Friday, February 28, 2014

Joe Hisaishi Meets Kitano Films, and the importance of music in film...

I'm the type of person who can listen to any type of music and find enjoyment – I can listen to any type of rap, some rock, some R&B, and so on. Lately, however, I've found myself listening to soundtracks from some of my favorite films – I listen to the soundtrack to Memories of Murder and Oldboy at least once a week. It's not just film, though, I occasionally dabble in some video game music, like the soundtrack to Silent Hill 2. Most of the time, this is music without lyrics. One can argue this is the purest form of music, and I'd think I'd be the one to do so.

I recently purchased the album Joe Hisaishi Meets Kitano Films. This album celebrates the constant collaborations between iconic musician Joe Hisaishi and legendary filmmaker Takeshi Kitano by compiling select tracks from said collaborations. This is an important album. Not only does it show the significance of music in film and further bond each medium, it shows the power of the music itself. This shows that “movie music” can stand on its own, as well as work as a complimentary piece for the actual film. Even if you haven't seen every film, you can enjoy a soundtrack like this. In fact, you can enjoy any film soundtrack on its own, if it's well made and attractive to your mood or personality. Go listen to Joe Hisaishi's Summer and tell me you don't feel anything – I feel at peace, and it's a feeling only a film soundtrack has been able to evoke – now that's power.

Like I said before, Joe Hisaishi Meets Kitano Films isn't the only film soundtrack I enjoy. Another soundtrack that caught my ear was Hans Zimmer's Black Rain score. What really attracted me to the soundtrack, as it did the film, was the culture clash it represented. The film and soundtrack blend different cultures and styles to create one. I think it's more evident in the soundtrack, though. Listen to the soundtrack and it screams Hans Zimmer and his signature style, but with a noticeable pinch of Japan. Cultures blending and interacting like this has always fascinated me, and I feel the soundtrack really signifies this movement. It makes me wish more music would do the same, and it makes me wish more filmmakers would see blend cultures like Zimmer and Scott did with Black Rain.

I know music doesn't make a film, though. There are some great films out there with little to no music. In fact, I think it's an accomplishment to create a certain feeling without music; when a filmmaker can create suspense or evoke emotion without music, I think it's impressive. But, I think a fantastic soundtrack can help sweep you away much more effectively. I think music can also help create more feelings, I think it can amplify the emotion. I think music is a strong part of film-making and can even work as a redeeming element for some films; look at Argento's Dracula 3D (Review), it's flawed in almost every way, but the music kept me interested and even immersed. One more point: a soundtrack can also be detrimental to a film. I recently watched Special ID (Review), which featured an ill-fitted score – it really clashed with the tones of the film, creating an inconsistent film overall.

What is the point I am trying to make? I look back at this post and see myself rambling on and on, but, why? Maybe, I'm trying to promote Joe Hisaishi Meets Kitano Films? I suppose I might actually be trying to show the significance of film in music, and the significance of the music itself – I suppose I'm trying to create discussion and I might be trying to provoke thought. Regardless, I had to write this post, I just really felt inspired by the music to express myself in some way. 
Anyway, have you heard Joe Hisaishi Meets Kitano Films? Do you feel the same about music? What are your favorite film soundtracks? Leave a comment below and please share this post. Thanks for reading.

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