Narcissism vs. Altruism – Why are we all so angry?

Over the last couple of days, Facebook has been dominated by the ‘No Make-Up Selfie’ in the name of cancer awareness. The concept is that women post photos of themselves, stripped of their usual slap, on the social networking site after donating to Cancer Research in order to show support for those who, whilst suffering from cancer, have lost the privilege of being able to look after their appearances during treatment. The resultant increase in donations received by the charity shows the strength of a strategy such as this even though Cancer Research UK have revealed that they had nothing to do with its initiation, although they do support it. £1 million was raised for the cause over a period of 24 hours and the selfies are still coming with people branching out to other cancer charities ranging from research funds to hospice care.

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However, despite the undeniable boost this activity has provided to the charities’ funds, there has been an angry backlash from many Facebook users. The ‘selfie’ has always been a narcissistic element of the website; taking a photo of yourself for no other reason than to post it for your entire network to see, thereby inviting comments and ‘likes’. Many users find it disturbing that people are using such a destructive disease to boost their virtual popularity. At face value some participants seem to be bathing in a kind of martyrdom, showing that they’ve ‘sacrificed’ make up for a worthy cause and posting screenshots of their donation confirmation pages in order to show Facebook their saintly sides.

Why don’t people just donate privately if they actually want to make a difference without receiving the validation of others? Is this yet another way of painting an idealistic picture of your online identity? “Look at me! Here’s a picture of me and my gorgeous boyfriend, we’re so in love you know. This is a status about my fab new job and the company car I’ll be getting with it! I’ll just check-in at this 5 star hotel so that you can see what an amazing time I’ve been having. Oh and I don’t even need make up to look good, plus I’ve donated to charity so I’m beautiful inside and out.”

Of course I’m exaggerating and nobody has actually posted such an obnoxious status all in one sitting, they’d be virtually crucified if they did, but I’m sure the majority of us can recognise that, in isolation, these are the statements made through Facebook on a daily basis. Some people go to the other extreme and publicly wallow in self-loathing and misery and this receives a similarly negative response from other users. What’s worse? Concealing your misfortunes in order to focus on the positives and preserve the appearance of happiness; or being brutally honest about how difficult you’re finding it to overcome the pitfalls and insecurities that we all occasionally have to deal with?

I have another question though… Who cares? Unless your life is being directly affected by the way other people govern their online presence (in which case you can easily ‘de-friend’ or ‘unfollow’ them with the click of a button) what reason is there for the anger brewing in the online community? I understand that, for those who have been affected by the disease either personally or through family and friends, it may seem insensitive and superficial. The fact of the matter is, though, that money is being raised for a worthy cause and surely this can only be a positive thing.

I, personally, believe that there is no such thing as altruism. I strongly believe in generosity of spirit and charitableness but I honestly do not think that it’s possible to commit a totally selfless good deed and that isn’t a criticism. When it comes to charitable giving, it’s not the reasoning that matters; it’s the act itself. Your drive for giving money to Cancer Research could be one of many things: you may have lost a loved one to the disease or battled through it yourself, you might be waiting for test results at this very moment and predicting how the research may help you in the worst case scenario, you might be fascinated by the pioneering science that the charity is funding or you might even just want to join in with the latest internet craze. The result is the same: your money is going to a worthy cause. If you donate privately, you will still feel comforted by the fact that you’re contributing to a charity that you believe in; you don’t necessarily need to shout it to the rest of the world, but you’re happy to have participated in the progression in some capacity.

It’s baffling to me that the ‘No Make-Up Selfie’ has received such a backlash when other, extremely similar, movements such as Movember, Dryathlon and Stoptober saw next to no criticism. There is just as much narcissism involved in telling everyone that you’re ‘sacrificing’ alcohol for a month as there is in posting a photo of yourself having ‘sacrificed’ make-up; the only difference I can see is that you’re asking people to donate to your page as opposed to urging them to donate independently.

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So, I’ll finish by saying that I have participated in this latest craze. I’ve used it as a platform to urge people to be aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, a strain of the disease that is diagnosed in 7,000 women a year in the UK and took the life of my wonderful Auntie Sher nearly 4 years ago. It may not make a huge difference, but if it encourages other people to donate to Target Ovarian Cancer or makes even one person get checked out after noticing those common symptoms, then the post has done its job. I was originally skeptical of the selfies’ ability to raise money and awareness, I’ve always opted for private donations in the past, but having read about the astounding amount that’s been raised in such a short time, my doubts have been quashed. The internet encourages herd mentality, I’d much rather people jump on the charity band wagon than the Neknominate one – wouldn’t you?

