I agree with Lynch, but not with Badalamenti. Lynch’s best scores are Eraserhead and (a very distant second) Inland Empire, where he used some of his own songs / soundscapes and threw in pre-existing musid. I really don’t understand what’s so great about Badalamenti – the Twin Peaks score is kind of obnoxious, and Mulholland Drive’s is bland and annoying.
Alex hit most of the key ones, but even though he may not be the greatest all around director, Wes Anderson really excells at this.
Also Spielberg – can’t leave Spielberg out of this.
I’m a big fan of Mulholland Dr. intro, the music matches perfectly with what is happening
But yeah, i love Inland Empire score, he created a whole new style of music which is the same style of the movies he has been doing. Badalamenti mention was not as important as a Morricone, also Umebayashi is not essential for WKW.
Some of my favorites:
Stanley Kubrick — uses classical music in an incredible way
David Lynch — wonderful score collaboration with Badalamenti but even his individual song choices (i.e. In Dreams in Blue Velvet or Llorando in Mulholland Dr.) are great
Ken Russell — also uses classical music in an incredible way, especially since many of his films are composer-bios
The simple fact that Inland Empire contains a Beck / Penderecki mash-up would make me give it five stars even if the rest of the movie was awful.
JK, but still…
Not to turn this into a discussion about Inland Empire, but I think there are even Lynch fanatics like myself who cannot stand that film…
^ Come on! It’s definitely Lynch’s second-best, after Eraserhead! :)
Michael Mann definitely deserves to be mentioned in this thread.
I agree with many of the initial directors mentioned. I think Malick is fantastic at selecting and implementing different classical pieces into his films. Wes Anderson always assembles great soundtracks, as mentioned.
I’m not sure if this is limited to soundtracks or not… but there are also many great director/composer collaborations . PTA and Brion/now Greenwood, Aronofsky/Mansell, Fincher/Reznor, the Coens/Burwell, Nolan/Zimmer (and Zimmer and a lot of directors, including Malick), and so on.
I’m not a big fan of Burwell’s scores, either. I guess I’m pretty picky about film scores, though.
Hitchcock & Hermann
Leone & Morricone
Koji Wakamatsu is a favourite of mine. His combination of images and the music of Yosuke Yamashita Trio is amazing. And I just watched Masao Adachis Aka Serial Killer and his useage of free jazz (Kaoru Abe, I think) was brilliant. Come to think of it, many japanese directors in the 60’s used music in a great way, e.g. Terayama, Yoshida, Suzuki, Shinoda and so on.
Jim Jarmusch, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway, Claire Denis, Aki Kaurismäki (at least he used to; I don’t like the music in The Man Without a Past and Le Havre), Kar wai and Jean-Pierre Melville (at least Le Samurai has a fantastic soundtrack; I don’t really recall the music of the rest of his movies, other than that I thought it was very good) always use music in a great way.
I love Werner Herzog’s use of music. From his collaboration with Popol Vuh, to the way he tends to find odd preexisting music that is perfect (ie. That Argentinean folk song in “Even Dwarfs” or that blues song at the end of Strozyk")
Also recently watched “Fata Morgana” for the first time and was blind-sighted by the use of Leonard Coen, Classical music, and then a very odd live show at the end.
Michael Mann’s soundtracks are a world in and of themselves.
Lars von Trier’s use of music in Europa, Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, and Antichrist as well as the end credits of Dogville and Manderlay are notable, though I felt he went too close to being hammy on himself with some of the themes in Melancholia.
Lynch’s collaborations with Badalamenti are always great to me, and his choice of soundtrack material for Lost Highway will always be memorable to me.
I also agree on the Fincher-Reznor and Aronofsky-Mansell collaborations.
Nolan utilizing both Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard for his first two Batman films created some very dark and bombastic fanfare that really fits his variation on the character. The score for Inception and the inclusion of Johnny Marr on guitar, certainly a plus.
The best combination to me seems to be Reggio and Glass on Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi.
Allen’s use of Gershwin in Manhattan is one the best.
@jupiter41 – Woody Allen is one I was going to add….
Kenneth Anger – Scorpio Rising and Kustom Kar Kommandos
Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann
Fellini and Nino Rota
Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone
Alan Rudolph and Mark Isham
Michael Curtiz and Erich Korngold
Stephen Soderbergh and David Homes
Polanski and Jerry Goldsmith – Chinatown
Michael Mann and Tangerine Dream – Thief
Nicolas Winding Refn and Cliff Martinez – Drive
Mann fans, what scores do you recommend me from him? i never thought of that but it may be great.
Agree about Nicolas Winding Refn, forgot to mention him before.
I would recommend personally the scores to Thief by Tangerine Dream, Heat (score by Elliot Goldenthal with some pieces played by Kronos Quartet, featuring an interesting blend of other artists as well) and The Insider (score by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke, with a few pieces by Graeme Revell, one track by Gustavo Santaolalla and an Oakenfold remix of Massive Attack’s “Safe From Harm”). I would also recommend the typically hard to find soundtrack to Manhunter (I managed to find it on cassette), but I think it was reissued on CD a couple years ago. The soundtrack to Collateral isn’t too bad either though perhaps not as “masterful” as the first three mentioned. Haven’t listened too much to the soundtracks to Ali or Public Enemies enough to judge.
I don’t want to be repetitive with some of the choices listed here already, so one that comes to my mind is the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. He did scores for directors like Teshigahara, Kurosawa and Shinoda and some of those were very experimental sounding. I find they complement the visuals well in the films that he has worked on.
Gottfried Huppert’s score for Metropolis is very good as well. Joseph Turrin’s own score for Intolerance is very good as well. Chaplin’s score, (and I guess he was helped by other musicians), for Modern Times is very good.
I also happen to like the experimental type of score for Apocalypse Now. That music did not have to sound harmonious, because the score fit the film so well.
Three directors instantly came to mind when I read the title of the thread; Malick, Scorsese, and Wes Anderson. Malick utilizes imagery and soft, melodic music that implements a rare tonal aspect, and he favors that over stern character development and progression. I love that. Scorsese can apply jazz music in any film, and Wes Anderson uses music to evoke style, quirks, and little instances that sometimes go unnoticed.
1. PT Anderson
2. Martin Scorsese
3. Terrence Malick
4. Lars Von Trier
5. Stanley Kubrick
6. Woody Allen
7. Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu
8. Francis Ford Coppola
9. Werner Herzog
10. Jim Jarmusch
I’d put Quentin Tarantino in here just for his selections in music, but the music is completely irrelevant from the images he has on screen. I commend him for good taste, though.
There are people here legitimately hating on Lynch/Badalamenti. Watch the opening scene of Mulholland Drive if you want to see the perfect combination of music and images, of the dark winding limo ride overlooking the city of LA, gives me shivers every time.