After an amazing Lost Highway special screening with Brightest Young Things and a place both wonderful and strange on Wednesday, Nitehawk’s March look at the films of composer Angelo Badalamenti officially begins this weekend with Lost Highway at midnite and The City of Lost Children at brunch. 

I’ve done a few interviews in relation to the series (Greenpointers, BlackBook Magazine, and Criterion Cast), all asked me the same question: why Badalamenti? You can read my answer(s) via those links but, honestly, I’d recommend checking out the selected films in the series to discover for yourself. Below is a handy guide to get you sorted…

badalamenti-01LOST HIGHWAY (March 7 and March 8, midnite)
For some reason, Lynch’s Lost Highway gets lost in the whole Twin Peaks/Blue Velvet/Mulholland Drive shuffle but it shouldn’t. Self-reflexive to the near point that it collapses into itself, it’s Lynchian to its core: dreamlike scenarios across different planes of existence, a combination of past lives and the technological present. Plus, Robert Blake.

As a long-time composer for David Lynch’s films, Angelo Badalamenti provides a tactile ethereal score to Lost Highway. Set amidst the soundtrack produced by Trent Reznor (featuring everyone from Marilyn Manson to the Smashing Pumpkins), Badalamenti’s score nearly becomes a character itself. 

badalamenti-02THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (March 8 and March 9, brunch)
Speaking of dreams, Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s dystopic future where an evil man steals the dreams of children is straight out of another parallel world. We’re screening the film on 35mm and, truly, it’s the only way to see this visually stunning movie.

Angelo Badalamenti’s crisp and carnivalesque score to The City of Lost Children is as crucial to the film’s atmosphere as the visuals. 

badalamenti-03CABIN FEVER (March 14 and March 15, midnite)
Like most of Eli Roth’s films, the perception put out into the world is that they’re a lot grosser than they really are. In his directorial debut film Cabin Fever, similarly to Hostel, you may think you’re entering into a world of blood-and-guts but it’s truly more psychological than that. The idea of taking the standard horror theme of a cabin in the woods and making the killer silent, unseen but very deadly, is genius. It’s also full of laughs and Roth’s cameo is kind of the best thing going. PANCAKES!

Angelo Badalamenti’s score to Cabin Fever seems like an unlikely match but his mesmerising score that oscillates between powerful punches and screeching symphonies breathes new life into a horror film score. 

badalamenti-04A LATE QUARTET (March 15 and March 16, Brunch)
We’ll admit, one of the reasons we added on The Late Quartet after the series was announced was to pay homage to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. The newest of the bunch, it’s a beautifully quiet story about passion for one’s art and the art of letting go. 

Interwoven with known classical music, Angelo Badalamenti’s score to A Late Quartet. He says, “My goal was to write a classical-leaning score with a beautiful sadness that would work alongside the existing music in a seamless way.” Watch a video of him scoring the film here.

badalamenti-05SECRETARY (March 21 and March 22)
Make no mistake, although this movie has its comedic and super kinky moments, Secretary is 100% sincere in its accpeting portrayal of an unconventional love affair. And no one does sexy-creepy like Spader. 50 shades of what?

Angelo Badalamenti’s instrumental score to Secretary retains the moodiness he’s known for that is particularly effective in connoting Lee Holloway’s personal evolvement.