Old hits. New trend or crisis of industry?

The Joker

The cinema, certainly, is a major (most important) art form. Everybody loves cinema because it’s practically the easiest way to plunge into another reality and stay in it for a while. A movie based on comics is a striking example when we plunge into an amazing world of superheroes that we love since childhood. The world which existed before on paper only, now moved in the big screen. Creators don’t spare energy and resources in the struggle for unprecedented attention of the viewer.

So, observing the last movie hits based on comics (Guardians of the Galaxy 2014, Deadpool 2016, Suicide squad 2016) I found out a new tendency in sound design. Creators of the movies are obviously gravitate to old school rock, soul, r&b, and as the main tracks they use powerful and cocky (bold) hip-hop. For example as it was made in Suicide Squad where the old school and the new school surprisingly harmoniously get along.

In Guardians of the Galaxy when I hear such hits as Come and Get Your Love of 1974 by Redbone or a hit by Raspberries of 1972 Go All the Way or such masterpieces as Hit the Road Jack of 1961 and Mister Sandman of 1954 in Deadpool. It’s obviously that creators of that movies use in some sense revolutionary paradigm — offer to viewer new interpretation of old hits in the context of contemporary culture of mass cinema.

They do it so unintrusively, easily and sometimes ironically that personally I have no sad feeling of nostalgy. Quite the contrary, a new esthetic space is created where there is a place to pleasant feeling of surprise, admiration and gratitude for these emotions.

Attempts to understand roots of this cultural phenomenon have led me to the four key(crucial) questions:

1. The modern movie industry is experiencing a crisis by having reached the peak in sound design?

2. Hard to surprise the viewers with effective sound hooks although great compositions as in the same Avengers: Age of Ultron?

3. Marketing specialists found another way to hold the loyalty of target audience?

4. Record labels decided to increase marketability of old albums due to their new interpretation?

Answering these questions for myself, I incline to next conclusions:

  1. We live at the time of great composers such as Hans Zimmer (Interstellar, Inception, The Da Vinci Code, The Dark Knight, Batman v Superman) Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The King’s Speech, The Danish Girl, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Liza Gerrard (Gladiator, Ali), and also James Horner (Avatar, The Amazing Spider-Man). These names give us enough hope that there will be a lot more opportunities to enjoy their musical genius!

2. In the matter of fact we are now in the beginning of development of new technologies, also in music. Opportunities of application of analog musical instruments, for example modular synthesizers or the newest developments of midi controllers aren’t exhausted. Musicians don’t stop, creating new musical instruments by which they open more and more new sides of sound for listeners, it means that amazing adventure during the new era of sound design expects us in future.

3. Apparently that marketing specialists have achieved them golas — loyalty of viewers is obvious. It’s enough to look at the box office and atests of iTunes where the album Suicide Squad flaunts or to watch the auditorium during viewing — when the most part of audience with pleasure moves to the bit to favourite hits such as the Seven Nation Army by Jack White or Bohemian Rhapsody, when Freddie Mercury sings along on the quiet and people gently smile when they hear I’d Rather Go Blind by Etta James. Eventually there is pleasant aftertaste, as from expensive whisky, stay after the movie.

4. Record labels very cunning guys. Legends compose and series show shoot about their manipulations. Yes, but obvious that the new generation of listeners really should pay attention to old school and adopt experience in some sense?

New interpretation of old hits is a reincarnation that we are lucky to observe and be a part of this process!

* Everything told above is subjective opinion of the author and is not advertizing