Starring Michael Caine, The Quiet American (2002) is a dramatisation of the seminal Graham Greene novel, depicting the febrile surroundings of 1950s Saigon as it struggles to emerge from colonial rule.
For the composer, such expectation meant hours of absorption in the traditional music of Vietnam to come up with music that fitted both time and place. ‘You just immerse yourself psychologically in it,’ Armstrong says. ‘It’s almost like method acting. The score blends East and West because they are inseparable: similar to what was on screen.’ As part of the score, Armstrong co-wrote Nothing In This World (A song for Phuong) with acclaimed Vietnamese singer Hong Nhung. The score went on to win both Ivor Novello and American Film Institute awards.
Directed by Phillip Noyce