Thursday, April 14, 2011

new wave of crime film sound

I used to think Michael Mann was doing the most interesting work in terms of updating the crime film score.  His electronic stylings always felt very modern and like the best, new way to approach the contemporary crime film.

But now I'm working my way through Oliver Assayas' Carlos and really think Assayas is onto something.  He's taken a different route and is scoring much of the film with post-punk songs from the late seventies, early eighties.  Here's a sampling of three that appear in the first couple of hours.  It's without a doubt the most inspiring and interesting approach to scoring the crime film that I have heard in years.

New Order's Dreams Never End

The Feelies' Loveless Love

A Certain Ratio's All Night Party

Listen to all three on Youtube.


  1. Yeah, I thought that was an interesting music selection also. I believe Assayas has said in interviews that he felt Carlos viewed himself as something of a rock star and since he also considered himself a revolutionary of sorts post-punk rock music would be an interesting fit.

  2. JD, that makes perfect sense. And not only is it a thematically logical choice, but I also commend Assayas for selecting songs that really did extraordinary things for the atmosphere and tone of the film.

  3. Indeed Jeffrey! The use of these songs greatly enhanced the 'tone and atmosphere' of the film, and were consistent with the film's themes. I also read the remarks J.D. aludes to here, and again it makes perfect sense. But loved seeing these here!

  4. Thanks, Sam! Yeah, I was extremely taken by how Assayas used these songs. It will be an interesting reference for filmmakers moving forward, I believe.