3 Needles [Three needles] (2005)

Director: Thom Fitzgerald

No CD soundtrack released

"You killed me for $800."

Music clip 1, 0'13" (163Kb) [China, 1:01'01"]
Music clip 2, 1'02" (734Kb) [Seeking help in China, 1:25'25"]
Music clip 3, 1'25" (980Kb) [Borrowing blood, Montreal, 1:36'30"]
Music clip 4, 0'59" (693Kb) [South Africa, 2:00'10"]


Director Thom Fitzgerald has quite a track record for producing thought-provoking character-led films, normally touching on homosexual/AIDS themes outwardly, but below that getting to the strengths or weaknesses within normal people in extraordinary circumstances. He has worked with Christophe Beck previously on Wolf Girl (a.k.a. Bloom moon) and The Event, but this is an altogether more ambitious project, spanning three very different locations - rural China, a village in South Africa, and Montreal - and covering storylines of two people in each. Their connection is only through blood and its implications for money, survival and of course disease. Although it takes an incredibly slow pace the switching between such different stunningly shot locations and dedicated acting talent keep one rivetted, and even though the outcomes are relatively predictable, the connection and approaching journey is far from lazy. Not quite the powerful and gripping life-epic it aspired to be, but not weak or boring either, and it does better than most AIDS movies to make its message universal. *


Chris Beck and Trevor Morris's score is very muted and attempts to lie between traditional music and the occasional background pop. Their forces appear to be limited mostly to synthesized strings with harp (one motif given to this instrument is used invariably for the nuns) and a wind performer. The absence of music is mostly a contributor to the feeling of reality and loneliness we are to be impressed with, but it is the reviewer's impression that its understatedness is heavily detrimental to some of the more potentially impressionable events towards the end of the movie. At two hours this film really needed some rooted music to give it a unified core but themes are not easy to recognise, not least due to being held low in the mix. The occasional orchestral swell, particularly with the more meaningful voiceovers and events could arguably have transformed the film. Still, this was presumably a directorial decision and perhaps more indulgence of non-diegetic music would have polluted the purity of the life-message that Fitzgerald was trying to communicate.


It is difficult to define where the boundaries of Chris Beck and Trevor Morris's joint effort on the score are set. Morris's main credits are for television work with his more prestigious film entries for additional music to Hans Zimmer's projects. His individual style is therefore difficult to define.

Traditional Chinese music is often used rather than score for scenes in this country.

The end credits (also the DVD titles) use the song "The motion" by Rick Kurek rather than a reprisal of score music.

Degrees of Beck

Thom Fitzgerald also directed Wolf Girl and The Event, both films scored by Christophe Beck.



Music composed by Christophe Beck, Trevor Morris
Music editor - Sean Dougall
Music supervisor - Scott Brion


African Traditionals
Published by the cast of '3 needles'
Courtesy of Rage Releasing
"Bottom dollar baby"
Written, published and performed by Nathan Wiley
Courtesy of Sonic Entertainment Group
"Gu Xiang"
Performed by Chen Decan
Courtey of ARC Music
Written by Buck 65 and T.O.A.B. La Rone
Performed by Buck 65
Courtesy of Warner Music Canada
"Rotten roses"
Written by Robyn Landrum, Alexander J Sacher
Published by Jeopardous Music
Performed by Crash Davis
Courtesy of Rotten Roses Music
"Si Yuhamba"
Published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Performed by Nova Scotia Mass Choir
Courtesy of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Written and performed by 01 Etranjjé
Published by Kilo Records
Courtesy of Orange Music
Written by Michael J. Petrantoni
Published by Rieform Music
Performed by MoFo
Courtesy of Riptide Music
Written and performed by Cravo e Canela
Published by Soulnotmind Music
Courtesy of Trigger Recording, Pronto Music
"Stompin' at Le Savoy"
Written by Kid Koala, Just Isn't Music Ltd.
Performed by Kid Koala
Courtesy of Ninja Tune
"Twenty grand"
Written and performed by Bryan Hofbauer
Published by Sounds of Angst
Courtesy of Rage Releasing
"Mae Salong lullaby"
Written by Sook-Yin Lee
Published by Sounds of Angst
Performed by Sook-Yin Lee, Yotaka Chorkreaw, Tanabadee Chokpikultong
Courtesy of Rage Releasing
"Yu Ge"
Written by Yu Tian You
Performed by Chen Dacan
Courtesy of ARC Music
"The motion" [used in end credits]
Written and performed by Rick Kurek
Courtesy of Day Eleven Records
"Neither more nor less"
Written and performed by Tim Hecker
Courtesy of Alien8 Recordings
"Zi Zhu Diao"
Performed by Chen Dacan
Courtesy of ARC Music

*(However, if one is feeling less generous, the intreguing sense that very individual storylines will be drawn inexorably together is arguably gradually overtaken by the feeling that there is a decided lack of drama to the whole plot. What should be by turns intimate, beautiful, and horrifying fails to engage the audience - flat camera angles reduce jawdropping scenery to bland picture postcard, quirky personalities are muted and crushed by Dukakis' motherly voiceovers, and cruelty is delivered brisk and pointless without thought provoking narrative undercurrent. Had this been a documentary it would have been passable if not too informative, but as a 'message' movie it fails in its mission both to entertain and ask questions of the viewer.)