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 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

I happen to loathe Baz Luhrmann (after "Strictly Ballroom," which I enjoyed), but why the hell shouldn't Jay-Z score this film? Or at least, why should we assume he can't? Just because he hasn't already done it fifty times? Maybe he'll be a great fresh voice. Maybe.i

I agree with you on all counts, SchiffyM. I generally can't stand Baz either (but also like STRICTLY BALLROOM). And I have zero problem with someone like Jay-Z writing this score or any other. I wouldn't have thought that when the Daft Punk guys were announced as the composers on TRON LEGACY that the result would be one of my favorite scores of the last few years. And who would have thought that when the guy from Oingo Boingo got the job scoring the Pee Wee Herman movie in 1985 that it would wind up being as good as it was, or that it would kick off a continuously amazing career. It's important to keep an open mind about what good filmmusic can be and who can write it.

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 8:51 AM   
 By:   Dr. Nigel Channing   (Member)

Funny. When I posted this on Facebook, Lee Holdridge responded with "Good Grief" too.

Here's the article which is now visible: http://movies.yahoo.com/news/jay-z-composing-original-score-great-gatsby-211240950.html

James


What can I say? Great minds think alike.

Cheers

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 9:59 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

And who would have thought that when the guy from Oingo Boingo got the job scoring the Pee Wee Herman movie in 1985 that it would wind up being as good as it was, or that it would kick off a continuously amazing career. It's important to keep an open mind about what good filmmusic can be and who can write it.

But Elfman in 1985 wasn't nearly as well-known as Jay-Z is now (in fact, Elfman in 2013 isn't as famous as Jay-Z is now - even after Pee-wee's Big Adventure it took a few years for him to really break through). And let's face it, it doesn't always come off - how many people here are hailing The RZA's work?

Of course, it could be brilliant. But I don't know...

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 10:24 AM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

But I think the skeptics here are questioning Jay-Z's background and ability... I don't see how his "fame" has anything to do with it.

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 10:26 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)


But Elfman in 1985 wasn't nearly as well-known as Jay-Z is now (in fact, Elfman in 2013 isn't as famous as Jay-Z is now - even after Pee-wee's Big Adventure it took a few years for him to really break through). And let's face it, it doesn't always come off - how many people here are hailing The RZA's work?

Of course, it could be brilliant. But I don't know...


Well the rock music world tends to have musicians who know how to write melody. My favorite rock bands have some fantastic melodies. Rap (and hip hop but I don't know the difference) on the other hand is a bunch of beats with talking over it that is only interesting if they write intelligent lyrics.

Thus I think it makes a lot more sense that someone would come from a background in a rock band and write good film scores (as we have seen with a number of great composers) then it does that someone would come from a Rap background and write a good score. Just listen to the orchestral renditions of various progressive rock bands work or the classical music by the guys from progressive rock bands. Of course if your definition of a good score is sound design work like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo then sure anyone can score a movie.

I also think the RZA doing his own soundtrack is much less objectionable because it is his own movie project so he can do it as he wants. That movie was so ridiculous looking in the trailers that it makes this version of The Great Gatsby look like an authentic period piece.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 10:38 AM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

I've seen previews for this at various holiday films I've attended. It looks over-produced.

The challenge with adapting "The Great Gatsby" to film is that the center section of the novel veers away from the reunion of Gatsby and Daisy to a flashback of Gatsby's backstory. Consequently, in the novel at least, we really don't know to what lengths Gatsby and Daisy went when they reunited. Film adaptations invariably indicate the two in bed together, but was that really what their previously upright characters would do? It's a debatable point.

On the other hand, many literary writers have said this approach is the key to the genius of Fitzgerald's achievement; he has created an American epic with a mystery at its center, and gets away with it. For me, the novel of "The Great Gatsby" embodies the eternal yearning of Americans to rise from their humble beginnings, and find success and love, not necessarily in that order. But, as Fitzgerald points out, no matter what we reach for, we will always be anchored by our beginnings, which keep affecting our choices and consequent behavior.

Fitzgerald's famous last line: "So we drift, boats agains the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

"The Great Gatsby" is really a poetic work, whose very nature seems to defy cinematic adaptations, which always end up overproduced and unwieldy. There's even an opera adaptation. Each version has elements which seem to work, surrounded by sections which seem to be too literal in their approach. I find it highly unlikely that any adaptation will seem satisfying.

As for Baz Luhrman, I have found that his flashy approach seems to overwhelm most of his work, and has only been effective, for this viewer at least, when he's doing flashy musicals. It might work, actually, as an approach to something from the ancient world, like the story of Antony and Cleopatra, who were both prone to frequent, mighty flashy displays...



 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 10:41 AM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)

I can't stand Luhrman's movies, and have less use for Jay-Z . The guy tried to kill someone, stabbed him with a 5 inch blade, and he's now hailed as some role model?

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 1:57 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

I take it NOBODY has seen "Australia"?

I'm not a Baz cheerleader by any means, and I share the general "Gatsby" skepticism here, but I submit: he's capable of better and "Australia" (for me) proves it.

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 2:01 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I take it NOBODY has seen "Australia"?

I'm not a Baz cheerleader by any means, and I share the general "Gatsby" skepticism here, but I submit: he's capable of better and "Australia" (for me) proves it.


I think that Australia is the only one of his films I have seen ad I LOVED it!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 2:03 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I can't stand Luhrman's movies, and have less use for Jay-Z . The guy tried to kill someone, stabbed him with a 5 inch blade, and he's now hailed as some role model?

Come on, Mike, he was heavily punished for it* and after all the guy bootlegged his album so he deserved it.

* probation!

I hope the irony comes across in this post by the way. He occasionally comes up in conversation in our house due to his friendship with Coldplay. I make a point of calling him Jay Zed. Disparagingly.

I generally enjoy Baz's films, especially R&J, and haven't really had an issue with his music choices so far. They're his films after all. (Ditto QT!)

TG

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 2:30 PM   
 By:   random guy   (Member)

enjoy Jay's music. his first "Blueprint" that came out way back in high school is still one of my all time favorite. especially that "All I need" track.

look forward to what he does with the movie

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 2:40 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

I can't stand Luhrman's movies, and have less use for Jay-Z . The guy tried to kill someone, stabbed him with a 5 inch blade, and he's now hailed as some role model?

Par for the course in Hollywood.

Kill over a hundred people, call black people lazy and useless, say if you had a nuclear weapon used use it against the U.S. -- OMG, you're a Hollywood hero, you even have supermodels and actors wearing clothing with your face on it.

Hugo Chavez your best despotic friend ever? That's okay! Hollywood doesn't mind, you'll get work.

Had a secret room down a long hall full of children's toys, a bed, and a censor at the beginning of the hall that alerts you when somebody is coming. Shucks, we all have one those! I can't tell you how many times I had little kids over to my alarm-rigged room for sleep over. Don't worry, just make songs a lot of people like.

Like to do things with underage girls? No problem, just flee the country to avoid sentencing, and people (and composers) will continue to work with you! They dont' care, it wasn't their kids.

These are, of course, the most memorable, but there's undoubtly more.


johnmullin:
And who would have thought that when the guy from Oingo Boingo got the job scoring the Pee Wee Herman movie in 1985 that it would wind up being as good as it was, or that it would kick off a continuously amazing career. It's important to keep an open mind about what good filmmusic can be and who can write it.


There's no comparrison to Elfman and Jay-Z. Or anybody else that came out of Oingo Boingo (Richard Gibbs, Steve Bartek).

Elfman had the background, though no formal training. People always assume his background was rock & roll in Oingo Boingo. In his own words, for eight years in the Mystic Knights, he did no rock & roll, and listened to nothing made after 1938; all the music made during that period by him was inspired people people like Duke Ellington, Igor Stravinsky, others. In fact, that wasn't even his start in music making, but rather the start was in Paris with his brother in "Le Grande Magic Circus, a kind of musical -- an avant-garde musical theatrical troup", after four months earlier picking up violin. "I started with the circus" he said, and later in the informative interview, says he wanted to run away with the circus. About ten years or music that was certainly not rock & roll. He had the experience to pull of a comedy film like "Pee Wee's Big Adventure", especially when you consider the scoring the series had.

