If a picture is worth a thousand words and a film is 24-pictures a second, then a movie contains words beyond words of capable comprehension. That’s why when we think of a movie, we zero in on digestible bits—moments, lines, maybe just a shot—and no bit of a movie is more digestible than the soundtrack. The blaring brass that ushers in Star Wars, the ominous cello that brings up the dread in Jaws, the electric guitars that introduce James Bond, and the trumpet that ascends along with Rocky Balboa up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and into the hearts and minds of millions of viewers.
When done right, the music carries the images from the screen and supplants them into the collective consciousness of the audience. Why that happens can sometimes be elusive, but how that happens is sheer hard work—hard work documented and celebrated in Score: A Film Music Documentary from director Matt Schrader.
With such luminaries as Alexandre Desplat, Mark Mothersbaugh, Quincy Jones, Danny Elfman, Randy Newman, Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, Christophe Beck, and a slew of filmmakers, historians, scholars, and professors, Score digs into one of the most memorable aspects, yet often overlooked, components of cinema. The talking heads can get a little dull at times, but when a documentary contains this many wonderful pieces of music alongside a gallery of iconic images, then it’s easy to slip into the familiar and take another walk down memory lane. Now streaming on Hoopla and TubiTV.