Film scores

Soundtrack review: Self/less (Antonio Pinto and Dudu Aram – 2015)

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“Self/less” is a sci-fi story staring Ryan Reynolds about a dying real estate mogul who transfers his consciousness into a healthy young body, but soon finds that neither the procedure nor the company that performed it are quite what they seem. The idea doesn’t seem that original but if it’s done right… The score was written by Antonio Pinto and Dudu Aram. Pinto is always on my composers to get excited about list because from the first score I heard from him I connected with the moody sound the special ethnic instrumentation.

His usual ethnic flavors hide between the futuristic circuits which make the fabric of this score. I get flashes of “Looper” and other similar scores as I listen to this one. I know the sound and it’s right for a story like this. It moves quickly, it sneaks up on you and it doesn’t try to be more pretentious or dramatic than it needs to. This is Antonio Pinto in his interesting Sci-fi mode which blends electronic pulses with instrumental inserts. The music easily manages not to fall into the generic trap which must be very alluring for a movie like this.

“Farmhouse” is the first moment when I really feel something. This cue pierces me with the string play and I instantly connect to it. it combines emotions with action and it has a few surprises along the way; it’s an adventure on its own and it makes me want to know what comes next. Once again minimalism is at power but I am not complaining. This latest trend in film music becomes me and also makes the more bombastic scores more easily to appreciate.

The general atmosphere and the easiness of the listening experience are enough to make me remember this score. Even if it’s very few Pinto goodness in this one (or the kind I long for), the exciting action moments and the way “Self/less” never loses focus and pace keep me invested in it. There also some atmospheric inserts that are just enough to bring quick shots of nostalgia. And when I find a magnificent cello elegy like “Anna” I won’t be able to forget it. This is the kind of cue that leaves a mark and asks to be listened to over and over again.

“Self/less” had a modern and interesting sound. It had quite the few remarkable and rewarding moments and I enjoyed my time listening to it. No reason to skip this one.

Cue rating: 85 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 20 / 55

Album excellence: 36%

Highlights:

Farmhouse

Farmhouse Fight

Anna

Learning To Swim

What’s Your Name?

Goodbye Anna

Self/Less

About the author

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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