Combat scenes and Misunderstood

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eldin raigmore
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Combat scenes and Misunderstood

Post by eldin raigmore »

Why is it that in so many films’ combat scenes, the incidental music is
Santa Esmeralda’s flamenco version of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”?
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Re: Combat scenes and Misunderstood

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eldin raigmore wrote: 02 Apr 2021 18:54 Why is it that in so many films’ combat scenes, the incidental music is
Santa Esmeralda’s flamenco version of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”?
WoW

[O.O]

Dare I ask what kinds of movies you've been watching?

:mrred:

That was an unexpected crossover that just can't be ùnseen. (No matter how hard one tries!) Had to detox from that disco nightmare!

:mrgreen:
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Re: Combat scenes and Misunderstood

Post by eldin raigmore »

elemtilas wrote: 02 Apr 2021 19:41 Dare I ask what kinds of movies you've been watching?
Flamenco version:
Kill Bill:
https://youtu.be/uSjS_l3wGu8

Good Bad Weird:
https://youtu.be/VBYBYSRBGfY

Magnificent Seven 2016:
https://youtu.be/HVBP4HVEkfw

Blood and sand (not combat):
https://youtu.be/nJ4OjoChTWI

Sword fight montage (not just one movie):
https://youtu.be/n1l5m-h6Ugo

....

Other versions:
American Me
Bird man
Crimes of Grinwald
In Her Eyes
Layer Cake
Luther

........

Probably others I forgot about

....

I do understand why Nina Simone and Eric Burdon and Joe Cocker (reggae) and other versions are preferable for some movies.
I don’t really understand why anyone wouldn’t like the flamenco version, but then some people don’t understand why I don’t like cantaloupe. There is no explaining taste.

....

“Flamenco” comes from the Spanish word for “Flemish”.
During the time when the Netherlands were subject to the Spanish crown, the Flamenco stomp was part of the Flemish fencing style. Adding it to a dance was something that happened; and Spaniards liking it and imitating it was also something that happened.
So maybe it makes sense that some flamenco tune would get associated with cinematic sword fights.
Why this one in particular, though?
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Re: Combat scenes and Misunderstood

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eldin raigmore wrote: 03 Apr 2021 00:18 Crimes of Grindlewald
That's a long list! I'm going to have to review CoG again --- I either have no memory of discoflamenco battle music at all or was so seriously scarred by the event that I've completely stricken it from my mind!
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Re: Combat scenes and Misunderstood

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Anthropologically, I think it's Tarantino that started using this kind of music in fight scenes, and concretely in that one scene from kill kill, and other people imitated it cause it's cool.

Viscerally, I get it: I'm not sure I can adequately convey the idea but here's a try: that intro... it's spectacular, full of rhythm, exotic (nylonstrings are coded as exotic in american movies, no I don't know why, you anglos tell me) and just joyous.

No, seriously: fights aren't typically joyous but then again they sometimes are, especially metaphorical fights, and that's the feeling of this kind of fight scene: The women are locked in a politeness cage... until they aren't: fighting can be a thing of athleticism, of rhythm, and of that mental state called flow: until you get cut, that is, which is exactly what happens in the movie.

Also, in general film scoring is a very professionalized, streamlined industry: with modern VSTs and other gear a competent producer can make you an excellent score for a scene for a week of his time: now, granted, he charges a lot for a week of his time, but it's still kind of a small a lot: say 2k usd. this is nice in some ways, but incentivizes tropes, imitation and outright copying: how many times have you heard that very deep bwoooooooooooooo sound from inception in newer movies? all professional music is like this, I think: ask a violist about marriages and pachelbel's canon in D.
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Re: Combat scenes and Misunderstood

Post by eldin raigmore »

elemtilas wrote: 05 Apr 2021 03:53
eldin raigmore wrote: 03 Apr 2021 00:18 Crimes of Grindlewald
That's a long list! I'm going to have to review CoG again --- I either have no memory of discoflamenco battle music at all or was so seriously scarred by the event that I've completely stricken it from my mind!
Crimes of Grinwald is one of the non-disco non-flamenco versions of Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.

….

@Torco:
Thanks for your insights!
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Re: Combat scenes and Misunderstood

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Torco wrote: 15 Jun 2021 03:36 Anthropologically, I think it's Tarantino that started using this kind of music in fight scenes, and concretely in that one scene from kill kill, and other people imitated it cause it's cool.
This? It sounds so out of place!
Viscerally, I get it: I'm not sure I can adequately convey the idea but here's a try: that intro... it's spectacular, full of rhythm, exotic (nylonstrings are coded as exotic in american movies, no I don't know why, you anglos tell me) and just joyous.
I was going to ask you. I've always associated nylon strings with "folk" music -- hum-n-strum guitar (yeah, yeah the bass strings are metal wound), harp -- and also with HIP classical music where nylon sometimes stands in for gut, when they're not actually using gut strings.

