Thursday, December 13, 2007

And her soul walks beside her...

The ending of a film is really important. Unexpected twists are fine when utilised properly (and disasterous when they're lazy or poorly conceieved) but I'm referring rather to the moment when the screen fades to black, usually with musical accompaniment; if it's done well, it can be overpowering, surprising, beautiful, moving, funny or a combination of all three. It goes without saying that music is integral to this process. A good example I can think of is "Imagine Me And You" playing at the end of Adaptation. Another, more recent film would be The Golden Compass. Of course, I knew Kate Bush was contributing a song to the film, but I'd forgotten and so was thrilled when it began to play over the credits. I haven't been that pleasantly surprised during a credits sequence since Siouxsie and the Banshees turned up and the end of the greatgreatgreat Monster House.

"Lyra" was written by Kate especially for the film, and you can tell. Some of the lyrics aren't the greatest ("Lyra...and her face..." is especially laugh-worthy). But she only had 10 days to write and record it, which is a stunning achievement for a noted perfectionist like her. And it is beautiful. Her voice has matured so well, if you listen back to some of the earlier recordings of Wuthering Heights, she sounds like she's strangling herself sometimes (in a good way, of course) but in "Lyra" you can really appreciate her vocals. There's not much of a tune, so if you're a die-hard tunesmith this probably won't tickle your pickle. But for those who appreciate a bit of ambience and fans of Kate Bush will certainly enjoy it (that's two for me, then).

Anyway, the point of this was to look at the songs eligible for the Oscars. The full list can be read with disgust here. There's nary a decent song on there (save for about three or four), so I'm crossing my toes in hope "Lyra" gets a nod. Purely to see Kate at the ceremony, because that woman is downwright crazy and brilliant and it could be the funniest performance since
"It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp".

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