International Heaven

What an international mix: American Michael Arias (aka Maikeru Ariasu), a SFX specialist who would become the first foreign director of a major anime-movie in Japan ("Tekkon Kinkreet") has now finished his first live-action movie: A remake of a German tragic-comedy.

Arias´"Heaven´s Door" is a take on "Knocking on Heaven´s Door" by German taxi-driver-turned-director-turned-hack Thomas Jahn. The soundtrack is once more delivered by British electronica duo Plaid. The original movie is set in Germany, the remake is relocated to Tokyo.

Plaid also did the very impressive music for Arias´ "Tekkon Kinkreet" which was released as a regular soundtrack and as a remix album.

Plaid, who were once part of The Black Dog, have specialised their music as a mix of pseudo-oriental, fractal melodies with lots of exotic, polyrhythmic percussion.
On "Tekkon..." Plaid were the perfect match to the fantastic, overwhelming vision of a clattered, futuristic metropolis. Especially the fist and last tracks ("This City" and "White´s Dream") are some of their best compositions.

It could be said that that the music for "Heaven´s Door" is a bit Plaid-by-numbers, but that would be unfair without having seen the movie. Have a listen to Hydrosphere (click the arrow for embedded stream) which has those trademark fragile, fluttering melodies that sound like ice-crystals melting away in the sun. It´s clearly one of the highlights of the album.

"Knocking on Heaven´s Door" is the story of two people who meet at a hospital, discovering that they are both terminally ill. When one of them claims that he has never seen the ocean, they decide to run away, fulfilling this last wish. The German original is a classic buddy-movie with two guys as the protagonists. The Japanese remake changes the setting to a boy/girl scenario, which surely adds some romantic possibilities to the drama.

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