Top Scores #1: Jon Brion & The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The powerful significance a film’s score can have over the entire production is indisputable. In many instances it can help convey feelings and emotions that visuals cannot. From nostalgia, to heartbreak, to elation and everything in between, a good film score can often become just as big a part of a movie’s personality as it’s actors, screenplay, direction or cinematography.
Michel Gondry’s 2004 film ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is a perfect example. A blend of original scores and existing music, Los Angeles musician Jon Brion is responsible for many of the pieces that appear and are crucial in setting the tone of the film. Brion’s short, warm and sentimental pieces convey the playful nature of the film while also addressing the tragic, sadness that underpins the film and gives it much of its character.
The pieces themselves are arranged with classic film strings, old, warble-y acoustic guitar riffs and reversed samples, effectively evoking the feeling of memories and nostalgia from a time past. The film is also stacked with a host of existing songs by the likes of The ELO, The Polyphonic Spree and The Willowz all of which, in some way, lyrically reflect memories or the sun. But perhaps the most memorable track of the film is a collaboration between Brion and Beck, who perform a floating acoustic cover of Korgis’ 1980 hit ‘Everyone’s Gotta Learn Sometime’.