Five of the Best: Film Music Accompaniments | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Five of the Best: Film Music Accompaniments

Matthew Clemens pricks up his ears and tries not to toot his own horn with this week’s top 5

Matthew Clemens pricks up his ears and tries not to toot his own horn with this week's top 5.

1.) Apocalypse Now

Suffice it to say, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now is a difficult watch. That being said, one five-minute sequence more than makes up for the struggle, and that's the infamous helicopter scene featuring Richard Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries'. As the copters charge to the scene, we see thick black smoke rising from the distance, witness chaos in the form of explosions and manic gunfire, and quake in horror as civilians attempt to flee from the mayhem. It's brutal but mmmm God help me, I do love the sound of booming trumpets in the morning.

2.) Shawshank

The Shawshank Redemption has a wealth of magnificent musical accompaniment. One scene stands out though: when Andy locks himself in the warden's office and plays Sual'aria, Che soave zeffiretto. As the music soars through the prison walls, its inhabitants stand motionless, soaking in the glory of an operatic master class. Truly, it's just one of the most beautiful moments in film.

3.) Donnie Darko

'Head Over Heels' had always felt like symphonic ecstasy and as a lifelong Tears for Fears fan, there was nothing more pleasing than discovering just how much a scene can be enriched by music. The tune proved to be the perfect accessory to the sweeping camera as it drifted through Donnie's high-school in super slow-mo, and it makes for one of the coolest moments of cinematography ever!

4.) Watchmen

The film adaptation of Alan Moore's fantastic twelve-issue comic may not have been everything that fans hoped it would be, but it still provided one of the most unforgettable moments in cinema history thanks to Paul Simon's stunning and somewhat ethereal, Sound of Silence. Quite literally, it was the perfect accompaniment to the comedian's melancholic funeral scene.

5.) The Darjeeling Limited

Darjeeling Limited is a curious and inspired effort, even if it never quite feels like a well-rounded experience. What can't be denied though is the power of its opening, helped along nicely by This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks, a song that is just so stunning and complementary to Adrian Brody's slow-mo sprint, it almost makes up for the film's inconsistency.


4th February 2012 at 9:00 pm