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Sound of Cinema


Matthew Sweet's weekly look at music for the screen


United Kingdom




Matthew Sweet's weekly look at music for the screen



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Sound of Cinema: Planet of the Apes

Matthew Sweet hails cinema's greatest apes from Caesar to King Kong.


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Family Films

Of all the genre titles the 'family film' is perhaps the trickiest to define. Its intention, clearly, is to entertain and appeal to the whole family - togetherness. But what are the specific ingredients that make it so? Nevertheless, cinema goers seem to have a good sense of what an advertised family film might have to offer. Matthew Sweet looks back at this category of film, which seemed to spring into existence in America around the 1930s, and he foregrounds the music of some of the best and most defining examples. The programme includes music from Home Alone, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Gulliver's Travels, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, ET - The Extra Terrestrial, Kiki's Delivery Service, Paddington 2 and the Classical Score of the Week - the Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell score for Shrek.


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From the Life of Pi to The Jungle Book; His Dark Materials to Wolverine, Matthew Sweet features film music shaped by the fantastical idea of humans as animals. We'll hear of spirit animals, cursed princes, what happens when your parents are turned into pigs (Spirited Away) or your mum becomes a bear (Brave). And we adopt the mantle of The Batman to root out the animal powers of superheroes. The programme also features music from the new release 'Blue Beetle' composed by Bobby Krlic.


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Think Pink

Following the release of Greta Gerwig's Barbie, Matthew Sweet considers cinema's fascination with the colour pink. Many films adopt a colour code to establish the mood and tone of the movie. The colour pink in particular has associations with love, innocence, femininity, charm and fun. In this edition of Sound of Cinema, Matthew focuses on music for films which exploit these ideas of pinkness - for films such as Grease, Batman Returns, Steel Magnolias, Legally Blonde, The Devil Wears Prada, Paddington... and Harry Potter.


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Destroyer of Worlds

With the appearance of the eagerly anticipated new Christopher Nolan biopic about Oppenheimer, Matthew Sweet turns his attention to film scores bent on destruction, including Ludwig Goransson's score for the new film. The programme includes music from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, When Worlds Collide, Melancholia, Wandering Earth, Deep Impact, Armageddon, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Rogue One - A Star Wars Story, Star Wars - A New Hope. The Classic Score of the Week is Star Trek II - The Wrath Of Khan.


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Stunt Films

With the release of the new Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible film - Dead Reckoning Part 1 - Matthew Sweet focuses on stunt scenes in movies. Carefully planned and choreographed stunts have been a part of cinematic entertainment since the start. Matthew offers a selection of music to match the moment. Matthew is joined by Hollywood stunt co-ordinator Simon Crane (World War Z, Men in Black, Quantum of Solace, The World Is Not Enough, Mr & Mrs Smith, Troy, Lara Croft, Saving Private Ryan, Titanic) who talks about the art of stunt acting, some of his favourite stunts and about the role of music in stunt scenes. The programme features music from The Dark Knight Rises, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Ben Hur, Golden Eye, Quantum Of Solace, Lara Croft - Tomb Raider, and Mission: Impossible.


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The Elements

The film Elemental is released this week with a score by Thomas Newman. Matthew looks at how the elements, earth, air, fire and water have been portrayed in movie soundtracks.


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The world of director Wes Anderson

With the appearance this week of Wes Anderson's latest film, Asteroid City, Matthew Sweet looks back at one of Hollywood's most distinctive auteur director's films through the music written to serve them. Titles such as the award-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel, The French Dispatch, The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom and Fantastic Mr Fox.


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Films that made an impression

For the 400th episode of Sound of Cinema, Matthew Sweet hears from listeners about the films that changed their lives, including West Side Story, On the Waterfront, Maurice and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.


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Chevalier and cinema's ear on the past

Jordan Peele films 'Get Out,' 'Us,' and 'Nope' composer Michael Abels discusses his latest project ‘Chevalier’, the story of the real life Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the illegitimate son of an enslaved African and a French plantation owner, who rises to heights in French society as a composer and master swordsman. Meanwhile Matthew explores music from Master and Commander, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jane Austen's Emma and asks, how do film composers create a soundtrack to the past?


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David Lynch

In a rare interview, the iconic film director David Lynch talks to Matthew Sweet about one of the most celebrated collaborations in cinema history: between Lynch and the film composer Angelo Badalamenti who died at the end of last year.


