One of the Better Movie Soundtracks

March 31, 2008

Johnny Depp never ceases to veer from the expectations of the masses with his role choices. And while I thought I had seen all of his films of note, I discovered yet another gem hidden among the multitudes of dvds at my local Vision Video (I don’t do Blockbuster anymore…there are better alternatives out there than renting a movie for practically the same price I could buy one). The movie is Dead Man. It was directed by Jim Jarmusch, and it is wild! The film is about an accountant named William Blake (mistaken often in the film to be the poet by the same name) who moves to the West for work but, ends up on the run after he murders a man. Now, before I go wearing my quirky personal movie tastes on my sleave, I must say that the film is very unique and…well…quirky. But it’s gutsy, beautifully filmed, and Johnny Depp is superb.

The part of the film that really brought it home for me was not the superb acting or the beautiful cinematography, however. The score pushed the movie over the edge. The music during the film was written and performed by Neil Young. Young incorporates a raw acoustic guitar that carries the root of the music. But the real brilliance comes from his use of fuzzy, delayed electric guitar over the acoustic rhythm. At times the rhythm guitar fades out entirely, and the electric is left to accent the beat with varied singular strums, some muted and others wide open. His use of silence to contrast brash electric explosions provides the film with an extremely unique and capitvating score.

Unfortunately, I have not found the film’s soundtrack for sale anywhere online. But, as always, I have found a good Youtube montage from the film featuring some of Young’s composition


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