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Alternative Music Ending to Michael Mann’s Heat

The iconic end scene of Heat

I am so glad I found this wonderful insight into the ending of Heat, which is one of my top cinematic moments. For me, Moby’s “God Moving Across the Face of the Water” has become almost a life anthem. The end scene of Heat is iconic to me. It resonates with something deep inside of me, something even now I find hard to understand. But this write up of the music development of this scene is short but fascinating. Be sure to follow the link to the source of this, because you can actually play a stream of “End Titles” by Elliot Goldenthal, which is just superb and sadly commercially unavailable.

The precisely hodge-podged sources for Michael Mann’s musical cues—sometimes original compositions, sometimes culled from pre-existing pop, rock, industrial, and/or electronic groups—are as diverse as the dusty Los Angeles turfs he agilely vignettes in his consummate epic crime male-odrama Heat.

Film scorer Elliot Goldenthal’s original cue for the end titles (performed by the Kronos Quartet) was ultimately replaced by a Moby track—the Reich-like “God Moving Across the Face of the Water” which appeared on “Everything is Wrong” that same year.  While both selections capture the enveloping electricity of an adrenaline rush effervescing into the blinking lights of a warm L.A. night, the Goldenthal better emphasizes a potential lack of resolution, thus providing an appropriate emotional bookend to that composer’s hauntingly spare and ambivalent opening track.  The Moby, in a new version specific to the film, features an additional bridge that seems rather to triumphantly celebrate the story’s fulfillment.

To read more and play the wonderful streamed music click here

To read a host of brilliant writing about the work of Michael Mann click here!

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