Respect the BRRRM

January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment


Cue the white van falling from the bridge in slow motion.

In case you live under a rock, the bit above is from Inception, and that BRRRM is one of the defining aspects of the soundtrack.

The soundtrack to Inception is one of the highlights of the film. It is visceral and in your face, and its impact is obvious. More often, however, soundtracks are subtle and sometimes go unnoticed. That doesn’t mean they’re any less important than the BRRRM.

For instance, I recently watched Beasts of the Southern Wild, and I was blown away by the soundtrack. That may be partly because I love bluegrass music, I’ll admit, but it was mostly because of how seamlessly it flows underneath the images in the film.

String instruments like the fiddle, the mandolin and the banjo keep the music grounded in the southern delta where the film is set. Often a soundtrack can feel forced or out of place, but the music in Beasts of the Southern Wild gives a sense of honesty to the emotions of the scenes. Even the shots of the aurochs (a cattle-like animal) seem realistic, which is impressive considering that they’ve been extinct since the 1600s.

Although the Beasts of the Southern Wild soundtrack never physically shakes your seat with its intensity, it is still strong music that helps carry the film. The script doesn’t need any help, but the music adds that little bit of extra truth anyway. It’s more of a lowercase brrrm, but it’s there nonetheless.


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