(interview: http://www.filmmusicmag.com/?p=8577)

The only thing it appears he lacked to pull off the job, was film-like orchestration experience, but luckily people with experience like Lennie Niehaus and Shirley Walker were called in. As one famous composer once said (from memory here): "You're only as good as the people you surround yourself with."

So, what's Jay-Z's training or background? Well, according to his Wikipedia page, none. No schooling, no writing music. He sung/wrote some rap lyrics, would bang out some beats.

Okay, so who does he surround himself with? Well, it's not a pretty list.


If Hitler had lived, fled to another country to avoid war crimes charges and execution, and lived a long time and also wrote fantastic piano music, would we hire him to score a film? Come on, sometimes it's more about the right thing.


And I'm fairly certain Elfnman never shot his brother once in the shoudler when he was young, for trying to steal some of his jewelry.



I'm sure there's a dozen or mroe talented singers out there with music composition skills, that would love a chance to score something, but just aren't being offered it because they're not Jay-Z or the recently replaced on a film score Alicia Keys; they don't have the "name" to get the work.

And all those aisde, there's no shortage of starving composers out there in Hollywood who alreayd have the skill, spend a ton on schooling, and struggle to even get ONE assignment. They're there, waiting to get work, and Jay-Z gets a film score thrown at him like it was panties and he was on stage.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 3:08 PM   
 By:   The CinemaScope Cat   (Member)

Does it matter WHO scores Luhrmann's THE GREAT GATSBY? It's like complaining about who's dressing the corpse for the funeral! If the film isn't D.O.A., I'll eat my Hugo Friedhofer collection!

Yes, I know I haven't seen the film and should wait before I pass judgement yadda, yadda, yadda ..... but if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ..... it's a duck!

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 3:13 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Does it matter WHO scores Luhrmann's THE GREAT GATSBY? It's like complaining about who's dressing the corpse for the funeral! If the film isn't D.O.A., I'll eat my Hugo Friedhofer collection!

Yes, I know I haven't seen the film and should wait before I pass judgement yadda, yadda, yadda ..... but if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ..... it's a duck!


Well I may not want to watch the movie but I could still be quite interested in seeing the type of score it gets.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 3:32 PM   
 By:   The CinemaScope Cat   (Member)

Well I may not want to watch the movie but I could still be quite interested in seeing the type of score it gets.

Oh, I'll grant you that it's entirely possible to have a terrific score for a bad movie. Ennio Morricone's haunting score to BUTTERFLY comes immediately to mind.

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 3:43 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

I happen to loathe Baz Luhrmann (after "Strictly Ballroom," which I enjoyed), but why the hell shouldn't Jay-Z score this film? Or at least, why should we assume he can't? Just because he hasn't already done it fifty times? Maybe he'll be a great fresh voice. Maybe.
------------------
This film was originally scheduled to open at Christmas, now delayed until May. It may well have hit serious problems, which is why there is some desperate music tinkering going on.

I was looking forward to this film but it may be a dud.

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

Quick reply to Justin Boggin, who referenced my earlier post in his most recent post (which included a "Hitler" comparison, as all well-reasoned internet discussion often does):

-I made no comments about the quality of Jay-Z's work nor did I predict how his music for the picture might turn out. It could be terrible. I'll let you know if I ever see the movie (unlikely) or buy the CD (even less likely). My point was very strictly of the "don't condemn it before you hear it" variety. I'll stand by my earlier statement: "It's important to keep an open mind about what good filmmusic can be and who can write it."

