Sound Bites: Clint Mansell

The Wrestler

Clint Mansell, who wrote the music for “The Wrestler,” describes himself as a “non-traditional composer,” and says he has worked so well with director and frequent collaborator Darren Aronofsky because of the way each person approaches their work.

“I think he makes his films a different kind of way and is not looking for film music,” Mansell says. “I come from a different sensibility, and I always listen to what he is looking for.”

In past Aronofsky pics, the scores are characterized by an almost epic scope, but with “The Wrestler,” about a washed up battler seeking a last shot at redemption, the Brit composer goes spare, utilizing electric guitar against a wash of ambient, synth chords that reflect the film’s harsh, bleak imagery. The film uses a mixture of silence, Mansell’s evocative soundscape and the kind of ’80s arena rock that would appeal to World Wrestling Federation fans.

Mansell describes his work as the “most unobtrusive score” he’s ever written.

“The thing that we talked about is at no point were you to judge the character,” he says. “Even when Mickey is going to sleep in the back of his car, you shouldn’t be judging him and we never reflect that in the music.”

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