Often, we barely notice them. Sometimes, the odd track moves us enough to search for its source online. Then there’s that one film. That one film where the soundtrack surpasses the content of the actual film itself, or at the very least completely enhances your experience of the feature.
Picture a film with no sound. Well, the sound of people talking, maybe. But imagine watching a film with absolutely no music. Sure, there are avant-garde arthouse films where silence is prized as a more insightful storytelling tool than sound (probably), but I want you to envisage an action scene, for example, in the latest blockbuster, where the hunky good guy is battling the baddie for some forgettable reason. Without music, this sort of scene may look a little bit daft, and would probably be replaced with more athletic grunts and snorts than a Wimbledon final. Music, or even the lack of it, is integral to cinema.
Some classic films in the last decade are carried by their original soundtrack. The Nice Guys, Juno, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Django Unchained are ones that immediately come to mind. The more orchestral scores to movies also deserve a listen. Being John Malkovich, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Amelie are all-time personal favourites with incredible tracks, always great to listen to when struggling through an essay or trying to sleep. There are some songs that just by listening to them, transport you to a specific scene in a film. Midnight Cowboy and ‘Everybody’s Talkin’, for example. Or, more recently, Guardians of the Galaxy with ‘Come and Get Your Love’.
Films themselves are insanely good. Honestly, even terrible ones. There’s even an entire society dedicated to the debatable genre of bad films at UEA. Music? Music can be transformational, turning an abysmal film into one worth watching again, and again, and then again with your friends.