SPINEMA Issue 27: MONDO Joachim Trier’s THELMA

Ola Fløttum’s haunting score is given a fitting package by artist Candice Tripp for Death Waltz Records

Lend an ear to SPINEMA: a column exploring all movie music, music related to movies, and movies related to music. Be they film scores on vinyl, documentaries on legendary musicians, or albums of original songs by horror directors, all shall be reviewed here. Batten down your headphones, because shit’s about to sound cinematic.

Back in 2017 I attended Fantastic Fest. As the largest genre film festival in N America, it’s usually packed with over the top, visceral films. Every so often it’s one of the quieter ones that make the biggest pack, this year it was Thelma. A young girl, raised in a religious household, heading off to college and finding herself beset by seizures and the onset of unnatural abilities. This is accompanied by a sexual awakening, one that highlights the ways her upbringing have repressed many aspects of her nature. To quote from my full review back then…

While some may prefer a more bombastic approach to their genre fare, Trier’s cerebral take allows a more nuanced tale. He shows a deftness, using supernatural themes to explore his ideas without letting them take over. He ends with a final shot that opens up a continuation of Thelma’s abuse and themes of control. An icy visage of a film and character, cool and smooth on the surface, but with danger lurking in the depths below, Thelma leaves you with a chill, one that permeates to the bones and will take time to shake off.

Suffice to say, it’s a starkly beautiful endeavor, one that like many genre films, uses the emergence of powers, here telekinesis, to explore societal themes. An accomplished coming of age thriller, delicately given a chilling edge, delicately by Joachim Trier.

The Music

The score by Ola Fløttum is harmonious with the film’s chilly tone, driven by minimal orchestral compositions that start slow, building to more intense, emotion moments. Strings dominate, but one piece, Thelma’s Theme, credited to Torgny & Soft System, is a cool synth driven piece. It’s an addition that is picked up by a few of the other tracks adding much texture. An atmospheric work, that manages to be both beautiful and melancholic.

Side 1

1. Prolog
2. Blindern
3. Thelma og Anja
4. På balkongen
5. Hjern etter opera
6. Flashback Pt. 1
7. Forlater festen
8. Thelma’s Theme * — Torgny & Soft System
9. Thelma hos bestemor
10. Flashback Pt. 2
11. Heksemontasjen
12. SSE
13. Thelma ber Pt. 1

Side 2

1. Flashback
2. Mor på broen
3. Thelma ber Pt. 2
4. Thelma våkner
5. Thelma til huset
6. Hjem fra Hellersmo
7. Thelma (rulletekst)
8. Sister Solaris * — Torgny & Soft System

Checkout a sampler, courtesy of Mondo, below.

The Packaging

Mondo’s vinyl release of the soundtrack features artwork by Candice Tripp. Stark and brooding imagery, reflecting much of the aftermath of what occurs after Thelma unleashes her powers in the film. The vinyl itself has a black and grey galaxy swirl design. Images are below. It’s a beautiful package, one that reflects the chilling tone of a superb film.

As of review, copies of Thelma — Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LP, are still available via Mondo.

Image from Mondo
Image from Mondo

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