The line-up for the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival has been announced, and as usual, that means news of other creative types involved in some of your most anticipated films of the year. And usually, the reveals are music related. Yesterday’s announcements were not much different and unveiled a plethora of good talent involved in upcoming TIFF pictures.
According to the TIFF site, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy has scored Noah Baumbach’s upcoming dramedy “While We’re Young” starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts among others (first look photos are here). This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise for fans of the filmmaker or Murphy. The musician scored the director’s 2010 comedy “Greenberg” and even had a little walk-on blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. In case you’ve forgotten, that score was the opposite of Murphy's electronic/dance music work and more in the vein of Baumbach’s beloved Ram album by Paul McCartney. You might expect something in a similar vein for this one methinks.
If you had to name two of the best composers on planet earth that have never received an Oscar nominations, you might just land on Warren Ellis and Nick Cave ("The Road," "The Assassination of Jesse James," "West Of Memphis"). Anytime we write about the best scores for anything, an Ellis and Cave collaboration is bound to come up. The most recent film they tuned up was the meta Nick Cave quasi-documentary “20,000 Days On Earth” and they have another up their sleeve. The duo will be scoring the Viggo Mortensen-starring film “Far From Men.”
A gritty tale of survival adapted from a short story by Albert Camus, the movie is a French/Arabic-language picture directed by David Oelhoffen (2007 Cannes Critics Week film "Our Reunion") and co-stars Reda Kateb from “A Prophet.” Mortensen plays a reclusive teacher who helps a villager accused of murder (Kateb) escape into the mountains during the Algerian War. Put this one on your TIFF radar.
For music heads, one of the most intriguing movies to premiere at TIFF in September will be “Love & Mercy.” It’s a type of biopic of the Beach Boys’ musical genius Brian Wilson and his decades-long struggles with mental health and substance abuse. Paul Dano and John Cusack both play Wilson in different eras, but what of the Beach Boys music? Well, it’s unclear if the band’s seminal music is used in the film and if rights were secured (dilettante Mike Love having insinuated himself into control of the group years ago), but the movie does have a composer. Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor collaborator Atticus Ross (who won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for “The Social Network”) has written the music for the film. Ross also co-scored "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and the upcoming "Gone Girl" with Reznor, but if one wants a taste of his solo work, dial up the Hughes Brothers' 2010 film "The Book Of Eli"—Ross' score is the best part about the movie.
Lastly, Isabel Coixet's new film "Learning To Drive" starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley (who also starred in Coixet's "Elegy") will feature music by George Harrison’s song Dhani Harrison and Paul Hicks (bonus points: Scorsese’s editor Thelma Schoonmaker is cutting the picture).
Leave some space on your CD shelves (or iPods) for the soundtracks.