Monthly Archives: February 2010

Did Michael Giacchino steal the theme for Pixar’s Up?

On tonight’s episode of Mad Men (Season 3, Episode 5, “The Fog” — we’re running a little behind), I loved the music that plays during Betty’s labor dream as well as during the credits.

I kept thinking to myself “I’ve heard that somewhere before” and finally realised it sounded just like the theme from Pixar’s Up, which was stuck in my head for several weeks after seeing the movie (and rightly so, it’s a memorable and affecting tune). Obviously that didn’t make much sense to me and after a few Google searches I figured out that the music on Mad Men was actually taken from Albert Iglesias’s 2001 score for Lucia Y El Sexo (track title “Me voy a morir de amor”).

It turns out I’m not the first person to notice the similarity, and less than a week ago Emon Hassan helpfully posted both tracks for ease of comparison. He says it doesn’t take away from either score, but I think the similarities are SO strong that Giacchino’s score can’t be justified as mere homage to Iglesias. Giacchino might have done more interesting things throughout the movie with his orchestration, using the tune to convey alternately happiness and sadness (not to mention both at once), but the tune itself still strikes me as a complete rip-off.

The discovery is a disappointment since I thought Up had one of the best scores of 2oo9, due to its pavlovian capacity to become so loaded with emotion (in conjunction with the opening montage) that the use of merely two notes later in the film could instantly evoke all of the emotion earned at the beginning of the film. But unless Iglesias’s and Giacchino’s scores both share a common source that is yet to be identified, I’m afraid this deals a severe blow to my admiration of the latter score.

Update 8 March 2010: I’m glad Up won best animated feature last night but I don’t believe it should have been eligible for best “original” score. Given his apparent plagiarism of Alberto Iglesias, I found Giacchano’s encomium of creativity in his acceptance speech to be particularly disingenuous.

UK trailer for A Single Man is too good for its own good

The best 90 seconds of my day today were seeing this trailer for Tom Ford’s A Single Man. It made me forget to keep breathing until it was over.

When I got home from the cinema, I had to watch three other trailers for the same movie before I found the right one, so if you live in the US you probably haven’t seen this trailer. The others are just not as good, and look like they were edited before the music was selected, instead of being edited in rhythm to the (same) music like this one is. The other trailers also lay the ticking clock over the music instead of keeping them separate for a more arresting effect, as in this one:

Sometimes trailers are so bad they make me not want to see a movie that might itself be pretty good. Once in a while, however, there is a trailer that is so good it makes me not want to see the movie because it can’t possibly be as good as the trailer. I couldn’t go to Breakfast on Pluto because the trailer was too good. Now I’m afraid of seeing A Single Man.