Thursday, May 26, 2005

"Das Boot"

Here's a change: a film theme. You know how film soundtracks tend to be completely nonsensical when they're taken out of context? While the track may have sounded sensational while the film was going on, you try to listen to it at home and it's utterly pointless. There are some exceptions, mostly by Ry Cooder I find, but this is terrific. "Das Boot" is probably one of the finest war films ever made, a claustrophobic epic set on a German submarine, a warts-and-all, honest-to-goodness account of what it was like 600 feet down. A good movie theme will take you right into the story, deposit you among the characters and leave you feeling as if you have been part of the story. This track works in spades; you hear the thrashing of propellers, the ping of the ASDIC, the dense of depth and closeness and the slow, deathly inevitability of everything that happens. And when the track winds up to its conclusion, you feel the relief of breaching the surface, of having cheated the deep once more. Atmosphere (or lack of it), tension, fear, frailty and death, all wrapped up in one brief piece of instrumental music.

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