...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Zidane: the soundtrack (by Mogwai)

A surprise hit at the Cannes film festival last year, the film portrait of French footballer (aka soccer player) Zidane looks fascinating, and sounds even better. The instrumental score is by Mogwai (yep, originally named after the Gremlin) and impressed me in its lush sensuality and moody atmosphere.

Having not heard Glaswegian band Mogwai before (I'll admit, maybe not being up to the challenge of getting into an all-instrumental band) when this arrived in the mail I expected the soundtrack to be triumphant and rousing. You know, maybe like that one song they always play during the seventh-inning stretch with the thumping drums and the kazoo (doo doo-doo-doo-doo-doo HEY! duh-doo-doo-doo).

What I got instead was this gorgeous, sweeping soundtrack that conjures up images of floating away, drifting, or even drowning. There's a taut darkness strung through every song -- reminding me a bit of Massive Attack or the brooding melancholy of Jesus & Mary Chain. The album also definitely has its sexy moments, like the downtempo tension-filled scorchers on the Out of Sight soundtrack (trunk scene anyone?). It's richly layered, revealing new depth with each listen. I recommend it as one of the best soundtrack scores I've heard in a long time.

I also need to see this movie! One synopsis reads: "Follow one of the greatest soccer players of the modern era for a full 90-minute match between Real Madrid and Villareal. Scottish film director Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parenno exquisitely train 17 different 35mm cameras on one of this century's most creative athletes, Zinedine Zidane. While cameras capture Zidane in 'real time,' Gordon and Parenno's artfully crafted debut feature is anything but a typical sports movie."

I'll admit to villifying Zidane because of the way he acted in the World Cup (not that Materazzi was blameless) and because he was on "The Other Team" (I was wholeheartedly pazzo for Italia). However, I understand his talent and his legacy and should learn more about why he is so beloved. With a soundtrack like this, I think I would definitely enjoy the viewing.

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At May 17, 2007 11:10 AM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Zidane's the best soccer player ever...
Mogwai's the best "soundtracker" band ever...
the dream team...

At May 17, 2007 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, awesome soundtrack! But you really need to get in to Mogwai, then!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_NrZCZwlhc This is a great place to start! Cheers :)

At May 17, 2007 2:57 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Heather -- you need to hear more mogwai. They are unbelievable. Just buy 'Mr. Beast' their latest -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Beast

It'll captivate you. Then if you're into this instrumental rock stuff -- check-out M83 if you haven't yet. M83 has EPIC sound -- they are french, instrumental experimental electronica rock ... yeah, that's about how I'd summarize them :)

At May 17, 2007 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I Don't Know Much About"...the trunk scene, but I still think "Witness" wins this category. Judging by Kelly McGillis' expressions there is a fine line between erotic and queasy if there is one.


One of my personal favorite instrumentals this past year was Rodrigo & Gabriela, "Diablo Rojo" and "Tamacun". Perennial instrumental favs are Don Byron (great myspace with GREAT vintage videos) and Eddie Palmieri. I'm going to give Magwai another listen along with M83. Thanks for the recommendations.

At May 19, 2007 7:36 AM, Blogger jasonk said...

also check out The Fountain soundtrack from Mogwai and Kronos Quartet. Also check out the track Nick Drake.

At May 26, 2007 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zidane is a living god to most of the world and for good reason. He is widely regarded as one of the top 5 greatest soccer players that have ever lived. It's no wonder that Mogwai have lavished all kinds of love on him. shame on you for villifying the great Zidane but you've redeemed yourself. Materazzi is a lowlife degenerate scumbag who got what he deserved. Personally i thought the headbutt was the sexiest thing i've ever seen: the good guy stands up to a cowardly,racist, misogynist bully. he should have been given a commendation not a red card.

At March 12, 2008 12:57 AM, Blogger Timothy said...

I recommend looking for the Mogwai song 'Auto Rock' .... it's the piece that first got me interested in them! :)


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