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Film Studies 101
Feature
Alternative Silent Film Scores To Knock Your Socks Off
The greatest remixes in silent cinema history

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Now The Artist has given everyone a grounding in the joys of silent film – intertitles, flapper girls, cute dogs and all – the next step has to be to watch loads more silent films. These days it’s easily done, with YouTube brimming with them and silent classics regularly getting a lick of restorers’ paint or a new score to revive them. This week, thanks to the BFI and Nitin Sawhney, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger gets both. As a companion to Empire’s guide to silent movies, here’s a look at that and some of the others to search out.

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
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The Lodger (1926)

Composer: Nitin Sawhney
Year: 2012

Arguably the first quote-unquote proper Hitchcock film on the master’s CV, The Lodger created a template for many of the things moviegoers would come to know and love about his thrillers. There’s the Blonde, the Murderer, the Cameo, the stylised sets (here with a touch of the Murnaus) and, most of all, the Wrong Man (Ivor Novello) stuck amid a whole mess of misfortune. Composer Nitin Sawhney – fittingly, a one-time Novello Award nominee – enhances all these elements with his new score, toploading it with soaring romantic cues and moments of jarring tension. There’s even a nod or two to Bernard Herrmann to keep the hardcore happy.

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Your Comments

1 Drone Rock Horror!
The Phantom Carriage KTL / Sunn0))) score is also very good More

Posted by jwebb66 on Wednesday August 15, 2012, 16:09

2
Pet Shop Boys over Battleship Potemkin is really odd...but I didn't hate it. More

Posted by Whistler on Tuesday August 14, 2012, 02:15

3 Solaris
A recent one was Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason's recent re-scoring of the original Solaris film. It's pretty gorgeous stuff, although i'd wager not as gorgeous as the one Cliff Martinez composed for the remake. More

Posted by bruised_blood on Monday August 13, 2012, 12:37

4 What about Queen?
Metropolis is one of my favourite movies and I did have a video with the film having a score by Queen. I have since lost the video though and can't find a copy anywhere with the Queen score. Much as I love the blu-ray release, I was really hoping that it would have an option to play the Queen score as well as the actual score. More

Posted by artigat1 on Monday August 13, 2012, 09:01

5 what about John Cale?
Nice selection, but you forgot to mention the extraordinary John Cale's soundtrack to Tod Browning's "The Unknown" (with an astonishing Lon Chaney performance). John Cale even made a live tour with it (it was presented here in Lisbon in the 1994 European Culture Capital event). More

Posted by Bernieasf on Saturday August 11, 2012, 13:14

6 You missed my favourite...
British Sea Power's scoring of 'Man of Aran' was another absolutely breathtaking one. More

Posted by Woodland Bear on Saturday August 11, 2012, 00:56


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