I definitely don't associate that style of music with fight scenes. Though I think it could be the conjunction of DANCE and MARTIAL ART (rather than just melée fighting) that the composer was trying to accomplish.
No, seriously: fights aren't typically joyous but then again they sometimes are, especially metaphorical fights, and that's the feeling of this kind of fight scene: The women are locked in a politeness cage... until they aren't: fighting can be a thing of athleticism, of rhythm, and of that mental state called flow: until you get cut, that is, which is exactly what happens in the movie.
Indeed! Denê warfare is of this kind. Among themselves anyway! Though nylon strings are not involved in any way.
Also, in general film scoring is a very professionalized, streamlined industry: with modern VSTs and other gear a competent producer can make you an excellent score for a scene for a week of his time: now, granted, he charges a lot for a week of his time, but it's still kind of a small a lot: say 2k usd. this is nice in some ways, but incentivizes tropes, imitation and outright copying: how many times have you heard that very deep bwoooooooooooooo sound from inception in newer movies? all professional music is like this, I think: ask a violist about marriages and pachelbel's canon in D.
And it's been that way forever. Kind of funny how writers call it "plagiarism" while composers call it "homage". [;)]
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Re: Combat scenes and Misunderstood

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Torco wrote: 15 Jun 2021 03:36 Anthropologically, I think it's Tarantino that started using this kind of music in fight scenes, and concretely in that one scene from kill kill, and other people imitated it cause it's cool.
I don't know how much is novel to Tarantino, but I have some ideas on why Tarantino chose that song for that scene. I think it's his attempt to bring the language of classical film scores into the language of Tarantino film scores - that is, I think he (or his crew) chose that song to imitate the sort of music that would usually be there.

Duels are often scored (when not scored with dramatic silence!) with percussive, rhythmic music - sometimes pure modernism, sometimes suggesting dance/march music (the former is more dramatic, but the latter allows a smoother flow into the scenes before and after the duel). There's sometimes a soaring vocal-style line over it, particularly if it's a dramatic finale. It's common to have a Spanish flavour (eg guitars, castanets), because of the long association of Spain with swordfighting. For an earlier generation's take on the trope, try Morricone's The Trio, from TGTB&TU: dance-like rhythm, with a soaring vocal line over the top (sometimes actual voices, sometimes brass), lots of percussion (including an imitation of the rattle of castanets), guitars, and guitar-invoking music (arpeggios and tremolos). I think Tarantino picking a song with a pop melody, Spanish affectations, and a dance beat is kind of his homage to music like The Trio, within his own musical language of 'drop in a pop song'.
[another version can be heard in, for example, the Westley-Inigo duel in The Princess Bride, in the mid-80s. Here, it's Mark Knopfler is imitating a Korngoldesque romantic violin fight theme, but he's combining it with modern synthesizers and periodic dance rhythms, including some teasing castanet rattles along the way]

[there's also a more general old trope of having quiet, gentle music, like guitars, to lead in to scenes of violence].

A more recent thing on Tarantino's mind might have been Rodriguez' "Desperado" (1995), the score of which combines flamenco-style, pop-style and (a bit of) classical-style music, particularly in its fight scenes. Rodriguez and Tarantino obviously know each other and have overlapping styles; Kill Bill is arguably Tarantino doing Rodriguez in some ways (with its ridiculously over-the-top, stylised violence and revenge plot); Kill Bill came out the same year as the sequel to Desperado.
Also, in general film scoring is a very professionalized, streamlined industry: with modern VSTs and other gear a competent producer can make you an excellent score for a scene for a week of his time: now, granted, he charges a lot for a week of his time, but it's still kind of a small a lot: say 2k usd. this is nice in some ways, but incentivizes tropes, imitation and outright copying: how many times have you heard that very deep bwoooooooooooooo sound from inception in newer movies? all professional music is like this, I think: ask a violist about marriages and pachelbel's canon in D.
The Canon (which I usually associate with funerals, btw, rather than weddings...) isn't so much imitation as just... a popular piece of music. But yes, of course music is dictated by fashion, but that's not a new thing. The extent to which Hollywood film scores at one point all sounded like Schiffrin is matched only by the extent to which they'd previously sounded like Korngold!
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Re: Combat scenes and Misunderstood

Post by Khemehekis »

Salmoneus wrote: 16 Jun 2021 01:24 The Canon (which I usually associate with funerals, btw, rather than weddings...) isn't so much imitation as just... a popular piece of music.
Heh, I have this friend named Jolene who's always taking about how she loves tacos and wanting to stop at Taco Bell. I sometimes tell this joke:

Q: What piece of classical music is going to be played at Jolene's wedding?
A: Taco Bell's Canon in D.
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