Selmasongs: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack Dancer in the Dark
|Selmasongs: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack Dancer in the Dark|
|Soundtrack album by Björk|
|Released||18 September 2000|
|Genre||Electronica, classical, alternative, trip hop|
|Label||One Little Indian|
Selmasongs: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack Dancer in the Dark is the first soundtrack album by Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk. It was released on September 18, 2000, by One Little Indian Records to promote and accompany the film Dancer in the Dark. In the film Björk starred as Selma Ježková, a Czech immigrant who has moved to the United States. The album features classical arrangements, as well as melodies and beats composed of sounds from mundane objects, such as factory machines and trains.
Notably, some of the song lyrics on the album are substantially different from the songs in the film, the most pronounced example being "Scatterheart". The album omits the vocals of actors David Morse, Cara Seymour and Vladica Kostic. Some lyrics were rewritten, perhaps to prevent spoiling crucial plot details, since the soundtrack was released in stores before the movie opened in theaters, or to make the record flow better as a stand-alone album. In particular, on the song "I've Seen It All", Thom Yorke performs the words sung by Peter Stormare in the film. In addition, the track "My Favourite Things" does not appear on the album at all.
The track "I've Seen It All" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and was released as a promotional single in 2000. For the track, Björk made a "webeo" with director Floria Sigismondi that premiered on September 1, 2000 on MTV.com. It used a shorter version of the song that the singer recorded specifically for the webeo.
Björk, who was known primarily as a musician, had rarely acted before, and has described the process of making this film as so emotionally taxing that she would not appear in any film ever again. She had disagreements with the director over the content of the film, wanting the ending to be more uplifting. She later called Trier sexist. Deneuve and others have described her performance as feeling rather than acting. Björk has said that it is a misunderstanding that she was put off acting by this film; rather, she never wanted to act but made an exception for Lars von Trier. The musical sequences were filmed simultaneously with over 100 digital cameras so that multiple angles of the performance could be captured and cut together later, thus shortening the filming schedule.
Reaction to Dancer in the Dark was polarized. For example, on The Movie Show, Margaret Pomeranz gave it 5 stars while David Stratton gave it 0, a score shared only by Geoffrey Wright's Romper Stomper (1992). Stratton later described it as his "favourite horror film". Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said it was "one of the worst films, one of the worst artworks and perhaps one of the worst things in the history of the world." The response is reflected in the film's official website, which posts both positive and negative reviews on its main page. The diverse reviews result in an overall "Fresh" rating; a grade of 68% on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Dancer in the Dark premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Palme d'Or, along with the Best Actress award for Björk.
|The A.V. Club||(favourable)|
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 76, based on 20 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Heather Phares from AllMusic gave a positive review, commenting, "Selmasongs ' best tracks are poignant, inventive expressions of Björk's talent and Selma's daydreams and suffering. [...] Selmasongs paints a portrait of a woman losing her sight, but it maintains Björk's unique vision". While giving a "C–" grade, David Browne from Entertainment Weekly noted that "the melding of drum and bass rhythms and panoramic classical orchestrations is as sonically impressive as it was on 1997's Homogenic. But something here brings out the most precious and irritating aspects of Björk's elfin voice", but "yet Selmasongs is mostly show tunes on Ecstasy, and you keep praying for a police raid".
|Selmasongs||21st Brit Awards||Best Soundtrack/Cast Recording||Nominated|||
|13th Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||Best Original Score||Nominated|||
|4th Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best Original Score||Nominated|||
|19th Robert Awards||Music of the Year||Won|||
|"Overture"||43rd Annual Grammy Awards||Best Pop Instrumental Performance||Nominated|||
|"I've Seen It All"||Best Pop Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying A Vocalist(s)||Nominated|||
|73rd Academy Awards||Best Original Song in a Motion Picture||Nominated|||
|58th Golden Globe Awards||Best Original Song||Nominated|||
|1st Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards||Best Original Song||Nominated|||
|5th Golden Satellite Awards||Best Original Song||Won|||
|2.||"Cvalda" (with Catherine Deneuve)||
|3.||"I've Seen It All" (with Thom Yorke)||
|5.||"In the Musicals"||
|6.||"107 Steps" (with Siobhan Fallon)||
*sales figures based on certification alone
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Bjork vowed never to act again after making Dancer in the Dark in 2000, despite winning a best actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
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Right now, I feel very strong about focusing on music
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Xan Brooks leads a critics' roundtable on the highs and lows, the sublime to the ridiculous at the 2009 Cannes film festival, before sailing into the sunset. See video at 8:20.
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