Only a handful of bands truly command attention and analysis when one of their songs enters a scene. Radiohead is undoubtedly one of these bands. Sure, two of their key members are successful film composers and their unique sound definitely lends itself to cinema, but it’s more than that.

Radiohead’s music is hard to define. It weaves in and out of various genres; it’s distant yet comforting; it’s harsh yet beautiful and poetic. But maybe most importantly, Radiohead’s music makes us think. Listen to any random track and you can immediately tell that an extraordinary amount of thought went into every single note and word. When one of these songs accompanies a scene, this thoughtfulness bleeds into the narrative. In short, Radiohead’s songs are the keys to opening doors that filmmakers didn’t think they could open.

If you’re as fascinated as we are about how a great composer can elevate a film, don’t miss our “Score Auteur” series, featuring Radiohead’s own Jonny Greenwood, Hans Zimmer, and Trent Reznor. And follow up those great videos with our article on the aesthetic of the late, great Jóhann Jóhannsson.