Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Departed

I recently saw Martin Scorsese's The Departed (2006) and then, due to peculiar circumstances, heard the movie in the background for most of an entire day. It's an interesting way to absorb nuance. One of the things that sticks from this accidental method is the soundtrack, which fits the Boston-based story well.

Since then, I've heard the soundtrack separately, too. It reinforces the notion of how important a soundtrack usually is, enough to make a big difference in artistic success or failure. A good soundtrack might not save a bad film, but a bad soundtrack can seriously damage the effectiveness of an otherwise good one.

As with Goodfellas (1990) and Bob Dylan: No Direction Home (2005), Scorsese scores another hit in the music department. It's fun accompaniment, though the album does not include The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," which immediately sets the mood during the movie's opening scenes. It does include the more obscure "Let It Loose" from Exile On Main Street. Most of the tracks are vintage and solid choices, everything from Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams (Of You)" to The Allman Brothers Band ("One Way Out"). There's also a jolt from the Pogues-like Dropkick Murphys' "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" and a couple of extended Howard Shore compositions to round off the CD. If the music is mostly "white," it's because the story is mostly Irish American and set in and around Boston. It works. And it's fun.

Today's Rune: The Blank Rune.


Johnny Yen said...

The song choices in Scorsese's movies are fascinating. One of my old favorites, "What's What" by Eddie Harris and Les McCann turns up in Casino. I love the way he uses Layla in Goodfellas.

My wife got me "No Direction Home" for my birthday last year, and I haven't had a chance to wade into it.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I plan on watching "The Departed" this weekend since it went MVP at Hollywood Video. I'm glad to hear that the sound track kick's ass.