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 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 7:53 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Hullo again,

La señora has been choosing our film-watching escapades these days, and so we've seen a few wimmin's films based on books wot we read about (but didn't actually read) at skool in Eng Lit. The other night it was the 1992 version of WUTHERING HEIGHTS, based on the famous book by one of those sisters from about a million years ago.

I wasn't entirely convinced by the film overall. I could never quite believe either Ralph Fiennes or (especially) Juliette Binoche in their roles, and it did seem like a sort of SparkNotes version, but it's nice to look at.

I was very impressed by Sakamoto's score. I'll admit that the skirl of Davy Spillane's pipes (or whatever they were) was a little distracting, but the thematic material is beautiful and powerful. It may have verged on the overwrought, and seemed perhaps a little repetitive, but it's such a gloriously haunting theme that I sought it out on t'Tube and played it whilst vacuuming the cats this morning. Wonderful.

In a way it reminded me of Kilar's approach to DRACULA - a piece of music that conveys a sense of desperate longing throughout generations. So, what do yooz people who have an acquaintance with this film and score think of it/ them?

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 8:19 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

It's the only Roochy Sakemoto I have. Haven't played it in donkey's years. Remember it being nice, though.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 8:28 AM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

It's a very good score. The film was barely released in the US (though reportedly Steven Spielberg cast Fiennes in SCHINDLER'S LIST after screening the film at his home) and likewise the score didn't make much of an impact at the time. The Toshiba/EMI soundtrack album runs 70 minutes and features all the highlights. It also contains a bonus track of the theme played on piano.

The music captures the essence of Bronte's novel better than the film and the combination of (mainly) string orchestra performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and low-range tin whistles performed by Dave Spillane. The traditional whistles reflect the (possibly) Irish ancestry of Heathcliff, but Sakamoto gives them a distinctly eastern quality that really works in the Yorkshire setting.

The love theme is a beautiful melody, eerie and forlorn, and has been featured in Sakamoto's film music concerts.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 8:31 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I was going to add some thoughts but Damien has beaten me to it. Can’t match that.

Except to say it’s a gorgeous score and I don’t want to see the film as I’ll probably be disappointed. I seem to recall that there’s a marvellous piano version on the cd as well which I don’t know if it’s part of the score or a bonus track.

Good thread, Graham, amongst the madness.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 8:39 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

I was going to add some thoughts but Damien has beaten me to it. Can’t match that.


Succinct is my middle name, sometimes. smile

Edit - no e in Damian, remember. Pet hate.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

It's indeed a gorgeous score based around one of those wonderful melodies which make film score collecting so enjoyable. Other than seeing the film it's highly unlikely you'll hear a theme/score like this anywhere and whilst you won't know what you've missed ... when you've heard it you're glad you didn't miss it.

The score is repetitive and long, at 69 minutes, but you don't have to listen constantly ... the melodies simply encompass you. When it ends you don't believe an hour has passed.

I've not seen the film (not my ... or my better-half's ... cup-'o-tea) and can't envisage ever reading the novel.

Easily the most enjoyable of the three Ryuichi Sakamoto scores in my collection.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 8:57 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

It's the only Roochy Sakemoto I have. Haven't played it in donkey's years. Remember it being nice, though.

That must be his unknown cousin...

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 8:57 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

It is a lovely score. I would add that the movie is also very good in my opinion. I love the 1939 version, but it only covers half of the novel. This movie covers the whole novel, and I felt both leads were very good.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 9:15 AM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

I wrote a review of this score for FSM way back which was unfortunately butchered and fucked up in editing.

It's a lovely score and probably close to being my favorite by Sakamoto.

For those not familiar with it here's a great piece found on YouTube that includes the secondary theme for Hareton and Catherine at the 3:30 mark which is also quite lovely.



James

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 9:15 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)



The music captures the essence of Bronte's novel better than the film and the combination of (mainly) string orchestra performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and low-range tin whistles performed by Dave Spillane. The traditional whistles reflect the (possibly) Irish ancestry of Heathcliff, but Sakamoto gives them a distinctly eastern quality that really works in the Yorkshire setting.


I was wondering about that, Ed. I don't think that Heathcliff's ancestry is mentioned, even implicitly, but I could be wrong. He was "picked up" (?) in Liverpool and "looks like a gypsy"...so I suppose we "could" join the dots.

I must admit I didn't hear the "distinctly eastern quality" that you mention Sakamoto giving to the low-range tin whistles. It reminded me more of James Horner's use of the Northumbrian pipes, or the uillean pipes, which kind of put me off initially. Isn't that melody very close to "Women of Ireland" (The Christians, Kate Bush...) anyway?

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

A side note. I had a chat with John Scott about this film. He wanted to score it badly but the producers went with Sakamoto and reportedly even flew him out to the Moors for inspiration.

James

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 9:32 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

It's the only Roochy Sakemoto I have. Haven't played it in donkey's years. Remember it being nice, though.

That must be his unknown cousin...


It's the Scouse spelling.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

I recall going to see this film on release and the only thing that made any impression was the score which I bought soon after (I haven't seen the film since). It was the first Sakamoto score I bought. I have a nice Sakamoto compilation CD of themes and suites but this isn't on it which I've always thought a strange omission.

Incidentally my favourite of his is The Sheltering Sky.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 10:24 AM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

Isn't that melody very close to "Women of Ireland" (The Christians, Kate Bush...) anyway?

I think the two melodies are developed pretty differently. The first few notes have similar intervals but Sakamoto's melody is a lot simpler.

The novel is deliberately vague about Heathcliff's background but the way the characters describe him could (possibly) be applied to the "dark Irish" of the old Celtic blood and Bronte's father came from Ireland and regaled his children with ghost stories from the old country so I imagine there could be a connection. Heathcliff is more an archetype than a person so he could be from anywhere.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2021 - 10:58 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I was going to add some thoughts but Damien has beaten me to it. Can’t match that.


Succinct is my middle name, sometimes. smile

Edit - no e in Damian, remember. Pet hate.



Pfft ... a, e, Roochy, what’s the diff?

Apologies, anyway, hope you’re not too miffed.

 
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