Here are five films that make use of pre-existing music to create some of the most memorable scores in contemporary cinema.
Martin Scorsese leads the way, creating a soundtrack to his gangster pulp classic entirely out of pre-existing popular music. Using a predominantly Motown score, this would later go on to inspire Quentin Tarantino. The full track listing can be found here.
Taking direct inspiration from Scorsese, Tarantino uses a score of 70s pop music for Reservoir Dogs, his first feature-length film. One particular scene – perhaps one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history – involves Mr. Blonde cutting off Nash’s right ear with a razor, all to the tune of Stealers Wheel’s Stuck in the Middle with You. Tarantino would go on to use this method for all of his subsequent films, including Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. The full track listing to Reservoir Dogs can be found here.
Michael Andrew’s soundtrack is perfectly matched to director Richard Kelly’s quirky depiction of life in a late-eighties American high-school. This cult classic features hits by Duran Duran, Joy Division and INXS. Full track listing can be found here.
Lost in Translation
Featuring a suitably impressionistic soundtrack, Lost in Translation features five tracks by Kevin Shields, including Sometimes, by his band My Bloody Valentine; and Roxy Music’s More than This. Romantic and hypnotic, Lost in Translation‘s unusual soundtrack compliments Sofia Coppola’s second feature film beautifully. The full soundtrack can be found here.
Danny Boyle’s predominantly Brit-pop score accompanies his drug-soaked foray into the UK heroin scene. Featuring Elastica and Blur, the full soundtrack can be found here.