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Reviews

"...In this score, Carter Burwell goes Chinese. Well, kind of. Of course, always the iconoclast, he composed a piece that defies conventional ethnic treatment of film scores. Using classical Chinese instruments overlaying synthesizer percussions, the score is an unusual and intriguing marriage of both Chinese and American, ancient and modern....

Although the main theme is powerfully lyrical, a lot of this score is an edgy, percussive underscore. There is an inexperience, uncertainty, and tumultuousness to the emotional themes of the story, and the music reflects that with both its quieter musical subtext and its hallmark contrast between Chinese and Western. ...Those who love Burwell's experimentation and emotional colors (like myself) would find this a stimulating and poetic score. Others still should find this a good score, enjoying the main theme as its strongest point."

- Helen San, cinemusic.net, March 9, 1999.

Carter's Notes

The musicians on this score include Wang Guo-Wei and Chen Tao, from Shanghai, some of the most interesting players from the experimental New York world including David Torn, Erik Friedlander and John Deak, and old friends John Moses, Geoff Gordon and Gordon Gottlieb.

While there is a great deal of violent action in the film, what primarily drives the score is the ambiguous relationship between Chow Yun-Fat's and Mark Wahlberg's characters. The combination of Eastern and Western instruments is no great innovation for a film set in Chinatown. Still I tried to create a sense of a hidden, layered world in which no one tradition dominates, or indeed survives.

 

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Film Stills

 

 

 

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Film Info

Directed by James Foley
Written by Robert Pucci
Produced by Dan Halsted, Bill Carraro, Oliver Stone

Composed, Orchestrated and Conducted by Carter Burwell
Music Editor: Adam Smalley
Music Scoring Mixer: Mike Farrow
Contractor: Sandy Park
Recorded at Right Track Studio A
Mixed at The Body Studio

Starring Chow Yun-Fat, Mark Wahlberg, Brian Cox

U.S. Release February, 1999

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Audio Samples

Here, for demo purposes, are some examples from the score:

 Title   Format   Size 
The Corruptor   mp3   3M
Celebration   mp3   3M
Death Drives Through Chinatown   mp3   4M

For an explanation of the columns above, click here.

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Last modified on:
08/26/15 12:25 PM