Ludwig Göransson Fanboy
There Will Be BloodThe following are some moments that immediately came to mind when thinking of occasions that blew me away when I watched them for the first time. They are mostly simple moments that were different than expected and therefore had a great impact and made some impression on me.
In no particular order:
(SPOILER WARNING- In case you haven't watched the movies, these observations may lessen the impact of the moments)
Life of Pi - Sinking ship scene
The contrast between the sad but beautiful scene of the heavy ship sinking, and the lightness of the choir singing pianissimo in a requiem-style arrangement, provided a beautiful touch of sadness to a very dramatic scene. I really enjoy how Mychael Danna made the transition so subtly to that part. The whole soundtrack to Life of Pi is outstanding to me, and I especially like how Mychael was able to use so many colours and ensembles in one movie.
Da Vinci Code - ending
The music starts with a simple ostinato idea as it portrays Tom Hanks´character the moment when he looks at himself in the mirror and the music gives you the idea that some spark is lighting up in his mind. The whole scene then just shows him walking, there's no action or anything interesting - just him walking - but the music tells the story here. The constant adding of layers and buildup just aurally provides you with a sense of reward and awe as the mystery slowly unfolds inside the character's head. This really draws the viewer in too.
Rescuers Down Under - Cody's Flight
Bruce Broughton did a fantastic job here with this quite long cue (considering its tempo as well). He pulls out all the stops. He hits everything; nailing so many nuances and going high as well as low with the orchestra. It's just a beautiful scene with a fantastic ending when Codi jumps from the waterfall and lands on the eagle's back. I can't help but feel like a kid every time I watch it. To think they did it with tape and calculated all of those tempo changes through SMPTE, before the software we have today, is absolutely fascinating to me.
StarWars - Anakin vs Obiwan
I was born in 1987, so my teenage years coincided with the prequels. Before them, I grew up watching Return of the Jedi on VHS and I remember always enjoying the part where John Williams introduces the choirs after Vader talks about bringing Luke's sister to the dark side, sparking a surge of energy from Luke to fight him. As for the Anakin vs. Obiwan, during the final battle to end the trilogy, John Williams just takes the drama, action and epicness to a whole new level. That, alongside the drama of these close 2 friends battling, makes the moment so much better.
Interstellar - Bass note
I could write about how Hans Zimmer beautifully portrays the big wave as big and majestic, during the very moment the camera upward tilt stops, without conveying any sense of impending danger or terror. Or how the harmony changes slower the usual in that world. I could also talk about how the chase scenes are so gripping because of the music, or how the spotting is so elegantly simple.
However, the moments when Matthew McConaghey's character is watching the footage of the years he lost or holding his daughter's hand in the end are, for me, cases where the spotting is superb. All of these scenes are beautifully shot, lit and acted, and the music was just... simple! The sum of all of its parts is what made the scenes memorable in my opinion. The call to keep it minimal and spacious with the ostinato was brilliant. However, what really makes you hold your breath is whenever there is a line, a "dramatic" punch line, and all the music adds is a subtle bass note. The score really is brilliant in its simplicity and effectiveness.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Noel's Theme in Dream sequence
This is a level where you find yourself in a dream where the soundtrack is a very touching... song! This took me by surprise and it really makes the player feel he's in an emotional dream.
Ori and The Blind Forest - Boss fights
I'd loose a life on purpose sometimes just to keep experiencing the soundtrack mixed with the gameplay. It's just phenomenal and uses so many different colours. Funny enough, the use of different colours reminds me a bit of Life of Pi, now that I think about it. Not that one was inspired on the other.
Sonic The Hedgehog - Theme and 1st level
When I was growing up, I didn't have Nintendo. But I remember playing Sonic for the first time at my cousin's place. The speed, colours and music were just so new and lively that the soundtrack got stuck in my head and many others of my generation.
I think it is in the first of the latest instalments of Tomb Raider where there is a scene full of explosions as you escape a house in a snowy mountain. The music was largely written in a high register, which allows for SFX and music to very present at the same time. I thought it was impactful and very smart. (note: at this time I had TV speakers, so it is possible that some of the lower frequencies from the orchestra with the explosions were a hit and miss, however, it worked quite well as I heard it. I haven't gotten back to hear it again, actually. But it got stuck in my mind. Will research it today.)
Funny you say that. "Melancholia" is one of the few movies I wouldn't watch again just for fun due to the overuse of the same bars of over-the-top-cliché Wagner, again and again (and AGAIN).Melancholia - the hauntingly effective use of Wagner at key points in the film, and especially the intro sequence.
Fantastic game & fantastic music.The cutscene before the last phase of the final boss in Okami. The way the music gradually grows from quiet and sad to triumphant and uplifting while the scene progresses really moved to me and that's something that rarely happens in games.
The music in question: