Features | Awards

The 2009 Soundtrack of the Year Award

By Conrad Amenta | 16 December 2009

Awarded to Dead Fucking Silence

One only need look so far as the maudlin garbage written as accompaniment to the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which is set in a post-music world, to know it for sure: soundtracks in 2009 were the giant imposition of those more obsessed with making a movie than telling a story. Where soundtracks did blunder around with all the delicacy of a mummy trying to escape a museum, they did so condescendingly, flashing enormous “Applause!” signs at audiences that producers must have presumed were about seven years old. Wes Anderson continued on his streak of relegating music to kink property; Michael Jackson reminded us that he was broke before he died and was about to gouge a series of nostalgia-seekers for the thirtieth time; and everywhere else music was bass-thumping action or weepy hysterics with no regard for the nuance or pacing in between, of which most works of art are actually comprised.

Those movies that benefited the most from sound editing were those that edited music right out, thus heavily featuring our award winner, Dead Fucking Silence—mostly art house films, films that unintentionally disguised their lack of budget with such unconventional moves as “not ruining their script by jumping up and down and pointing when something important happens,” and “trying.” Here’s hoping that the recession reaches Hollywood by at least mid-2010, and hits the sound production stage first.