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General News / January 4, 2017

Light House Cinema’s 10 best soundtracks of 2016

soundtracks of 2016 lighthouse cinema district magazine
General News / January 4, 2017

Light House Cinema’s 10 best soundtracks of 2016

 An eclectic list from the Smithfield cinema.


On Christmas Day we looked at the 10 best TV/Film soundtracks of 2016. Now it’s the turn of one of the best film establishments in the country to make give us their selections.

Check out the selections by David Kelly and Charlene Lydon of The Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield below.

Arrival – Jóhann Jóhannsson

One of the most visually stunning and thought provoking sci-fi films in years was accompanied by a haunting, foreboding and emotional soundtrack that not only kept you guessing on what the intentions of the extra-terrestrial visitors were, but provided the perfect atmosphere for Denis Villeneuve’s modern classic. We can’t wait to see and hear what they do with Blade Runner 2049. DK

Couple in a Hole – Beak>

Unsettling ambience and full-blown Krautrock from one of the finest bands around. Couple in a Hole was an engrossing, oddity and Beak>’s music brought the cold, gritty wilderness to life. DK

Victoria – Nils Frahm

Nils Frahm’s first thought after watching Victoria was to think if such a strong film even needed music, “I realised it wouldn’t be easy to create a score that embraces these bold pictures.”

It was a huge compliment and also a huge task as he was given total creative freedom by director Sebastian Schipper. The result is one of the finest cinematic experiences of the year. DK

The Neon Demon – Cliff Martinez

Adored and maligned in equal measure, much like all Nicolas Winding Refn’s features, one thing could be agreed upon, Cliff Martinez’ hypnotic, distorted synth score was a show stealer filled with personality, dread and glitter. DK

The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone

The year started strongly with the maestro, Ennio Morricone, returning to score an isolated, snowy landscape and to bring us a soundtrack that had the DNA of John Carpenter’s The Thing running through it (It even used some of The Thing’s original soundtrack). It was the perfect accompaniment to Quentin Tarantino’s vicious western and earned him his (Seriously overdue) first Oscar. DK

Swiss Army Man – Andy Hull & Robert McDowell

Swiss Army Man was definitely one of the year’s weirdest films and it needed a suitably weird soundtrack to accompany it. Composers Andy Hull and Robert McDowell not only delivered an appropriately odd score, but managed to make it sublime, moving and uplifting. – CL

Nocturnal Animals – Abel Korzeniowski

Re-teaming after their collaboration on A Single Man, both director Tom Ford and composer Abel Korzeniowski upped their games with Nocturnal Animals, part-thriller, part-romantic drama – a violent, moving, thoughtful piece of gorgeous filmmaking.

Ford’s use of grandiose imagery coupled with Korzeniowski’s melodramatic, and often terrifying, score lends the film a classic Hollywood dreaminess that allows us the odd swoon to settle our nerves. – CL


High-Rise – Clint Mansell

Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of JG Ballard’s High-Rise is a chaotic descent into utter social chaos and who better than Clint Mansell, the man behind such nightmares as Requiem For a Dream and Black Swan, to create the soundtrack for such a feature.

At times orchestral and jovial, but more often brooding and haunting, the scale of drama in this score is a force to be reckoned with. – CL

Room – Stephen Rennicks

Lenny Abrahamson’s adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel Room was always going to be a knife-edge balance of drama and real-world frankness to ensure that this melodramatic story did not succumb to sentimentality. The film succeeded and exceeded expectation, not least because of Stephen Rennicks’ gorgeous score which filled us with dread and moved us to tears in equal measure. – CL

Green Room – Brooke Blair & Will Blair/Various Artists

An old-fashioned punk band under siege by neo-nazis led by a terrifying Patrick Stewart, Green Room was one of our favourite films of 2016 and the epic punk soundtrack helped it achieve the nervous tension that made the film so energetic. A great soundtrack and a great modern punk album! – CL

Honourable mentions: The Revenant, Childhood Of A Leader, Sing Street, Hell or High Water, The Witch