Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Wages of Sin

I've been watching some of the 'Vinyl Community' videos over on YouTube.  They can be a lot of fun, and sometimes informative too.  Like all vinyl or music collectors in general, the hunt for something new or hearing about some unheard of musical band or album is always the quest.  I've got the above soundtrack to Sorcerer (1977).  I saw the film at the theaters many ages ago and had no idea what I was going to watch.  I may have seen a trailer for the movie, I don't even remember, but I already knew Tangerine Dream as I had a few of their earlier albums like Phaedra and Rubycon.  They are a German space rock band with surreal/psychedelic elements within their music as well. 

From what the title suggests and being a film directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist), one might expect this is a supernatural or horror film, but it's not.  It's really a remake of the French film, The Wages of Fear, an action, adventure film.   That said, however, it still a very interesting film, that's tense in every sense of the word.  It stars Roy Scheider among other unknown stars (at least to me).  The set up plunges you in the center of a hellish South America that's is impoverish, dirty, wet, and where each man cannot return to their own country.  The setup requires you to stay alert as a bit of each man is explored.  They come together by happenstance when drivers are needed by an oil company to transport explosives across the rugged South American landscape.  What happens in route is the later half of the film and terribly engrossing and you really feel the struggle of each man as it test their endurance.  The music by Tangerine Dream is a nice fit which at times creates a spooky primitive atmosphere and at other times ethereal and almost psychedelic.  For whatever reason, the movie wasn't well received and was dismissed as an unnecessary remake of the original film.  But I've seen the original, and I much prefer this version for the performances of Roy Scheider,  the Tangerine Dream score, and the Friedkin direction.  I think given the history of time, the film has weathered better with critics and now it's seen on its own merit, a masterpiece. 

Getting back to the YT Vinyl Community, below is a guy (vinyl~spin) that is one of the better VC presenters.  His delivery is clear and measured, and I can tell he's been collecting a long time.  He also has good taste or a taste similar to my own.  Plus he has many things I'm not aware of.  In the video below he starts out by telling when and how he began collecting music.  The segment is about synthesizer music, new age, space music, and krautrock, which all share a similarity.  He highlights some classic records.


At 8:50 AM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

I had forgotten all about this movie and about Tangerine Dream. Sorcerer got lost in the theaters back then, as some films always do: even good ones. One wouldn't think the electro-weird style of the band would suit the plot, but it does somehow.

I rarely buy movie soundtracks, and when I do they tend to be the hodgepodge sort with contemporary numbers chosen for (rather than written for) the film: e.g. the "Cruel Intentions" and "Scott Pilgrim vs the World" soundtracks. But it is undeniable that bands and composers -- popular and classical/neo-classical alike -- sometimes do their best work for the movies.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yes, Tangerine Dream got fairly popular making many soundtracks. They also did the soundtrack for Legend with Tom Cruise, Thief starring James Caan, and the Stephen King adaption, Firestarter, which for me, isn't a very good movie, but a good soundtrack.

I have a copy of the film Legend, but not the soundtrack, but I do own a copy of the Firestarter score. They did some other scores, but are not available to my knowledge. Back in their heyday, however, I would have loved to have seen them play with the original three members in concert.


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