-All the things you mentioned about Elfman's background were used mercilessly by his critics to tear him down as illegitimate and unworthy of scoring major features for the first 10 to 15 years that he was doing it. Often by other filmmusic professionals, many of whom were incapable of producing anything a 10th as interesting, but who might have, as you said, had "the skill, spen[t] a ton on schooling, and struggle to even get ONE assignment." There are a lot of people with that story in Hollywood trying to break into filmmusic, that's true... but when has Hollywood ever been a meritocracy?

-I know essentially nothing about Jay-Z's personal life. I'm not sure it's relevant to whatever music he might be writing for this picture, or why it means he shouldn't have the job.

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 4:02 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Quick reply to Justin Boggin, who referenced my earlier post in his most recent post (which included a "Hitler" comparison, as all well-reasoned internet discussion often does):

-I made no comments about the quality of Jay-Z's work nor did I predict how his music for the picture might turn out. It could be terrible. I'll let you know if I ever see the movie (unlikely) or buy the CD (even less likely). My point was very strictly of the "don't condemn it before you hear it" variety. I'll stand by my earlier statement: "It's important to keep an open mind about what good filmmusic can be and who can write it."


Okay, full relevent quote:

And I have zero problem with someone like Jay-Z writing this score or any other. I wouldn't have thought that when the Daft Punk guys were announced as the composers on TRON LEGACY that the result would be one of my favorite scores of the last few years. And who would have thought that when the guy from Oingo Boingo got the job scoring the Pee Wee Herman movie in 1985 that it would wind up being as good as it was, or that it would kick off a continuously amazing career. It's important to keep an open mind about what good filmmusic can be and who can write it.


It's directly on Jay-Z; you're giving a comparrison on whether somebody like him could score, by bringing up Daft Punk and Danny Elfman, based on apabilities. Otherwise this is the wierdest paragraph with oddly coincidental combinations I've ever seen.

Come off it, everybody knows who Hitler is. That's a tired internet thing to dismiss something just because it references Hitler.

-All the things you mentioned about Elfman's background were used mercilessly by his critics to tear him down as illegitimate and unworthy of scoring major features for the first 10 to 15 years that he was doing it.

Well, I guess we heard it differently. All that time I remember people people not using any of that, but rather pointing to his rock and roll; claiming he couldn't write music; and that his scoring it was ghostwritten by real composers.

Often by other filmmusic professionals, many of whom were incapable of producing anything a 10th as interesting, but who might have, as you said, had "the skill, spen[t] a ton on schooling, and struggle to even get ONE assignment."

Well, their opinions are just that: opinions. The proof is in the pudding.

There are a lot of people with that story in Hollywood trying to break into filmmusic, that's true... but when has Hollywood ever been a meritocracy?

Since has Hollywood been an -ocracy anything? Hollywood is what ever the directores, producers, and studios executives want it to be. You can get hired on your talent, or you can get hired for your name.

-I know essentially nothing about Jay-Z's personal life. I'm not sure it's relevant to whatever music he might be writing for this picture.

Yeah, that last line of mine was a shot at him, but I think of the big name composers with real talent, Herrmann, Rozsa, Goldsmith, Williams, Rosenman, Waxman, etc., and I can't recall any of them shooting their siblings, selling drugs. They may not have ad the most winning personalities, and may have had some harsh words here and there, but the true talent seems to go hand-in-hand with a certain general direction of living. Politics and religion aside.



And to anybody: there's been plenty of lousy films with good or great scores. This will suck the monkey balls that some of of us suspect, but that doesn't mean we can't have a good score out of it. All is not lost yet, we could still end up with the Armstrong score.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Geez, so strong reactions for a score no one hasn't even HEARD yet?

Personally, I love oddball composer casting like this and there's no reason why a good score can't come from someone who isn't traditionally and classically trained. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Maybe it will be good, maybe it won't, time will tell.

Bring on the Jay Z, that's what I say!

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2013 - 4:13 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

You had to figure something like this would happen considering Luhrmann's use of pop music in Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge.
It's being made in 3-D, an unnecessary and over the top creative choice for this story if there ever was one. Jay-Z is just par for the course.

 
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