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The blogosphere is still humming after Radio 1’s Zane Lowe recently curated the re-scoring of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011), a brilliant film lauded for its soundtrack. There was inevitable hue and cry leading up to the event (“Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ” seemed to be the consensus on Twitter) and admittedly it was quite a strange and at times jarring re-score. Nevertheless, Lowe’s re-scoring exemplified the power a soundtrack exerts over the tone of a film.

There are myriad examples of great films with equally great soundtracks and it’s a joy to see the two things interweave seamlessly (Under the Skin, There Will be Blood, Donnie Darko etc). However, a much overlooked yet ever growing database must also be acknowledged: lacklustre films that boast stellar soundtracks which elevate them.

Let’s begin with a master of the soundtrack.

Death Proof


Tarantino spoke quite candidly about this film in THR’s roundtable conversation series labelling it as “the worst film I ever made” (although he hasn’t shown enough contrition for Four Rooms which was about as funny as piles) but went on to say, “And for a left-handed movie, that wasn’t so bad, right?”

Wrong! This tedious ode to the Grindhouse oeuvre is a two hour long half-baked pastiche padded with plenty of inconsequential dialogue.

However, Tarantino’s encyclopaedic knowledge of pop culture serves his soundtracks well and Death Proof is no exception. A blend of retro-pop and vintage 70s film scores including Eddie Smith’s “Baby it’s you”, Eddie Floyd’s “Good Love Bad Love” and “Jeepster” by T Rex, makes for very enjoyable listening and manages to transcend the fan boy claptrap.

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