Music Monday: Laurie Loftus gives us dreams and conversation

Editor’s note: Laurie Loftus, our superstar Institutional Giving Manager, has impeccable taste. Everything from her choice of office footwear, to wrist bling, is just plain cool. Naturally, it’s imperative that we find out what she listens to. Here, Laurie discusses four of her favorite movie soundtracks.

For me, a good soundtrack is one that leaves an emotional afterimage … it sticks with you on some cloud level, like a dream.

(1) Le Mepris (Contempt). Director: Godard. Composer: Georges Delerue.

Movie Poster for Le Mepris

This is one of my favorite movies. It’s visually stunning and has some of my favorite movie lines, delivered in deadpan by Jack Palance playing an ass of an American movie producer–Godard’s ham-handed metaphor for crass commercialism in the face of Art. “Ah, gods … I like gods … I know exactly how they feel.” (Maybe you had to be there.)

Anyway — I think what saves this film from descending fully into cerebral film geekery is the score, particularly the gorgeous, haunting theme, “Camille,” played when Brigitte Bardot is onscreen. Maybe it’s magnified by the poignancy of knowing how Bardot’s life turned out (she went from sex kitten and object of the gaze to an eccentric recluse obsessed with rescuing animals). It’s just so damn gorgeous, without feeling pumped up and manipulative like a lot of today’s Hollywood scores (sorry, Hans Zimmer).

(2) Before Night Falls. Director: Julian Schnabel. Composer: Carter Burwell.

Movie Poster for Before Night Falls

This movie hit me like a ton of bricks and I wore this soundtrack out listening to it. It evokes the film so well. And I recommend the film – it’s awash in gorgeous blues and greens, it’s a fascinating story, and Javier Bardem: be still my heart.

(3) The Conversation. Director: Francis Ford Coppola.

Movie Poster for The Conversation

This takes ‘soundtrack’ to a new level … it’s kind of a soundtrack of a soundtrack, and it’s about listening and the manipulation of sound. It’s got a subtle hammering tonal piano riff that builds the tension around Gene Hackman’s character. This soundtrack (if you can call it that) really got under my skin.

(4) Finally, Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams by Ernst Reijseger.

Movie Poster from Cave of Forgotten Dreams

I can’t pronounce his name but this and Reijseger’s cello compositions are so, so beautiful and interesting.

As Herzog says, “There is the ‘ecstatic truth’ and the ‘accountant’s truth.’” Word.

-Laurie Loftus


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