Text BEAT to 70007 to donate £3 to Cancer Research UK, or carry on donating to the charity of your choice. As long as you’re doing something, no-one should be able to criticise how you’re doing it.

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10 Ways to Spot a British Backpacker in Australia

A more substantial post about my final week in Sydney is on its way, I’ll be finishing it off on the long bus journey to Woolgoolga tomorrow night. In the mean time, here are a few silly observations from the last month to keep you going!

> We will most likely be sporting some painful sun burn.

> When the conversation turns to ‘thongs’ we will instinctively react with a little giggle.

> We’re unimpressed and confused by the Australian attempt at queuing. Standing in a group and facing in the same direction is not a queue, it’s a crowd.

> When given a free hotdog and soft drink at the Australia Day BBQ by The Rocks, we reacted with disbelief and uncertainty. After having finally established that there really wasn’t a catch, our distrust transformed into almost tearful gratitude.

> We say ‘thank you’ to shop keepers before leaving their premises, even if we’ve only crossed the threshold for 5 seconds before realising that we’ve entered by accident. If we’re not acknowledged, we will be a little hurt that our appreciation wasn’t appreciated.

> We want a pint, not a schooner.

> Point to something near our foot with an expression of horror on your face and we will scream and jump about a foot in the air, convinced that our fear of being eaten alive by spiders and snakes has finally come true.

> We didn’t believe that ‘Tim Tams’ were actually any better than ‘Penguins’ but now we do and we can’t stop eating them, drinking our tea through them and talking about them. ‘Vegemite’, however, is a poor man’s ‘Marmite’.

> We love the fact that the Aussie surfer’s word for ‘excited’ is ‘frothing’. It’s hilarious and we’re going to use it constantly.

> If you mention the cricket… just don’t mention the cricket. Please.

Who Likes SHORT Shorts?

One of my favourite parts of planning for any holiday is figuring out what clothes to take; visualising yourself in the sunny destination looking skinny, tanned and healthy. It’s bound to happen! I mean, I’m going for a run today!… Maybe tomorrow actually, we’ll see… Well, the bikini body is going to be achieved before I hit the beach, let’s put it that way.

However, at the moment, the process has come to a halt. I can’t seem to find any affordable shorts that will actually cover up my bum adequately – apparently bum cheeks are in fashion and have been for the last few years. Here are a few examples of shorts that you can currently purchase on NastyGal:

I don’t mean any offence to the NasyGal models: you all have wonderful bums, truly. But, to be honest with you, I have nothing wrong with my own bum and I still wouldn’t be caught wearing these modern equivalents of a female loin cloth without wearing tights underneath. This style isn’t flattering for most people and it certainly doesn’t cater for those who may be a little less confident with their figures, but you’re really hard pushed to find a decent alternative on the current market. Any item longer than crotch-level seems to take on a much older, unshapely design – why does a preference for modesty seem to equal boyish or baggy?

I’m not a prude by the way, I have been known to wear revealing outfits on nights out at university and I enjoy making the most of what I’ve got but, now that I’m planning for solo travel, I think it would be pretty stupid to walk around with my bum out. I really don’t want that kind of attention when I’m a 21-year-old female, travelling around a foreign country without the guarantee of constant company.

I’d like something more like these, still showing skin, but with no danger of feeling like someone might smack my bare bottom:

I’m still yet to find any nice-fitting examples of the styles above in highstreet or online stores but, as soon as I do, I will be buying many pairs and will post my findings on here.

So why have the hotpants stolen the spotlight? Is it desirable? I’ve been with male friends before when a girl wearing ridiculously short shorts has walked past, and everyone present has winced and expressed a bit of disdain. One guy even went so far as to say that the girl had a ‘hungry bum’ due to the fact that it looked like the material was being eaten by her crotch… an unpleasant description, but then again, it was an unpleasant image.

Well… is it empowering for women then? I know that a lot of girls deliberately avoid the style because of feeling exposed, a feeling that I certainly share. So I would be reluctant to say that the style is progressive for women; it’s impractical, uncomfortable and unattractive in most cases.

