Dynamic Duos: Rachel’s Top 5 Director/Composer Teams

Written by Rachel Ganzewinkel January 29, 2013

film and musicThere’s a very special place music holds within movies. Whether a scene is meant to evoke tension, happiness, grief, or anger a movie score adds that extra element that further immerses you into a scene. Within Hollywood there are special duos between a director of a film and a composer they trust and collaborate well with who share a vision and pull off the final product flawlessly. Composer’s in their own right can become iconic. Read the following top 5 list of the best director/composer teams that create perfection almost every single time.

5. J.J. Abrams and Michael Giacchino

JJ and Michael

This duo have worked together on many projects including “Mission: Impossible III”, “Star Trek”, ¬†and the legendary television show “Lost”. With such varying genres including action, sci-fi, and the consistent work TV would bring, these guys clearly click on a level that is able to bring the most fitting music possible for the vision being portrayed on screen.

4. Joel and Ethan Coen and T-Bone Burnett

This is T-Bone Burnett. Joel and Ethan Coen could not be pictured due to too much awesome already existing here.

This is T-Bone Burnett. Joel and Ethan Coen could not be pictured due to too much awesome already existing here.

T-Bone Burnett is a music producer genius as it is. He produced the wildly successful “Raising Sand” album with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss and who is now producing the amazing, catchy music on the TV show “Nashville”. His projects with the Coen brothers, that include “The Ladykillers” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, are certainly fantastic as well. “O Brother, Where Art Thou is the stand-out with the perfect blend of hill-billy fun and melancholy, he helped the Coen brothers’ vision along to connecting with the audience through the tonal changes in his music.

3. Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer

one of the most successful director/composer teams

This duo is one of my personal favourites. Hans Zimmer’s big epic sound is perfect for the dark blockbuster’s Nolan creates. His deep bass sound that adds to the action scenes and tension in “Inception”, “The Dark Knight”, and “The Dark Knight Rises” (to name their most popular collaborations), draws you in and surrounds you in deep, guttural sounds that keep your butt glued to your seat with awesome, epic, mind-blowing sounds. Zimmer is also great at building to those epic moments with quieter, rhythm driven music that you know is going to build to awesomeness. All of his music is great to listen to apart from the movie.

2. Steven Spielberg and John Williams

steven and john

There is no duo more iconic than these two. John Williams has done the score for so many of Spielberg’s films, he’s a legend in his own right. His iconic but simple soundtrack to “Jaws” has lasted generations, his music that accompanies “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” earned him an Oscar win for best original score, and the rest of his soundtrack accompaniments are amazing, legendary, and fit the movies so well you can’t imagine them without the accompanying scores. Some other epic examples are “Jurassic Park” (the sweeping music that plays as the helicopter flies to the island for the first time is simply beautiful), “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”, and “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”.

1. Darren Aronofsky and Clint Mansell

clint and darren

Ok, so I may be a little biased about Darren Aronofksy considering he is my most favourite director of all time (see my article: Top 5 Movies by Darren Aronofksy). But honestly, a lot of the emotion he elicits with his powerful movies couldn’t be done without Clint Mansell’s beautiful scores. His most famous piece of work is probably the score to “Requiem for a Dream”, named “Lux Aeterna”, where he had help from the Kronos Quartet to create one of the most heartbreaking soundtracks ever. Mansell’s accompanying score to Aronofsky’s “The Fountain” earned him a best original score nod at the 64th Golden Globe Awards. He has worked with Aronofsky on all of his movies and I couldn’t picture a film of Aronofsky’s without Mansell’s mesmerizing, heartbreaking, sweeping, and all encompassing scores. Mansell is even doing the score for Aronofsky’s upcoming film “Noah”, and I can guarantee it will be just as grand as all of his other scores- which are still very great to listen to apart from Aronofsky’s movies.

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About Rachel Ganzewinkel

Rachel loves movies and writing and has found the perfect amalgamation in writing movie reviews for We Eat Films. In between movie watching and the real-life world of work, she enjoys tea, reading, writing, and wearing over-size sweaters (while occassionally doing some of these simultaneously).

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