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Music and films
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:37 pm    Post subject: Music and films Reply with quote

I do love movies... Very much... And I do love film music ! I see it as an added character in a movie, indispensable when good, unbearable when bad !
So, as a way of lightening a bit the movie topic, I thought maybe some of you would like to share their thoughts, ideas, I-love-I-hate, about this "minor" musical genre, the movie soundtrack ! And when I say minor... I happen to think that Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams are no minor composers ! And that Mozart would probably work in soundtracks if he lived today !
Well, from the few names I have given you can guess my favourites, but the new generation is somewhat promising, as Hans Zimmer can sometimes demonstrate (but shame on him, his wonderful "Gladiator" soundtrack is at times completely drawn from Wagner's "Götterdamerung" !).
So, who's your favoured one : Williams' scary "Jaws", elegiac "ET", grand "Star Wars", Goldsmith's amazing "Inchon", terrifying "Omen 2", witty "Gremlins", or Morricone's "Good, the bad and the ugly" ? Herrmann's "most wonderful "Ghost and Mrs Muir", his work for Hitchcock (shower, anyone ?)
Do you even like film music, or do not notice it ?
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel as you do, that music is another star of the show. One of my favorites would have to be, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", with the exception of the cheesy 'popish' song at the end. I am a huge fan of Yo Yo Ma and enjoy this early venture into Asian musical styles, followed soon by the Silk Road Orchestra.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really think Howard Shore's astounding music for the Lord of the Rings trilogy is integral to the movie as a whole. Then there are soundtracks that utilising known songs/music--I think here of the wonderful soundtrack to Almost Famous.

There, I did it, a whole post without an exclamation point! Very Happy
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:25 pm    Post subject: Music and films Reply with quote

For me, Danny Elfman gets my vote. Edward Scissorhands, Batman and Batman Returns, Men in Black and a host of others. The man has a wonderful touch.

I definitely agree with John Williams for Star Wars too. He hit the right touch every time. I don't know who did the music for Gone with the Wind, but that was wonderfully done too. And Morricone's work for Sergio Leone was elegiac and dignified... and quotable in a whistling sense!
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jerry Goldsmith's written some brilliant film scores - was saddened to see that he passed away a couple of years ago. I love LA Confidential and I think his soundtrack really complimented the movie beautifully. And Howard Shore did an incredible job with the Lord of the Rings trilogy - what a huge project to take on, and he produced truly great work. Also, if I can nominate tv stuff - the miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon" had some lovely music on the soundtrack.

Charlsy, I think you're right about classical composers working on film scores if they lived today. My dad, who's way more into classical music than I am, points out that some composers who lived a bit later on did in fact do so (e.g. Shostakovich). Re Zimmer, I know he did some work on the soundtrack to the first Pirates of the Carribean movie, and is credited as "overproducing" the score Smile. Not sure who contributed what on that one, though.

Erin, when you saw Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was the song at the end in English or Chinese? I think it works much better in Chinese.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
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Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The english version. The cheese factor was pretty high which seems to happen a lot in translation. Like the english version of the movie, it really took the beauty of the Chinese culture and made it feel like a joke.
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoe, I'm glad you like Goldsmith's work, he is little known outside movie fans' circles, and it's a shame. He never had the public recognition of Williams, but wrote some outstanding scores, and never better than when using "ethnic" themes (Masada, Inchon, the last 2 Rambos, Mulan, The 13th warrior, The mummy, are some examples of this current in his music). His score for "The omen 2" is easily one of the scariest pieces of music ever heard on film, right next to Herrmann's "Psycho" score. Goldsmith died about 3 years ago, without much press attention. I for one miss waiting for his newest score... Incidentally, Ridley Scott, who worked with him for "Alien" and "Legend", used a short piece of his "13th warrior" score in "Kingdom of Heaven" (when Balian makes his speech to rally the men defending Jerusalem and knights them in a sweeping move). It was IMO the best musical moment of the movie...
Basil Poledouris wrote the score of the first "Pirates of the Caribbean". He was also the composer of "Conan the barbarian" ! Wonderful, bombastic score, perfectly suited to the movie, but with some soft, tragic, intimate moments.
Griffin, Max Steiner, an old Hollywood hand, wrote "Gone with the wind". He was behind the original "King Kong" score, and "Casablanca", "The big sleep", "The searchers". And I do like Danny Elfman's work. His "Batman" scores were beautiful.
I am a little less impressed with Howard Shore's work for "The Lord of the rings", even if it's beautiful. There was much ado about the fact that he wrote 3 scores in 3 years. But being the Williams' fan that I am, I can't help but admire even more his work on the 6 "Star Wars" movies, each one representing 4 months of composing in a busy schedule (Williams being Spielberg's musical partner in crime, he is kept fairly busy !), while maintaining a consistency in musical storytelling. Ok, I'm too partial ! But "StarWars" may well stand as the most astounding musical saga in movie history.
Any Michael Kamen fan among you people ? I love his weird, high notes themes. He has a very distinct sound, best heard in the "Lethal weapon" series, but also wrote the wonderful "X-men 1" and "Highlander" scores, in addition to the 3 "Die hard" movies. To think that one of his first work was orchestral themes for the Pink Floyd's "The wall"...
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David Hirschfelder is an Australian composer who has written original music for Shine, Elizabeth, The Truman Show and many, many other movies and TV shows.

