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Being John Malkovich
(1999)
Album Cover Art
Astralwerks (American)
Virgin (European)
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Orchestrated, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:

Co-Produced by:
Spike Jonze
Vincent Landay
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Astralwerks/Virgin Records
(December 14th, 1999)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release. Despite different labels and artwork internationally, the musical contents of the albums are the same.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you don't want to live as Carter Burwell's normal self for fifteen minutes, for his music in this movie is uncharacteristically tonal, tender, and charming, a cleverly sinister and tragic approach to the demented personality of the script.

Avoid it... if you expect anything in Burwell's counter-intuitive approach to directly emulate the bizarre nature of the film's wacky plot, especially in the small doses available on album.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,835
WRITTEN 1/25/12
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Burwell
Burwell
Being John Malkovich: (Carter Burwell) There really is no way that a movie like Being John Malkovich could be summarized coherently in the introduction to this review of its music. There are rarely productions as wildly unique as this one, the result of a demented Charlie Kaufman script that postulates that a person can enter a tube on a secret floor of a New York office building and live the life of actor John Malkovich. The actor plays himself in this fantasy tale, and he eventually discovers this bizarre portal and enters it himself, producing one of the most awkward scenes in the history of film. Running the portal is a destitute puppeteer played by John Cusack, who becomes obsessed with using the tube as means of carrying on a sexual relationship with the female co-worker with whom he charges $200 for anyone who wants fifteen minutes inside the portal. When his wife (Cameron Diaz) ends up carrying on a transgender affair with the co-worker instead, the situation becomes even more complicated. Malkovich, among others, eventually seek to use the powers of the portal to achieve immortality. Cameo appearances abound, throwing fantasy and reality into a constant battle of wits. There really isn't much sense to any of it, and Malkovich was initially horrified when he read the script. Several studios flatly rejected the film's premise, though Francis Ford Coppola assisted his son-in-law, aspiring director Spike Jonze, in finding a studio (and Malkovich) and the project was widely hailed as a success. Outstanding critical response led to several major awards nominations, and Being John Malkovich has since carried the label of cult classic with it. Because the 1999 film was a relatively low budget production, its soundtrack wasn't a glamorous affair. Aside from a song by Bjork and a couple of source placements, the music of the film is defined by Carter Burwell's rather restrained score. The film represented the initiation point of a collaboration between the composer and director that included multiple entries over the next dozen years. Burwell had risen to mainstream status earlier in the decade but maintained a reputation for unconventional and challenging writing styles. That said, he did write a subset of scores that utilized a more palatable dramatic approach, and Being John Malkovich and Gods and Monsters could be considered siblings in that regard. Given how downright strange Being John Malkovich can be, it's a bit remarkable how Burwell's score was applied as a calming and connecting source of comfort in an atmosphere of pointless psycho-nonsense.



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VIEWER RATINGS
54 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.61 Stars
***** 5 5 Stars
**** 9 4 Stars
*** 14 3 Stars
** 12 2 Stars
* 14 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 42:57
• 1. "Amphibian" - performed by Bjork (2:46)
• 2. Malkovich Masterpiece Remix - performed by John Malkovich (2:23)
• 3. Puppet Love (2:02)
• 4. Momentory Introspection (1:07)
• 5. You Should Know (0:34)
• 6. Craig Plots (3:41)
• 7. Malkovich Shrine (0:45)
• 8. Embarcation (1:46)
• 9. Subcon Chase (2:03)
• 10. The Truth (1:22)
• 11. Love on the Phone (0:47)
• 12. To Lester's (0:26)
• 13. Maxime Kidnapped (1:16)
• 14. To Be John M (1:59)
• 15. Craig's Ouverture (1:00)
• 16. Bartok's "Allegro" - performed by the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra (7:19)
• 17. Carter Explains Scene 71 to the orchestra (0:29)
• 18. Lotte Makes Love (1:28)
• 19. Monkey Memories (1:32)
• 20. Future Vessel (3:40)
• 21. "Amphibian" (Film Mix) - performed by Bjork (4:34)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The "enhanced CD" features bonus materials and the packaging is filled with useless blocks of text from the film's script. No meaningful information about the score is contained within.
Copyright © 2012-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Being John Malkovich are Copyright © 1999, Astralwerks/Virgin Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 1/25/12 (and not updated significantly since).
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