30DSC: My favourite film song

Day 14 of the 30 day song challenge. Today, a song which people might be surprised I enjoy.

Howard Shore ft. Annie Lennox – Into The West

I initially resisted the temptation to write about this song. It’s quite heavy, and I feel as though I’ve maybe covered that territory already. In fact I went so far as to write a post about another bit of music: Goldberg Variations & Aria, The Silence of the Lambs. I had all this stuff set out about how it was commissioned for an insomniac Count who wanted something to dull the maddening expanse of his sleepless nights, and the sheer beauty of the resulting composition. But as I read it back I knew that it was a lie. My favourite film song could only ever be one thing.

I love fantasy novels, and I most of all love the world J. R. R. Tolkien created in Middle Earth. Though the Lord of the Rings as a series of books is rather stuffy and perhaps not a fantastic read, they nonetheless set out a mythos which has dominated mainstream fantasy ever since. The films to me are a masterclass in how to successfully adapt a novel to the cinema, taking liberties with Tolkien’s plot whilst still retaining the refined essence of his messages and themes.

Into the West sits at the end of the trilogy, providing the punctuation at the end of a succession of lesser endings. Yet it’s not so much the context of the song as it is the song itself which makes me feel as I do about it. It’s just remarkable enough that it means something very real, just generic enough that it means something special to everyone for different reasons.

It’s a goodbye, written for budding New Zealand filmmaker Cameron Duncan who died, tragically young, from cancer. In memory of him, I curtail this blog post before it’s really begun.


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March 2011
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