Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Social Network (Reznor/Ross, 2010)

    One of the most unusual scores to win an Academy award in recent years is Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' score for David Fincher's "The Social Network".  The soundtrack cues are basically electronic in nature with some piano and electric guitar elements, and move from ambient textures to industrial rock.  It doesn't appear that the composers worked to match "sync points" with screen actions, but rather just provided various atmospheric textures and let the director place the music in the sound mix as he saw fit (most of the cues on the soundtrack are only partially heard).

     In any case, Reznor and Ross manage to create some fairly evocative moods, and Reznor naturally uses his experience as the the rock band Nine Inch Nails to present some very emotionally complex moments. Overall, the score on its own probably works better as "rock music" rather than independent film music with which to view a movie sequence through (but it works quite well in the context of the film).  In a way, the scoring for this film is probably closer to something like the texture-based approach for "Woman in the Dunes", rather than the classic technique of providing melodic themes for characters or situations.

Trk Dur. Title Film Sequence
1 4:18 Hand Covers Bruise Main titles, after Erica breaks up with him, Mark trots home through the campus grounds at night.  Once home, he types unkind words about Erica on his blog.
(Also briefly reprised later when Mark mocks the Winklevoss' condescending lawyer as well as their lawsuit.)
2 4:56 In Motion Mark starts hacking college databases to obtain pictures for his face compare webpage (Facemash).  At the same time, attractive young people attend a Phoenix House party.  Eduardo arrives at Mark's dorm room.
3 3:35 A Familiar Taste Eduardo gives Mark the face compare algorithm.  Their webpage becomes viral and Eduardo becomes worried about it drawing attention.  The Phoenix House party continues and becomes racy.  Erica finds out about Mark's blog.  The Harvard network crashes.
4 1:39 It Catches Up with You In a class, Mark gets passed an insulting note.  He leaves but is intercepted by the Winklevoss twins, who invite him for a meeting at he elite Porcellian.
5 4:24 Intriguing Possibilities As lawyers discuss the Zuckerberg-Winklevoss case, a montage proceeds with Mark working on coding Facebook.  He avoids giving the Winklevoss brothers updates.  Eduardo is excited at his social progress at Phoenix House, but Mark is uninterested.
6 3:29 Painted Sun in Abstract Mark gets the idea to include "relationship status" in his Facebook page and rushes home to code it.  He tells Eduardo the site is ready and wants to use Eduardo's Phoenix House email list to distribute it.  The site goes live.
7 4:03 3:14 Every Night The Winklevoss twins are informed that Mark stole their website idea.  
8 4:16 Pieces Form the Whole Mark, Eduardo and the Winklevoss' spar in separate lawyer-counseled discussions, and discuss the immediate success of The Facebook.
9 3:53 Carbon Prevails (Unused)
10 4:17 Eventually We Find Our Way (alternate mix) Eduardo gets intimate with Christie in a bathroom stall.  Mark approaches Erica at dinner, and she dresses him down.  Mark decides to expand.
11 1:14 Penetration Mark and Eduardo go to NY and try to get investor interest, but Mark is disrespectful.
12 2:21 In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg) The Winklevoss twins lose in a close rowing contest.
(followed by track 15)
13 4:14 On We March Christie sets Eduardo's gift on fire, while Mark yells at Eduardo for closing the bank account.  He asks Edwardo to return to San Francisco.
(followed by track 16)
14 2:10 Magnetic (Unused, probably the sequence where Eduardo signs an agreement with Mark's lawyers and later testifies that it was not in his best interests).
15 3:33 Almost Home Eduardo closes his bank accounts.  Mark and Sean find a big investor without Eduardo's involvement.
(followed by track 13)
16 1:52 Hand Covers Bruise, Reprise Eduardo finds out that he's been leveraged out of the company and makes a scene in front of Mark and Sean.
17 3:19 Complication with Optimistic Outcome (Unused, probably the sequence where Sean does drugs with interns at a party and the police arrive).
18 3:53 The Gentle Hum of Anxiety Sean is arrested at a party and calls Mark.  Mark begins to doubt Sean.  Mark tells a legal aid that Sean still owns part of the company.
19 4:44 Soft Trees Break the Fall End credits.

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