Album: The Insider: Music from the Motion Picture

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The Insider: Music from the Motion Picture

Artist: Lisa Gerrard, Pieter Bourke
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Label: Sony

Directors making strong characteristic decisions about the music in their films are, aside from being few in number, generally people who depend on a particular composer—directors like Steven Spielberg (John Williams), Steven Soderbergh (Cliff Martinez), and John Carpenter (himself). Michael Mann is that rare director for whom musical literacy has less to do with professional partnership than with a hunger for aesthetic exploration. From his days with Miami Vice, in which he spearheaded the integration of pop songs with a scene’s motion, Mann has been…

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Directors making strong characteristic decisions about the music in their films are, aside from being few in number, generally people who depend on a particular composer—directors like Steven Spielberg (John Williams), Steven Soderbergh (Cliff Martinez), and John Carpenter (himself). Michael Mann is that rare director for whom musical literacy has less to do with professional partnership than with a hunger for aesthetic exploration. From his days with Miami Vice, in which he spearheaded the integration of pop songs with a scene’s motion, Mann has been relentlessly creative in the scoring of his work—setting producer Trevor Jones (a knowledgeable technophile) loose in The Last of the Mohicans wilderness and getting Elliot Goldenthal to blend electronic, hard-rock, and orchestral effects for a haunting score to Heat. The common theme is mood, at times profoundly spiritual, fashionably effete, or resolutely cold. These are the temperaments of Lisa Gerrard, best known for her work with the prototrance act Dead Can Dance, and her sometime partner Pieter Bourke. Their score for The Insider is a rich montage of paranoia and momentum, perfectly suited to Mann’s moralistic corporate thriller. Mechanized drums flirt with ambient music while, soaring above, thick clouds of synthesized drones recall Peter Gabriel’s fortunate work on the big screen. —Marc Weidenbaum

Related Works

Film:The Insider (1999)

The Insider

Michael Mann

As revisionist history, Michael Mann’s intelligent docudrama The Insider is a simmering brew of altered facts and dramatic license. In a broader perspective, however, the film (cowritten with Forrest Gump Oscar-winner Eric Roth) is effectively accurate as an engrossing study of ethics in the corruptible industries of tobacco and broadcast journalism. On one side, there is Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), the former tobacco scientist who violated contractual agreements to expose Brown & Williamson’s inclusion of addictive ingredients in cigarettes,…

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