Posted by Sarah on July 28, 1998 at 07:34:59:
In Reply to: Is the magic in the soundtrack of LOTM? Or the friendship? posted by Vita on July 27, 1998 at 19:11:47:
: Hello Friends,
: After my last posting, I did some hard thinking, wondering, musing, pondering about just what is it in LOTM that sent me searching the web, posting messages on a board, etc.
: I mean, like all of us, I've seen lotsa lotsa movies with lotsa lotsa good stories and heart-wrenchingly beautiful soundtracks. DANCES WITH THE WOLVES is beautiful, ditto BRAVEHEART... of course, TITANIC... and how many more examples could we all cite...
: What is it about LOTM that seems to hold us under its spell?
: The only time I felt so entranced, was when I got hooked on Star Trek and Captain Kirk... TWENTY years ago!
: Star Trek opening is always magical, and of course Kirk is magical.
: Well, I believe LOTM has that flavor. It opens with an almost supernaturally beautiful score, and the three people streaking through the woods... after a while, when they stand by the poor fallen deer and Chingachgook recites his apology and appreciation of the deer's sacrifice, you get the sense of this threesome's beautiful bond... their strong friendship, loyalty and innate sense of belonging...
: As LOTM continues, particularly when Duncan offers himself up to be burned alive for Cora's sake, and then Hawkeye shoots him smack in the heart releasing him from further hellish agony... and Uncas leaves his father and immediately follows his girl despite the odds against his success...
: Yeah, the magic is both the haunting, supernatural, ethereal music and a very believably executed spiritual tour-de-force...
: I think I will go and rewind the video and start watching it again right from the Elk Hunt.
I understand exactly what you are saying -- I too have been pondering Why I Love the Music over the past few days. As I said elsewhere on the bb, it was the music during that scene you mentioned which starts in the Indian village as they take away Duncan -- it was THAT theme which first caused me to stop and pay attention to the film and to watch Uncas race up the mountainside. Once cought by the music, I stayed for the friendship and devotion so evident even though I was seeing only the end of the film. I was sobbing!
I find that particular piece of music incredibly stirring, with its strong beat like the beat of life behind the pure energy of the fiddles. The fullness and high energy end, BTW, when Uncas' throat is cut, even though the beat continues quietly as Alice throws herself over the cliff. The full orchestra resumes when Chingachgook burst on the scene to take his revenge.
The main opening theme comes to me like the great and gorgeous expanse of the wilderness -- strong measures followed by the chords hanging in the air for a long measure, like the hills, valleys, and the clouds. (It's Scottish, perhaps a reel?) When Uncas is running up the rockface near the end (can you tell I like that scene?), the main theme plays briefly as the camera pans the hills and valleys. That's when I start crying!
I don't know if I am taking my metaphore too far by noting that the first time we hear that Scottish theme is at the Fort at night when a couple are dancingby the fire, in the midst of the war (sort of surreal) -- again, like the beat and energy of life in the midst of the carnage.
And at the very beginning, the music begins with the beat of drums -- the sound of war -- just before the theme of the wilderness breaks over the drums, but the drums of war return in the end.
Whew -- you can tell how I feel about this music!
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