In This Month in Trailer Music, the team at Canada-based research project Trailaurality takes a look at the musical highlights of the past month’s film and TV trailer drops. Be sure to also check out the detailed breakdowns on their website!
Beastie Boys Story
While the Boys are best known to fight for their right to party, there is of course so much more to the story. The use of “I Don’t Know” from their 1998 album Hello Nasty in this trailer underscores the musical range of the group while also highlighting the contributions of Adam Yauch, who passed away in 2012. The montage in the first half, in contrast, documents the group’s rise with a combination of media sound bites and some candid footage of the Beasties in their younger years. It’s a combination that carefully balances liminal excitement with the promise of emotional depth—fitting for the subject.
Da 5 Bloods
Spike Lee’s latest is as much the story of four African-American Vietnam veterans as it is a quasi-music video for “Time Has Come Today” by the Chambers Brothers. The contemporaneous cut—of 1967 vintage—acts as aural fireworks synced to the explosive action on screen. This meld between sound and screen progresses until it almost appears to cross the diegetic barrier—where it seems the music is a part of the world of the film, rather than apart of it—at 2:15, when a character implores that we “hold on”, and the tune seems to respond as if in turn.
Space Force, like its spondaic title, is compellingly simple in concept: It’s The Office…. in space. To achieve this, however, we have to feel empathetic for Michael Scott—or, rather, whoever this older Michael Scott-like character Steve Carrell is playing. To this end, Elton John’s 1983 hit “I’m Still Standing” is a wonderfully unremarkable choice—a little dated, a little charming for being so, and a great musical complement to help bring Carrell’s character back down to earth time and again, to great comedic effect.
These are just a few of what we felt were the most interesting and / or attention-grabbing trailers released in the past month or so, especially in terms of their music and sound. Have a suggestion on what we should look at next time? Follow us @trailaurality and visit our weekly blog at trailaurality.com for even more analysis and discussion.
We offer these observations in the hope that our readers can find some distraction in this turbulent time through music and movies. Perhaps the music of the trailers we have reviewed will lead you on a virtual journey of discovery into its sources, which could open further worlds of sound to you. See you next month!