Songs from the silver screen

Some memorable songs pulled from dazzling movies!

Image courtesy of The Peak.

By: Omar Nsouli, SFU Student

Movies and music go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly. Whether it’s a multi-layered uplifting score, a scary synth track, or a rhythmic pop song, music can add value to film by reflecting the feelings of what’s seen on screen. These four songs coming from four classic films are fantastic standing alone or standing in the framework of their respective films. 

Tajabone” by Ismaël Lô

“Tajabone” was featured in All About My Mother, a Spanish film about Manuela, a mother returning to Barcelona after the death of her son, Eduardo, to find his biological father. The song plays throughout Manuela’s arrival to the city and immediately strikes a chord with viewers. The use of calmer instruments like the guitar and harmonica creates a pensive atmosphere for both Manuela and the audience to think about the past and feel a sense of nostalgia buried within us. Lô’s soulful voice complements the emotional instrumentals, taking you away to a calm and introspective state of mind.

Avril 14th” by Aphex Twin 

Also an introspective piece, “Avril 14th” is featured in Sofia Coppola’s highly stylized period drama, Marie Antoinette. The song is heard while Marie Antoinette pensively peruses her garden alongside the sounds of birds chirping and the rustling of tall weeds. In this romantic scene, the tender soundtrack allows Marie to look inward through the healing powers of nature and shows her growth from a rebellious rock star of a queen to a responsible and mature figure. This song is somewhat different from the more eclectic and technical songs Aphex Twin creates but remains unorthodox in its composition with a computerized piano, making the piece sound “human but not quite, according to a review by critic Scott Wilson. 

Crown on the Ground” by Sleigh Bells 

Another Coppola entry on this list is The Bling Ring, a film based on the true story of a group of young adults robbing A-list celebrities’ homes. The opening track is by noise pop duo Sleigh Bells, a sub-genre derived from indie rock that features elements like feedback and distortion in a more pop-like setting. The choice of this song for the movie’s overture is clever, with the crew quietly sneaking around a home contrasted with the loud alarm-like sound the song contains once they trespass. Through a thunderous opening guitar riff and distorted vocal elements, the song alerts the audience and primes them for the wild ride they are about to experience. 

Alech Taadi” by Khaled

When I think of the iconic film The Fifth Element from Luc Besson, I immediately think of the gorgeous Jean Paul Gaultier costumes, memorable characters, and its dazzling soundtrack. “Alech Taadi” is a genre-bending song by Algerian singer Khaled featured in the film. The song is upbeat, incorporating ‘90s pop elements as well as some Latin flair on a raï base. Raï is an Algerian music style that mixes traditional and western elements, with anti-establishment lyrics as a response to socio-political issues in Algerian societies. The track is heard in the background of a high-octane flying car chase in the busy sky of a futuristic New York City. The song compliments the scene with its vibrant and exciting mood, while also highlighting how diverse the future can become, like with fashion and architecture.

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