I really like what he says about movie soundtracks - that the music should not intrude, it should become part of the movie, a background that adds to the story.

I can think of times when I have sat through movies feeling 'jarred' by the soundtrack, but at the moment can't remember specific movies. Then other times when I come out of the cinema and really don't remember the music at all, but going by Mr Hirschfelder's comments, that's a good thing. I've always thought so.

And then of course, there are the soundtracks I remember - the beautiful music of the Lord of the Rings trilogy; the mystical tunes in Harry Potter, weaving in and out of the story; all those great songs in The Big Chill.
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emilyj



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 184
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think my favourite movie soundtrack is the one written for 'Amelie', it fits so well with the film- French and cute.
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlsy, I mentioned From the Earth to the Moon in my last post - I think Kamen wrote the main theme for that, and also for another miniseries - Band of Brothers. Have you see either of those? I like the X-Men score, too - didn't know that was him.

Emilyj, I agree that Amelie has lovely music. I really didn't care much for the movie itself, though... Sad Am pretty sure the same composer also did Goodbye Lenin, and that's a case where I liked both the movie and the music.
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Zoe, I did see both series, and Kamen did indeed write the music for "Band of brothers" (a powerful, gripping series, and such great actors !) and the main theme for "From the Earth to the Moon".

Yann Tiersen wrote the music both for "Amélie" (sweet movie, but not that great IMO) and "Goodbye Lenin". He's a french composer.

I'm with you Judy, on the point that good film music should not be "heard", but rather felt as an added character. Then if you listen to it later it brings back the mood of the film. I have at times heard scores before seeing the movie, and wondered what images could go with the notes. OK, it usually was a Williams or Goldsmith score !

And I sometimes really am bothered by a score either too "noisy" or weak. I liked Petersen's "Troy", but was hugely disappointed by Horner's unimaginative music. He can be really inspired (witness "Braveheart" and "Titanic"), but often just recycles his own tracks ! There it was "Willow" all over over !

And sometimes you have a really crappy movie and a brilliant music ! Rare occurence, but I know a few examples ! Or a pedestrian score, and then suddenly a splash of brilliance ! Morricine worked several times with De Palma and produced one of his lamest work for "Mission to Mars". But at the very end of the movie, there is a this one moment, just a few seconds, when all of a sudden the music soars. Perfection. Shame it lasts no more than maybe ten seconds !
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone corrected me and read "Morricone" I'm sure. A one-man musical factory, that one... Who writes brilliant music at his best, and sometimes just churns out notes....
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My eldest son has always been a great fan of John Williams. When doing research for a school project he discovered Williams had based his film composing on Wagners Der Ring des Nibelungs. The idea was we should identify a character or theme with the piece of music we were hearing. Jaws is probably one of the best examples of this.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back, Barbara, great to see you back here again, and I'm looking forward to reading about your latest trip on your blog
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KathyD



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Couzon, France 03160

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:42 am    Post subject: How about...... Reply with quote

Mark Knopfler? He has written a lot of film scores, but I can only think of two: "The Princess Bride" and "Local Hero"........films not well known, but with a certain audience.
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