Photo courtesy of Focus Features

As you enter into the woes of week 10, there arises a serious need for efforts to quiet your nerves. If you’re wary of yoga, listening to a good film score should do the trick just as well. While you may feel the urge during study breaks to pull up Netflix or play a favorite new album, finals call for a different type of stimulation, one which can refresh you without completely taking you out of the academic mindset. Whether you are someone who listens to music while you study or only when you’re walking to class, these eccentric and lively movie soundtracks will keep you alert and steady-minded in these trying times.

The Third Man

“The Third Man” is considered by many a film enthusiast to be one of the greatest movies of all time. Starring Orson Welles, the iconic noir runs madly through the dark and cold streets of postwar Vienna. Almost as acclaimed as the movie itself is the film score composed by Anton Karas. Each number consists solely of zither music, a German string instrument that emits metallic, jaunty notes. Although the score seems altogether cheerful at the surface, upon a closer listen, you sense a distinctly haunted, murderous tone.

Moonrise Kingdom

While Wes Anderson rarely misses the mark with his whimsical, idyllic films, “Moonrise Kingdom” rises above the rest with its heartfelt nod to childhood romance. Along with his masterful eye for color, Anderson also seems to possess a sixth sense for knowing just what song would match a particular scene or moment. The soundtrack for “Moonrise Kingdom,” a medley of classic folk tracks and playful symphonies, is as sweet as Sam’s love for Suzy and as weird as Mr. Bishop’s  (Bill Murray) Madras pants.


“Amélie” is a quirky French comedy by Jean-Pierre Jeunet that follows an imaginative and naive young woman named Amélie as she attempts to anonymously change the world. Amélie perceives the world around her through the lens of her extraordinary fantasies, creating a film that is as colorful and hilarious as it is sad. French composer Yann Tiersan constructed a score of classic French serenades that are as alluring and mischievous as Amélie herself.   


The 2015 film, “Brooklyn,” is a moving tour de force that examines the hardships and hopes of the many Irishmen and women who immigrated to America during the early 20th century. Like the film which travels back and forth between two countries, the score, composed by Michael Brook, is a balance between string-heavy Irish folk tunes and the nostalgic sounds of 1950s America. While the music has a melancholic quality to it, the soothing, soft symphonies are perfect for moments when you need to pause and rest your mind.