Todd Phillips / US, CA, 2019 / 122 min.
Joaquin Phoenix oogstte haast unaniem lof met zijn intense vertolking van Arthur Fleck, de kwetsbare, maniakale einzelgänger die door een noodlottige opeenvolging van gebeurtenissen bekend zal komen te staan als Joker. De impact van deze 'prequel' van de Batman-reeks komt voor een groot deel op het conto van componist Hildur Guðnadóttir.
Hildur Guðnadóttir was no newcomer to Hollywood, thanks to her cello performance in Ryuichi Sakamoto’s score for The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015) and many other films. Not long after, she received an Oscar for the score she composed for Joker, making history as the first woman ever to win in that category.
Guðnadóttir’s film music is regularly cited as a prime example of the striking shift taking place in the world of film music. For a long time film scores were too often weakened into quasi-interchangeable orchestral music. Now, however, young film composers with guts, with a signature of their own and a disregard of conventions have lately been coming to the fore.
The score for Joker is a shining example of this trend. Bombastic themes are discarded to make room for an abstract, ominous sound design interspersed with trenchant solo cello playing. The score is nonconformist, does not aim to please and is arranged with singular austerity. Guðnadóttir thus single-handedly managed to lift the film, including Joaquin Phoenix’s maniacal role as The Joker, to a higher plane.
Holland Festival 2021
This year, Eye puts the spotlight on Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the associate artists of the Holland Festival 2021. Sakamoto's latest work Time will premiere during the festival, an unconventional wordless opera he made together with visual artist Shiro Takatani. Eye will organise seven accompanying programmes in June focusing on Sakamoto's illustrious career.