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Home Movies
  • Composed by Pino Donaggio
  • Varese Sarabande CD Club / 2010 / 31:29

A unique entry in Brian de Palma’s filmography, the 1980 Home Movies is shot as a home movie; and was made by de Palma primarily with his film students, to show them how to make a film.  (It’s still got Kirk Douglas in it, though!)  Whatever your thoughts on the director, it’s surely impossible to deny that his films generally have striking music.  In an era when most directors are seemingly unwilling to accept music that has much to say in their film, de Palma is quite the opposite.  By the time he made this, he had already worked with Bernard Herrmann and John Williams (not composers renowned for underplaying things) and Home Movies was to be the second in his well-loved series of collaborations with Pino Donaggio, after Carrie.

The film’s basically a light comedy, not usually a source of striking music, but needless to say this is an exception.  From the very silly fanfare and march which opens the film and score, Donaggio crafts big, up-front music which certainly leaves an impression.  The most serious feature is the love theme (for Nancy Allen’s character) – even this is deliberately melodramatic, but still absolutely lovely.  This is not what might be considered a vintage  de Palma / Donaggio score – by design, it’s not as substantial, and while they’re fun, some of the more pop-based selections are the very definition of disposable – but it’s an entertaining half-hour’s album, that’s for sure.  It’s obviously a must for fans of the composer; a welcome addition to the Varese Sarabande CD Club (but you’ll be lucky to find a copy).  ***

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