Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Soundtrack September Selection #1: THE WICKER MAN (1973)

This being Soundtrack September, all month I'm going to showcase soundtrack selections from bloggers, readers, and random people on the street (well, not really). The month's first soundtrack pick comes from Matt Pennachi, a fellow film buff whom I spoke to last month about a film series he co-created - Cinema Overdrive at the Colony Theater in North Raleigh. Take it away, Matt!:

"OK, this is such a hard thing to choose, and I know if I really thought about it I would probably change my mind multiple times a day. But here is a soundtrack that I personally love, and own the remastered version on both CD and Vinyl:

A soundtrack that is as eccentric as the film itself, but also evokes imagery as powerful and striking as the film shot by Anthony Schaffer.

When I first saw the film years ago, I thought the songs featured in it were traditional folk songs. They fit this film that well. Later I was surprised that they were written (and some performed) by Paul Giovanni, a composer who died in 1990 of AIDS.

The music is comical, eerie and erotic, and all appropriately placed throughout the film. Plus, we get to hear Christopher Lee sing! ("The Tinker of Rye"). Songs like "Gently Johnny", "Willow's Song" and the comical "The Landlord's Daughter" are all just so spot on it is uncanny.

I really wish I could put into words how good I think this soundtrack is. For years the master tapes were thought to be completely lost, as the film was basically buried by a UK distributor who HATED it, and when there was a regime change at the distribution company went out of his way to make sure the film bombed. But Christopher Lee maintains to this very day that it is the single best film he has ever appeared in, and he loved the script so much he did it for no money."

More later...


Citizen Spain said...

Does the soundtrack include Edward Woodward scream-singing "The Lord Is My Shepherd" ?

That film is beyond unique, not just for the horrifying climax, but in how the inherent silliness of the pagan songs lull the viewer into believing they're watching some kind of dark comedy. A lot of the community's belief system is developed through those songs as well, making for a unique backstory-telling device.

I'm curious what the creators have up their sleeves for the film's "spiritual sequel" The Wicker Tree. Hopefully it will contain more zany pagan tunes!

RLR said...

the soundtrack for The Wicker Man is indeed as sublime and as magnificent as the film.

the instrumental pieces are as macabre as the vocal, folk pieces perfectly evoke the closed but close-knit community of Summerisle.

the band Magnet really did a wonderful job with their compositions, i think this weekend i'll put out the DVD and soundtrack CD to appreciate yet again what a consumate work of art The Wicker Man is!

Aion kinah said...

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