Soundtracking with Edith Bowman

Soundtracking with Edith Bowman

United Kingdom

In a unique weekly podcast, Edith Bowman sits down with a variety of film directors, actors, producers and composers to talk about the music that inspired them and how they use music in their films, from their current release to key moments in their career. The music chosen by our guests are woven amongst the interview and used alongside clips from their films.


Episode 38: Warren Beatty On The Music Of Bonnie & Clyde, Bulworth, Reds And Shampoo  

Edith's guest this week requires very little introduction. An actor, writer, director and producer, he appeared in his first film in 1961 and has subsequently been nominated for no fewer than 14 Oscars, winning best director for Reds in 1981. We are,of course, talking about the legend that is Warren Beatty. Throughout his career, Warren has demonstrated a passion for source cues in particular - from the bubble-gum pop of Shampoo to the rap that provides the unlikely sonic inspiration for Bulworth. He's also worked with world-renowned composers Stephen Sondheim, Ennio Morricone and Danny Elfman. Still going strong at 80, his latest project is Rules Don't Apply - which he wrote, directed and also stars in as real-life business tycoon Howard Hughes. Among the cast is Lily Collins, who as aspiring actress Marla Mabrey performs a specially commissioned song during the narrative. We'll hear a bit of that in a moment. But this particular episode begins, as it ends, with the piano maestro that is Errol Garner ..

Episode 37: John Ridley On The Music Of Guerrilla, 12 Years A Slave And Jimi Hendrix  

John Ridley describes Idris Elba as a Renaissance man; were he not so humble, he might just as easily apply the expression to himself. An Oscar-winning screenwriter for the magnificent 12 Years A Slave, he's also a dab hand at directing, producing, novel-writing and (believe it or not) stand-up comedy. He's ferociously thoughtful, considered and intelligent too, so our latest offering is as much about sociology and politics as sound. John's latest project is Guerrilla, made by the ever-reliable Showtime and available in full via Sky Atlantic. Staring Idris, Frieda Pinto and Babou Ceesay, it focusses on the little-known story of the British Black Panther movement in 1970s London. In addition to some rare contemporary grooves from that, you'll hear extracts from Hanz Zimmer's score for 12 Years A Slave, Waddy Watchel's bespoke arrangements for the Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, and a spot of Carter Burwell's work on 3 Kings (which John scripted). But in putting this episode together, we owe a special debt of gratitude to his music supervisor on Guerrilla, Sarah Bridge. Not only did Sarah provide us with hard-to-find source tracks by Britain's first ever all-black rock group Noir, she also delivered examples from Max Richter's score - including Love Song, the piece that plays under Edith's introduction. Perhaps most excitingly, though, she's given us an exclusive recording of Femi Kuti's track Look Around, which he actually performed live for a club scene that features in the narrative ...

Episode 36: The Return Of Mr Wheatley!  

It's back to where it all began, with Edith's second crack at British director, Ben Wheatley. This time round they're focusing on Ben's new film Free Fire, a super-stylish action comedy which he co-wrote with his wife and longtime creative partner, Amy Jump. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Free Fire was scored by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, who took sonic inspiration from David Shire's exceptional work on The Taking Of Pelham 123. You'll hear plenty from both musical suites, as well as tracks by Lalo Schifrin, The Nerves, Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Denver. As before, Ben is tremendous value, as we very much hope you'll agree.

Preview: Ben Wheatley On The Music Of Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury  

Ben Wheatley was Edith's first ever guest on Soundtracking, and we're delighted to welcome him back to discuss the music in his new movie, Free Fire. Taking sonic inspiration from David Shire’s work on The Taking Of Pelham 123, Free Fire is scored by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury. In this clip, Ben (W) reflects upon the pair's previous work together on a Judge Dredd-inspired project Drokk and Alex Garland’s tech-noir thriller, Ex Machina. The full episode is out on Friday 7th April, and features plenty more of Geoff and Ben's music, not to mention lashings of David Shire, Clint Mansell and many others.

Episode 35: Stephen Woolley On The Music Of Stoned, Absolute Beginners, Interview With The Vampire & The Crying Game  

Good grief, does this fine gentleman have a few stories to tell. Whether discussing Tony Hancock with David Bowie or royally pissing off Harvey Weinstein, British producer Stephen Woolley has been there, done that, and bought the (band) T-shirt. Stephen is perhaps best known for his work with Neil Jordan on films such as Interview With The Vampire, The Company Of Wolves, Michael Collins and the Oscar-winning Crying Game. He also directed the Brian Jones biopic Stoned and executive-produced Backbeat - which focused on fifth Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe. If you need any further evidence of his credentials for Soundtracking, he's variously secured the services of David Bowie, Jerry Dammers, Dusty Springfield, Boy George and the Pet Shop Boys for movies he's produced. You'll hear songs from all of these artists woven into the conversation - as well as extracts from Carl Davis' theme for Scandal, Anne Dudley's work on The Crying Game and Rachel Portman's score for Stephen's latest film, Their Finest. But our story begins in punk London - the city where Stephen's love of music and film germinated ...

