TIM FANNING MY VIEW
The rock and roll director who changed the way we listened to the movies…
It must have been the fifth or sixth time I had seen Martin Scorsese’s breakthrough movie Mean Streets, but it was still an eye- opener. From the opening scene – when Harvey Keitel’s head hits the pillow to the first drumbeats of The Ronettes’ Be My Baby – to Robert De Niro making a spectacular entrance, sans trousers, to The Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash, this is the soundtrack that changed movie music forever. Scorsese mixed the rock and pop of his adolescence with the traditional Italian music of his childhood to create a sweaty, claustrophobic atmosphere that brought the viewer into the heart of New York’s Little Italy. Just how revolutionary the movie was in terms of Scorsese’s use of music was explained last week in the three-parter, The Music That Made The Movies ( Thursdays, BBC, 9pm).
Presenter Neil Brand spoke to some of the composers and directors, including Scorsese, who changed the traditional way music was used. With Scorsese, you got the feeling that the images and songs in Mean Streets were floating around his head for years before he caught it on his camera. This week’s episode looked at Vangelis’s haunting score – shimmery, soaring synthesisers – in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. You couldn’t imagine a greater contrast to Mean Streets’ urgent soundtrack, though it’s no less effective.
It was the first episode of Celebrity Apprentice ( Monday, TV3, 9pm) this week, and it was all a bit confusing. You know it’s the Apprentice because all the contestants speak into their phones as if they were desperately trying get Scotty to beam them back up onto the Starship Enterprise after a surprise attack by the Klingons. And was that really yer man from Hardy Bucks playing entrepreneur? Yes, it him and he was the first to get the bullet, so he’s obviously not all that good at the entrepreneuring thing. That said, he could have been forgiven for thinking that he might do a better job than Nick Leeson, whose financial skills previously ended up sinking Britain’s oldest bank and landing him in a cosy cell in a Singapore jail. That’s TV. Most of the terrestrial channels may have more or less given up on single plays, but it’s a different story on Sky. Drama Matters is a series of five plays starring top actresses and written by leading female screenwriters, showing over the next few weeks. It begins on Tuesday with The Psychopath Next Door by Julie Rutterford (Trollied, Ashes To Ashes). Anna Friel (above) stars as the cool, glamorous, but thoroughly evil Eve Wright, a psychiatrist (or is she?) who moves into a new neighbourhood and sets about destroying the lives of a group of close friends. On Thursday comes a very different kind of drama, Lawless, in which Suranne Jones plays a newly appointed judge embarking on her first day in the post. It’s all quite impressive stuff.