Monday, February 28, 2011

Rock at the Oscars

Reznor, accepting the Oscar for Best Original Score
Red carpet, glamour and glitz, little gold statues, old time scream-rocker Trent Reznor. Now that's what I call a party.

I remember first seeing The Social Network in theatres and upon evaluation of why it had an effect on me, why I felt it was such a clever depiction of the Facebook epidemic, why I had these weird feelings of sympathy and sadness for the characters - I came to the realization that the composition of the simplistic and solemn score was bang on in conjuring up these feelings.

I was elated to learn that Trent Reznor, lead singer of blast rock band Nine Inch Nails and film composer for The Social Network, was awarded the highly coveted Oscar for Best Original Score. Reznor, who has grown into a much more composed and tailored version of himself since his earlier days of self and stage-destructive rock n' roll behaviour, deserved this win. To those NIN fans who appreciated his animalistic but intelligent heavy rock concepts, this is no surprise - but to those Academy-following, lovers of the grand romanticized musical scores that tend to take home the gold, this is considered quite the upset.

The soundtrack is an eclectic mix of everything from nearly sub-sonic presses of a handful of piano keys to ambient electro-beats, and it possesses one obviously common strain: darkness. The experimental compilation tells the film's story just as effectively as the actors do - making the corrupt rise and fall of the universe-changing social network a story about human behaviour as much as technology. Success, failure, exhilaration and emptiness are exactly what you can expect to hear across the entire track listing, in particular, my two personal favourites: "Hand Covers Bruise" and "In Motion" (below).

After the Golden Globe recognition and win, I had an inkling that Reznor and co-composer Atticus Ross would receive the highest honour. By adding doses of mystery and sombre confidence, they told the tale of the Facebook empire efficiently, leaving us scratching our heads and wondering how they pulled it off so well. And, they lended a hand in reminding us that at the end of the day, the power of musical story-telling is invaluable.

Listen for Reznor and Ross' next collaboration with The Social Network director David Fincher on the upcoming film adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

1 comment:

  1. I love that Reznor and Ross won this one, the competition paled in comparison. The entire score is very moving, and I especially like "Hand Covers Bruise". It's a very somber track, and perfectly fits The Social Network's many themes, especially deception.

    Reznor is almost unrecognizable from his previous persona in Nine Inch Nails. The Reznor of the 1990s is a distant memory now. His work in industrial alternative is still impressive. His new project, How To Kill Angels, a collaboration with his wife Mariqueen Maandig, is interesting. It definitely reminds me of earlier NIN works.