Posts Tagged ‘movies’
So like so many out there, I saw the The Social Network in theaters recently. And also like so many others, I thought it was excellent: artfully done with an impeccable cast, an unassailable script by Aaron Sorkin of The West Wing fame, and of course inspired direction from David Fincher, whose past work includes the chilling Se7en.
But for those of you interested in the movie itself, you most likely knew much of that already. And actually, I’m not interested in talking about the movie, per se. (To get it out of my system, however, I have to applaud Fincher and particularly Sorkin for what I believe to be the most important overarching decision they had to make concerning the movie: using a true story as a base from which to build a screenplay that creates an alternate reality of what really happened–a version that is most definitely embellished, exaggerated and at times wholly fabricated–in order to communicate a larger truth. That’s art as far as I’m concerned and I love this film for that fact alone.
And speaking of facts, the real reason for this post is for a decision David Fincher and co. made outside of the film itself. I’m talking about the movie’s main trailer–not specifically the teaser promos–which utilizes a cover of Radiohead’s “breakthrough hit” “Creep” performed here by a Belgian girls’ choir named Scala and led by the Kolacny brothers.
This ensemble has made a career out performing rock and pop songs in a clear, minimalistic yet classically rooted choral sound. As a stand-alone cover tune, this version really warms the cockles of my heart. (And no, despite how it sounds, I don’t mean that in a sexual way.) To be honest, I was never a big fan of the original Radiohead version. I don’t know why for sure, except that the album of theirs that got me hooked was The Bends, and “Creep” doesn’t appear on that record.
An obvious adjective like “haunting” comes to mind quite easily, and while it’s indeed apt here, it doesn’t go far enough in describing how the music serves to drive home the potency of the movie–or perhaps more accurately the allure of the movie–in conjunction with the trailer.
The trailer begins. Immediately as images of Facebook screen captures and in-progress status updates appear, the distinctive sound of a unified voice–the girl’s choir–emerges, accompanied by a solitary piano, somber yet penetrating. The vocal performance is already immediately arresting, eight seconds in. Part of the reason is that the instruments and combined sonic texture is not commonly used in movie trailers, but what really makes it “click” (truly no pun intended) is the Kolacny Brothers’ ability to command–nay coax–fluid, driven phrases that are always moving toward the something, whether it’s the crusis in the next few bars, or over the entire length of the song.
The trailer proper quickly enfolds as we see Jesse Zuckerberg (that’s how good Eisenberg is here) explain the initial idea of Facebook, and the truncated version of the interpersonal technological,and strictly litigious whirlwind that ensues. The song builds in perfect synchronicity with the ratcheting up of tension we see on the screen. The charismatic yet ethereal voice of the choir, along with the undulating piano chords do not distract us from what we’re watching, but rather they transfix our minds to the spot. Add to it the subconscious element of hearing lyrics like “I want you to notice when I’m not around/You’re so very special/I wish I was special” [ the original word fuckin' was omitted for obvious reasons in the trailer version]–and additional lyrics that function like the autobiographical words of Mark Zuckerberg, the movie character–and you’ve got some real mystical cinematic hypnotism going on.
But I’m a creep/I’m a weirdo/What the hell am I doing here/I don’t belong here…I don’t care if it hurts, I wanna have control/I want a perfect body/I want a perfect soul
And so, at about the 1:49 mark of the trailer when Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield) destroys Zuckerberg’s laptop in complete anger and futile frustration just as Scala hits the chord suspension on the word “run,” –damn. I’ve been blown away.
An addendum: I seem to remember another movie whose promo trailer was also startlingly effective for very similar reasons: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, directed by one David Fincher and set to a song called “My Body Is a Cage” by Arcade Fire.
We should all be taking copious notes from this Fincher guy. He seems to understand this whole movie music thing.
Comments are totally welcome and definitely encouraged. Let’s talk it out.