Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

Same Song, Different Movie: Vide Cor Meum by Patrick Cassidy

Continuing my thoughts from last month regarding the use of song in film, I’ll reiterate some that I’ve previously said. “Needle dropped” tunes are not considered part of a film score — those orchestral, choral, or instrumental pieces some consider background music. I think both are utilized as cues by filmmakers for a specific purpose or to elicit certain reactions by the audience. I’m fascinated by this in general, and movie soundtracks have specifically intrigued me. They represent a convergence of the music and film arts I’ve allocated much time toward. Some movie soundtracks (many my favorites) have incorporated those songs the director or music programmer have showcased in their movie along with the film’s score.

A few filmmakers have made it part of their filmography to incorporate popular song as a regular element in their work. Quentin Tarantino, for one. Hell, that director has been known to throw in dialogue from the actual motion picture as a track for the listener to relive. So, I’ve claimed this use of music, whether others like it or not, is very much a part of the movie experience and related to its composition. I continue to watch out for it in my movie viewing. My blogging colleague over at Fog’s Movie Review took note of this a few weeks back in his excellent, Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Song From a Movie?:

“… there’s a deep connection between the two arts, and sometimes that winds up creating an inseparable bond between the two in the viewer’s mind.”

Once more, I’ve selected a song used in more than one movie. Although, this one wouldn’t have climbed Billboard’s Top 100 for popular song. I say that because we are talking about an aria in this instance, a song you’d expect to hear at an opera. This particularly mournful piece, incorporating female and male contending voices, was used in a pair of films by the same director (with different film scorers) in equally quiet, moving scenes from two very different motion pictures from the 00s. Patrick Cassidy’s Vide Cor Meum.

Hannibal (2001)

Written by the Irish classical composer with Hans Zimmer specifically for this film adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel and its operatic production of Dante’s “La Vita Nuova”. The piece accompanied the sonnet “A ciascun’alma presa” in chapter 3 of the work, and remains a hauntingly beautiful piece of music. Ridley Scott’s sequence is tailor-made for the aria as it occurs during that scene of the outdoor opera in Florence with Inspector Renaldo Pazzi and his supposed quarry, Hannibal Lecter, in the audience. The director will repeat the song during the end credits of this under-appreciated film. After Hannibal believes he has his opponent, FBI agent Clarice Starling, in his grasp. In both instances, the emotional aria is used to denote love — Pazzi for his wife that will be secured by the money he’ll receive with Hannibal’s capture, and Lecter’s belief his acts toward Starling will be reciprocated. However, the real impact of the evocative song the filmmaker achieved was the lament of the emotion’s loss. Signaling that neither character gets to hold on to it.

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

For fans of this director, it may have caught them off-guard when the same tune was used four years later in his period epic that plays out across the Holy Land three religions lay claim upon. What did an opera aria (in Italian, no less), the exact same one written by that modern-day composer (though this film was scored by Harry Gregson-Williams) from the previous film have to do this tale? Sung again by Danielle de Niese and Bruno Lazzaretti, I’m predisposed to think Ridley Scott was repeating himself purposely in this re-application. Involved once more with love’s loss. The song centers on the character of Sibylla and her mourn of Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, her beloved brother dying of leprosy. The scene heeds that love, though shielded from her gaze of the plagued, cannot last. While she moves to protect her cherished son’s life by aligning herself to the one she most despises — her husband, Guy of Lusignan — it’s futile. In the end, the song heralds her loss even with that as she’ll learn her most dear is a leper, too.

Note: YouTube and studios have blocked this uploaded scene. The above clip will have to suffice.

The entire series can be found here.

28 Responses to “Same Song, Different Movie: Vide Cor Meum by Patrick Cassidy”

  1. rtm

    I haven’t seen Hannibal but Kingdom of Heaven is just ok, I think I just don’t like Orlando Bloom. The music is good though, and boy do you have a keen ear, Michael.

    • le0pard13

      Yes, that’s the common complaint of ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, Orlando Bloom. I know a few that really wish it had been Russell Crowe in that role. Thanks for the compliment and the comment, Ruth.

      • rtm

        Oh yeah, I think w/ Russell or even Guy Pearce in that role it could’ve been a classic. Plus, why cast someone like Ed Norton and have him wear a mask the whole time??

