Thursday, August 11, 2011


I went to see this 1982 film when it was being shown in series of paranoia films in the IFI. Unlike the others (Parallax View, The Conversation, etc.) it was the only one based on a true story – the sad tale of an American guy who was disappeared in the aftermath of the Pinochet coup in Chile. As such it was a bit of a nostalgia trip for me – Pinochet was something of a bĂȘte noire for my old school, and I recall us all being trooped off to see it when it came out.

I hope to talk more about this powerful film in the future, but for now I will just mention its rather impressive soundtrack, an ominous piece of synthesiser work by Vangelis. I came out of the film thinking that I might have to look for it, but it turns out to be yet another of the Greek sensation's classic but unavailable soundtracks. It did get me thinking, however – where does the idea that Vangelis is some kind of cheese-meister (or feta-archon) come from, given how much in the way of properly atmospheric film soundtracks he has done? Maybe Chariots of Fire is to blame – but even the music in that is pretty good, isn't it? I think it must be that Vangelis is a victim of an unhealthy stew of rockism and racism.

image source

An inuit panda production


Andrew Sherman said...

Never mind Chariots of Fire, what about Blade Runner? His old group was good too. But I think the main problem with Vangelis was that he wore uncool clothes. Plus collaborating with Jon Anderson is not always the wisest choice.

ian said...

coincidentally - or not - I rewatched Blade Runner recently and was sadly disappointed by the soundtrack, which seemed a bit plinky plinky rather than properly ominous.

and I only discovered yesterday that the Jon in Jon and Vangelis was from Yes.

rener said...

"collaborating with Jon Anderson is not always the wisest choice."

Ye understatemente of ye millenniumme.