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 Posted:   Apr 6, 2015 - 4:12 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

This is another entry in my "Complete Score Breakdown" series, focusing on the complete scores to films who've had abbreviated previous releases or have gone unreleased.

Today we're looking at Beyond Rangoon (1995) by Hans Zimmer.

"It is a land of monks...and soldiers." The film, inspired by (and including the dramatization of) actual events, is both poignant and powerful. The movie's themes of inspiration, perseverance, purpose and peace (both within and in the world around us) are profoundly moving. This is one of the most impactful and important movies I have ever seen. It is the story of one woman's (Patricia Arquette) revelatory finding of purpose after the traumatic murder of her husband and son, set against the backdrop of an oppressed people's suffering and resilience. Seeking distraction and escape, she takes a tourist trip to Burma and quickly becomes embroiled in the ruling dictatorship's violent militarization of the peaceful country. Witnessing the strength and selflessness of both real-life Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi (the peaceful symbol of hope for her people) and the country's students and citizens (in trying to establish democracy in the face of execution), she discovers her place as a healer and a fighter for justice.

This might be my favorite Hans Zimmer score. One of his most exotic, beautiful, and unique scores, Beyond Rangoon has existed on a 38-minute album for many years, for which I've always been grateful. It's truly a gorgeous and lyrical score for a very important film. The picture's events bring out the best in Zimmer, who captures the intensity and tension of the brutality of the film in his music, as well as evoking the serene and tranquil countryside and the plight of the countrymen and women. His themes are bold and heartbreaking, redemptive and soothing. Zimmer matched the locale in the film (Burma/Myanmar) wonderfully, reflecting its juxtaposition of peace and violence with delicate melodies and compositions for indigenous instruments (abetted by typical-for-Zimmer synthesizers) and complex suspense writing. The use of a female voice catapults the score to phenomenal, as many of the most emotional moments are perfectly conveyed through the expressive and dreamlike vocals. The final 10-minute track, "Beyond Rangoon," is an exhilarating tour of all the emotions and tones that Zimmer captures in his score, maximized for the finale and bringing the score to a spectacular close.

The current Milan release is excellent; however, after viewing the film recently, there is a good amount of material that would certainly serve to deepen the magical well from which this music draws its power. Expanded thematic work, interesting action music, and awe-inspiring delicacy are just three reasons why a complete score would be welcomed, and for me, I would love to see a complete/expanded score release because the score (and film) mean so very much to me.

CURRENT CD RELEASE RUNTIME: 38min37sec
COMPLETE SCORE RUNTIME: approx. 59min30sec
TOTAL UNRELEASED SCORE RUNTIME: approx. 21min

Complete score tracks and track titles (tracks named by me when necessary for the purposes of identification):

1. Waters of Irrawaddy (4:21)
2. Memories of the Dead (1:20)
3. Demonstration (0:54)
4. Freedom from Fear (1:32)
5. Curfew (1:26)
6. Good Karma (0:13)
7. A Land of Monks and Soldiers (1:55)
8. Meditation (0:40)
9. Car Trouble (0:40)
10. Happiness is a Gift (2:14)
11. Dream (0:33)
12. Peace (0:57)
13. Train Station (1:46)
14. Laura and Aung Ko Escape (2:10)
15. Pursuit (2:26)
16. Strength (2:02)
17. On the River (3:37)
18. Searching for Medicine (1:44)
19. Village Under Siege (4:00)
20. Healing Aung Ko (0:37)
21. Massacre (4:58)
22. To Thailand (3:14)
23. Our Ways Will Part (5:35)
24. Beyond Rangoon (10:04)

TT: 59:30

Current CD Release Track Titles and Track Times:

(btw, the CD mislabels tracks 4 and 5; the track titles should be switched for those two, so that Freedom From Fear runs 1:44 and Brother Morphine runs 1:07)

1. Waters of Irrawaddy (3:49)
2. Memories of the Dead (1:45)
3. I Dreamt I Woke Up (8:41)
4. Freedom from Fear (1:07)
5. Brother Morphine (1:44)
6. Our Ways Will Part (7:11)
7. Village Under Siege (4:11)
8. Beyond Rangoon (10:10)

TT: 38:37

Thanks for reading!

smile

(the following includes "Waters of Irrawaddy" and "Beyond Rangoon," two utterly perfect tracks)

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2015 - 4:43 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

My favourite Hans Zimmer score and one of my Top 10 favourite scores of all time. Still, I'm perfectly pleased with the old release. It plays pretty much perfect the way it is. A bit curious about the missing 20 minutes, though, and if there's anything worthwhile there that wouldn't disrupt the existing album flow.

Thanks for the breakdown.

 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2015 - 4:47 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

My favourite Hans Zimmer score and one of my Top 10 favourite scores of all time. Still, I'm perfectly pleased with the old release. It plays pretty much perfect the way it is. A bit curious about the missing 20 minutes, though, and if there's anything worthwhile there that wouldn't disrupt the existing album flow.

Thanks for the breakdown.


Your welcome, Thor, and I remember you saying it was your favorite Zimmer score, so I was looking for a post from you! In this case of cd presentation vs. complete presentation, I wholeheartedly believe that the missing 20 minutes complement the existing cd material, with plenty of variations on themes and action. Honestly, I love the score so much that I cannot have enough of it, 38 minutes is pretty short by my estimation, particularly for a work of art that I treasure so much. I simply want more of it, to extend the sublime experience of listening to this music by another 20 minutes.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2015 - 5:37 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I wouldn't be opposed to more if it was possible to weave the unreleased material into the existing program without losing its flow and elegance. If it was just padding, brief thematic outbursts etc., perhaps not so much. The original is such a perfect concept album, building slowly from track to track -- at times settling into particular moods and sweeps over an extended period of time -- that I wouldn't want the extra material to take away from that.

But you've inspired me to rewatch the film. I've only seen it once, but listened to the album hundreds of times. Its sound world is more present to me than its original film world -- although I assume there is some overlap (I "hear" buzzing insects, flowing rivers, haunting sunsets with rays of sunlight beaming through jungle branches etc.).

Btw, here's my old thread on the score:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=29142&forumID=1&archive=1

 
 Posted:   Apr 11, 2015 - 2:25 PM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

A pity Zimmer and Boorman never worked together again.

A bizarre piece of trivia: In 1991 Boorman directed a 44 minute long short film called I DREAMT I WOKE UP, the same title as one of Zimmer's tracks from Beyond Rangoon.

 
 Posted:   Apr 12, 2015 - 4:07 AM   
 By:   Henry Jones   (Member)

Excellent score, very well diserved by the album (mode Thor on!).

 
 Posted:   Apr 13, 2015 - 1:57 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

As most of you know I'm far from the biggest Zimmer fan, but I think this is a wonderful score and I would be all over a complete release of it.

Yavar

 
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