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November 28, 2004

Yen passed the soundtrack to Wong Kar Wai's 2046 to me last night, and it's wonderful. A perfect compilation of original score, classical music and pop songs.

That said, the main theme, by composer Shigeru Umebayashi, is virtually a note for note lift of Wojciech Kilar's unforgettable score for Bram Stoker's Dracula. I noticed it in the trailer, but it's even more prominent listening to the entire theme. Even the tempo is the same -- at least on the first and last renditions (there's a Latin rumba reprisal midway through the record that turns what was lush and ominous into something playfully seductive).

Oh well. It doesn't really make the soundtrack any less enjoyable -- it's a great theme. And now that I've mentioned Dracula, I should also mention the two other modern film scores that are far too good to be as underrated as they are: Fargo by Carter Burwell and The Last Of The Mohicans by Trevor Jones. I'd add Jon Brion's Magnolia score to the list, but I listen to it so much that it doesn't really feel underrated anymore.

EDIT: After writing this post, I popped in the Dracula soundtrack to further examine the similarities I detected, and then realized I'd made a greivous error -- the soundtrack I was thinking of was not this one (which is, of course, grand and unforgettable) but the main theme to Leon, by Eric Serra. Although the tempo and orchestration in both (or all three) are the same, this makes me feel a bit embarassed overall.

Posted by David Lowery at November 28, 2004 12:55 AM