Preview (Part 2): Producer Stephen Woolley On The Art Of Dealing Rejection (For An Oscar Winning Film)  

We're not being lazy, but this week's episode of Soundtracking will arrive on a Saturday - largely due to the fact there's so much good stuff to put in it! Meantime, here's a little yarn from Stephen about the vagaries of being a producer. It doesn't quite fit into the final edit, but is well worth hearing nonetheless. All you need to remember is that The Crying Game was nominated for SIX Oscars (including Best Picture), and won Best Original Screenplay! I guess the moral of this particular story may be if at first you don't succeed, cry, cry and cry again.

Preview: Legendary Producer Stephen Woolley On His Attempts To Get Keith Richards To Provide A Miles Davis Cover For Absolute Beginners  

Edith's guest this week is top British producer (and occasional director) Stephen Woolley. Stephen has been instrumental in bringing over 60 movies to our screens, including The Company Of Wolves, The Crying Game, Backbeat, Michael Collins, Interview With The Vampire, Stoned, Carol and Their Finest. He is a genuine lover of music, too, having grown up in London as the punk revolution spread like wildfire. In this fascinating clip, he discusses his (futile) efforts to secure the services of Keith Richards for Julian Temple's Absolute Beginners, which starred David Bowie and feature original music by Sade, Paul Weller and Jerry Dammers among many others.

Episode 34: An Edgar Wright Musical Retrospective  

Like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright is one of those filmmakers who's become synonymous with an expert use of music in his work. As well as having collaborated with composers such as Nigel Godrich, Stephen Price and David Arnold, he's also deployed source cues to maximum effect in every single one of his projects - from offbeat comedy classic Spaced to the ridiculously entertaining Cornetto Trilogy. It's thus an absolute delight to welcome him to Soundtracking - a weekly podcast in which directors, writers, actors and musicians discuss the sounds of the screen. Edgar's new film Baby Driver recently premiered at South By Southwest in Texas to great acclaim, but we'll invite him back to talk more about that in August when it gets a general release. Suffice to say, the soundtrack features in excess of 35 songs ... In the meantime, we're going to reflect upon a CV that includes Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, World's End and Scott Pilgrim - not to mention Spaced - the wonderfully postmodern TV show with which he made his name ...

Preview: Edgar Wright On The Song 'Don't Stop Me Now' Kept Out Of Shaun Of The Dead  

Ahead of a very special retrospective with Edgar Wright, the esteemed British director reveals which track would have replaced Don't Stop Me Know in Shaun Of The Dead had they failed to get clearance from the nice fellas in Queen. It's an absolute corker. The full episode is out on Friday 24th March, and features plenty of further discussion about the music in Spaced and The Cornetto Trilogy.

Episode 33: Bill Condon On The Music Of Beauty And The Beast, Dreamgirls & Chicago  

When Jon Favreau joined Edith to discuss his remake of The Jungle Book, he revealed that the aspect of the film he was most preoccupied with was the music. Our latest guest Bill Condon says much the same thing about his retelling of a more recent Disney classic, Beauty And The Beast. In Bill's case, it was a potential deal-breaker: he only agreed to direct the project on the condition that the man who composed the original score came on board. That man is Alan Menken, whose Oscar-winning themes for the 1991 animation reverberate loud and clear throughout this live action reboot. We also discuss his work with pre-eminent composer, Carter Burwell, who has collaborated with Bill on several occasions

Preview: Director Bill Condon On The Composers That Inspired Him  

When does one ever need an excuse to hear Bernard Herrmann's main theme for North By Northwest or Pino Donaggio's work on Carrie? Never, of course, but it so happens we have one anyway. Ahead of our next episode with Bill Condon, the Beauty And The Beast director reflects upon the film music that influence him growing up. The full show is out on Friday 17th March.

Episode 32: Jordan Vogt-Roberts On The Music Of Kong, Vietnam & The Kings Of Summer  

The mighty Kong has traveled a long way since we first saw him batting away aeroplanes atop the Empire State Building to the melodramatic strains of the great Max Steiner. CGI now rules when it comes to Monster Movies, in the way Marcel Delgado's model of the giant ape did the New York skyline back in 1933. But some things in cinema never change - including the way music is used to set an identifiable tone for narrative. In the case of Kong: Skull Island, young American director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has sought to introduce the familiar sonic stylings of the Vietnam War to the traditional thrills and spills of the matinee creature feature - with most entertaining results. During the course of his conversation with Edith you'll hear plenty of musical nods to Apocalypse Now and Good Morning Vietnam - and also discover which Rolling Stones track provided the inspiration for Henry Jackman's score. They also reflect upon Jordan's previous film, The Kings Of Summer, with extracts from composer Ryan Miller's wonderful experimental soundscape underlaying the discussion. But the show begins on Skull Island, where Samuel L Jackson and his men go about their business to the pounding beats of Creedence Clearwater Revival, David Bowie and Black Sabbath ...