        • le0pard13

          Oooh, I never thought about Guy Pierce in this, but sure. He would have worked out nicely as Balian. However, Orlando does look more like a sibling to Michael Sheen’s rotten priest brother character ;-). Thanks, Ruth.

    • Castor

      Ahaha yea, put Russell Crowe or really, just about anyone else and Kingdom of Heaven would have been totally solid. No instead, we got that fool who ran away from Hercules and got Eric Bana killed!!!!

      • le0pard13

        The theatrical cut for ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ was also problematic, as the director’s cut clearly showed when released. Great point about Orlando’s Paris character in ‘Troy’, Castor. I think, though, you’re referring to Brendan Gleeson’s Menelaus and not Hercules. Thanks for adding to this, my friend.

  2. Dan

    Very interesting. I’ve heard James Horner’s score for Aliens played out many times on other films/commercials/TV shows or something very similar and I’ve always found it to be disconcerting. My original interpretation of a piece of music with a piece of film sticks in my mind, everything after that feels like its copying and fails to rekindle the same emotion. That said, Horner has been criticised for reproducing very similar material over and over so maybe it is his fault!

    • le0pard13

      Ha! Good one, Dan. Yes, I’ve heard those pieces from ‘Aliens’ re-used a number of times across other shows, films, etc., too. It is noticeable. Oooh… you got me thinking about another I could do following this SS,DM thread. And I will give you credit, my friend. Thanks, Dan.

  3. Ronan

    Great topic here Michael, you’re absolutely spot on too. Music is such a vital part of the movies, the two are inextricably linked. Like bread and flour. The one is composed of the other, which gives it body, shape and volume. Makes it pretty darn tasty too. Steve Spielberg said of John William’s scoring of his films: ‘It’s his job to make the promise to the audience, and it’s my job to keep it’. Love that. Sums it up perfectly. You can’t have one without the other. Though I’m definitely an advocate of not over doing it and sign posting everything, especially when it comes to horror movies. In this case, less is more. Thanks Michael.

    • le0pard13

      I love the way you describe it, Ronan. You know I’ll agree with you. Great quote by Spielberg, too. When done well, it will strike a chord, alright. Many thanks.

  4. The Focused Filmographer

    would have NEVER known about the duplicate usage had it not been for this post. Thanks for the spotlight. I love this feature you are doing. Can’t wait to see what you bring out next!

    • le0pard13

      Very generous of you to say, T. Glad to hear that someone likes this focal point. Many thanks, my friend.

  5. The Sci-Fi Fanatic

    Yeah, it’s funny to see Ridley Scott not use Hans Zimmer for Kingdom when he turns to Hans so often.

    Great points about music and I completely concur. The music is SO important. Enjoyed yur reflections about the application here.

    I enjoyed Hannibal and Kingdom Of Heaven, which, funy enough, are both very good pictures but don’t rise to the level of Scott’s best.

    I don’t feel Orlando Bloom was ready for prime time in that picture so to speak, but I guess I didn’t find him as problematic as some here did. He was good, but I do agree the role could have been cast better.

    I wonder if the relative failure of this film has contributed to Bloom’s career to date which seems to have been relegated back to a supporting role rather than as a lead. Your thoughts?

    Cheers my friend

    • le0pard13

      Great to hear you chime in on this subject, SFF. At first and like you, I didn’t think Orlando Bloom was ready for prime time in ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. I probably grew use to him by the director’s cut release. The natural pick would have been Russell Crowe, but maybe he wasn’t available. I like Ruth’s suggestion that Guy Pearce wouldn’t have also made a better selection.

      Good point that this film’s lack of success contributing to Bloom’s career stall. He hasn’t done much since the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ trilogy. Although, he did have a villainous role last year in Paul W.S. Anderson’s ‘The Three Musketeers’ and his upcoming reprise of Legolas for ‘The Hobbit’. Maybe, things are looking up?

      Thanks for the comment, my friend.

  6. Same Song, Different Movie: Street Life by Will Jennings & Joe Sample | It Rains… You Get Wet

    [...] Same Song, Different Movie: Vide Cor Meum by Patrick Cassidy Share this:FacebookTwitterMoreRedditPrintDiggEmailStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Read more from film, music, song Arts, Burt Reynolds, Film, Film score, Jackie Brown, Joe Sample, Movies, Quentin Tarantino, Randy Crawford, Sharky's Machine, Will Jennings ← TMT: “Your suggested arrival time is 1 hour before the movie.” [...]


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