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Hallyu - The South Korean Wave

There has been an explosion in the global popularity of contemporary South Korean culture, often referred to by the Chinese word Hallyu - meaning Korean Wave. - which is also being reflected in a current exhibition at Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Matthew Sweet foregrounds music from highly praised films such as Parasite, Snowpiercer, The Handmaiden and Oldboy and also takes a look at the huge interest in Korean TV music for the streaming services, including cues from Jung Jae-il for Squid Game.


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The Crowded Planet

Music for film reflecting cinema's engagement with the idea of an over populated planet prompted by the release this week of Chie Hayakawa's Japanese feature, 'Plan 75', with a score by Jeremie Archache and Christophe Musset. The programme also includes music from 'Inferno' by Hans Zimmer, 'Passengers' by Thomas Newman, 'Idiocracy' by Theodore Shapiro, Miklos Rozsa's 'The World, The Flesh and The Devil', Fred Myrow's 'Soylent Green' as well as cues from 'Cloud Atlas', 'Elysium', 'What Happened To Monday' and Craig Armstromg's 'In Time'. Also in the line up is Alan Silvestri's 'Avengers - Infinity War'. The Classic Score of the Week is Jerry Goldsmith's masterly music for 'Logan's Run' from 1976.


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With the screen adaptation of Rachel Joyce's novel 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' out this week, scored by folk musician Sam Lee, Matthew Sweet looks at cinema's engagement with the folk tradition.


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The Earth

Matthew Sweet marks Earth Day with a look at screen music composed to celebrate the natural world. He is joined by composer Sarah Class, who has written many scores foregrounding environmental issues and for natural history documentaries, and is one of the chosen composers commissioned to write a new piece for the Coronation of Charles III and Camilla. Sarah talks about her approach to writing for wildlife films. As well as music by Sarah the programme features scores from Hans Zimmer, George Fenton, Frank Churchill, Alex Wurman, Harry Gregson-Williams and Éric Serra.


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With the release this week of Chris McKay's new film Renfield, Matthew Sweet looks back at the many appearances of Dracula on our screens and at the music the count has inspired. The programme looks back to some of the earliest cinematic manifestations of Dracula, from the 1920s, including the silent classic 'Nosferatu' and brings things right up to date with scores from Wojciech Kilar, Popol Vuh, Dan Jones, Philip Glass, James Bernard, Mark Isham, John Williams and Marco Beltrami.


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John Debney

John Debney, composer of scores for films such as Elf, Jetsons: The Movie, Hocus Pocus and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, joins Matthew Sweet for a look back on his prodigious Hollywood career. John has a long association with the Disney studios and he explains to Matthew the extraordinary story of how his Disney career came about, of writing music for films such Bruce Almighty and The Passion of the Christ, and about his latest score for a new film inspired by an American sporting hero.


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On Oscars weekend, Matthew looks back on the 70th Academy Award Ceremony, to date the most watched ever Oscars. What was it about the films of 1997 that really caught the public imagination? Featuring classic scores from James Horner (Titanic), Hans Zimmer (As Good As It Gets), Edward Shearmur (The Wings of the Dove), Jerry Goldsmith (Air Force One) and Michael Nyman (Gattaca).


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Mark Mothersbaugh's score for the new film Cocaine Bear is the inspiration for this week's programme with Matthew Sweet, who looks at music for films with animals behaving badly. From dogs in an aerial dogfight courtesy of Wallace & Gromit to carnivorous mutant lambs in Black Sheep. Not to mention giant ants, a rogue crocodile and a tornado full of sharks. It's going to get messy.


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Volker Bertelmann

With the Baftas this weekend and the Oscars imminent, Matthew Sweet meets the German composer/pianist Volker Bertelmann (aka "Hauschka"), the nominated composer in the Best Score category for both the Baftas and the Oscars this year, for the remake of the classic First World War inspired 'All Quiet On The Western Front'. Matthew talks to Volker about his fascination with the prepared piano and about working with "found sound" in his scores. He discusses his long-time collaboration with composer Dustin O'Halloran and his scores for 'Lion', 'Adrift', 'The Old Guard', 'Summerland', 'Ammonite', 'Against The Ice', 'Stowaway', 'War Sailor' and 'All Quiet On The Western Front'.