All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music. For while in all other kinds of art it is possible to distinguish the matter from the form, and the understanding can always make this distinction, it is the constant effort of art to obliterate it.
This is a quote by Walter Pater. In this article, we’ll discuss the most powerful titles that have been used in movies to create emotional scenes.
1. On The Nature of Daylight by Max Richter (Arrival 2016 Directed by Dennis Villeneuve)
This song is perhaps the most powerful one ever written. It’s melancholy, but at the same time, it’s extremely beautiful.
It fits so well this scene where Louise accepts her fate with all the beauty and happiness, but also all the tragedy that is awaiting her.
2. S.T.A.Y. by Hans Zimmer (Interstellar 2014 Directed by Christopher Nolan)
This is one of the most beautiful scenes about love. Nothing can compete with the bond a father has with his daughter.
Hans Zimmer was asked to compose a song about a relationship between a father and his child. Something very simple but very pure came out of it. This scene is also the realization of the daughter’s understanding that her father never gave up on her and was actually beside her.
3. Two Brothers by Anne Dudley (American History 1998 Directed by Tony Kaye)
American History X is one of the most powerful movies of all time. This scene, where Derek Vinyard is taking a shower and remembering his life before all these incidents happened, is beautiful.
This soundtrack is still giving me this feeling of nostalgia for when my family was still together and life was good.
4. Unable to stay, unwilling to leave by James Horner (Titanic 1997 Directed by James Cameron)
This scene is perhaps the most emotional one in a very emotional movie. I always tell my friends that nothing ranks higher than a hero.
Sometimes some people just have it in them. This selflessness, this grace of thinking someone else is more important than them, Sometimes it goes further; love can be stronger than life and death. Amazing job by James Cameron and James Horner.
5. Jisas Yu Holem Hand Blong Mi by Hans Zimmer (The Thin Red Line 1998 directed by Terrence Malick)
The Thin Red Line is a movie about war but also about peace and grace. In a way, the character of Jim Caviezel embodies this ideal.
To contrast the cruelty of the war, we are also reminded of the beauty of the world, especially worlds without greed.
6. Now We Are Free by Hans Zimmer (Gladiator 2000 Directed by Ridley Scott)
Gladiator is a movie that will resonate with me for ages. Maximum is the masculine ideal, with grace, courage, and honor.
This song reminds me that all these values echo in eternity, as he would say. One of the best works of Hans Zimmer, in my opinion.
7. Any Other Name by Thomas Newman (American Beauty 1999 Directed by Sam Mendes)
American Beauty is one of these movies that is so unique and special. This is the story of the mondain, but at the same time, behind the scenes, tons of existential questions are asked, which is why it resonates with everybody.
Thomas Newman is perhaps my favorite movie composer of all time, and this album is perhaps his best.
8. Pocahontas and Smith by James Horner (The New World 2005 Directed by Terrence Malick)
This movie is perhaps the one that had the most influence on me when it comes to love relationships. I didn’t know it at the time, but my philosophy was right. I just didn’t meet the right person at the right time.
This soundtrack by James Horner is one of his best. This song is so soft and gentle; it just inspires me to trust my instincts and make the right choices.
9. Experience by Ludovico Einaudi (Mommy 2014 Directed by Xavier Dolan)
This song and this scene are very hard to watch. These are basically the hopes of every parent: to see their children grow and build their own family.
Unfortunately, this can’t happen for every family. This scene is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time, when you know the end of the film.
10. Under Your Spell by Desire (Drive 2011 Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn)
This is a song from the 80s, but for X reasons, it fits so well with this scene. This scene is about a man who did everything right but still lost.
Even if the events were unfortunate for him, he didn’t complain and stayed gracious. This shows some form of selflessness that is hard to match. This song is simply the perfect match for this scene.
- Time by Hans Zimmer (Inception 2010 Directed by Christopher Nolan)
- End Title by Thomas Newman (The Shawshank Redemption 1994 Directed by Frank Darabont)
- Sven G Englar by Sigur Ros (Café de flore 2011 Directed by Jean Marc Vallée)
- Injection by Hans Zimmer (Mission Impossible 2 2000 Directed by John Woo)
- The Lamb by John Tavener (La Grande Bellezza 2013 Directed by Paolo Sorrentino)
- Civilian by Wye Oak (The Walking Dead Directed by Frank Darabont 2012)
- Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 by Henrik Gorecki (The Tree of Life 2011 Directed by Terrence Malick
- The Night We Met by Lord Huron (13 reasons why Directed by Brian Yorkey 2017)
- Can You Hear The Music by Ludwig Göransson (Oppenheimer 2023 Directed by Christopher Nolan)
- The River Crossing To Stalingrad by James Horner (Stalingard 2000 Directed by Jean Jacques Annaud)
- Epilogue by Justin Hurwitz (La La Land 2016 Directed by Damien Chazel)
- The Night Window by Thomas Newman (1917 2019 Directed by Sam Mendes)
- Sister Pt.1 by Cliff Martinez (Only God Forgives 2013 Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn)
- Sorekara Epilogue No. 1: Kokuhaku by Shigeru Umebayashi (The Grandmaster 2013 Directed by Wong Kar-wai)
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