Back again with a "name that movie" question, based upon the soundtrack.
May 13, 2014 1:24 PM   Subscribe

The other day I heard a song that I recognized from a movie, and its driving me NUTS that I can't figure out what the movie is.

The song itself is played on a single piano, slowly, without many chords. There is no singing, and no other instrument. The mood invoked is melancholy. I have absolutely no music language skills, so that's the best I got. In my mind, the movie must be a drama (most likely American), perhaps an award nominee or winner, of recent vintage. Does this ring a bell? My husband and I spent an hour last night trying to figure this out, to no avail. Google-ing this is tough, can anyone help me out?
posted by msali to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Not much to go on, but maybe if you identify the song, we could identify the movie. Try listening to Philip Glass or Maxence Cyrin- do any of their songs/covers ring a bell?
posted by thewumpusisdead at 1:34 PM on May 13, 2014

Also take a listen to some Eric Satie.
posted by janey47 at 1:35 PM on May 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Layla by Derek and the Dominos, from Goodfellaz?
posted by ijaaz at 1:38 PM on May 13, 2014

Requiem for a Dream?
posted by sevensnowflakes at 1:40 PM on May 13, 2014

Also, I know Philip Glass scored The Hours, so you might try that soundtrack.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 1:42 PM on May 13, 2014

If it was this song, then it was Fame.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:44 PM on May 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

To me this sounds like a description of Thomas Newman's work on the AMERICAN BEAUTY score.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:45 PM on May 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Ooh, drjimmy, good call on Thomas Newman! Road To Perdition is another Thomas Newman possibility.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:48 PM on May 13, 2014

Yeah, I was thinking Thomas Newman as well.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:49 PM on May 13, 2014

Any chance that it's the pervasive piano music from Eyes Wide Shut?
posted by jbickers at 1:50 PM on May 13, 2014

Someone posted The Heart Asks Pleasure First from The Piano on the blue the other day. Other possibilities that come to mind are Comptine d'un autre été from Amélie, Opus 17 and Opus 36 from Marie Antoinette, and We Move Lightly from Like Crazy. I'm afraid I'm on a phone, or else I'd link to them.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 1:56 PM on May 13, 2014

Thomas Newman?

James Newton Howard's theme for Mr. Glass from Unbreakable?
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:02 PM on May 13, 2014

This might be a long shot, but one of the more iconic/memorable uses of melancholy, slow, solo piano music in an American drama (not recent, but in color, and memory can play tricks) is the closing sequence to My Dinner With Andre (go about 2m50s in), with Satie's Gymnopédie 1.
posted by deathmarch to epistemic closure at 2:05 PM on May 13, 2014

Arvo Part's Spiegel im Spiegel gets used constantly in movies. Recently I believe it was in the trailer for Gravity, but that's just one example. It's not just piano, but the haunting piano dominates and you might have forgotten the strings.
posted by The Bellman at 2:06 PM on May 13, 2014

Whoever got Thomas Newman gets the win! Drjimmy11! I thought it might be from American Beauty (that was my hunch that I didn't want to sully the field with false leads).
Thank you all for playing, and thanks again, Green, you saved the day!
posted by msali at 2:08 PM on May 13, 2014

My first thought was Erik Satie's Gymnopédie No.1, which has been used in several films including Hugo, About Schmidt, The Royal Tenenbaums and Chocolat.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 2:14 PM on May 13, 2014

(Ah, I took too long to peck out that comment on my phone. Glad you found the piece of music you were thinking of!)
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 2:16 PM on May 13, 2014

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