So this leaves me with my title question: who actually likes short shorts? It seems to me that most of us would be quite grateful to see the return of mere shorts, at least then bending down to pick something up wouldn’t make us feel as though we’re going to flash our undercarriages.

*Aim: get the word ‘undercarriage’ into a blog post. COMPLETED.

The Internet: Shield and Weapon

The majority of my writing for this blog is light-hearted and, hopefully, uplifting; today I’m actually going to talk about something more serious. Please let me know what you think about the following issue and how it could potentially be resolved, it’s something that I believe everyone has been/will be affected by at some point in their lives and one of the most important ways of combating it is by talking about it.

I’ve just finished watching Teens React to Bullying (Amanda Todd), an episode from a popular YouTube series from producers TheFineBros. The makers broadcast the reactions of different demographics to particular viral videos, usually with amusing results. However, this particular episode indicates to me how powerful the format can really be. Amanda Todd was the victim of severe cyber-bullying; after being complimented on her looks by a stranger on video chat, she was persuaded to flash him, he then used the possession of the photo to blackmail her into performing a ‘show’ for him. A couple of years later, she was notified by police that the photo had been distributed on the internet and the bullying that followed was what prompted her to upload a YouTube video on September 7th (2012) describing her experience as a warning for others and showed her pleading for help or advice. The video received a torrent of abusive comments from viewers; 15 year old Amanda committed suicide on October 10th of the same year.

I had heard about the incident before now, but had never actually watched the video until stumbling upon Teens React. The discussion between the teens about cyber-bullying, depression and the internet is eloquent and extremely thought provoking – I could feel a kind of indignation bubbling away in my chest as I listened to the interviews. Some of the respondents blame bad parenting and the lack of appropriate supervision for the presence of cyber-bullying but I, personally, believe that it’s actually the internet itself that has the most to answer for. It facilitates an even more vicious form of bullying due to the option of anonymity and the evasion of face-to-face confrontation. Essentially, anyone can be a bully; it takes no courage and absolutely no effort because the internet provides a convenient courier service for the abuse.

I’d just like to give you some examples of the, quite frankly, disgusting comments that were left and continue to be left on Amanda’s video. Try to imagine these statements being vocalised, I find it hard to believe that these people would actually have the guts to say their comments to someone’s face. The following comments have been directly copied from the comments section of My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harmthese particular examples were posted after her suicide, but the tone of them should give you an indication of the type of messages she was receiving when she was alive.

>”YOU SON OF A BITCH!!!!! YOU SHOULD GO AND KILL YOUR SELF YOU MOTHER FUCKER. I BET GOD WOULD HELP YOU KILL YOUR SELF CUZZ TRUST ME I WOULD YOU KNOW GOOD FUCKIN ASS HOLE!!!!! GO GRAB A KNIFE AND START CUTTIN BITCH!”

>”Amanda deserved to die, she was a slut.”

>”This worthless filthy fucking skank, summed up everything that is wrong with most of todays young generation. Innocent kids like to study, play video games etc, then you get sluts like Amanda, who like to play stuff the muff and lick the dick with somebody elses boyfriend. Amanda’s a pathetic, lowlife, Grade A slut, who deserved every bad thing that happened to her. I hope the maggots enjoy eating away at her miserable rotten corpse.”

>”THANK GOD THIS UGLY BITCH IS DEAD ❤ I WANTED TO BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF HER TOO ❤ good bye slut. attention whore.”

All of the above were posted by separate contributors within the space of one day, a month ago. I’ve picked out 4 of the 197,065 comments that currently appear underneath Amanda’s video and, admittedly, a large percentage of them are sympathetic to her situation, a lot of them expressing dismay about her death and the devastating effect that cyber-bullies can have on their victims. The question is this: what can be done to stop cyber-bullying?

There is a function provided by websites such as YouTube in an attempt to quash ‘trolls’ (defined by Wikipedia as “people who sow discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people”): it’s called the ‘report button’. This may seem like a futile retaliation but, in reality, it can be a very effective way of dealing with these attention seekers. They’re putting on a performance for the rest of the world to be alarmed by and what better way is there to diminish the power they have than by ensuring that they cannot reach their audience? The anonymity of the internet works both ways; these faceless trolls thrive off the protection they receive from the guise of a YouTube username, but YOU can also use this protection to your advantage. If you report an abusive comment to the mediators of a website, you will never be revealed as the reporter but you will have drawn attention to a problem, thereby allowing action to be taken against the offender. There is obviously a line that needs to be drawn because not everything constitutes abuse but it doesn’t take a genius to differentiate between a bit of banter and the barbarity of the comments above.

