Jonny Greenwood to score new movie

by Jonathan on February 15, 2011

It may not be the week’s biggest bit of Radiohead news, but the band’s Jonny Greenwood has been announced as the composer for a new film starring Tilda Swinton. Greenwood will score We Need to Talk About Kevin, the third feature by Scottish director Lynne Ramsay.

This is not Greenwood’s first time writing music for the big screen. His debut soundtrack, for Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, won an Ivor Novello award. This was a minimalist work featuring tense, dissonant strings and tribal drumming. Greenwood also scored a Japanese adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, which is due for release in the UK on 11 March.

We Need to Talk About Kevin is based on a novel by Lionel Shriver. It follows the story of a mother, played by Swinton, and her troubled son, who goes on a murderous rampage at his school. Ramsay, who made the acclaimed films Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar, has assembled a cast including John C Reilly and newcomer Ezra Miller. The film is in postproduction, according to the Hollywood Reporter, with a release planned for 2 September.

Ramsay has already demonstrated her good taste in film music by having Rachel Portman score Ratcatcher, and featuring songs by Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin and Broadcast in Morvern Callar. This is her first collaboration with Greenwood.

Radiohead announced yesterday that their eighth LP, The King of Limbs, will be released on Saturday.

(from the Guardian)

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  • h_e_n_r_y

    can’t wait to hear Jonny’s new score!! I’m still listening to Norwegian Wood’s OST. So so gooooooood!

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  • Jose Dan

    I love life.. or is it lamp?

  • Oleseverin

    Didn’t Jonny also compose the soundtrack for “Bodysing”?

  • Jarod

    That he did, if i recall correctly it was his first, not There Will Be Blood.

  • bluezebra

    How awesome! What a great pairing of fantastic music maker and fantastic film maker ! Pumped.

  • bluezebra

    How awesome! What a great pairing of fantastic music maker and fantastic film maker ! Pumped.

  • Anything you want!

    Maybe it’s because not all Radiohead fans are the cinephiles lots of us are, but people haven’t talked enough about Jonny’s taste in filmmakers to work with, as his score for the most Oscar-nommed film of the year with TWBB- even though his own work in it went unrewarded- must have inspired lots of offers from Hollywood to score its varying degrees of dross. Instead he worked with people who, at least as much as P.T. Anderson, have shown both exceptional perceptive, aesthetic and emotional qualities in their work, however modest their budget, and whose own musical interests seem very close to his. I’m just going to rant about a couple of these artists now, apologies.

    Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher, which was one of the first contemporary films Criterion saw as enough of an instant classic to release on disc soon after it came out in Britain about ten years ago, is a really powerful film about a boy who lives in poverty on the edges of urban Scotland. In the absence of his family- much less, the proto-Thatcherite state- being able to give him love, he retreats into a transcendent and ultimately self-defeating dream world. Like a more fleshed out, magical realist 1970s era sequel to Bill Douglas’s childhood trilogy (itself considered one of the most important British films ever made), Ramsey traces the real life of Britain which is almost always ignored by its Oscar bullshit export industry. Her debut film was an example of UK Film Council funding- which has now been destroyed by the Torycrats- at its best. Morvern Callar- an excellent, more fun, yet still very dark film with the best use of Can songs you’ll ever see- was the breakthrough for Samantha Morton, who gave a stunning performance as a young woman who stops giving a fuck about anything. That it’s taken Ramsay nine years to follow it up says something either about her own lack of interest in doing anything others tell her, or about the extreme difficulty of getting funding in the UK as an independent director in the waning days of celluloid, probably both. Note, you can watch Ratcatcher instantly if you have Netflix, here:

    Tran Anh Hung is even less of a celebrity than Lynne Ramsey, though his work is, imo, even more exciting. Many people in the West saw his first feature The Scent of Green Papaya which was shot in a Paris studio but evoked the daily life of an upper class household in the late colonial era of his native Vietnam. It’s an incredible film visually and sonically, as is everything Tran has done, with each cut in what at first appears a quiet story hitting with suppressed violence, and each sound evoking a reality lost in the passage of time. However, instead of following up Papaya with another exotic period piece to delight Europeans, Tran returned to shoot his next film, Cyclo, on the streets of consumerist contemporary Hanoi, where he made a messy, brilliant epic, somewhere between De Sica’s realism and Wong Kar Wai’s visual poetry, about the gangster-capitalism we’ve all been living under to varying degrees for 20 or 30 years, and its toll on ordinary people. Cyclo is also the first- circa 1995- and so far, the only, film (not trailer) to ever do justice to the Radiohead song it uses in its soundtrack. That song is none other than “Creep,” however, no matter how tired you are of it, Tony Leung’s slow dance to it added beauty and horror alike back into that song, which acts (exactly as its supporting tour leg in East Asia apparently did for Thom) as a token of the misreading in our globalized economy in which western self-loathing, first manifested in violent conquest of the “other,” was finally internalized everywhere as an aspirational value in itself, as we all merged into an economy of self-harm. The film is a lot more action-packed than my pretentious description makes out, and it is easily one of the most memorable of the ’90s. Long out of print on DVD in the US, it can be watched for free on Youtube as a playlist, with subtitles, by searching “Xich lo.”

    Five years after Cyclo, Tran completed his landmark Vietnam trilogy- none of which deal with the American war, but which lurks in the background of all of them as what would create that rupture of hidden violence between the past and present- with The Vertical Ray of the Sun, an intensely erotic drama of familial infidelity, full of the everyday rhythms of life and, as usual, incredibly evocative, yet precise, image and especially sound. Since then he has, like Ramsay (and Radiohead) taken an extended hiatus, before returning with a dreamy Hong Kong action film, I Come with the Rain, which apparently featured half the songs on In Rainbows.

  • Bstp121185

    I believe it is called “Bodysong”.

  • Johnnyklef

    when it rains, it pours… i love it.

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