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    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Haunting and heartbreaking: a musical tribute to David Lynch

    A slit ant-filled ear on a bed of grass. A monstrous baby with bulbous eyes. A red-suited dwarf in a red-curtained dream. David Lynch's images have been indelible ever since his full-length debut Eraserhead in 1977. They've not only been stunning, but terrifying, curious and charged with surrealistic mystery. They touch on the complexities of sex and violence with just as much complexity. And they're absolutely, sometimes painfully unique, elevating Lynch to a level of other visual masters such as Stanley Kubrick, Luis Buñuel and Krzysztof Kieslowski.

    So it's well-deserved that David Lynch received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival yesterday. His films (and brief television work) have uprooted the staid cinematic landscape and the power of his images continue resonating years and even decades later. But as powerful as Lynch's images are, there's another element to his films that deserves ample credit. Without the equally jarring and memorable music selections, Lynch's works would lose a lot of their punch.

    A lot of that is clearly due is to Angelo Badalamenti. His eerie scores have given films like Lost Highway and Mulholland Dr. that extra undercurrent of darkness. He was also the one responsible for Twin Peaks' haunting theme. But even beyond his great scores, there's a lot of music that is either performed or used in the movies themselves. There's the unforgettable nod to classic film noir when Isabella Rosselini simmers through "Blue Velvet" and there's Rebekah Del Rio's powerful translation of Roy Orbison's "Crying." There's the diverse craziness of Wild At Heart whose soundtrack features everything from rockabilly to big band to speed metal. There's the heavy use of mid-90s rock (and even Marilyn Mansion in a porno and Henry Rollins as a prison guard) in Lost Highway. In fact, the only other current directors who use music as centrally and evocatively are arguably Tarantino and Jarmusch.

    Along with being the youngest person ever to receive the Golden Lion and keeping us up to date on the weather, Lynch also continues to challenge and confound with his work. The reports from Venice are trickling in on his new shot-on-digital (!) film Inland Empire and according to GreenCine Daily's David Hudson, "[s]
    o far, all critics seem able to agree on two things: the new film is enigmatic as hell and it's three hours long." And even better is the quote by exasperated British critic James Christopher who calls it "one of the most impenetrable films ever made." No matter what the final result looks or sounds like, chances are good that it's yet another Lynch creation that will be tough to shake from our minds.

    Blue Velvet (1986)
    * MP3: "Blue Velvet" - Isabella Rossellini
    * MP3: "Blue Velvet" - Bobby Vinton [Buy it]

    Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
    * MP3: "Twin Peaks Theme" - Angelo Badalamenti
    * MP3: "Laura Palmer's Theme" - Angelo Badalamenti [Buy it]

    Lost Highway (1997)
    * MP3: "The Perfect Drug" - Nine Inch Nails
    * MP3: "This Magic Moment" - Lou Reed [Buy it]

    Mulholland Dr. (2001)
    * MP3: "Llorando" - Rebekah Del Rio
    * MP3: "Silencio" - Angelo Badalamenti [Buy it]

    Music inspired by David Lynch films
    MP3: "Promising Actress" - John Vanderslice from Cellar Door (inspired by Mulholland Dr.) [Buy it]
    * MP3: "People Like Frank" - Amon Tobin from Permutation (inspired by Blue Velvet) [Buy it]

    Comments on "Haunting and heartbreaking: a musical tribute to David Lynch"


    Blogger stimmenimitator said ... (12:41 PM) : 

    You forgot one!

    My favorite score of Badalamenti is the main theme for "A Simple Story". Would love if you could post that one.


    Blogger Moka said ... (12:11 PM) : 

    Great post, I'm a big lynch fan. Lost highway is one of my favorite movies of all time.


    Blogger ilaria said ... (2:55 PM) : 

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