Amanda Todd’s is just one of so many cases of cyber-bullying and the point of this article is not to just focus on one, isolated incident; I’m more concerned with the state of the internet community as a whole. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, the internet is the last place to go to when trying to find help. Unfortunately, it’s become abundantly clear that it is simply not a safe environment for vulnerable people to air their problems because, for all of the genuine help and advice you might receive, the destruction caused by those who prefer to be negative seems to be far more powerful. The amount of lives that are thwarted by depression, however severe, is quite staggering. In the UK in people will experience some form of mental health problem in the course of a year*; it is unbelievably common and there is absolutely no reason to feel alone or helpless, the fact of the matter is that life divvies out all kinds of emotional trauma and not everybody can cope with the stress that it brings. You might feel better just getting on with life and keeping it to yourself, you might prefer to talk to somebody about it in an attempt to relieve those unpleasant feelings; however you decide to deal with it, just try to go about it in a way that is sensible and productive for you.

There are some fantastic services in the UK for helping you deal with mental health problems, I know that there is a long road ahead in terms of battling with the stigma attached to those problems, but the following organisations are trying everything they can to get there.

If you are younger, or know a child who is being affected by depression or bullying, the NSPCC provide a number of services that can help. If you are a child or young adult yourself, you can contact Childline on 0800 1111. Adults with concerns about a child may call the helpline on 0808 800 5000. Both lines will honour your right to anonymity if you’re worried about the consequence of the call however, as an adult reporting abuse, once the child has been contacted, if they wish for action to be taken, you may be called upon to help them resolve the case.

SANE are a fantastic charity and will offer help to all ages suffering with mental illness. You can call their helpline on 0845 767 8000 for help with any mental health issue; they are there to provide support however severe or mild you think your situation might be.

I’m sorry that this last section is specific to the UK, as I live in England I’m just writing about the services that I have knowledge of and have worked with. However, wherever you are, you should be able to find some kind of help, I believe that SANE actually work in Australia too and Rethink provide support in America.

I’m going to end this in a fairly cheesy way, but I think it’s appropriate as a way of thinking about how an individual is perceived. One of the most poignant quotes that I’ve come across is this:

“Every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart.” – Frank Warren

Told you it was cheesy! Ever since hearing this, I’ve tried to apply it to everyone I meet. You can’t tell what a person’s gone through from merely looking at the surface, in some cases you  might not know a person’s secret despite years and years of friendship, but if you try to think about how this might explain a person’s actions, demeanour and outlook on life, empathy and compassion will be far easier to achieve.

Forgive me for going a bit ‘peace to the world!’ on you tonight, but some things just really push my buttons and this is one of them. If you’d like to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to comment, I really do want to hear what you think.

*Statistics taken from http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-statistics/


Spiders, Snakes and Sharks

When I booked my flight to Australia in March, I was only thinking about the excitement, sun and cities. I was having wonderful dreams about stepping off that plane and being whisked away on an adventure comprising solely of surfing, beaches, relaxation and happiness (with a little bit of work along the way). However, whenever I mentioned the trip to my British friends, the first question was always something along the lines of: “Aren’t you worried about all of the spiders and snakes and sharks and stuff?”…

…Well, no! I wasn’t until you made it clear to me how terrified I should be. Now my dreams of beach walks and carefree swimming are being infiltrated by all sorts of killer creatures – the serenity of my walk is always foiled by huge spiders falling on my head and snakes snapping at my heels and my afternoon swims seem to repeatedly end with me wading into the open mouth of a giant shark like a gruesome reenactment of Jonah and the Whale. My friends who either live or have lived in the country keep reminding me that it really isn’t the bug dystopia that people expect it to be. There is more chance that you’ll bump into a poisonous spider in Sydney than in Leeds, but that doesn’t indicate a certainty that it will happen and, even if it does, the encounter isn’t doomed to end in a deadly bite or death itself.

In favour of calming myself down a bit, I did a little bit of research. This research started with a YouTube session based on searching for videos of ‘cute spiders’. Not a good idea. This is the first thing I came across:

Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly comforted by Torn80cj’s idea of ‘cute’ and, rather than feeling reassured, I simply felt slightly ill. Add to this the information gleaned from this article and you might be starting to get an idea of the fear that was surging through my body at midnight last night.

