Spinema Issue 57 : SAINT MAUD

Adam Janota Bzowski delivers an potent score to complement the haunting debut feature from writer/director Rose Glass

Courtesy of Mondo

A year of a pandemic has taken much from all of us. For those in the film world, numerous titles have been denied their festival debuts, been delayed, or been lost in the general milieu of alternate release strategies. One such feature was Saint Maud, a film A24 was righteously plugging in early 2020, only to end up making far less of a splash that it could/should have.

The titular Maud (a mesmerizing Morfydd Clark), is a hospice nurse, tasked with caring for a new ailing patient (Jennifer Ehle). A traumatic incident in her past fuels a religious fervor within her, and the devout (to put it mildly) Catholic sets out to combat the demons that surround her patient, and save her soul. Essentially Saint Maud is a portrait of a woman who’s mind and actions whittles away her connections to life and the real world, leaving her increasingly reliant on her faith and twisted righteousness, to comfort and absolve her of her increasingly concerning behavior.

The debut feature from writer/director Rose Glass is an moody and unnerving flex of psychological horror. Part of its potency comes from the haunting score from Adam Janota Bzowski, which has garnered this superb release from Mondo/Death Waltz, showcasing new original art by Jack Hughes.

The Score

The film’s original music, composed by Adam Janota Bzowski, is ominous and affecting fare. He doesn’t lean on the ecclesiastic musical tropes (think choirs and the like), instead his approach mirrors the the twisting of Religion and angst within Maud. Strings, wind and percussion, utilized in unusual ways, with altered pitch and added reverb.

It gives the score a weight and texture, earthy and guttural, complementing the sound design and in some cases replaces it. Recurring themes and standout pieces such as Immolation and Revelation, really work to solidify and reflect Maud’s turmoil as the film unfolds. It nestles amidst some other equally disconcerting and innovative horror scores of late, such as The Witch (Mark Korven), Midsommar (Haxan Cloak), and Hereditary (Colin Stetson), while being notable in it’s own right.

Track List:

1. Saint Maud Main Theme (2:32)
2. Maud’s Theme (1:18)
3. Köhl / Nosebleed (1:25)
4. Palliative Care (1:26)
5. God On the Couch / Blake Portent (1:19)
6. I Think It Went Well (0:56)
7. Succubus (2:23)
8. Revelation (4:20)
9. My Savior (4:37)
10. Holy Water (1:40)
11. Bedside Manor (1:52)
12. Scissors (0:39)
13. Saint Maud (4:20)

The Package

The design by Jack Hughes invoking the the rapturous form of Maud, an angelic pose with the fractures of her person evident.

The rear shows exactly that, a rear view to the front illustration, along with the track list and credits for the album.

The gatefold continues the theme, utilizing further biblical imagery to showcase the battle within Maud. Depictions of good and evil forms, with a backdrop of the seaside town where the film takes place.

The vinyl itself is pressed on 180 Gram Translucent Blue with Grey Splatter.

The Saint Maud Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is available via Mondo/Death Waltz Records

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