Wednesday, 30 March 2016
I love Hans Zimmer. I don't even think love is a big enough word to accurately describe my feelings for him. Let's go German - allumfassende liebe. My brother thinks all his music sounds the same. I have disowned him for this pronouncement. Don't even curr.
In my youthful, hungover days at university, while everyone else was outside enjoying the summer rays, I was within the library walls, looking on forlornly, wondering if I too would ever enjoy the summer sunshine. Hans soundtracked my dramatic educational imprisonment through the music of Gladiator. I thought it was my first introduction to him. I was wrong. I'd known him in Backdraft, in the music of the Lion King - that bit where Simba claims the pride in the rain? Hans. All Hans. Through King Arthur's battle cry, to Sherlock Holmes' Victorian intrigue, Pirates of the Caribbean's rum soaked parlay, to the magnificent and magic of space of Interstellar - Hans has conjured worlds for me to escape to. I don't see the films any more, when I listen to his music. I see my own characters running around, causing havoc, bringing tears, doing the impossible. In the last few weeks, when writing had been a struggle, I turned to The Dark Knight Rises, and boom! Bitch started writing again. That chanting rise, rise, rise! I feel the power, I feel the urgency, I feel like bloody Batman, I'll tell you!!!
And then came Batman v Superman. The only reason I looked forward to this film was because of Hans. I loved his Man of Steel score with a passion. On the extended album (which I bought without a second thought) the track Arcade conjured the weirdest dream that is now in a story. No lie. What elevated a lacklustre plot (don't @ me, I didn't like it) beyond the visuals was the music. Comic book visuals became memorably enhanced by the collaboration of Mr. Zimmer and Junkie XL.
Junkie knows a drum beat - we get this in spades. But the cello - it's an electric cello - who the hell knew??? for Wonder Woman's theme aka "Is She With You?"... I have never got up to cheer in a cinema before, but I nearly did. I nearly started a Wonder Woman riot. But I had chocolate I didn't want to overturn, so, I barely and I do mean barely kept my bum in my chair.
In the "Men Are Still Good" track, therein lies the Batman Suite. You can definitely hear the homage to Danny Elfman's 1989 Batman theme, ghosting throughout. There are also reminiscent parts of his score with James Newton Howard for Batman Begins. Powerful, dark, enraged, vengeful. Homage, echo, elevate. That solo trumpet towards the end of this track - the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader - alone he stands for justice. Standing damn ovation.
You can't tell me that Lex Luthor's theme - throughout "The Red Capes Are Coming" - is not reminiscent of Mozart's Requiem. Villains need to have some sort of class, and nothing is more classy than a bit of Mozart on death. Then throughout the scenes of Superman saving reams of people (making up for all the damage he caused in Man of Steel) you have echoes of the stirring and beautifully simple piano theme from his first film.
Then you get to my favourite track - Their War Here. I may be a little controversial here, but it's a little Marvel. A little Sam Rami's Spiderman (again Mr. Danny Elfman) the comic book pages flipping, and then bam! Whack! Wallop! Into the midst of the destruction of Metropolis as Superman battles Zod. It's just brilliance. Artistry at its finest. Each character has their own unique, individual theme music, and something I hope that will play out over the next films as well - even if Hans has officially retired from Superhero movies. (super sad face, I can't even!)
To Sir Zimmer (I'm just arbitrarily going to knight him) thank you. For stirring my soul, for urging me to be a hero, but really, to be a better writer. To match the levels of the music I adore. What Am I Going To Do When I'm Not Saving The World?