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Soundtrack review: Temps de gitans (Goran Bregovic – 1990)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Temps de gitans (Goran Bregovic – 1990)



Emir Kusturica’s movies were a delight for us some 15-20 years ago. His gypsy characters were sometimes made to seem magical and with supernatural powers while the situations they got into were extremely funny and looked real to us. Kusturica’s imagination and craft made his film very appealing and enjoyable. Part of that appeal came from Goran Bregovic’s scores.

I discovered “Time of the gypsies” after “Arizona dream”. I should say I discovered this score because of how much I loved ”Arizona dream”. This score is a wonderful and almost mystical mix of gypsy music (just imagine Hans Zimmer’s “Sherlock Holmes” scores 25 years earlier and localized) and moody ambient tracks. It’s these cues that I love the most and listen to quite often.

“Scena Pojavljivanja Majke”, “Scena Perhanove Pogibije”, “Glavna Tema” have been my companions in many study sessions in college. I knew them as well as my old desk chair and the posters on my wall. The instrumentation is simple but the mood they set helped me focus better. There’s a certain local melancholy in them, a serious yet familiar mood which always gets to me. These are themes you won’t hear from other composers. Bregovic uses local ethnic instrumentations and his own experience and memories to create a unique composition. “Glavna tema” will appeals also to jazz lovers because of that wailing trumpet. Whenever I hear these cues I am transported back to my first summer session of exams in college when I discovered how well I could focus while this album was playing. I link my most important success in college to this album…

…and even more specifically to “Ederlezi”, Goran Bregovic’s reinterpretation of a haunting classic Balkan folk song. This piece is still giving me goose bumps every time I listen to it. The voice of the Macedonian singer Vaska Jankovska gave this song an incredible staying power and it’s as epic and rewarding as, say” “The hanging tree” from “The hunger games” is today…

“Time of the gypsies” is another important piece on my road to discovering and loving film music. I invite you to listen to it.

Cue rating: 82 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 18 / 36

Album excellence: 51%


Ederlezi (Scena Durdevdana Na Rijeci)

Scena Pojavljivanja Majke

Scena Perhanove Pogibije

Glavna Tema


Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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