September 25, 2014

WATCH ME IF YOU CAN | Autumn Soundtracks for Your Cornell Commute

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By MARINA CAITLIN WATTS

Autumn is here!  Some people think of pumpkin spiced lattes or apple picking once it starts to cool down. I personally think of certain film soundtracks.  Certain music and films make me look forward to the fall, despite the dropping temperatures and academic year heading into stress mode.

Here are some film soundtracks to enjoy while making your commute across campus!

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

The best “autumn” movie out there; the scenes in Central Park make me miss Manhattan. The entire album is by Harry Connick Jr., who Frank Sinatra “handed off the baton to.”  It has the right balance of big band renditions of classic tunes, along with slower, piano ballads. The Gershwin tunes compiled for the film can articulate your love life in many ways. My favorite tracks would have to be his upbeat “It Had to Be You,” along with his slower ballad of “Where or When.”  His piano rendition of “Winter Wonderland” is the slow while maintaining a cheerful undertone. Anyone who likes Harry Connick Jr. should check out this album, and vice versa.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

This film is a 90s cult classic, and its soundtrack has been ranked by Buzzfeed as one of the best soundtracks to come from a 90s movie. Elliot Smith’s talents are incorporated into much of the album, particularly in the track, “Angeles.” His Simon and Garfunkel-esque vibes are perfect for walking around and kicking up leaves in your path, or grabbing a quick coffee and studying on a bench outside; it is hard to dislike. Its gentle undertones along with louder tracks make for a sweet combination. You may consider transferring to MIT as the good vibes emanating from this album bring you back to the Robin Williams-Matt Damon relationship we all love deeply.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (or any Potter film score, for that matter)

What better soundtrack could there be to listen to when walking throughout Cornell? Living on West Campus, I get the Hogwarts vibes more than anything while strolling through the Gothics. Listening to the iconic theme composed by John Williams sets the mood, even if it means I won’t be riding broomsticks or casting spells later on. The third film in particular has an excellent soundtrack. It has its darker tones and bold vibes that result from the switching of directors (from Chris Columbus to Alfonso Cuaron). My particular favorite tracks are “Buckbeak’s Flight,” “Apparition on the Train” and “The Werewolf Scene.”

Fantasia (1940)

Yes, the Disney cartoon movie. Though it is older and some people may not seek much solace in it, the music chosen for it is beautiful. The film itself combines classical music combined with animations from the writer’s interpretations of the music. The particular sequences that make me think of this time of year are those in the Nutcracker Suite. The artists’ interpretations of the music here is nature, the leaves changing color with the seasons as they fly through the air. The film’s literal application to the season is so stereotypical to list here, but insanely accurate all the same. All the tracks incorporated on the album were carefully chosen, and work very well together.  The more intense tracks (like Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”) along with the light-hearted pieces (Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony) offer a range to reflect every mood from pre-prelim stress to Fall Break bliss.

Marina Caitlin Watts is a junior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She may be reached at mcw236@cornell.edu. Watch Me if You Can runs Fridays this semester.

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