BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

" The Legend you never knew you knew "

I heard this phrase coined on radio 4' film programme recently referencing Danny Elfman's epic score to Edward Scissorhands. I want to look at one of movies great teamings - Danny Elfman and Tim Burton.

Burton is principally using Gothic styles and Elfman feeds into that, famously not classically trained Elfman mostly uses computers, this Gothic theme is used in Beetlejuice with a 'Danse Macabre' (Dance of death) feel - a sense of things hurtling out of control with a sense of fun. Into also runs into a Russian theme through the film. It essentially feels just like a ghost train ride:

Next is the reinvention of Batman, with Keaton in the lead role once again, this time its serious with plenty of action. This is Elfmans epic 'Reveal' and main theme:

Elfman is apparently inspired by 1930's composer Eric Wolfgang Korngold responsible for the score of Michael Curtiz's swashbuckling movies such as robin hood:

From the dark and gothic to the lighter but still brooding: Edward Scissorhands: here there is more of an image system for the music and that is snow, and the fall of snow...

Its like a fable and according to writer and composer Neil Brand feels like "The legend you never knew you knew" and "feels like an old story" but Burton and Elfman manage to create a modern fairytale. It's "Romantic, it's longing, it's dark"

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