What’s the Score? Local Musicians Hit a High Note on Films
A good score has its finger on the heartbeat of a film. It mirrors a movie’s dramatic metronome, riding the rhythm of the plot with such pitch-perfect precision that it can’t help but strike a chord with audiences.
But for years, film scores have been seen as bit players in the Indonesian film industry. Most film scores are little more than cinematic Muzak, synthesized bleeps and bloops that coalesce into cliched dramatic cues like light piano during sad moments and frenzied squeals when the action heats up.
By the end, there was little difference between the score of an Indonesian film and a television soap opera. And as the industry sunk under the weight of low-budget horror films, raunchy comedies and sappy romances, film scores seemed unlikely to survive.
But a new generation of producers are breathing life into the industry, focusing their attention on an art form that was, by all accounts, on life support. Not since the classic 1977 film “Badai Pasti Berlalu” (“The Storm Will Pass”) have film scores been this good. Fresh blood like Zeke Khaseli and Aghi Narottama, who recently scored the high-octane remake of “Catatan Harian si Boy,” are reminding audiences that there is more to a movie than the images.