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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Trent Reznor Is Now A Pretty Oscar-Winning Hate Machine

Posted by Joshua_Kopstein

This year, for the first time in at least a decade, I cared about the Oscars. I didn’t expect that I would, but sure enough, there I was: sat down with two friends over a bowl of homemade nachos, suffering through an ostentatious red carpet display to see who’d get their mitts on a few of those little gold men. Why? Because this year, only one film had gotten me hooked through its soundtrack alone. And it was going up against Hans Zimmer.

At first The Social Network had seemed like the dumbest idea in movie history: The tale of a petulant nerd who finds himself an overnight billionaire after building a website that forever shapes the online world into a crutch for his own social anxieties. Of course as we all know, the website, and the nerd who runs it, actually exist (although the nerd is perhaps more awkward than ruthless), and they’ve captured a decent chunk of the planet’s population. The addition of Aaron Sorkin on screenplay and David Fincher directing got me curious. But it wasn’t until it was announced that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails would be scoring the film that it had my full attention.

Maybe it was my inner angst-ridden 15 year-old self that allowed the smug grin to crawl over my face when Trent and Atticus walked up to grab the gold. Or maybe it was that many of us had never expected a soundtrack like this one to be recognized by the Academy. I realized at that moment how rare a score like The Social Network’s is, and how its prestigious recognition could represent a sea change in the appeal of experimental electronic music.

But I didn’t get ahead of myself. If anything, Reznor and Ross’ score is a shared victory for those already interested in the things like swarmatrons and stylophones. Still, there’s definitely something notable about how those otherworldly, deep-mooded textures and largely improvised instrumentation have played such an important role in defining the tone of a major film. Even if it’s a film about the world’s most awkward billionaire.

Trent, who is usually not too keen on award ceremonies, said the experience was “humbling and flattering beyond words.” The duo’s next project is a film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which we’re looking forward to because let’s be honest: these guys could make a Twilight movie sound good if they wanted.