Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

The 10 Best Music Moments In Danny Boyle's Movies

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist April 3, 2013 at 1:31PM

When Danny Boyle first started out in England, his movies were often criticized for their sleek MTV-era construction with accusations that the films weren’t films at all, but rather just music videos stitched together by flashy editing at a breakneck pace. Boyle's reaction wasn't what the British press was expecting. "I was quite proud of that," he said at a recent 92Y conversation in New York, addressing the use of music in his films. Boyle didn't mind the criticism for several reasons (for one, he thought it was a compliment at first), but chief among them, Boyle thinks music is integral to every part of our lives.
16
"Millions"
"Millions"

04. Muse "Hysteria" from "Millions"
Danny Boyle loves using British pop bands, this much is true. It’s a streak of nationalist pride that would reach its zenith with Boyle’s staging of last summer’s Olympics Opening Ceremonies. So it’s kind of shocking that it took him so long to utilize a song from Muse, the kind of arena-ready counterpart to the far artier and more critically accepted Radiohead. In his underrated holiday family film “Millions,” the band's "Hysteria" was tapped to score (of course) a heist sequence. It serves as a lively digression to the otherwise placid film and adds a much needed sense of time and place, since the movie takes place during a fictional monetary switchover from the pound to the Euro (which still hasn’t happened yet). Boyle might not be the best filmmaker to utilize the band (that distinction goes to French filmmaker Alexandre Aja and his impeccable placement of “Newborn” in “High Tension”), but it’s still damn good. When we recently asked Boyle why he hasn’t done a musical yet, he sighed and lamented the fact that “Millions” should have been a musical and suggested that should anyone want to mount a musical stage adaptation of one of his films, it should be “Millions.”


The Beach, Leonardo DiCaprio
05. Leftfield “Snakeblood” and Underworld “Eight Ball” * "The Beach" (Plus How Moby’s “Porcelain” Got On The Soundtrack)
Danny Boyle never really worked with a composer properly to score any of his films until “28 Days Later” when his mainstay John Murphy (who also scored “Sunshine” with Underworld) entered the picture (although, it should be noted, Bond composer David Arnold did contribute some pieces to “A Life Less Ordinary”). Up until then, his movies were “scored” with just pop tunes and existing source music. But he did try with “The Beach.” During the 92Y conversation, the filmmaker revealed that he had hired a very famous composer, but it was not to be. “I worked with Angelo Badalamenti -- who is a fantastic composer -- on ‘The Beach,’ but I couldn’t really give him the film -- and I’ve apologized to him since,” he admitted. “There was a very important theme in the film where the travellers came across the beach itself. He wrote this very lovely theme for it and I didn’t use it in the end. I used ‘Porcelain’ by Moby and I realize, in retrospect, it was me not surrendering the film to someone else. You’ve got to trust the composer and I’ve learned that and I’ve learned a lot as a filmmaker by doing so.”

While the Moby track is lovely, there are a pair of electronic pieces that add much more punch. The first is a Leftfield song called “Snakeblood” that accompanies the film’s galvanizing first minutes wherein Leonardo DiCaprio becomes acquainted with the sights and sounds (and smells and tastes) of Bangkok. (Sadly it establishes an energy level and weirdness factor that the rest of the film has no hopes of following through on.) The other song is a more placid electronic number by noted Boyle collaborators Underworld, called “Eight Ball.” "It's my favorite, favorite Underworld track," Boyle said. "It's a beautiful, lovely, gentle really peaceful, musical song called 'Eight Ball' and we've kind of continued on like that through different movies."


Slumdog Millionaire
06. M.I.A. "Paper Planes" from "Slumdog Millionaire"
There are actually two different versions of “Paper Planes” in “Slumdog Millionaire” -- the original version and a DFA remix (produced by LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy) -- and, in our mind, the original version, which scores a montage of the young boys’ youth in India (particularly a sequence where they travel across train cars), is the most effective. What’s interesting is that earlier that same year the song was popularized by another movie (David Gordon Green’s stoner action comedy “Pineapple Express”) that it wasn’t even in. It was just in the trailer. Boyle, of course, made it fly -- it’s the perfect, freewheeling song to capture the unpredictable, pin-balling experience of being a youth in third-world India and, given its early placement in the movie, makes you prepare for wilder, grander musical moments yet to come (like the closing musical dance sequence, which, at SXSW, New York Times reporter and “Trance” 92Y panel host David Carr said was the moment he realized the movie would win the Best Picture statue). The “Jai-Ho” musical number might be the most famous and the one most annoyingly repeated at gimmicky weddings, but it’s Boyle’s strong, subtle use of “Paper Planes” that gets the blood pumping more organically.

This article is related to: Danny Boyle, Features, Feature, Trance, Trainspotting


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates