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LAND OF THE BLIND
Enjoyable extension of first season style in entertaining new album
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Score composed by
Songs written by
* * * 1/2
Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2006 Land of the Blind Ltd; review copyright (c) 2006 James Southall
A fascinating-sounding film with an excellent cast (Ralph Fiennes, Donald Sutherland), unfortunately Land of the Blind is not an easy film to find, but certainly sounds like one worth making the effort for - it's a political movie, about two co-conspirators involved in a coup d'etat in an unspecified country who end up bitterly falling out, following the consequences of that. Director Robert Edwards has attracted much attention and perhaps the film will gain momentum as it moves through the awards seasons.
Composer Guy Farley is not particularly well-known, but has fashioned a fine score here. It's relatively brief (only 17 minutes or so), but Farley uses the time well. For the most part, his score is a fine pastiche of the wonderful Nino Rota, with the kind of black comedy scoring that Rota did so beautifully. The main theme is strong and very memorable, one that's difficult to avoid humming for hours after hearing it. There's a secondary theme, slightly more romantic and certainly more subtle, and one standalone highlight, the vaguely Morriconean suspense piece "Plot to Kill" which again is highly effective.
In addition to the score, the film also contains a number of original songs by Doug Edwards. Well, I call them songs because everyone else seems to have done, but there's no singing involved - they're unusual instrumentals, favouring a distinctive sound mixing highly contemporary ideas with Indian instruments which are as presumably as far from contemporary as could be. These are something of an acquired taste which are frankly really out of place with the score (I wonder whether the two disparate elements of the album would have been better off being sequenced separately, rather than mixed in with one another) though maybe the whole point is to convey an idea of chaos.
There's some strong music here, and Farley is clearly a composer to watch. The album's available as download-only, from MovieScore Media, who continue to release interesting music by little-known composers.