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Loin Des Hommes by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Review)

posted May 19, 2015, 9:15 PM by Koray Savas   [ updated May 19, 2015, 9:29 PM ]

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis are literally two of my favorite film composers. Both musicians sort of shoehorned their way into the film industry, but the films they work on are nothing sort of insanely special. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford is one of my favorite films and scores of the past 20 years. The last time the duo wrote for "mainstream" film was with 2012's Lawless, which was more source adaptions than original score, so Far From Men is an exceptionally special treat.

The film takes place during the Algerian war in 1954, and follows a French teacher (played by Viggo Mortensen) as he forms a bond with a dissident, and is then in turn ordered to bring him in to the authorities. The music here harkens back a little bit to the duo's work on The Proposition, particularly with Psarandonis' vocals in "Far From Men" and "The March." Nonetheless, the auteurist qualities of the music never fail to illicit the most sincere and heartfelt of emotions from the audience. This is dramatic scoring on a whole other level, one that is completely separate from any other style or genre, and completely unique to the backgrounds of these two composers. If you let it, the music will break you down and force you to wallow in the melancholy and treachery of the human spirit, as every nuance and melody washes over your broken existence. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis do not compose music for a listening experience, they compose music to tell stories, to share feelings, and ultimately, show you a path of physical and mental deconstruction that no one else can replicate. There are no highlight tracks here, the whole 43-minute album is an experience to behold and ponder.

Far From Men is not the film score you seek for joy or pleasure, it requires a certain mindset and emotional state in order to function at its full potential. From the instrumentation to the harmonic dissonance that weeps over your ethereal essence, the music presented here means so much more than your typical movie music. It transcends the film it was written for and digs into the bones of the characters, and more so, the audience, bringing you to an unbearable yet clear level of ache and beauty, of pain and freedom. It is the type of music that resounds with the pneuma of those that listen to it, and for this listener, gives meaning to the creative force of life. Most will not understand or hear this connection, but the few that do will know the power of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.