Reznor, Ross and Santolalla Score Before the Flood

Marine ecologist Jeremy Jackson of Scripps tours the ocean with Leonardo DiCaprio in Before the Flood. (Photo courtesy RatPac Documentary Films)

Marine ecologist Jeremy Jackson of Scripps tours the ocean with Leonardo DiCaprio in Before the Flood. (Photo courtesy RatPac Documentary Films)

Hard to believe the horror of impending climate disaster produced such an inspired, lovely score, but Oscar-winners Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Gustavo Santolalla managed to make it happen. The film is directed by Fisher Stevens, who also produced (along with Leonardo DiCaprio and others) for the National Geographic Channel.

Reznor said he was drawn to the project for its “threads of optimism,” which definitely shimmer through the music. Describing himself as “a fan of facts and science and also the planet,” Reznor said he enjoyed the process of working with Ross and Santolalla, with whom he shared “a real interesting, unpredictable spark.”

Listen to the Before the Flood score here on Spotify, and read about it in this in-depth Sierra Club article that comments on, among other things, how the film opens with DiCaprio explaining that as a toddler his father pinned a reproduction of Hieronymus Bosch’s 16th century painting The Garden of Earthly Delights, above his bed, and how that image of a dysfunctional society decimating the world around it evokes for him what human rapacity is doing to the planet today.

Frequent collaborators Reznor and Ross won the Academy Award for Best Score for David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010), while Santolalla is a two-time Oscar winner, for 2007’s Babel and 2004’s Brokeback Mountain.

Before the Flood premiered in September at the Toronto Film Festival, and was released in theaters in October. It was then immediately made available commercial-free across all National Geographic Channel platforms, in order to get the most viewers. The film also screened at more than 250 colleges and universities nationwide and was made available to churches and religious institutions via Interfaith Power and Light.

DiCaprio was in September 2014 designated by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change, and he marched in the streets of New York and addressed the UN Climate Summit that month. In 1998, DiCaprio established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, with the mission of protecting the Earth’s last wild places and implementing solutions to build a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world.

 

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