Alright, we haven't posted incessantly or anything because clearly not that many people are interested, but when we first learned legendary '70s composer Marvin Hamlisch was recruited to write the music for Steven Soderbergh's "The Informant!," we were incredibly psyched (No really, he's one of the two people in the world who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, a Tony, a Golden Globe and a Pulitzer Prize).
Not only did Hamlisch write scores for seminal films like, Woody Allen's "Bananas," "The Sting," "The Way We Were," "The Spy Who Loved Me," "Ordinary People," "Sophie's Choice," etc., Soderbergh roping him into working on the film was a coup: the composer hadn't scored a film in 13 years (1996's "The Mirror Has Two Faces").
Hamlisch's '70s music — of a time and place that we affectionately dubbed "melodramatic teardrop-pop" — is perhaps a little cornball for these times (though still pretty awesome in a Burt Bacharach-ian manner), but in the context of black comedy, "The Informant!" the uber-kitchsy retro pop sounds like a fantastic idea, and by all accounts it is. While we haven't seen the film yet (next week! argh!), we did hear some of the soundtrack when it was released in August and it's pretty hysterical. In a TIFF press conference that happened today (that Warner Bros. put online), Soderbergh had some really high plaudits for his musical collaborator.
"This guy's incredible. If he's not the smartest guy musically in the world, he's tied for first. It was really a clinic watching him work and he understood so clearly that the music had to do two things at the same time: function as a mood enhancer, but it's also [Matt Damon's character's] soundtrack to his own life. It's his music. And whenever people say, 'I'm not sure about the music, it gets a little big sometimes, I'm not sure if it fits.' I try to explain, 'It's not for you, it's his music.' It's the soundtrack he hears as he's walking around and Marvin really understood that intuitively and he's so quick."We honestly can't wait. While "The Informant!" is being called a fun trifle at best by some critics, it's still getting pretty decent reviews overall. It hits theaters next week on September 18 and we'll see it only a few short days before that at TIFF (no we can't wait, sorry). No "Informant!" audio clips seem to be available online, so we leave you with the next best things. The official revival and musical appreciation campaign starts here. Before we're done they'll have box-set'ed up his awesome oeuvre in the coolest little package.
Carly Simon - "Nobody Does It Better" (which Hamlisch co-wrote)
Marvin Hamlisch - "Bond '77 (his cheesy version of the Bond theme in the best possible way, you must listen).
Marvin Hamlisch - "Cause I Believe In Lovin' You" (from "Bananas")