Martin Rosete’s 2009 short film Basket Bronx sees Alex, a young kid from the Bronx dreaming of playing basketball but he obviously lacks the confidence to achieve his dreams. Bullying from a group of older kids doesn’t help his self-esteem. But the appearance of Kiat, who’s well-versed in the ways of Zen philosophy, teaches him to overcome his self-doubt paving the way for a showdown with the neighbourhood bullies. The film received a whole series of awards at various film festivals when released, including one for composer Lucas Vidal (nominated for Breakout Composer of the Year in 2011 by the International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA)) who received recognition for his beautiful and sympathetic orchestral score that focuses on Alex’s journey to self-confidence.
Composer Lucas Vidal’s music first came to my attention in 2011 with his accomplished score for the Spanish horror/thriller Mientras Duermes and his more recent scores to major studio projects such as The Cold Light of Day and The Raven have confirmed the quality of this composer’s work. Vidal’s 8-minute score, though short, features a strong and expressive theme around which the whole score revolves. Heard immediately in the opening title track (“Basket Bronx”), the theme (heard on piano) makes plain that this film will be one of emotional depth. Over the next 8 minutes Vidal’s theme for Alex is moulded and formed to mirror the depths of his own self-doubt before emerging stronger after his encounter with Kiat. A heartbreaking rendition of the theme on cello in “Lonely Boy” powerfully portrays Alex’s dejection as he returns to his home in a run-down neighbourhood of New York after his initial encounter with local bullies. The skill of Vidal is shown in this same cue as he goes on to show a glimpse of Alex’s latent inner resolve as he walks to school after having missed his bus. Read the rest of this entry »