PGCMAs: Best Musical Performance and Best Score (2015)

Posted: February 9, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” SimpsonPGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Musical Performance

This award is all about honouring performances of songs by the characters on film. These can be covers, or original works. It’s worth noting that I’m more focused on the role of each performance in the film more than the musical integrity itself.

“Big Rock Candy Mountain”, Room: This is a relatively lowkey performance where Joy sings this song as a sort of lullaby to get Jack to sleep pending the arrival of Old Nick. The performance captures the love Joy has for her son as well as her fear of Nick and the song’s slightly melancholy tone is a good choice.

“Blood Bag”, Mad Max: Fury Road: This is actually a piece of score, but the song is briefly performed live in the film by the Doof Warrior (a.k.a. the guitar guy) and his percussion section when Joe and his army first leave the Citadel in pursuit of Furiosa. Simply an awesome scene which is presented in epic fashion.

“Fuck Tha Police”, Straight Outta Compton: “Fuck Tha Police” is almost certainly NWA’s most iconic song and it plays an important role in Straight Outta Compton. There are a lot of scenes which use it, but the best is one where Ice-Cube finally unleashes the track right after an episode of police brutality.

“Jim Jones at Botany Bay”, The Hateful Eight: During one of the more seemingly mellow moments in Minnie’s Habadashery, Daisy starts strumming a guitar and singing this folk cover about someone sentenced to death, before dwelling on her own murderous intent.

 “Somethin’ Stupid”, Joy: During Joy’s brief courtship with Tony, the two are seen singing this classic love song together. It’s a romantic moment and a beautifully shot one too.

And the winner is…

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“Fuck Tha Police”, Straight Outta Compton

Straight_Outta_Compton_poster_usa

After so many cases of police brutality against young black men in America over the last few years, this moment provided cathartic release and felt like a tribute to every victim of police brutality. It’s a powerful scene and the high point of Straight Outta Compton.

Best Score

Disasterpeace, It Follows: A John Carpenter-style synth score could have been extremely lame, but Disasterpeace’s music for It Follows is anything but. This is an awesome score that’s creepy tense, and sticks with you.

Ludwig Göransson, Creed: Rather than simply recreate the famous themes from the Rocky series, Ludwig Göransson instead builds on that classic music to create something new. The result is a score which is triumphant and inspiring, just like the film itself.

Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road: Backing George Miller’s full throttle visuals is this epic score which is big, loud, and aggressive. Junkie XL does a good job capturing the intensity of the action, as well as the despair of the dystopia created.

Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight: Ennio Morricone is one of the most legendary film composters of all-time and it was a thrill to hear original music from the man in a theater. Rather than draw on his epic Spaghetti Western scores, Morricone draws more on The Thing, particularly with its sense of isolation and growing doom.

Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, The Revenant: This is easily the most subdued score of all the nominees. Sakamoto and Noto’s music is quiet and somber, but oddly powerful in its stillness. It’s a haunting score and I find myself going back to it a lot.

And the winner is…

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Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road

mad-max-fury-road-poster-8

This is probably the most my own personal bias has ever effected one of these awards. Junkie XL’s music is about as close as you get to a Heavy Metal score and it is pretty fucking sweet. It fits the imagery on screen perfectly and it’s also a score I’ve continually listened to.

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