Ravenous’ Soundtrack: Banjos, Existential Dismay, & Quirk

Ravenous soundtrack image

Okay, there’s no denying cult classic film Ravenous (1999) remains a total favourite of ours.

Although it bombed at the box office in 1999 due to a dismal marketing campaign and lack of studio support, it’s now a well-respected horror and black humour romp. Plus, it packs a glorious soundtrack we want celebrate.

Albarn & Nyman’s Outstanding Soundtrack to

Ravenous (1999)

Whilst in 1999 film critics viewed the Antonia Bird directed film as disastrous (which still astonishes us—we put that down to its innovative take on multiple genres), there was much praise for the soundtrack.

Blur’s Damon Albarn took an unusual step into film score composition for the project. And joining him was famous film composer Michael Nyman—the latter is most famous for his work on The Piano.

The result on Ravenous is a blend of the eerie with the innovative.

Some tracks link intrinsically with lead character Captain John Boyd (Guy Pearce), whose anxiety and introversion (even alienation) are heard in the above opening number.

But plucking banjo strings often give way to more cinematic numbers, with a full orchestra on hand to honour.

Applied in context with the film it’s all a bit more obvious. But we have to point out the troubles production of the film, which lost its first director suddenly and without warning.

So it’s 1998 and all seems lost. But Robert Carlyle, lead in the film (more or less) suggests British director Antonia Bird. And she somehow, against, the odds, put together a flawed gem.

And Robert Carlyle has nothing but respect for her.

And during this, the soundtrack was put together. And some people will know Albarn for his work with Britpop band Blur. And that went on to the Gorillaz—an animated band.

But there’s his commitment to world music that’s impressive. And this soundtrack stands as a lasting testament to a film, whilst flawed, should be considered a classic.

But watching the film is the only option. And it does have its flaws – in the second act. Quality plunges off a cliff (as does Boyd, ironically).

But give your time. And in return this is a film that not only resonates, but provides an introspective look at the world around you.

Ravenous in Action

If you’ve seen the film, or not bothered about a spoiler or two, then there’s the above clip.

And we’re quite happy to claim this section is a cinematic masterpiece. A brilliant moment. And against the odds, Bird tied it together. And, on top of that, a stunning soundtrack.

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