An amalgamation of scores from sultry sex scenes and back alley shots of a loner in the rain, these orchestral cues from late 80’s/early 90’s Hollywood films were used as a comment on the evolution of noir. While early 30’s/40’s films featured not only high style and witty dialogue but brilliant, crackerjack plotting, the neo-noir of the 80’s (a veritable golden age for femme fatales, Michael Douglas vehicles and smoothy David Sanborn sax solos) was more concerned with evocative gel lighting and obligatory music video romance than providing three-dimensional characters. It was in a sense a fat-free telling of the old story (with the private dick, the dirty cop, the dame in distress) but without the substance.
Representing the novel (which had already been told brilliantly in the original John Huston picture) with this same neo aesthetic, we depicted a dimly-lit nightclub singer narrating while superimpositions of instruments and musicians dissolve in and out in true MTV montage style. “The dame” appears in quick flashes whenever Hammett’s Brigid O’Shaughnessy is mentioned, portrayed by calendar girl Samantha Fox as the quintessential style-over-substance pop icon of the 80’s. Across the face and walls of our nightclub, glowing noir culture slang phrases sweep like headlights in a bedroom. The overall effect is intended to create a sheen of glowing nostalgia, loving it while at the same time realizing its exquisite limitations.
James Foley, Wayne Shorter & David Sanborn – Glengarry Glen Ross
Walter Hill – Crossroads
Paul Verhoeven & Jerry Goldsmith – Basic Instinct
Harold Becker & Trevor Jones – Sea Of Love
Ridley Scott & Hans Zimmer – Black Rain
David Lynch & Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
The Legendary Little Jimmy Scott – “Sycamore Trees”
Herd Of Mavericks – clip art of piano and saxophone
Samantha Fox publicity photos
Ludwig snare drum
Slingerland snare drum
Shure Brothers “55S” microphone
Self-sampled – record needle drop, record scratches, lip-synced performance, & vox