Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Music to a 90-Minute Film about Violence -- How Apt for a Match with Stoke

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Music to a 90-Minute Film about Violence -- How Apt for a Match with Stoke

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Jones

HERE'S an itch I've been meaning to scratch. About five minutes before kick-off at every league match at Emirates, you will hear a piece of music.

Right strings-heavy, it is. Dramatic, quite stirring and distinctively cinematic. Duh-duh, di-duh duh-duh, di-duh duh-duh ... I guess you'd probably have to hear it but you'd know it when you did.

The tune in question is called Lux Aeterna and it was composed by Clint Mansell. It gets used on Sky Sports with some regularity and when it does, some smart Alec sitting near your earhole is bound to point out that it is the Lord Of The Rings music.

It's actually the Requiem For A Dream music. Yes, they remixed it for LOTR, when the tree people attacked the orcs to save the goblin folk, or whatever. But it was written for Darren Aronofsky and if you listen carefully you can hear it all the way through his stark masterpiece, particularly around the bit where Jared Leto takes so much smack his arm falls off.

As you may glean from that spoiler, Requiem For A Dream is no romcom. In fact, it's rather a harrowing 90 minutes of bleakness, nihilism, violence and self-destruction. So in a sense, maybe it was worth playing the theme music before a match involving Stoke City. If ever a team made me want to literally cry my eyes out -- and I do mean literally, as in blubbing both bloodied, glutinous orbs splat onto the desk -- it was Stoke.

Sitting at Emirates last night, I felt I was not alone. "You're scum and you know you are," was the Arsenal supporters' verdict after Theo Walcott had been carried off the field after a clumsy challenge in the second half.

Indelicately expressed maybe but you can understand why they're sensitive. For a start, Stoke's visit last night occasioned Ryan Shawcross's first visit to this part of north London since he left Aaron Ramsey in need of oxygen and a leg surgeon, and Arsenal's fans weren't about to let him forget about it yesterday.

Shawcross was whistled and booed from the start of the match, while his coach, Tony Pulis, was castigated from the stands for allowing his team to play what the Gooners derisively called rugby. …

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