Thursday, 28 April 2011

He shoots, they score

If you're looking for an alternative to the royal nuptials, Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin is rereleased tomorrow in what looks like a beautiful restoration. Films as various as Brazil and The Untouchables have paid tribute to the famous scene on the Odessa Steps and it continues to be relevant. Though Eisenstein is said to have felt his film should be rescored every decade, this new print revives the first, 1926, soundtrack.

Before their fantastic ballet The Most Incredible Thing, orchestrated by Sven Helbig, Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe created their own score for Potemkin. Premiered on a drizzly evening in Trafalgar Square seven years ago, the British pop duo were keen to play up the location's importance as a site of protest.

Tennant wrote a little piece a few years later to accompany a free Guardian DVD release of Battleship Potemkin. In it he explained how to cue up their soundtrack to the film: 'You have to pause the CD during the second scene. It goes on for nine minutes and we thought our music was a little repetitive and edited it. But if you start the film again on the track/scene Drama in the Harbour, the film and CD will sync right up to the end.'

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