Sin NombrePremiering at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, the epic dramatic thriller Sin Nombre went home with both the Cinematography and Directing Awards for Drama. It was also nominated for the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. Focus Features picked the film up and it was released on Friday, March 20th in select theaters. And now the stirring score by composer Marcelo Zarvos (Hollywoodland, The Door in the Floor, Kissing Jessica Stein) is being released on Lakeshore Records on Tuesday, March 24th. Featuring a little bit more than 40 minutes of Zarvos’ expressive arrangements, the score for Sin Nombre is a surprisingly thrilling collection of music. Zarvos’ work feels very raw and unpretentious – as in the daring “Orizaba Chase” where he uses only bare drumbeats and a few strings to express a nerve-wracking 90 seconds. As Michael Brooks did for Into the Wild, Zarvos uses the guitar to his advantage, often picking out specific notes to deliver the strongest emotional impact without over-emphasizing the mood with a complete orchestra or too many instruments. When Zarvos does add more sound to the mix, as with the slightly drawn out “El Sol,” his work starts to feel a little more forced and a little less realistic. And though the entire album is enjoyable, it’s the titular track that has it all, opening strongly with a steady, hip drumbeat that is soon joined by a slowly picked guitar and then a more complete sound with emotive strings and a solid thematic build. These thematic elements are picked back up later in the final track “Sin Nombre Reprise” – this time without the drum opening and a distinct lack of drumbeat throughout the track. Here it’s the deep pluckings of an upright bass that provide the rhythm. Zarvos, called on eof the “25 New Faces of Indie Film 2004” by Filmmaker magazine, has already begun work on director Nicole Holofcener’s new feature “Please Give,” and as long as he continues to produce such quality work, he’s assured a steady stream of work in the future.

Zach’s Rating: 8 (out of 10)

Interesting side note: Y Tu Mama Tambien costars Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal are two of the four executive producers of Sin Nombre

To purchase the score for Sin Nombre, visit Amazon

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