Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Soundtracks - The Shining (1980)

So lately I have been on a huge horror movie soundtrack craze. I have downloaded the soundtracks for “Signs,” “Dreamcatcher,” “28 Weeks Later,” “Zombie,” “Suspiria,” “Candyman,” “The Fog,” “The Shining,” “The Video Dead,” “Cannibal Holocaust” and “Creepshow.”  What I find interesting is the theme to the movie “The Shining” by Wendy Carlos. The score itself was based on Hector Berlioz’ Dies Irae and Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14: Ronde du Sabbat. Its funny because Die Irae is a Latin hymn that deals with the Day of Judgment and the trumpet summoning the souls from God to deliver the good to the gates of Heaven the bad to eternal flame. Essentially, in “The Shining”  it is exactly that, the conflict between good and evil which is Danny and Jack Torrence. And in the end, Danny and his mom leave the hotel and Jack becomes part of the inferno.

The fifth movement of the Symphonie Fantastique deals with a gathering of hideous monsters and sorcerers who have come together for the characters funeral. I guess in a way, the Overlook Hotel is this gather of monsters, demons and witches considering that the hotel was built on an Indian burial ground. The bell tolls and the witches dance around a bubbly cauldron and the character joins the diabolical orgy of monsters… referencing how Jack has now become one with the Overlook and has taken his rightful place again as the caretaker. Even his reincarnation can’t escape it.

It’s funny since Kubrick has always been a fan of classical music… one can find that out by his earlier work. Although, for me, what makes this music so brilliantly done is the overlaying background chants which reinforces the notion that the Overlook is built on an Indian burial ground.

I guess, for me, I look way too deep into the scores of these movies. But its what I do. This is just my opinion on the score and out of all the other scores that I have, this one seems, to me, more influential and symbolic of the movies theme and setting. Kubrick was an amazing director. 


Post a Comment