In this fantastic essay on soundtracks, Nina Power quotes Theodor Adorno: “Most films ‘are advertisements for themselves.'” One suspects that this comment was meant pejoratively, an attempt to skewer the hyperbolic, unnecessarily flashy style of the Michael Bays of this world, there is one field in which this recursive self-promotion can be a force for good: the trailer. While most mainstream films are content to slap ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’ onto a montage of wacky scenes, effective use of music can offer an unclichéd opportunity to reveal the universe of the picture before it is seen; evocative of mood without revealing the best moments of the picture. One recent great example is Jessica Oreck’s Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo. The film itself (not currently set for release in the UK) features many of the Japanese techno-pop artist Oreck adores. In the trailer, she uses an intriguing piece by Masami Tsuchiya called ‘Kafka’. When I first watched it, I took it as a New Order-like remix of The White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army’ but it was actually released in 1982. I’m excited to see this film if and when it’s released on DVD, but it shows the power of an excellent track to draw you into a film’s headspace.
Bonus: Excellent use of the New Order track ‘Age of Consent’ in the teaser for Marie Antoinette got me very hyped for the film at the time.