However, I then started thinking about the dangers and threats that are present in the UK and how little I am affected by my fear of them: car accidents, muggings, murderers, rapists, diseases, terrorists, ecoli… As the list grew, I started to realise how ridiculous it is to be paralysed by fear and hyperaware of what could kill me. I’ve luckily managed to avoid most of the dangers listed (I must confess being struck down by food poisoning once or twice) and I’m still standing, as are the majority of the population. I’ve got to conclude that if I don’t confront my fear of creepy crawlies, I’ll simply miss out on experiencing the aspects of Australia that I’ve been so excited about. It’s time to toughen up and face whatever the Australian eco system might throw at me.

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What I’ve Missed About Yorkshire

The last two weeks have marked the longest period of time in which I’ve been back in Yorkshire over the past two and a half years. Travelling from London to Harrogate is difficult when you’re living on a student budget and your plans are constantly subject to change – if you don’t book those train tickets way in advance then you’re not likely to find a return train journey for anything under £60 and the Megabus is often unavailable if you’re booking at such short notice. For those reasons, I quite often passed up the opportunity to come back up north in favour of saving money and being able to make myself available for events in Surrey. Despite missing London, my boyfriend, friends and uni life in general, I’m starting to see the positive side of moving back to North Yorkshire. It really is a beautiful county and Harrogate, especially, is a lovely town to come back to.

The top 5 things I’ve missed about Yorkshire are… 

>Good tea

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I know it’s obvious, I know it seems as though every Yorkshire dwelling tea-drinker condemns the rest of the world’s tea as inferior, I know you’re probably sick and tired of us pining for ‘a proper brew’ but it’s got to be said: It’s nice to be able to go into a café knowing that your tea will taste of tea and not milky dishwater.

>Cheap drinks

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I went out last night with my boyfriend and we got 6 cocktails for only £15. That works out at £2.50 per cocktail. Apologies to any Londoners who have thrown up on themselves out of jealousy and shock after having spent more than a fiver on one pint and £8 on a cocktail last Saturday night.

>Conversations with strangers without feeling the fear of being chopped up into little pieces

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Now I’m not saying that I’m going to lose all sense of what’s dangerous and I’m certainly not suggesting that every stranger in Yorkshire is trustworthy, however I do stand by the fact that you find yourself striking up conversation with people at bus stops, in coffee shops and on the train without feeling as though they’re on day leave from an asylum. This isn’t without exception of course, but in London you tend to be looked upon as an oddball if you happen to make eye contact with a stranger for too long without apologising for breaching that person’s personal boundaries; in Yorkshire, if you see someone who’s reading your favourite book, you feel as though you can talk to them about that without them looking for the nearest exit. It works the other way too, you don’t necessarily feel as though you should be wary of someone who starts talking to you just because you’ve both got to wait 15 minutes for the same bus; it’s understandable and often feels like welcome company when you’d ordinarily just be listening to your iPod and pretending not to feel the cold in the lovely Yorkshire drizzle.

>You’re never too far away from a park or field

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There are obviously some beautiful walks elsewhere in England, but you really are spoilt for choice in North Yorkshire. The picture above shows the stepping stones at Bolton Abbey which is less than half an hour away from my house – just one of many beautiful sites in the Yorkshire Dales, not to mention all of the parks and gardens to be found in the town and surrounding areas. I will write a separate entry soon recommending some walks and the perfect places to read if you’re ever up this way, they really are worth checking out. 

>Bettys

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If you’ve ever been, you’ll know what the fuss is all about. Bettys is to Yorkshire what I guess Harrods is to London – it’s a symbol of wealth and a taste of how the other half lives. Bettys traditional tea rooms can be found in Harrogate, York and Ilkley and they house the most glorious tea, coffee and cakes that you’re ever likely to get your hands on. It may be expensive and it may be old fashioned, but that’s what makes it such a treat. Every time I come back to Harrogate or introduce a friend to the town, it has to be marked by a spot of afternoon tea and one or two (or three) sweet treats. 

