Stuck Up Cinema – The Wonderful Tunes of Clint Mansell

Alright! I am back on track! Missing last week’s Stuck Up Cinema was not what I wanted to do, but it was a nice week off and now I’m back with a bang! Everyone knows how important the score is to a movie. Even the lack of a score is important to certain movies. Today I am here to talk about my personal favourite composer: Clint Mansell; you may not know his name, but I swear to God that you’ll know his music. Most people know it as ‘Requiem for a Tower’ from the Lord of the Rings promotional videos for the second movie, but I know it as ‘Lux Aeterna’, the main theme from the wonderful movie Requiem for a Dream. I could babble on and on about Requiem for a Dream, and I know I will one day, but today’s post is about the man who made the music for a wonderful movie to make it that much more wonderful.

Before we dive into this, listen to Lux Aeterna. You’ll know what it is.

Clint Mansell works a lot with Darren Aronofsky. Aronofsky is one my favourite directors and it’s no coincidence that his movies have a great score. They collaborate a lot, all the way back from the beginning with his first film Pi. Originally his music was much more electronic based, the score of Pi and some songs from Requiem for a Dream in his recent movies he’s doing the more common composer thing.

The Requiem for a Dream theme he wrote and performed with the Kronos Quartet is one of the best scores in cinema. The music during the climax is soul crushing, I dare you to listen to Lux Aeterna and not feel moved by the music. If you say you aren’t moved by the music then you are a liar and deserve a nice punch in the balls. If you don’t have a penis, then I won’t hit you but you’re still a liar and you should feel bad.

Here’s another song from Requiem that plays during the downward spiral of the four characters of the film. Just listening to the music now reminds me how much I love the movie and just how powerful it is. GOD DAMN. THAT MOVIE IS SO GOOD. Anyways, here’s the song ‘Meltdown’.

Then comes Aronofsky’s next movie The Fountain. I’ll admit two things about that movie– I didn’t like it at all the first time I saw it and that I really should watch it again. Now one thing I remember about The Fountain is how fucking phenomenal the score is. The whole soundtrack is awe inspiring, I am however going to point out my two favourite tracks. The first is called ‘Tree of Life’ and it’s one of those songs that just hook you right off the bat. The tone of the first few seconds are enough to force me to listen to the rest of the song.

Here we go, listen to it:

Now this song is from the climax of The Fountain. I do love Lux Aeterna, and think it’s amazing. However this song, ‘Death is the Road to Awe’ is, to me, one of the best songs ever made. I’m not even talking just in the realm of music made for film. The emotions that this song forces upon you are unparalleled. There has been maybe only a handful of songs that can give me goosebumps every time I listen to it. The build to the EXPLOSION of musical love around the 7:30 mark is what kills me. I’m damn sure anyone who listens to it too will have a serious reaction to it too. If you don’t then you’re either a robot or, as mentioned above, a liar– and that means I’m going to have to punch you in the balls.

Yes, I know I’m gushing over his music quite a bit but I truly mean every word I say. He’s one of the best composers in film that many people don’t know about. I hope I was able to get to some of you with this and after this you’ll be able to recognize his name. At the very least know who made that ‘badass song’. Otherwise, his music will continue to just speak for itself.

Here are a few other songs of his– just in case you wanted more.

(Another one of my favourites)


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