Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rubbish soundtracks

Soundtracks can make a film, or certainly enhance it. For instance, the soundtrack to Juno is excellent, with its indie pop/anti-folk vibe perfectly complementing the feel of the film, and seeming true to the people in it. In the closing scene the main characters sing Moldy Peaches ‘Anyone else but you’ and it is entirely believable.

But sometimes soundtracks seem to bear no relation to the film - snatches of seemingly random tunes (or ones aimed at a similar demographic to the film) dropped in here, there and everywhere just to justify the existence of a soundtrack album. Most of the time this crass product placement goes in one ear and out the other, but sometimes the music jars so badly with the film that it ruins the moment completely.

The worst example I've come across recently is in the film Blood & Chocolate which I watched last night. In the scene in question, a handsome young American comic book artist and his beautful girlfriend (who is in fact a werewolf) are climbing over the rooftops of Bucharest, looking at the wolf statues on the remains of an ancient castle, while being trailed by other werewolves. Potentially a moment of tension and excitement - but what music was playing? Incredibly, Cash Machine by Hard Fi, a prosaic account of living in London, going to the cash machine and... er.... finding there's no money in your account. Yes, just the song you'd choose for a moment of Romanian lycanthropy! It's not a great film at the best of times, but that just about finished it off for me.

If anyone can think of a worse example of inappropriate soundtrack syndrome let me know.

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