Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Phantom Carriage

Here's a link to a clip from a silent film (1921) called The Phantom Carriage.

The clip features a new score (the original one was most probably lost) by Jonathan Richman, which I thought would be of interest. Its known that Jonathan has played both guitar and clarinet since childhood, but still you might not expect something like this from the man who brought you 'Road Runner' and 'My love is a flowers just beginning to bloom'.

Its noticeable to me, even when scoring a movie, that Jonathan's sound has an ancient and timeless quality - much like his best popular recordings.

Compare this with the soundtrack which accompanies the DVD released version, featuring a soundtrack prepared by Stephen O'Malley and Peter Rehburg.
Which do you prefer?


steenbeck said...

The film is gorgeous--the shot of the carriage against the sky with more than half the frame just black. Wow. And the whole thing is imbued with that blue chill light we were talking about a while back.

And I like Richman's soundtrack better. It has a beautiful/dischordant quality that I love. It's hard to find that balance, but to me he does, and gives the film a melancholy to go with the eeriness. Thanks for posting that!

nilpferd said...

yep, great clip. Appreciate the blue light observation too, Steenbeck.

I think the Richman soundtrack relates much better to the movement of the carriage, and its fragile but inexorable progress, with those haphazard, to-and-fro notes against a dischordant background, whereas the DVD soundtrack concentrates more on the menace of the situation.

sourpus said...

It is a lovely film, isn't. Even the theme (dark as it may appear) is quite engrossing. There's a beautiful simplicity to, sadly missing from many modern works.

The soundtrack I would like to hear as well, is 'Revolution Summer', also soundtracked by Jojo. If anyone has a copy of it, please let me know where you found it.

sourpus said...

Above post blogged in haste...sorry!

Shoey said...

Don't see what all the hype was about - that new Batmobile & Batman costume both suck. Which one was supposed to be the Joker & what's with the subtitles? I heard it was supposed to be two & a half hours long; but that wasn't even 2 minutes & I bought the large popcorn.

(Great clip, Jonathan's soundtrack was vastly superior)

ToffeeBoy said...

Sourpus - beautiful soundtrack. Thank you.