Preview: Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts On The Joys Of South Korean Cinema  

Ahead of our next episode with Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the 'Kong: Skull Island' director provides a couple of movie recommendations from South Korea. Jordan professes a fondness for messing around with genre conventions - and reckons the likes of Bong Joon-ho and Na Hong-Jin are the current masters at upending audience expectation. We've accompanied this preview with extracts of score by Byeong Woo Lee and ‎Jang Young-gyu - including a very cool theme from The Good, The Bad & The Weird. The full episode is out on Friday 10th March.

Episode 31: James Mangold On The Music Of Logan, Cop Land & Johnny Cash  

If one could embody charm, it might very well take the form of James Mangold - an open, warm and intelligent man who also happens to have a proven track record in delivering quite tremendous movies. His latest offering is Logan - a dark, violent and spandex-free addition to the X-Men franchise, which sees Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in the throes of existential crises. Critics love it - in part due to the director's offbeat take on a sometimes formulaic genre. And as we'll discover, offbeat is a word which applies equally to Marco Beltrami's score ... While James doesn't entirely accept the claim himself, his films have been described as eclectic. He's certainly tackled a rich variety of subject matter - from Cop Land to Girl Interrupted and the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line - with scores and soundtracks to boot. Enjoy!

Preview: Director James Mangold On The Link Between Johnny Cash, Frankenstein & Wolverine  

Ahead of our next episode, James Mangold tells Edith why he chose The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash to end his new film, 'Logan'. It's a deeply personal story, beginning with the time he spent talking to Johnny while preparing his script for 'Walk The Line'. The full episode is out on Friday 3rd March, and features music from 'Heavy', 'Girl, Interrupted' and 'Cop Land' among many other films.

Episode 30: Gore Verbinski On The Music Of Pirates Of The Caribbean, Rango & The Cure For Wellness  

Another week, another Academy Award winner - this time in the shape of Tennessee director Gore Verbinski. Gore secured the Oscar for Rango – a firm family favourite in Edith's house - and has also notched up a string of box office smashes, from Mouse Hunt and The Mexican to The Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy. As you’d expect from someone ranked as the 10th highest grossing director in the world, he’s also collaborated with some mighty fine composers. On which note, Gore is not the first of our guests to have developed a productive relationship with Hans Zimmer. As well as scoring several of his movies, Hans also offers regular advice on who to hire when he’s not available. Indeed, this applies to Gore’s latest film - the psychological horror A Cure For Wellness. Based on his own nighhtmares, it stars Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth and tells the story of a young American executive who is sent to a mysterious rehabilitation center in the Swiss Alps. As is typical of the genre, music and sound design play a key role in building tension – with the cornerstone of Ben Wallfisch’s excellent score a creepy lullaby that’s reprised in various forms throughout the film …

Preview: Gore Verbinski On The Music Of Alan Silvestri  

Ahead of our next episode, Gore Verbinski discusses Alan's score for Mouse Hunt - and also his arrangement for one of Edith's favourite TV themes ... The full episode is out on Friday 24th February, and features reflections upon the scores for Pirates Of The Caribbean and Gore's latest film, A Cure For Wellness.

Episode 29: Ang Lee On The Music Of 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' And Other Movies  

As Ron Howard observed in one of our previous episodes, Ang Lee is a filmmaker with a quite extraordinary range. He followed the majestic Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with comic book joyride Hulk - before bringing us Brokeback Mountain, Lust Caution and The Life Of Pi. Such a diverse array of subject matter has very different musical requirements, with Tan Dun, Mychael Danna, Danny Elfman and Alexandre Desplat among the composers he’s worked with. And these collaborations are exactly what we’re here to discuss on Soundtracking – a weekly podcast about screen music with Edith. Ang’s latest movie is Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Starring young British actor Joe Alwynn in the title role, it tells the story of a soldier returning from Iraq who’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. From the point of view of score, the narrative posed a new set of challenges for the Taiwanese director - given that much of the action unfolds in a sports stadium …

Preview: Ang Lee On The Score For 'Lust, Caution'  

Ahead of our next episode with the delightful Ang Lee, the Taiwanese director reflects upon Alexandre Desplat's work on 'Lust, Caution', which is one of his favourite scores. The full episode is out on Friday 17th February, and features further conversation about the music for 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' & 'Hulk' among many other films.

Episode 28: Director Mike Mills On The Music Of 20th Century Women, Beginners & The Punk Revolution  

Over the years, there's been many a filmmaker in possession of a sensational record collection. We've spoken to a few on this show - from Andrea Arnold and Richard Linklater to Nicolas Winding Refn and Danny Boyle. But just because you have impeccable taste, doesn't mean you can successfully translate it to the screen. Thankfully, writer / director Mike Mills knows how to enhance a story with sound - as evidenced by his latest movie, 20th Century Women. Set in 1979, it tells the story of a mother who enlists her bohemian friends to help raise her son, and is part-based on his own childhood. Music is central to both the development of narrative and character - with the artists featured all close to Mike's heart. Each selection is inspired by personal experience, from offerings by Siouxsie And The Banshees through The Buzzcocks to Black Flag. Indeed, when it comes to Talking Heads, he even bought the T-Shirt (well, his sister did anyway) ... There are SO many great tunes in here, you'd be a fool to miss it.

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