Some time ago, I had a long debate with one of my fellow cinephiles on the importance of music in cinema. He was of the opinion that music is one of the most important elements in cinema and plays the key role in storytelling. While I’ve always appreciated great music in films, I do think a film can be thoroughly engaging without the faintest melody. The power of storytelling primarily rests on visual aesthetics and character work but there are very few filmmakers who’ve taken advantage of these aspects and quite often the music becomes a mere manipulative device to engage the viewers. This may or may not work depending on how a filmmaker uses it and to what extent. Today we take a look at the list of top movies that feature no musical soundtrack or background score at all.
15. Interiors (1978)
Woody Allen’s dark family drama was a startling tonal shift from his earlier rom-com flicks that kind of established his identity as a filmmaker. The style and aesthetics here are very Bergman-esque and Allen tones down his famous humour in favour of a more assured, darker exploration of the human condition. There is no music in the film but Allen carries the weight of emotions with astounding control and remarkable depth. It lacks the fun and vigour of Woody Allen’s other works but nevertheless it’s a fascinating experiment that manages to resonate with you on many levels.
14. Rope (1948)
Alfred Hitchcock’s infamous experiment didn’t initially sit well with fans and critics but has managed to find a unique place among the many classics he made in his long, prolific career. ‘Rope’ is Hitch at it his most daring and experimental as he abandons music, an aspect that made his films so tense and incredibly atmospheric, and shifts to a more visually sophisticated storytelling style. The film takes place in real time and is edited in way that makes the long takes look like a single continuous shot which was what Hitchcock initially wanted the film to be. It heightens a sense of realism unlike most of his other works which had this certain shock appeal that slightly distanced you from the reality of his settings.
13. Beyond the Hills (2012)