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Archive for the ‘Numéro Cinq’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: NICK CAVE AND WARREN ELLIS-The Road: Original Film Score (2009).

I haven’t seen The Road, and I probably never will.  Nor have I read it.  The only reason I was listening to the soundtrack was because I like Nick Cave.  So this is a contextless review.  Of course, I know what the book is about and I rather assume that the film is equally harrowing.  I expected the soundtrack to be full of desolation and horror.

So I was quite surprised that most of the main themes are played on a piano with gentle strings or simply violins.  True there is a sense of emptiness and loss in these songs (they’re not jaunty piano pieces or anything) but they are still unexpectedly pretty.

Of course,a song like “The Cannibals” is bound to be more disconcerting, which it is.  It starts with creepy scratchy violins and then tribal drums take over–all set over a buzzing background.  This is more of what I expected the whole score to be like.   Similarly, “The House” must be a very frightening scene, as the music is threatening, loud, intense and quite scary with, again, more creepy percussion.  Unsurprisingly, a track called “The Cellar” is also spooky; it is only a minute long.

But then songs like “The Church” are so delicate and beautiful and not even all that sad–it actually makes me wonder what the scene in the film is showing.  The end of the score feels like the end of a movie, which I know it is, but it feels like a conventional movie, with closure, something I’m led to believe the book doesn’t have a lot of.

Taken away from the movie, this soundtrack is quite nice.  Aside from the three scarier tracks, this would make for some nice listening on a sad, rainy Sunday.

[READ: February 28, 2012] “The Longest Destroyed Poem”

I enjoyed Kuitenbrouwer’s “Corpse” so much that I decided to see what else she had written.  It comes to three books and four uncollected short stories.  There’s “Corpse” from The Walrus, this one here, another one called “Laikas” (which has a different title on the site where it lives) and a fourth with a broken link.  Boo.

But that’s okay because I’ll certainly investigate her books too.

Like “Corpse,” this story explores women’s sexuality, but it explores it in a very different way.  In fact, I loved the way it was introduced–especially because of the wonderfully convoluted way the sentence reveals it (and how it’s not even the main point of the sentence):

She looked fabulous. Better than back then, when she’d thought she wanted to be an artist, and Victor had made a point — she realized this as she realized many many things, that is she realized it in retrospect — of dropping into the conversation — the one she hadn’t actually been having with him, because she was instead focused almost solely on the fact his much younger roommate had a hand under the blanket her crotch also happened to be under — that he was off to bed early so he could work on a poem he’d been having trouble with.

I had to read it twice because I thought it was funny the first time, and when I fully parsed it, it was even funnier.

So yes, sex.  But as the story opens, years after the above event, Rosa sees Victor and decides to crash into him with her car.  It’s shocking and it’s shockingly well told.

I love the way Kuitenbrouwer uses language.  I could probably quote from this story six or seven times, but I love this sentence that forecasts the trouble ahead:  “Victor noticed her in that split second, too, and he knew what Rosa was up to, for his face changed, channel surfing from neutral smug — well, this was his everyday face — to impending doom.”

As she’s about to ram him (with a Prius, no less), we flash back to their spirited relationship. (more…)

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