These are just a few reasons to visit ‘God’s own county’… even if you don’t necessarily believe in God. Although I’m obviously extremely proud of Yorkshire and all that it has to offer, there are, of course, a lot of things that I miss about London and I will detail those in another post. To be honest, I just feel extremely lucky to find myself in a position where I can even compare the two places – I feel spoilt rotten!

Soundtracks: Make or Break

Baz Luhrmann’s rejuvenation of The Great Gatsby has really divided its audiences. Although I’m aware that his directing style has afforded him almost as many adversaries as it has devotees, I’m personally a huge fan of the way Luhrmann breathes modern style into eras passed, particularly in Romeo + Juliet. However his most recent venture really missed the mark for me and I believe that the soundtrack is largely to blame for my disappointment.

When I think of the 20s, putting aside the obvious historical associations, I think of the fashion, the make-up and, most importantly, the music. I understand Luhrmann’s attempt to make the era culturally relevant to a modern audience, comparing jazz to hip hop by including current artists such as Jay-Z and Will.I.Am, but I didn’t enjoy it at all. For me, a massive part of the 20s identity was sacrificed; the combination of artists such as these and the visual iconography of the roaring 20s was jarring and frustrating. The soundtrack for Romeo + Juliet was so successful because Luhrmann was modernising Shakespeare’s work by updating everything but the language used – the clothes, weapons, cars and music had all been catapulted into the late 20th century and all of these elements gelled. In The Great Gatsby, there was such attention to detail in delivering a rich visual reconstruction of the Jazz Age; it just seems strange to me to transport an audience back to that time only to juxtapose it with music that’s so heavily associated with the early 21st century, thereby disallowing total transportation and jolting us back to the present. I will list a few of the songs included on the soundtrack and you will hopefully be able to understand my dismay. I’d like to clarify at this point that I don’t dislike the music itself, I just take issue with how it was used in this particular example.

The synth, the vocal distortion, the grunting… it just doesn’t really scream 1922, does it?

You can hear the train of thought a little better here, but I can’t help but think that the sampling merely draws attention to how Will.I.Am appears to be ruining a perfectly good song.

Having briefly discussed a film in which the music seems to detract from the general ambience of the rest of the design, I’d like to move on to an example of a perfect marriage of cinematography and music composition. Amélie, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, is the film equivalent of bottling up the essence of a place and keeping it in an atomiser ready for someone to release into the atmosphere at will. Whenever I watch it, I feel as though I’ve escaped to Paris for a couple of hours – its visual richness is matched and exacerbated by the beautiful score, original music by Yann Tiersen. The following scene, in particular, just stirs something in me… Seriously, I’m dangerously close to forgetting about my week’s commitments and just jumping on the Eurostar…

This scene encapsulates the romanticised version of Paris I have in my head. I’m not going to deny the fact that I’ve walked through Montmartre with this playing, full volume, on my iPod.

A few other films in which a sense of place is assisted by the soundtrack are In Bruges, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Slumdog Millionaire.

A composer that often ticks all my personal film-music boxes is Thomas Newman; his style is distinctive and memorable for very positive reasons. Films he’s scored include American Beauty, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Finding Nemo. His music strikes the perfect balance between emoting the audience and complementing the action on screen, thus avoiding stealing the limelight. The opening of American Beauty remains one of my favourites of all time. After a chilling, and unaccompanied, scene which sees Lester Burnham’s daughter plotting his murder, Thomas Newman’s ‘Dead Already’ plays underneath Lester’s opening monologue; the two elements work together to create a wonderful sense of anticipation – watch this next clip and try to resist the temptation to watch the entire film… it’s very difficult not to submit to the intrigue.


I could talk about this topic for days on end, but I’d probably only be reinforcing the same message: a good soundtrack contributes to and works with the other elements of the film; it doesn’t try to overpower the acting and cinematography, it purely assists these aspects. I can understand why some directors might want to experiment with the role of music in film, but if it’s experimenting to the detriment of the rest of the film, why mess around? Clever in theory isn’t always successful in practice.

Other Films with Notable Soundtracks – definitely not an exhaustive list…

The Conversation (1974) Dir. Francis Ford Coppola

The Grifters (1991) Dir. Stephen Frears

High Fidelity (2000) Dir. Stephen Frears

The Road to Perdition (2002) Dir. Sam Mendes

Blue Valentine (2010) Dir. Derek Cianfrance

This Is England (2007) Dir. Shane Meadows

50/50 (2011) Dir. Jonathan Levine