pretty sure that there is no music at all in "bloody sunday" by paul greengrass.
very powerful. no music. just splendid sound editing mixing that cacth you violently.
noise of the panicked crowd. and the hard horrible sound of machine guns tearing the air, and echoing in the streets.

thomas
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#17 Peter Duggan

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 04:14 PM

Fritz Lang's M
Fritz Lang's THe Testament of Dr. Mabuse
Bloody Sunday (2002)
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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 05:19 PM

I storyboard while playing soundtrack music, and drive to set every morning playing music I hope will inspire me. Also classical, sometimes pop.

Famously, Michael Powell played music on the set of "Black Narcissus" while shooting the climatic scene where the insane nun Sister Ruth stalks and then tries to push Deborah Kerr off the cliff. Peter Weir also likes to play mood music on the sets of his films -- you can see him doing this on the behind-the-scenes footage on the DVD or "Master and Commander" (a great score, by the way.)
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#19 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 05:51 PM

Has anyone heard Alex North's score for 2001? I gather that Kubrick dumped it in favour of Zarathustra.


---Yes, it was availiable on CD.

Much of it was recycled in "Shoes of the Fisherman". Certainly the main theme.


---LV
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#20 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 06:22 PM

---Yes, it was availiable on CD.

Much of it was recycled in "Shoes of the Fisherman". Certainly the main theme.
---LV


Also in "Dragonslayer".

North's "2001" score is quite impressive compared to most 1960's Hollywood film scoring -- very innovative and abstract in some of its sounds and rhythms, but since it is original, it fails to convey any symbolic OR ironic overtones that the classical pieces allow in "2001" where you have a juxtaposition of the original intent and mental associations of the music and its new usage in "2001". For example, the use of "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", which in turn is based on Nietzsche's poem or translation, describing Zarathustra's enlightment at the moment of sunrise, which is visually echoed in the movie. Or the irony of using an 18th Century waltz for depicting spaceflight.
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