Various Artists

The World Cinema Album

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AllMusic Review by

This double CD has 29 pieces -- sometimes, but not always, main themes -- from the soundtracks of respected films from around the world that were released in the quarter century subsequent to 1980. Note that while most of the films were made in countries where English is not the first language, and/or directed by natives of those countries, there are a few extracts from movies taking place in the United States or United Kingdom, or with American directors. Note also that while most of the recordings were taken from the original soundtracks, not all of them were. It does cover a lot of ground in presenting music from films that were both popular and critically respected, such as Jean de Florette, City of God, Talk to Her, Before Sunset, The Elephant Man, Central Station, Raise the Red Lantern, Like Water for Chocolate, and Baraka. The selection very much leans toward quiet, ambient, and haunting soundtrack pieces, and away from the kind of loud, dramatic themes that often prove to be more memorable. Ethnic flavors are sometimes present, as in Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Merry Christmas Lawrence" theme, Pakastani Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's performance of "Chottie See" (from Bandit Queen), Ravi Shankar's "Variation on Genesis Theme on Sitar" (from Genesis), Caetano Veloso's "Cucurrucucu Paloma" (from Talk to Her), and the (in this company) raw African music of J.S. Olswang's "Africa" (from L'Assedio). There are also samples of work by major film composers Danny Elfman (the title theme to Big Fish) and Ennio Morricone (the "Love Theme for Nata" from Cinema Paradiso, and the theme for director Adrian Lyne's remake of Lolita). You also get to hear actress Julie Delpy sing her own composition, the slightly spacy torch song "A Waltz for a Night," from Before Sunset (in which she starred).

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:32 Amazon
Manon des Sources, film score
2 03:20 Amazon
Chocolat, film score
3 02:13 Amazon
4 02:40 Amazon
El Mariachi, film score
5 01:36 Amazon
6 03:00 Amazon
City of God, film score
7 02:32 Amazon
L' homme du Train (The Man on the Train), film score
8 01:17 Amazon
9 03:46 Amazon
Nuovo cinema paradiso, film score (aka Cinama Paradiso)
10 04:08 Amazon
Lolita, film score
11 02:22 Amazon
Benny & Joon, film score
12 02:46 Amazon
A Waltz for a Night, song (for the film Before Sunset)
13 03:29 Amazon
A River Runs Through It, film score
14 02:30 Amazon
The Elephant Man, film score
15 05:35 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick