Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Soundtracks with T Bone Burnett

by | December 5, 2013 | Comments

Musical multi-hyphenate T Bone Burnett is a whirlwind of associative thinking and snatches of wisdom. The Texas-born legend has produced the likes of Roy Orbison and Elton John, toured with Bob Dylan in his Rolling Thunder Revue, and frequently works as a score composer, music supervisor and a record label owner. Earlier this year Jeff Bridges honored Burnett in Nashville by calling him “the Willy Wonka of music, constantly creating new flavors for our ears.” If he had a conversation with sound guru Walter Murch, the velocity could produce a big bang.

Burnett’s the executive music producer on the new Coen brothers movie Inside Llewyn Davis, his fourth collaboration with the Oscar-winning duo after The Big Lebowski, The Ladykillers and the super-selling O Brother, Where Art Thou?. “Everyone puts everything on a table and it becomes ‘ours’,” Burnett says of their collaboration. “Things shift and it just has to be whatever the best answer is and it doesn’t really matter who came up with it. You never feel there’s some controlling presence, they are just always the most certain participants — letting it happen — but they have a certainty that means you don’t have to worry about it.”

Chronicling the offbeat odyssey of a struggling folk singer before his scene hit mass appeal, Llewyn has the kind of soundtrack that makes its music producer the film’s second star. So, in a twist on our Five Favorite Films feature, we asked T Bone Burnett about his favorite movie soundtracks…

The Mission (Ennio Morricone, 1986)



Yeah, that’s a good one.

My Fair Lady (Various artists, conducted by André Previn; 1964)



I’m not being funny. That song, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” I can barely make it through that song, it’s so beautiful. And “On the Street Where You Live,” the soundtrack just has great song after great song and it’s beautiful melodies and literate songwriting, just one great song after another.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Various, score by Laurie Johnson; 1964)



I liked My Fair Lady, though I thought Dr. Strangelove was a much more adventurous, subversive film that year, and should have won the Academy Award — listen to me talking like a Hollywood insider — but I loved that musical. So it beat Dr. Strangelove which is one of the most important films ever to me.

Blood Simple (Carter Burwell, 1984)



Strangelove was one of the reasons I called the Coen Brothers. I became a fan after their first movie [Blood Simple], because it had so much of my home about it — I’m from Texas and I knew people who’d worked on it. And it had a sound and style of storytelling I thought was great.

Raising Arizona (Carter Burwell, 1987)



And their next movie, Raising Arizona, came out and had this insane soundtrack. That crazy Pete Seeger “Ode to Joy” on the banjo with whistling and yodeling and it was totally mad. And every joke on it landed for me — one of the things about the Coens is there’s history in every shot. Some people say “Where do you want to put the camera?” but in the morning, they’ll draw up signs and give the actors with the lines and below a drawing from the storyboard of the camera angle they’ll be in when they have those lines. They have it all cut in their head when they do it. This is why they have control. Economy is the essence of art you know. I was looking at the detail in Raising Arizona and I thought, “We must have seen all the same films growing up because it was just speaking to me.” And it got to the part where John Goodman and his cohort come out of the ground and go into the service station to comb their hair and in the mirror you can see in spray paint OPE POE backward in the mirror. And I thought, “Really interesting this is how detailed they are.” They would take a quote from Dr. Strangelove like “Purity of essence, peace on earth” and put it backwards on a mirror and spray paint it on the wall somewhere backwards in Arizona.


Inside Llewyn Davis opens in New York and Los Angeles this week and goes wide on December 20. Stay tuned for our interviews with the cast.


Tag Cloud

Reality Britbox Superheroe medical drama supernatural Disney Peacock comiccon Avengers FOX italian franchise nature Stephen King Vudu BBC One Amazon Prime Video ratings Adult Swim die hard hist The Walking Dead VOD theme song Paramount Rocketman MTV Netflix Christmas movies mutant reviews The Arrangement Nominations Amazon Studios football Thanksgiving E3 anthology sitcom Rock American Society of Cinematographers Red Carpet 007 Mary Poppins Returns Opinion Chilling Adventures of Sabrina LGBT Bravo twilight YA stoner batman ABC TLC casting Nat Geo zombie Comic Book emmy awards A&E Epix Baby Yoda scorecard based on movie sag awards scary movies game of thrones Warner Bros. Quiz dragons space talk show french WGN Film documentary Hallmark Syfy Pop TV Video Games Summer Marvel spain natural history unscripted miniseries rotten quibi GIFs south america dogs cartoon Grammys hollywood Arrowverse Disney streaming service SXSW archives Dark Horse Comics diversity Character Guide spanish Walt Disney Pictures Sundance science fiction San Diego Comic-Con Lionsgate Premiere Dates SundanceTV mockumentary streaming book Spring TV IFC Films dceu 21st Century Fox Columbia Pictures Year in Review The Purge Podcast kids teaser tv talk animated 4/20 TNT Musical festivals docudrama laika psycho satire Mary Tyler Moore reboot television Star Wars Horror A24 BBC asian-american golden globes IFC video on demand Sundance TV Trophy Talk comic Academy Awards New York Comic Con singing competition Black Mirror strong female leads Tomatazos Starz Tumblr Pixar The CW DC streaming service blockbuster cinemax YouTube WarnerMedia Women's History Month Black History Month spanish language justice league See It Skip It CMT Oscars werewolf chucky Netflix halloween tv Elton John Logo Mary poppins cancelled television Turner Classic Movies Pet Sematary Comedy Central richard e. Grant CW Seed Polls and Games VH1 FX biography zero dark thirty 20th Century Fox Awards Freeform TV renewals CBS Apple dramedy spinoff green book Film Festival Biopics Marvel Studios Food Network Photos romance true crime Crackle Pride Month Chernobyl Captain marvel Cartoon Network ghosts Set visit First Look TCA comics AMC best christmas movies thriller sequel Binge Guide Election Marathons what to watch finale 24 frames Apple TV Plus canceled MSNBC Anna Paquin obituary Brie Larson Holiday Emmys Emmy Nominations Toys worst movies free movies vampires cars Mudbound halloween CNN Lucasfilm E! Song of Ice and Fire crime thriller Music First Reviews Star Trek doctor who adaptation YouTube Red renewed TV shows nbcuniversal Amazon Acorn TV Hear Us Out films cancelled TV series independent Super Bowl toronto NBC video a nightmare on elm street Cannes facebook Animation documentaries USA Network versus ITV Sony Pictures screen actors guild The Academy news Comics on TV DC Comics police drama robots TIFF cops Tubi composers Amazon Prime SDCC game show Certified Fresh Country Holidays 2018 X-Men Nickelodeon PBS zombies DGA Pirates 2020 crime Box Office Martial Arts mission: impossible DC Universe 2017 classics serial killer sequels Ovation Mystery Rocky BET 71st Emmy Awards Calendar Disney Plus HBO Go Awards Tour Rom-Com APB Watching Series Mindy Kaling slashers parents HBO boxoffice Disney Channel Tarantino Schedule Masterpiece BET Awards binge nfl OneApp TCA Winter 2020 FXX child's play Pop technology spy thriller Creative Arts Emmys PaleyFest National Geographic TruTV Winners romantic comedy comedies political drama Hallmark Christmas movies anime Best and Worst foreign Infographic stand-up comedy Action aliens series remakes Writers Guild of America 45 jamie lee curtis sports witnail revenge Spike MCU name the review indiana jones Kids & Family children's TV cults Fantasy TCA 2017 USA Superheroes dc indie CBS All Access Trivia PlayStation breaking bad Interview Universal Lifetime Christmas movies DirecTV 2016 YouTube Premium Disney+ Disney Plus GoT screenings cooking RT21 hispanic TV Land Fox Searchlight Ellie Kemper Sundance Now The Witch TCA Awards Paramount Network disaster Television Critics Association Sci-Fi award winner ABC Family Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2015 crime drama adventure worst VICE japanese psychological thriller Reality Competition transformers concert Ghostbusters discovery Fall TV Cosplay harry potter cancelled TV shows Esquire Fox News Turner Western Comedy BBC America Classic Film TV war Extras El Rey social media Trailer Christmas joker venice Heroines 72 Emmy Awards latino travel superhero Sneak Peek criterion period drama dark Countdown critics Family NYCC cats stop motion TBS festival crossover Teen Drama canceled TV shows Spectrum Originals fast and furious Musicals LGBTQ Funimation universal monsters Valentine's Day Lifetime Showtime BAFTA ESPN Apple TV+ Winter TV HBO Max History all-time movie FX on Hulu Shondaland rotten movies we love President Crunchyroll Discovery Channel historical drama GLAAD Endgame directors OWN politics elevated horror Shudder Television Academy toy story cancelled movies 2019 TCM spider-man RT History Travel Channel blaxploitation Marvel Television Hulu