Battle Royale OST Being Released on iTunes on July 22, 2008

Jul 17th 2008
Music by Masamichi Amano

Ready to kill each other?

The violence of Fukasaku puts the finger on the weakness of the human nature


LOS ANGELES (July 17, 2008) – Milan Records is pleased to announce the American release of the Battle Royale OST on July 22, 2008. The release will be digital only (not available on CD) and available on Amazon.com, iTunes and all major online music stores.

Battle Royale

Kinji Fukasaku realized more than sixty works, among them the famous series of the "Jingi naki tatakai" (The war without faith or law – The war of the Japanese gangsters to extend their territories). He is a director Japan can be proud of.

Fukasaku's name remains synonymous with violence; in Battle Royale, he reverses the conventions of the yakuza (gangster) film by radically denying his hero and all his mythical chauvinist aesthetics. He created a group drama in which weakness and human spinelessness are exposed, a battle where blood calls blood. One can say that Fukasaku's essence is to point out human weakness. No one else could have shown how school children, yesterday quietly sitting next to each other in class, are suddenly forced to kill each other. They are set up against one another perfectly knowing that it is impossible to trust anyone or risk being killed.

The tension which runs from beginning to end is without precedent. All human weaknesses are exposed without kindness: one who strikes out killing his classmates, one who asks to change schools to take part in this strange match, one who puts an end to his life with the one he loves, one whose friendship breaks up abruptly after an incident… Atrocious violence at the bottom of which remains a throbbing question, an urgent message addressed without kindness to the men who lead our current society.


The Music of Masamichi Amano

Graduate of the national academy of music in 1980, Masamichi Amano concluded a third cycle of improvement in musical composition with unanimous praise from the jury. After receiving his diplomas, he left for Australia where he learned to work with C.M.I. (Computerized Musical Instruments) and became thus the first Japanese to master this technique. He is today, one of the most recognized Japanese composers abroad with his various musical involvement. Collaborating with director Fukasaku, since his preceding film Omocha (The Geisha House, 1999), Amano has distinguished himself with brilliant work, a score that is at the same time elegant and fortifying, and completes the excellence of the film. Since 1992, Amano has recorded his works with the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra.

The soundtrack opens on the solemnity of Verdi's requiem. From the outset, this Mass for the dead spreads its deadly emanations. Let's also mention the musical development with pieces of Johann Strauss (Radetzky-Marsch Op. 228 and Der Schönen, Blauen Donau Op. 134), or the very famous Bach piece sampled together with “Everything is Gonna Be All Right!,” the 1998 hit from the group R&B, which is heard every six hours to announce a new death. These extremely familiar tunes highlight the protagonists' state of madness. Similar to the imbalances sought by Stanley Kubrick in his films, one obtains heavy consonances, which keep echoing themselves.

The original cues written especially by Amano for this film smoothly utilize all the resources of a full orchestra to carry the listener without his knowledge, and to precipitate him in second states. The listener plunges into the insane universe of Battle Royale. The students' state of mind before and after their collapse are heightened by the music. The impact of sound and image is
immeasurable.

This work of Fukasaku, which is a “return to the origins,” constitutes a true electroshock for Japanese cinema, which has not yet fully recovered. One has to appreciate the huge impact Amano's music has on Fukasaku's film. His original melodies impeccably utilize the resources of a full orchestra, far from the Hollywood consonances present in most films.

Poor Masamichi Amano had only one week to compose the music for the film! Between the end of editing and the beginning of recording in Warsaw, he had to write a 90-minute score, because the music is constantly present in the film.

He worked a week without sleep. Then, he conducted a symphonic orchestra of 120 musicians while continuing to compose during breaks. In two days, he recorded 40 pieces, which add up to 90 minutes. In the studio, he told jokes that made nobody laugh except himself. He reminds one of a Mozart of today.

About Milan Records

Milan exists at the very intersection of film and music and is fortunate to have worked with some of the greatest composers of the 20th century. We reflect and re-examine the importance of music in films and make the continued commitment of bringing the highest quality music to you.
Relive the finest musical moments from your favorite movies - giant Hollywood blockbusters or independent foreign and domestic art-house films. Our catalog features song-based soundtracks as well as the best film scores by Academy Award winners Maurice Jarre, Hans Zimmer and Ennio Morricone, plus a new generation of composers including Mychael Danna, Christopher Young, Carter Burwell, Mark Isham, and Angelo Badalamenti.

Again, the Battle Royale soundtrack will be released for the first time to the U.S. audience on July 22, 2008. It will be available to all major online music stores including iTunes and Amazon. Relive the thrilling action and drama of Battle Royale through this amazing soundtrack.

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