In short, Essentials is a segment that allows artists to put down their instruments and divulge about a specific topic, giving fans and the like the opportunity to connect with their interests and inspirations. It’s just unlike any other listicle feature, we’re totally okay with things getting weird and/or uncensored. With Wild Nights finally on shelves (via Bella Union), we asked Manchester’s PINS to name films they would love to recreate soundtracks for. Reminder: Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight is out later this year.
Lost In Translation (2003)
I love the idea of being lost in a big city; somewhere completely strange and unknown with unfamiliar sights and experiences at every turn. Like having abandoned your worldly possessions, your home and your loved ones just to stuff a few things in a bag and head into the mysterious sunset. It’s a fantasy based on freedom, but the flip side of that is the unbearable loneliness that comes with it. This is the side you get to see in Lost in Translation, where two different people are completely out of their element.
The soundtrack is definitely designed to fit the film and the beautifully, slow-paced story from Sofia Coppola. It features music from bands I love like My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus And Mary Chain. We saw JAMC in concert last year and it was great. Scarlett Johansson actually joined them for their reunion at Coachella and sang on “Just Like Honey” – [Lois McDonald]
Love Is The Devil (1998)
There’s so much to choose from, but I keep returning to John Maybury’s Love Is The Devil. I’ve loved this film since I was 15. It’s visually unsettling at times, funny and playful at others – claustrophobic, camp, and totally decadent – and it’s impossible to imagine writing a soundtrack that would be as perfect as Ryuichi Sakamoto’s. Music that’s haunting, foreboding, and avant-garde.
You could loosely describe the film as a biopic on the late great Francis Bacon (played by Derek Jacobi) that’s centered around his own relationship with George Dyer (Daniel Craig). Bacon’s estate refused permission for his paintings to be shown in the film, but nothing is lost as the film itself feels like his art. Lenses and filters are used to distort faces and stretch bodies, and it often descends into the surreal, entering his painted world as if his subjects are actually alive – [Kyoko Swan]
My favourite film ever is a British film called If…. It’s set in an English boarding school and it’s about youth, rebellion, sex, violence and freedom. Every scene is stuffed with symbolism and poetry; it switches between colour and black and white, and without a whisper. It’s directed by Lindsay Anderson and stars Malcom McDowell, before he went on to play a similar but more twisted role in A Clockwork Orange.
I first saw it when I had just moved out of home. I was feeling adventurous and defiant and the film has plenty of that. It’s about tradition versus the defiance of the new generation – people who speak the same language but don’t understand each other. I love how it is shot and how the quiet scenes are held together by suggestion and iconography. My favourite scene is where the main character and a girl have a sexual encounter at a cafe, and he plays “Sanctus” by Troubadours du Roi Baudouin on the jukebox.
Apparently Lindsay Anderson had written a sequel but he died before he got to see it through. If anyone picks it up, I’d love to do the score for it! I’m 100% in for a classy cameo – [Lois]
Under The Skin (2013)
If I could recreate a film soundtrack, it would be the one for Jonathan Glazer’s 2013 film Under The Skin. I originally read the book and thought it was really dark and haunting, so I was excited to see the film. I was also really surprised and impressed to find out the soundtrack was done by Mica Levi (aka Micachu). After doing a bit of research, I found out I had a bit of an affinity with Mica – in that I’d always known about her through the band stuff she had done, but she was also classically trained.
I recently wrote a short piece of music for a book trailer my friend was working on, and the soundtrack for Under The Skin was a big influence for me. What I particularly like is the way the natural sound of the strings is manipulated but also combined with dancier electronic influences. It makes for a really intense addition to a very cinematic yet bleak film – especially in the trippier scenes where Scarlett’s character takes her victims back to her house and all the alien stuff starts happening! – [Sophie Galpin]
Death Proof (2007)
Any Quentin Tarantino movie works. He is fantastic at putting together soundtracks; every one he’s made has been one that’s worth listening to in it’s own right. I like that he starts picking music out for the film whilst it’s still being written, using the feel of the music to guide the characters and the action within the scenes. Sometimes a scene will just be an entire song with no other dialogue and now it’s hard to listen to those songs without seeing his characters.
If I had to pick one film to re-score, it’d be Death Proof. It’s another tale of revenge that largely features female leads and you have to wait until the final half hour to watch the final payback. There’s been a few times during practice where we’ll start playing something new and I’ll say, “I like it, it sounds really Tarantino”. It’d be a dream to have a song feature in one his films – [Lois]