We all love movies on this website. We all have our favorite genres, our favorite actors, our favorite directors, etc. We also love movies for different reasons, beyond the simply fact that we're just looking for a good story. Some of us are more prone to go see film depending on who is starring in it, who's directing, or because the cinematography looks amazing.
For me, one of the biggest details I look for in movies nowadays - which doesn't determine if I'll see a film, it's more a bonus - is who is composing the film.
Music Composition for Cinema
Music is a big part of movies whether we realize it or not. Back during the ages of silent films, the only audio they got, was instrumentation. Paul McCartney of the Beatles also views music as an important part of one's movie-going experience.
In the music video for his single "Live And Let Die" for the 1973 James Bond film of the same name, Paul McCartney opens up the video with the following quote:
"You know, American movies have better popcorn than European movies - that's only an opinion. I go to the films to hear the soundtrack; the picture becomes a background. They've just filmed a background to some music I wrote. It's the new James Bond film, "Live And Let Die", and I must admit that the film helps the music work. So does the popcorn."
I remember hearing this quote many years ago and I almost couldn't agree more (the movie itself is still more important than the music. Sorry, Paul). I really got where he was coming from.
Music is important to movies and sometimes even becomes an identifier for films. Have you ever heard a musical composition and immediately identified the soundtrack to which it belongs to? Think about it:
- Star Wars
- Indiana Jones
- Jurassic Park
The list could go on and on. Even directors as prestigious as Christopher Nolan recognize just how important it is to deliver the right kind of music in a movie. When working on his 2014 sci-fi hit, Interstellar, he sought out composer Hans Zimmer - who he had worked with previously on The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception - before anything else. He wrote the movie alongside of Hans Zimmer writing out the music for it. Here's what Nolan had to say about the music:
"Adding music to a film doesn't work for me - it's the reason I can't temp a movie (edit using some other movie's music to be replaced later). To me the music has to be a fundamental ingredient, not a condiment to be sprinkled on the finished meal."
Suicide Squad's Music So Far
I believe that music has to provide the right atmosphere for what the film makers are trying to accomplish both while marketing the film and also during the film itself. So far, I think the music has been just right for Suicide Squad in the two trailers that we've seen. The Comic Con trailer had the cover song of the Bee Gee's "I Started a Joke"
This worked great for the first footage and really showing us that these characters in this movie were no joke. They're sick, they're twisted, they're dark, they're not good people. It was very downtrodden and helped the trailer deliver what it wanted to in that the stakes in the film were very high and that we should all be a little scared.
But then the first "OFFICIAL" trailer of the film gave us something completely different yet didn't take away from what was set up in the Comic Con trailer.
Having Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" didn't take away from the dark and twisted atmosphere of Suicide Squad. What it did allow was a Guardians of the Galaxy-esque trailer in that it showed a lot of humor. But unlike the Guardians of the Galaxy, I believe that Suicide Squad's humor is going to be very dark humor. The inclusion of that song, the introduction of the more humorous moments, really just made you feel that Suicide Squad might be more twisted than we though.
Good job DC, Warner Bros, David Ayer, and everyone who had their hand in the marketing, so far so good.
"Suicide Squad" Composer Revealed
Now that the marketing has started off on a very successful road leading up to Suicide Squad, the more important musical aspect of the film is who is composing the musical score. Personally, I have been looking for this information for months (I want to collect all the DCEU soundtrack vinyls) and apparently the reveal was snuck into the newest trailer for the film and we were all too mind-blown to pay too much attention at first. But luckily, thanks to those of us who are obsessed with watching our favorite trailers a dozen times a day, someone spotted the composer in the credits of the film.
I have to say that, because I wasn't immediately familiar with the name of Steven Price, I was a little disappointed. Yes, I understand not every DC Comics film can have Hans Zimmer (my favorite film composer) scoring the soundtrack nor would I have thought his style fitting for the film itself. I was, however, hoping to see Mad Max: Fury Road composer, Junkie XL, jump into this project but his talents so far this year are wasted on Deadpool...oh, well at least he is co-composing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with Hans Zimmer.
But back to the subject at hand. After looking into the work that Steven Price has done, I realized why I haven't been familiar with the name: because I've only seen one movie with his scoring and that was The World's End and typically I don't pay attention comedy soundtracks as much. But looking a bit deeper I discovered that Steven Price is very accomplished, especially for not having not composed too many films himself:
- Attack the Block
- The World's End
What's great though is that it's not just some filler composer to be sprinkled onto Suicide Squad, kind of like Christopher Nolan said. The reason I know this is for two reasons:
- 1. For as little amount of films as he has composed, he's already won an Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2013 for the Sandra Bullock film, Gravity.
- 2. He has worked with David Ayer previously on the hit film Fury, in which I've heard many say that the music was one of the best parts of the movie.
I haven't seen either movie but I'm tempted a little bit more now to go and watch these two films back to back just so I can listen to the soundtrack. Of course all this music can be found on YouTube and so I had to go listen to the best tracks from both of those films to get an idea of where Suicide Squad is headed musically speaking.
Take a listen to get your own assessment.
Obviously these are very dramatic tracks so if we take a listen to some of his other work, we'll see that he has a great balance in both high-energy, fun scores along with the deep, emotional scoring we just listened to.
I feel that I've successfully expressed what I set out to. Music is a huge part of my movie enjoyment and I'm looking forward to what kind of work Mr. Steven Price adds to the already amazing looking Suicide Squad film.
But what do you guys think of Steven Price being named as the composer for Suicide Squad? Is his Academy-Award winning talent suitable for the film? Does the fact that he's previously worked on a film with David Ayer help you feel more confident in the decision? Or do you just not care at all?