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Soundtrack review: Christine (Danny Bensi and Saunder Juriaans – 2016)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Christine (Danny Bensi and Saunder Juriaans – 2016)


“Christine” is a 2016 American-British biographical drama film directed by Antonio Campos and written by Craig Shilowich. It stars actress Rebecca Hall as 1970s news reporter Christine Chubbuck who committed suicide on live television. The film takes place in the last days of Christine Chubbuck’s life as she struggles against depression and eventually commits suicide on air. Danny Bensi and Saunder Juriaans wrote the score and they are a pair of composers I alway prioritise since I love their brand of experimental music.

As always the composers go the minimalistic road for this one; very few instruments and sounds are used and this makes the music sound quite lonely. Having read about the story I am a bit surprised that the music sounds somehow jolly and quirky; the wooden percussion sounds, the bell sounding inserts pulsating rhythmically, they all make me think of a dark comedy rather than a real life drama. Even the cues that talk about her extreme loneliness and medical troubles that drove her to suicide are lighter than I would have expected. Even so the composers do a good job of exploring the insides of a troubled mind; the music is focused inward and I don’t hear any intrusion from the outside world. The cues are short and simple and the mood swings from one to the next and I can somehow get an insight into the character.

I am not enjoying this score as much as I wanted; the repetitive  and quirky motifs lose me at some point as I hear no evolution, no story in the score. “Christine” is a simple and light score, minimalistic but which I will not remember once it’s over.

Cue rating: 76 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 2 / 29
Album excellence: 8%
Madame Ovary

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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