Monday, December 30, 2013

Turn It Up! Trailer Music Takes a Front Seat

Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux in Blue is the Warmest Color.
Music enjoyed quite the spotlight in not just its idiom with the barely there videos for Blurred Lines and Wrecking Ball, but also in cinema as well. Just in trailers, filmmakers and their editing team showed us they're still hipsters at heart and though the film itself might have an original score, they are going to draw you in with some hip indie shit so you'll watch their hip indie film. 
August: Osage County (2013) even got on the bandwagon, where I'm sure some idiot was thinking ok, a film about domestic dispute and general tension within a family, where have we seen that before? The Lumineers! They're not annoying the shit out of the whole population yet (yes they are) get them on the phone...worked for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), so what if it's 2 years later and no one cares nor ever wants to hear another song by The Lumineers ever again (can you say overexposed?) let's stick that in the trailer. I'm sure Meryl draped against the background of a light-hearted Lumineers ditty will convince people that this is actually a pretty dark story about a family falling apart with a biting comic edge. They'll think it's a fun flick for the whole family to enjoy. I'll take morons for 300 Alex.

I could literally hear every song Sleigh Bells ever wrote over this image.
But everyone else seemed to have the right idea, even people that do nothing but accentuate the soundtrack, never bothering to hire someone to write an original score so that the whole world is force fed their exceptional knowledge of music in general. I'm talking to you Sofia Copolla. Every single goddamn film of hers is saturated with indie hits and long forgotten tunes from eras we no longer care about just so that people can leave the film going 'wow, that was a really long music video we just sat through', but even I was on board after watching both the teaser and the trailer for The Bling Ring (2013) against which the punishing beats of Sleigh Bells were 'ringing'. I was like fuck it, I'll watch the damn thing; I mean it really was the perfect track for a film about spoiled LA trust fund babies going on a robbing spree in the Hollywood Hills, I was even watching the film mouthing the words 'set set that crown on the ground...bitches' I ad libbed that last part. 
Blue is the Warmest Color (2013) didn't disappoint either, it's a dark Euro film filled with heightened emotion, lots of shakey steady-cam, and lady-tears, don't get me wrong, I loved it, and they did choose the best artist to sing in the background of all of this draaaama in the trailer; miss Lykke Li. The new Bjork as it were. She's Euro, she's emotional, she's saturated in feminist lyricism, and haunting grooves, she's perfect, and her song 'I Follow Rivers' which was used in the trailer was pitch perfect to describe the film to me in a matter of two minutes.

Not only does Harmony Korine give us a glimpse into Alien's headspace, but his ipod shuffle too.
But as ever, the winner this year is (surprise, surprise) Harmony Korine, I'm sorry I know you know by now my feelings about Spring Breakers (2013), but I'm going to sing it's praises once again. Perhaps the best use of music this whole year, combining a chilling and ominous score with some iconic pop ballads and new hits from edgy artists like Skrillex and Gucci Mane (one of the actors in the film btdubs) was bloody brilliant. In the trailer, it begins with the girls just talking about making it to Spring Break, and getting 'the fucking money' to get there, and once they do, crank up the Gucci Mane as they twerk up on each other and ride scooters like champions into St. Pete's. Gangsta's fo life. Once James Franco shows up, they change it up to a dark remix by Skrillex, which jumps with the clips from the film; from the surreally magical to the deeply horrific. It worked on me immediately. It's perhaps the trailer of the year. (Although I was a big fan of Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)) TRAILER-WISE. 
Here's a film that really fucked up on their trailer...Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), excellent film, what the fuck, trailer? Instead of using original music from the film (which one would argue was smart as it would give too much away and lord knows that the Coen Brothers are awesome with music considering O Brother, Where Art Though? (2003) made more on the soundtrack than the film did itself) but instead they went for a little known Bob Dylan ballad called 'Farewell' and considering the topic of the film, in Eisenstenian theory (calm down bleeding heart film students), one would assume this is some kind of 'based on actual events' retelling of Bob Dylan's life a la I'm Not There (2007) not a totally original piece about a folk singer living in New York with a ginger cat trying to make it by during the neo-bohemian scene and resurgence of folk music in the West Village. I would still elect to use original music from the film, or at least part of the score, just nothing as recognizable like Dylan because that's going to confuse people, so fail there Coen Brothers, but not to worry the film still kicked major ass. Well...that's about it for me, I mean the trailer for Gravity (2013) was smart in using classical music, a lesson learned from Lars Von Trier I'm sure, considering there's I believe little to no music in the film at all, and classical music always heightens up the drama, I mean I think I've heard Mozart's requiem used over 20 times in trailers from the past 2 years alone. So anyway enjoy your new iTunes purchases and I'll leave you with the trailers and maybe some music videos. Cheers! 

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