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Baker's Dozen

Immersion Through Disturbance: Clint Mansell's Favourite Film Soundtracks
Kiran Acharya , May 14th, 2014 11:46

The former Pop Will Eat Itself singer turned film score maestro tells Kiran Acharya about the 13 soundtracks that have inspired him most


John Carpenter - Assault On Precinct 13
This is very near to being a perfect film score, to me. On a Friday night when I was eighteen and we were all on the dole, we'd go to this place in a town called Cradley Heath, an old cinema; a fleapit in the heart of the Black Country called Cradley Royal. They'd do double bills and it was only a pound to get in. It might be Friday The 13th or The Warriors, all these sort of films, always on repeat. We'd go pretty much every week as we had nothing else to do and no real money. I remember my mum seeing Assault On Precinct 13 before I did. I remember her telling me how she'd laughed when one of the guys says something like, "I've got a new idea for a game. It's called jump out the window and run like a bastard!"

When I eventually saw it, that soundscape was so new to me. Even though by that time, Donna Summer had done 'I Feel Love', and I'd also seen Halloween by then. But Assault On Precinct 13 created this instant menace. Musically, it was so different to anything I knew, and it just pulled me into the film. Little did I realise that was probably a major event for me, in terms of my own future film-scoring ideas. It's minimal, it's repetitive, it builds up the mood. It drops into moments of real emotion and beauty, with the track 'Julie' and the 'Precinct 9-Division 13' piece. And oddly, it always sounded to me like that's where Fatboy Slim got 'The Weekend Starts Here' from. This beautiful Rhodes-y electric piano kind of piece.