Six Damn Fine Degrees #119: Eleven Iconic Heist Themes

Welcome to Six Damn Fine Degrees. These instalments will be inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation in the loosest sense. The only rule: it connects – in some way – to the previous instalment. So come join us on our weekly foray into interconnectedness!

While reading Matt’s musings about the heist movie genre and Steven Soderbergh’s knack for it, my head was inevitably raided by musical themes: jazzy and cool, funky and bold, sneaky and witty they were – and all wonderfully descriptive of the act of boldly scheming, meticulously planning and sneakily (or spectacularly) executing! Is it a coincidence that a large majority of the most popular heist movies are associated with scores that often remained the most memorable aspect about the films? Maybe the indelible combination of suspense, anticipation and audacity is among the most fruitful contexts for a composer to create dynamic and energetic themes.

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Americans, animals, but neither fish nor fowl

We’ve all been there. You find yourself in your late teens or early twenties with a profound sense of existential malaise. You’ve been to school for most of your life and you could go to school for a bit longer, but why? What for? To prepare for a job that, at best, bores you if it doesn’t outright depress the hell out of you? To lead a life of quiet desperation? Some try to escape by means of alcohol, drugs or sex, but not you. Oh, no.

Instead, you do you. You try to give your life a sense of meaning by organising an insane art heist with the aim of stealing the ultra-rare books on display at your university’s library. It’s obvious if you think about it.

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