Best Way To Improve A Film? Put Radiohead On The Soundtrack

In a few months Facebook: The Movie hits cinemas. Now this sounds about as wank an idea as Robbie Williams replacing Noel in Oasis, but bear with us. Firstly it’s not called Facebook: The Movie but the much better sounding The Social Network, based on the book by Ben Mezrich.

Secondly, it’s not about Facebook but rather the creation of Facebook and the surprisingly interesting tale of friends suing each other over who owns the rights and ultimately hating each others guts. Most noteworthy of all, it’s the new movie from David ‘Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac‘ Fincher.

It’s also being scored by Nine Inch Nail‘s Trent Reznor and the trailer (which you can watch above) features a Scala reworking of ‘Creep’ by Radiohead. Instead of tiredly listing rubbish wordplay based on Facebook vernacular, i.e. “NME ‘likes’ new Fincher movie”, “Updating status to ‘chuffing excited'”, or “We’d like to ‘poke’ Justin Timberlake in the eye with something sharp”, we will instead use this as an excuse to look back on Radiohead’s back catalogue as featured on the silver screen.


Not the first inclusion of Oxford’s finest on celluloid – that honour goes to 90’s angst affair S.F.W.. So angst ridden was S.F.W. it actually stood for So Fucking What, years before text speak became the most common language in Britain. The song, unsurprisingly, was ‘Creep’.

The much less angsty and much more popular Alicia Silverstone vehicle, Clueless, featured a stripped down acoustic ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ and a healthy dose of ‘My Iron Lung’. Shame Alicia never uttered the line, “Ed O’Brien is such a Baldwin” though. He really is.

Romeo + Juliet
Anybody who witnessed Radiohead’s blistering Glastonbury 2003 set will only need one sentence to bring memories flooding back; “This is for the people in the tents…” Cue opening bars of ‘Talk Show Host’ and crowd hysteria. Originally a B-side on ‘Street Spirit’ (potential desert island 7″ right there) it was remixed by Nellee Hooper for Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet cementing it as a ‘Head fan favourite.

‘Exit Music (For A Film)’, on the other hand, was purposefully written for the star-crossed lovers. In arguments over the “depressive nature” of the band’s material, ‘Exit Music’ isn’t the best choice for the against point-of-view. Just ask Father Ted.

Vanilla Sky
Hands up who has, as some point in their life, used ‘Everything In It’s Right Place’ to wake them up in the morning a la Tom Cruise’s character in Vanilla Sky. Put your other hand up if you’ve continued to do it for the past 8 or so years (this is going to be tricky to type with just my nose).


A wonderful mix of character and atmosphere, the ‘Kid A’ opener will make you love the first few minutes of Cameron Crowe’s remake. Whether or not you’ll reach the mid-section of the movie and the use of ‘I Might Be Wrong’ depends on your tolerance of all things Cruise.

There Will Be Blood
When the Academy Awards sits on its deathbed looking back on its egregious mistakes, one error will stand out head and shoulders above the others. Forrest Gump. Slightly lower down the list, but still worthy of a regretful death rattling sigh will be their exclusion of Jonny Greenwood’s incredible score for There Will Be Blood.

Deemed ineligible for a nomination due to it not being fully written for said film, the Oscars should have thrown the rulebook into the Gulf Of Mexico (or somewhere equally oily like the cast of Jersey Shore‘s hair). That the opening 20 minutes of this epic is so painfully tense without a single word of dialogue uttered, is due in no small part to the Radiohead’s guitarist.

Say what you will about the people behind Twilight, they do compile a pretty neat playlist. Dead Meadow, Muse, Grizzly Bear – and Thom Yorke. After ’15 Step’ being used as the exit music for the first Twilight, he even went to the trouble of penning a ditty, ‘Hearing Damage’, completely for the sequel, New Moon. As unimpressed as many fanboys were, fuck it, at least its a new Thom Yorke song. Hurrah!

While it’s always fun to see the time-honoured rant of, “But you missed out Children Of Men, Choke, The Prestige, Whip It, Harry Potter, A Scanner Darkly etc”, let’s instead open up the dialogue below to figuring out a percentage of ‘How Much Better Is A Film If Radiohead Feature On The Soundtrack?’… I’m gonna start the biddding at 27%

Owen Nicholls writes and edits

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