Posts Tagged ‘Angelo Badalamenti’

Angelo Badalamenti, 1937-2022

December 11, 2022 Leave a comment

Composer Angelo Badalamenti died on December 11, 2022, at home in New Jersey after a short illness. He was 85.

Angelo Daniel Badalamenti was born in New York City in March 1937, the son of Italian immigrants from Sicily. A piano player from a young age, Badalamenti was already earning money as a pianist accompanying singers at resorts in the Catskill Mountains in his teens; he later studied at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, and then at the Manhattan School of Music, graduating with a master’s degree in 1959.

He began his career as a songwriter, penning works for singers such as Nina Simone and Shirley Bassey using the pen name Andy Badale. He made his film music debut was early as 1973, scoring the blaxploitation action pic Gordon’s War, but his break came when he was hired to be Isabella Rossellini’s vocal coach for David Lynch’s 1986 film Blue Velvet. Impressed with his work, Lynch asked Badalamenti to co-write the song “Mysteries of Love” for vocalist Julee Cruise, and then asked Badalamenti to composed the score for the entire film. Read more…

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April 1, 2021 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Comfort of Strangers is a psychological thriller directed by Paul Schrader, adapted by Harold Pinter from the novel by Ian McEwan. Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson play Colin and Mary, an English couple on vacation in Venice, looking to rekindle the spark in their relationship. The couple makes the acquaintance of Roberto (Christopher Walken), a bar owner, and the three of them spend an evening drinking together and swapping life stories. However, after Roberto introduces them to his wife Caroline (Helen Mirren), it soon becomes apparent that their ‘chance encounter’ was not quite as random as it first appeared, and before long things are spiraling out of control into a web of lies, obsession, and dangerous sexuality. Read more…

TWIN PEAKS – Angelo Badalamenti

April 16, 2020 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There’s a case to be made for the notion that television as we know it changed on April 8th, 1990. On that date, on the American network channel ABC, Twin Peaks premiered. The brainchild of surrealist writer-director David Lynch, and TV producer Mark Frost, Twin Peaks was ostensibly a murder-mystery show that followed an investigation led by FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) into the death of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), a teenage beauty queen from a fictional town in Washington state. But of course, it was much more than that. It touched on elements of horror and science fiction, offbeat comedy, and satirized many of the tropes inherent on American soap operas. It had a sprawling cast of eccentric characters, whose interlocking lives drive the plot. It was also deeply, deeply weird: there are giants delivering cryptic messages, dwarves talking backwards, demons possessing people, doppelgängers, fever dreams and horrific nightmares, and copious amounts of coffee and cherry pie. By the end of the second season the plot had become so incomprehensible and maddeningly obtuse that it hemorrhaged viewers and was eventually cancelled; I admit that I found the show incredibly frustrating, and by the end of it I was convinced that Lynch was playing an elaborate prank on his own audience – he created a show that was so impenetrable, was so confusing, had such a bizarre visual style, and contained so much ‘intentional bad acting,’ because he wanted to see how long people would tolerate it by convincing themselves it was ‘art’. Read more…


March 2, 2017 1 comment

nightmareonelmstreet3THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

As a way of continuing to capitalize on the unexpected success and popularity of the first two films in the series, the producers of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise continued the story of the maniacal mass murderer Freddy Krueger in 1987’s third film, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Directed by Chuck Russell, the film stars Patricia Arquette as Kristen, a young woman who dreams of Freddy (Robert Englund), and who is subsequently sent to a psychiatric hospital when the wounds from her encounter with Freddy are mistaken for a suicide attempt. At the hospital Kristen meets her fellow patients, a doctor named Gordon (Craig Wasson), and a trainee therapist, who turns out to be Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), from the original Nightmare on Elm Street movie. Gradually the patients begin to realize that they are the surviving children of the parents who killed Freddy in real life, and that he is now trying to finish off the job. Read more…

DARK WATER – Angelo Badalamenti

July 8, 2005 Leave a comment

darkwaterOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

A remake of the 2002 Japanese film Honogurai Mizu No Soko Kara, which was directed by Hideo Nakata, Dark Water is a slow-burning horror movie which takes everyday circumstances and mixes them with a healthy dose of the supernatural, with chilling results. Jennifer Connelly stars as Dahlia, a young mother who moves into a run down apartment block with her daughter Ceci (Ariel Gade) while her divorce is being finalized. Before long, strange events are happening in their new home. Water begins to drip from the ceiling, much to the consternation of the building’s superintendent (Pete Postlethwaite); footsteps are heard coming from the vacant apartment above; a strangely sinister red bag keeps turning up in odd places; ghostly images appear on the CCTV camera footage from inside the apartment’s lift; and, worst of all, Ceci keeps having fleeting glimpses of a child in a yellow raincoat, who seems to bear a remarkable similarity to a little girl who went missing years previously. Is the stress of her life causing Dahlia to slowly go insane, as her ex-husband Kyle (Dougray Scott) believes? Or is some specter haunting her… Read more…

