Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Consumption: Ondine

Ondine (d. Neil Jordan)

Ondine is the story of an Irish fisherman named Syracuse (Colin Farrell) who catches a woman - literally - in his fishing net. After saving her from drowning, he finds that her presence on his boat has resulted in the catching of a shitload more fish. ("Shitload" is a fishing term, matey.)  Naturally, this begs the question: is she real, or a witch, or mermaid-like creature? And why is it that she's always singing a song when the fish are being caught? This well-told fairy tale gets weird toward the end, with the following overly meta scene in which the fisherman hears the familiar mermaid's song from an unlikely source:

Keep in mind that his daughter eight years old.  How many 8-year-olds know Sigur Rós?  Perhaps even a more appropriate question is this:  Have we reached the saturation point on using Sigur Rós in the climax of films yet?  Understand that they're one of my favorite bands ever so I understand the urge to go to the well repeatedly.  The music is ethereal and cinematic in scope, but just from films I remember off the top of my head, it's become an issue.

Cameron Crowe got in on the action early in 2001.

Then a couple years later, Wes Anderson broadened his Brit-pop horizons to score Steve Zissou's jaguar shark encounter.

That same year, Gregg Araki's excellent Mysterious Skin had a familiar climactic soundtrack.

Notice that these are all happening at the climax of each film? Such was the case in 2006's Penelope, a film I never actually saw, but apparently they branched out and chose Peter Dinklage to play the role of the film's little person.

Even 2010 Best Picture nominee 127 Hours makes use of Sigur Rós's "Festival" as a one-armed Aron Ralston struggles to survive the film's final moments. It's time to say ENOUGH to the filmmaking community. Ease off the Sigur Rós. If you can't find the emotional power to end your film without cheating by using the soaring falsetto of the finest post-rock to ever come out of Iceland, then perhaps it's time someone takes your music budget away. It will be returned when you've shown your responsible enough to handle it like a grown up.

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