In their series The Thinking Machine, critics Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin create a new video essay for De Filmkrant every month.
Particular pop songs thread through many, diverse films. The way they “fit”, in each case, is fuzzy, inexact: it could be the lyrics, the rhythm, the musical mood, their cultural association – or any combination thereof. ‘This Is the Day’ (1983) by British band The The is one of these often-used songs. It accompanies montages of everyday routine; equally, it can signify momentous change. Its lyrics can conjure images of sad people living robotic lives; but Pedro Costa strips out all its words. Using only the parts of the song as it appears on the soundtracks of six examples, we reconstitute the “chained melody” of ‘This Is the Day’.