Inside Man Score in When The Levees Broke

When the Levees Broke made use of the Inside Man score quite a few times. During moments of intensity, typically during interview footage, Lee accompanied with the thematic musical material from his action-thriller. I found the theme well written and fitting for Inside Man. But what about it so perfectly accompanies the suspense and intensity that was required from a score for both an action-thriller film and a serious documentary?

For me, what’s interesting about the melodic material is that it features a falling 5th, rising 4th, and falling 3rd. The 5th and the 4th intervals are perfect intervals, meaning the notes fall within a frequency interval that is more consonant or stable than any other pair of notes except for an octave and unison. Those perfect intervals are uniquely accompanied by an overall minor tonality and intensity in lower strings that move those perfect intervals away from the harmonic ease and stability that they normally represent. That tension pulls at the listener such that we feel unease and suspense. I found the score extremely fitting for Lee’s depictions of the pain and struggle that was the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Overall, it’s pretty interesting that he used the same score for both films.

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