Jac van Exter

" In displaying that sense and sound of a road movie,correlated to the Hollywood love fairy tale, the music is nice. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the download only release

Kiddo is a 2023 Dutch family/road movie directed by Zara Dwinger. Lu is a child living in a foster home and is 'kidnapped' by her own mother, Karina, who takes her child on an imaginative journey to her native Poland. The concept of a road movie is somewhat different in this film; Katrina's love for classic Hollywood films is the red wire, as the child goes along in this playful self-created world of living the lives of Bonnie and Clyde, and in between the lines, they go through a transition. The film's stylistically interesting, quite imaginative, touching and humorous.

Its original score is composed by Jac van Exter. In displaying that sense and sound of a road movie ,correlated to the Hollywood love fairy tale, the music is nice, but not particularly imaginative, or surprising, and functions on the very basics required for the film. Naturally, some music features (twangy) guitars and percussion, a cliché on its own, like the atypical sounds and techniques of westerns by Morricone in cues such as Get In. On a side note, the same cue, intended or not, also features a nod to Isaac Hayes' Shaft.

Even though the music feels rather basic, the best and most interesting use of sounds to allude to the self-created, playful reality comes from a slightly delightful, 'breathable' sound, and a particularly tantalizing wordless lala vocal, presented as an interesting ostinato, which is similar to the modern Craig Armstrong – Victor Frankenstein, alongside quirky sounds and instruments in Hit and Run. Arguably, the ostinato was intended to reflect the musical 'lala' rise of the 1960s and 1970s.

A quote from Jac van Exter:
''This is my debut as a composer for a feature length film. In the process, we looked for a sound that would fit the style of the film: quirky and wild. In the end, I came up with the idea of blowing on bottles for the whistling sound. It was quite a lot of work to tune them all. I cycled all over town and went to different shops to look for odd shapes to record the different sounds. It had to be playful, stay away from sentiment, and at times, a kind of
anti soundtrack. This was essential for the film. We wanted to play with the glory of old Hollywood and other film clichés, which is also evident in dialogues in the film.''

The music released by Exter records is available digitally on various platforms.

1. Karina's Theme 1:25
2. Get In 1:56
3. Henk 1:12
4. All or Nothing 2:19
5. Hitchhiking 1:27
6. Eat and Run 1:42

Total duration: 10:01

(click to rate this score)  
(total of 3 votes - average 3/5)

Released by

Exter records (download only release 2023)