Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Listen to Teeth to Learn How To Quit

I just went to see Half Nelson and it met (and maybe just peaked over) my high expectations. I'm certainly biased, mind you: Broken Social Scene are surely one of my favourite bands, and they provide the soundtrack. It works extremely well in nearly every scene that it features, but talking to people afterwards, it didn't seem like anyone was as moved or affected by the whole thing as I was. The decline of a very real character overcome with apathy and futility and an fairly extreme drug habit was depicted with a lot of poignancy and without too much existential cliché; it never came across hackneyed to me, but maybe I've just listened and loved too much Broken Social Scene because it was the juxtaposition of their recordings and the disorientating cinematography (lots of shifts in focus), raw emotion, character development. 'Lover's Spit' can be found on the album You Forgot it in People but on the film they opted for the alternate version which is slowed down and stripped back to just piano and vocals. This is used a couple of times, the second time to such a powerful effect, way down the line in protagonist Dan's struggle. Other more ambient songs from Feel Good Lost cast a blanket of malaise over the film, sitting seamlessly alongside the blurry camera work and abstracted backgrounds.

It's the sort of music that has moments of hope and brightness but often sounds precarious and reminds me of a hangover or a bleary eyed early morning. I could go on a lot more about how perfect a soundtrack BSS are to a film but right now I feel like how 'Guilty Cubicles' sounds; hungover and jaded. Anyway, you should check the film out. Ryan Gosling's acting was superb (as all those reviews have said) and overall it was just an extremely well laid out film. A somewhat harrowing and affecting watch, but at least it has a rockin' soundtrack I guess.

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