A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT – Angelo Badalamenti

November 26, 2004 Leave a comment

averylongengagementOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

With the exception of the cult TV series Twin Peaks and the Golden Globe-nominated score for David Lynch’s poetic drama The Straight Story, the vast majority of Angelo Badalamenti’s work has been written for projects on the fringes of the mainstream. He works with offbeat, independent directors like Paul Schrader, and often writes music for films with little or no commercial potential, and often in languages other than English. I’ve been telling myself that I’m a fan of his for quite some time but, when I actually sit down and think about the numbers involved, there are really only four or five titles I actually like: Cousins, The Straight Story, The Beach and Secretary are among them. For this reason I approached his score A Very Long Engagement with a combination of anticipation and unease; on too many occasions, Badalamenti has slightly disappointed me with his final product, despite each film having great potential for excellent music. Fortunately, this is not the case here. Read more…

SECRETARY – Angelo Badalamenti

September 20, 2002 Leave a comment

secretaryOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

There are two distinct sides to Angelo Badalamenti. Firstly (and most famously), there’s the side that embraces and provides the soundscape for the dark, twisted, and occasionally horrifying cinematic visions of director David Lynch, through films such as Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and, most famously, Twin Peaks. And then there is the composer who has brought his not inconsiderable talent to bear on a number of surprising films, and with a great deal of versatility: Italianate pastiche for Cousins, Hollywood comedy scoring for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and lush full-orchestra work for The Comfort of Strangers and The Beach. It is with more than a little disappointment to find that his work on Secretary is actually rather bland and inconsequential. Written primarily for a small jazz combo with piano and synthesizer, Secretary is a predominantly low-key and ambient affair, a world away from the thematic beauty of The Beach or The Straight Story (still his best work), but with just enough energetic hits to stop it being an insomnia cure. Read more…

MULHOLLAND DRIVE – Angelo Badalamenti

October 12, 2001 Leave a comment

mulhollanddriveOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Angelo Badalamenti: what a turn around. After knocking my socks off with The Beach and The Straight Story, and converting me into a fan of the New Yorker’s unique style of film music, he goes and pulls a score like this on me. Badalamenti’s scores for David Lynch have always been somewhat unconventional, as works like Wild at Heart and Lost Highway attest, but Mulholland Drive could almost be taken as an exercise in sound design than anything resembling conventional music. As someone who has been around scoring sessions enough to recognize that ALL film music takes talent to create, I would not be rude enough to suggest that Badalamenti did not know what he was doing with this score… but that doesn’t mean I have to like it in any way shape or form. Read more…

THE BEACH – Angelo Badalamenti

February 11, 2000 Leave a comment

thebeachOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Throughout his career, Angelo Badalamenti has been dogged by the notion that he can only write “dark” music. In the past, I myself have been too quick to dismiss him as merely “that bloke who works for David Lynch”, but recently my perceptions have changed. Since being overwhelmed by his truly gorgeous score for The Straight Story (ironically also a Lynch movie), I have begun to delve into his career more closely, and uncovered some real treasures, finding Cousins and The Comfort of Strangers to be two of his most beautiful orchestral works. It is my sincere hope that his music for The Beach inspires more people to do the same. Read more…

THE STRAIGHT STORY – Angelo Badalamenti

October 15, 1999 Leave a comment

straightstoryOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Having regard to a track record that includes such brilliantly off-the-wall films as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart and the Twin Peaks TV series, one would have never expected director David Lynch to craft such a beautiful, poignant, heart-warming movie as The Straight Story. Although the title is something of a pun, and although Lynch has never made one before, this is a completely straightforward story about a man named Straight, who leaves his slightly backward daughter at home in Iowa and travels across the American Midwest to Wisconsin on a converted lawn mower to see his estranged brother before one of them dies. Read more…

ARLINGTON ROAD – Angelo Badalamenti

July 9, 1999 Leave a comment

arlingtonroadOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Arlington Road, directed by hot young independent filmmaker Mark Pellington, is a disturbingly convincing suburban fairy tale starring Jeff Bridges as a widowed college professor who slowly begins to suspect that his seemingly innocuous next door neighbors, Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack, may actually be terrorists involved in a bombing campaign across the United States. Composer Angelo Badalamenti, best known for his work with cult director David Lynch on films such as Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart and the Twin Peaks TV series, has collaborated with computer technology composers Tomandandy for the score which, while you’re hearing it in the cinema, sounds absolutely astounding. Alternatively, a friend describes the CD as “appropriately atmospheric” – his own expression which can be translated as meaning “a load of rubbish”. Personally, I quite enjoy it. Read more…