Wednesday, January 11, 2012

NP: Michel Legran "The Thomas Crown Affair" OST

I tripped across The Thomas Crown Affair on television the other night and found myself riveted.  Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway are great in the movie, as are the accoutrements like clothes, canes and a dune buggy.  There is a caper involved, crosses and double crosses and a world that Manny Tippitoes would probably love.  But what really caught me caught me by the ears.  The soundtrack is composed by Michel Legrand and verges from artsy schmaltz (like the version of "Windmills of Your Mind" by Noel Harrison) to a frantic, almost manic cocktail jazz.  Legrand's piano tinkles and tumbles across the soundframe in a very percussive manner that comes close to Steve Reich's marimbas.  The movie deals with the inherent tensions of deceit and the soundtrack communicates a barely controlled hysteria of it's own.  Sound and vision portray a world of affluence and pretense, one that seems to teeter the risk of revelation and collapse.

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