Movie Music For Political Stagecraft

While watching the speeches last night, I geeked out over the fact that I recognized the movie music both candidates used during their victory/concession speeches. After McCain’s gracious concession, the score from Hans Zimmer’s Crimson Tide blasted through the speakers, while Obama used clips from Trevor Rabin’s Remember the Titans immediately following his speech in Grant Park. I thought both musical choices were appropriate, given Tide’s militaristic motifs and Remember the Titans’ soaring themes (not to mention the latter film’s themes of overcoming racial adversity in order to better achieve unity).

Shawn Adler over MTV Movies Blog makes a more astute observation: Both movies star Denzel Washington, and his role in both films is strangely allegorical for the election’s outcome. Crimson Tide “focused on a career Navy man (Gene Hackman), labeled a maverick by some, who is stripped of his authority and ultimately beaten by a young black guy, somewhat new to the scene (Washington),” whereas Titans “followed an African-American coach who brought together whites and blacks to win a championship.” This confirms what many of us already suspected: Denzel Washington embodies every politically compelling narrative known to man.

To hear a clip from the music McCain used, click here. To hear part of Rabin’s Titans score, click here. I personally own both of these soundtracks and would highly recommend them.

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