Friday, August 22, 2008

In The Edges-Grizzly Man

As visitors know, I am fan of Werner Herzog. I recently read a critical study on his movies and caught his documentary about making the soundtrack for Grizzly Man. Herzog did something different, he asked the musicians to wait until the film was finished and then to improvise over a two day period. Herzog says usually soundtracks are pre-written.

Richard Thompson is stunning. I had tears several times during the documentary just from the sounds he made. The soundtrack to There Will Be Blood reminded me of some of the feeling I had watching Grizzly Man. I think the process and collaboration in this film are incredible. Richard Thompson speaks of music "is in the edges" and cautions against overplaying the writing. The human voice must have been one of the first human instruments, and I agree with A Blog About Nowt, how discomforting it is to not have singing in mamny pieces. However so many instruments are extensions of the voice, especially guitar solos and accordion (where the object depends on breathing to make sound) and the horn family. I think this film In The Edges is a must see.

A Blog About Nowt recently posted about music with out lyrics. His post gave me thoughts about non-language communication...something Herzog has explored throughout his career. (The Enigma of Kasper Hauser as the most obvious)

The following video is a moment where Jim O'Rourke of Sonic Youth and Wilco tunes his piano with paperclips and screws. O'Rourke also plays guitar and accordiaon on the soundtrack.


Wandering Coyote said...

Funny - I have no recollection of the soundtrack from Grizzly Man, probably because I was so blown away at how surreal a documentary it was.

I did, however, really enjoy Loch Ness.

Candy Minx said...

I know, well you and I have discussed how surreal Grizzly Man is know I actually didn't even believe it was a real person!!! I thought Herzog hired some guy to pretend...I thought him and the bears swimming was a blue screen trick ha ha!!!

What did you think of the clips here from YouTube?

Wandering Coyote said...

I think I've told you before that I thought it was mockumentary...which isn't a good sign.

The music, now that I've reacquainted myself with it from your YouTube clips here, is lovely. I love the acoustic guitar and the folksy-country sound.

Candy Minx said...

Well, you know Herzog is very strange...he doesn't really believe art/films etc need to be realistic. He explores what is fake.

Isn't the guitar incredible? I'm a wreck listening to it...

I think that Grizzly Man feeling like a mockumentary...and I do remember you feeling that way like me...has something to do with the kind of loose artsy fartsy hippie sensitive personality of Timothy Treadwell. I've known guys like him. The world was not kind to them. I suppose some people might even say eh has some kind of mental illness.

The feeling of also what makes me kind of curious about him.

I think Herzog was interested in him because at the end of the day...Treadwell was concerned with film, with filming the bears and nature. Herzog seemed to really like the long still shots of landscape that Treadwell captured.

Wandering Coyote said...

Yet the fakeness of it, the amount of stage management, and the bias takes a lot away from its credibility IMO.

Thee Mike Brown said...

i've seen stuff on the oundtrack that is great. i thought the soundtrack to there will be blood was brilliant.

Candy Minx said...

Wandering Coyote, yes the feeling of fakeness is intoxicating. Here is a person, Treadwell who is an unusual person, he isn't a "cookie cutter" persona or film maker...he really was so unusual he seemed fabricated. We have become so used to a certain kind of personality in our pop culture a "real" person seems that it?

Hey thee Mike Brown, I loved There Will Be Blood too. The two soundtracks, plus, the muci for Ravenous and The Proposition all seem very linked and potent. I have a fantasy of you, Mister Anchovy Vanderheide working on a soundtrack for me as we've talked about in e-mail before...I hope that might happen one day...

thanks for stopping by!