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Classic Silent Films and the Musicians Who Should Soundtrack Them

There is something so pleasing about a great pop-culture pairing — Air’s just-released soundtrack to Georges Méliès’ newly restored silent classic Le Voyage Dans La Lune, for example. Who better to score a 100-year-old French sci-fi film than a pair of Méliès’ countrymen who make dreamy, ambient electronic music and already have an acclaimed soundtrack album (The Virgin Suicides) under their belts? The sublime match-up has us yearning to see some of our favorite contemporary musicians composing sounds to accompany classic silent films. We’ve compiled some suggestions after the jump; add yours in the comments.

The Passion of Joan of Arc
Score by: Patti Smith

Some might say it’s sacrilege for the woman who helped invent punk with the lyric “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” to score Carl Theodor Dreyer’s masterpiece about the trial of Joan of Arc. But Smith has always been obsessed with Catholic imagery, martyrs, weirdos, and poetic extremes of emotion — all of which are on full display in the film. It doesn’t hurt that she’s an unrepentant Francophile and as much of a gender outlaw as St. Joan was, either. When it comes down to it, there’s no one we’d rather see interpret the death of a saint than Patti Smith.

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