Soundtracks are a minefield. You can have the great themes by composers like Bernard Hermann and John Williams, but those soundtracks can also be marred by short, unmelodic bursts of score that only serve the purpose of matching cues in the accompanying film. Then there are the soundtracks that just have popular songs on them, starting with American Graffiti and continuing through the John Hughes films of the 1980s. These types of soundtracks are all the rage these days (especially since Tarantino lent an air of cool to the process in the 1990s) as they’re easy to cobble together. Then there are composers who simply try to put across a mood or a feeling in their soundtracks. Clint Mansell is one of those composers.
Looking at the subject matter of this film, and the identity of the film’s director Duncan Jones (also known as Zowie Bowie), it would have been all too easy to plonk Space Oddity on the film’s soundtrack. Thankfully, this fantastic film was made in the UK, away from the clichés of Hollywood.
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