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 Posted:   Oct 31, 2013 - 7:20 AM   
 By:   johnbijl   (Member)

An overblown boring piece of junk if there ever was any and highlighted only by some very impressive photography.

Why are you discussing Gone With the Wind here? This thread is about 2001.


smile


Really? Sounds like he's describing Prometheus ;-)

OT: I own the Intrada CD from which the CD-R from the North Estate was sourced. I like it and it's amazing what Intrada did with the quality considering the source, though it borders on a 'archival' or collector's release.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 6:59 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Thanks. How do the original tracks compare to Goldsmith's recording? That one is a real CD, and it's only like a dollar.

I think the original tapes from the Anvil Studios recording in U.K. during Janaury of 1968 have the benefit of Henry Brant's presence.

While the Goldsmith re-recording is also good, the musicians of 1993 don't have quite the edgy quality of the 1968 performance. (IMHO smile ).

Overall, this is my stance on Varese's volumes of Alex North re-recordings; 1990s musicians simply do not sound as idiomatic as the original interpretations done in the 1950s & 1960s.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 10:36 AM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)



Kubrick's spacemen were on Alec Baldwin's new MSNBC interview show last night.




Lockwood is beginning to look like Larry Storch, I think.



Dullea has added an "aging effect" Kubrick didn't anticipate: the Rip Van Winkle beard.

Baldwin asked whether they'd known what was going on with Alex North during production, but they said they never knew anything about the film's music until the premiere screening.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 11:08 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Oh, I watched this last night. I thought it overall quite insipid, but not as bad as the commentary track for the DVD/BD. Alec Baldwin was really over the top in his worship of 2001 (and this is my second favorite movie) and it was kind of embarrassing how he peed all over these guys.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 11:14 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

I have long been an Alex North fan, and bought the CD of his rejected soundtrack for Kubrick's "2001," but have only played it once, glad that Kubrick had the good sense to use music like the Strauss waltzes, which worked so wonderfully in that film.

This is the bone (pun intended) I have to pick with you, Mr. Hardcastle, but I have to go to work now, so "I'll be back" tomorrow.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 12:53 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Rory: I'll look forward to it! But if it's about my insistence that things like the Strauss waltzes WORKED in the film, I certainly stand by that. I think Kubrick meant it as an incongruous juxtaposition which still managed to fit the scenes, and it does. I just found nothing in North's unused cues to convince me they would have worked better. Perhaps I'm not that adventurous, but I don't need new compositions for everything. For example, I have no problem that Daniel Licht recycled his initial themes from the 1st season of "Dexter" for all 8 seasons of it, that John Lunn has used the same music in all 4 seasons of "Downton Abbey" (and I'm just assuming that for the 4th), that John Williams used his initial music for "Star Wars" in the films that came later, or that Carter Burwell, who SHOULD have composed all 5 of the "Twilight" films, brought back some of his themes from #1 for 4 and 5. You and I are big "2001" fans and whether it would have worked better with North's discarded score is, at this point, just academic. One person noted above that it would have made "2001" more interesting for him, and I can understand that -- a lot of people get lulled to sleep by Strauss waltzes! But, again, what Kubrick chose to use worked -- and continues to work -- perfectly for ME.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

Oh, I watched this last night. I thought it overall quite insipid, but not as bad as the commentary track for the DVD/BD. Alec Baldwin was really over the top in his worship of 2001 (and this is my second favorite movie) and it was kind of embarrassing how he peed all over these guys.

I didn't watch the Baldwin show (though I want to now), but the dude's a serious cinephile. You think Larry King would've asked anyone about the Alex North score?

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 2:35 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)


1990s musicians simply do not sound as idiomatic as the original interpretations done in the 1950s & 1960s.


As a musician myself, I am a slightly perplexed by this statement, but I am also not necessarily disagreeing with what you're saying.

These kinds of decade differences are certainly obvious with music from an oral/aural tradition, such as jazz.

But North/Goldsmith are working with traditional western musical notation. I would think that these stylistic differences might have more to do with conductors than players.

In what ways do you think the playing itself changed between these decades? Again, I'm in no way challenging your hypothesis: I just don't understand.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Oh, I watched this last night. I thought it overall quite insipid, but not as bad as the commentary track for the DVD/BD.

Yeah the show is surprisingly low key, almost like an old PBS show or Nightline.

and it was kind of embarrassing how he peed all over these guys.

Huh, whaaat???

Anyway loved their reaction when they learned the original score was recut into fan edits.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 3:50 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

. . . And a few years after I first saw 2001, I viewed an English comedy from the end of the 1940s in which the Thus Sprach Zarathustra theme was used to make a tongue-in-cheek comment about some of the characters' behaviour.


Do you remember anything else about this English comedy? I can't figure it out from IMDB.

I've sometimes wondered whether Kubrick had seen "The Epic That Never Was," the 1966 documentary about the aborted 1937 film of the Robert Graves novel, "I, Claudius," which was to have starred Laughton in the title role. It uses the Strauss piece as a main title theme, same as 2001 did.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0199498/

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 4:06 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Sigerson Holmes:

Oh, I saw "The Epic That Never Was" too ... sooooooooooo many years ago, about the aborted "I, Claudius" with Charles Laughton. I think that I have it as an extra on something, perhaps my boxed set of the "I Claudius" with Derek Jocobi. [Follow-up: And IMDb lists that "I, Claudius" from 1937 as well as "The Epic That Never Was."]

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 5:03 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Yes, I think it is included as an extra in the Derek Jacobi TV miniseries box set.

Wish we could figure out what that comedy was, in Ken's post.

The way the organ is still heard, reverberating, at the end of "Also Sprach Zarathustra," as well as at the end of North's version of the 2001 main title, always reminds me of the organ at the finale of Goldsmith's "The Enterprise." Love it!

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 9:26 AM   
 By:   SpaceMind   (Member)

I must just be too used to watching 2001 with it's released soundtrack. Back when I got the Varese 2001 Alex North CD, I put it in my CD player and started it at the exact time in the film that was stated in the liner notes to see how it would have sounded. My opinion, awful! I just didn't hear it working well at all.

Like I said, I am probably so used to the soundtrack that was used that it influences the experience so much that I just couldn't grasp North's score being used and think that Kubrick made the right choice.

Who knows... this may be why Kubrick didn't use North's score. I'm sure he replaced the temp tracks with it and it wasn't working for him either so he ultimately used the temp tracks.

Now one thing that I DON'T agree with is letting North attend the premiere without telling him his score wasn't used. How embarrassing of a situation for North. There, with all his colleagues, to attend and everyone thinking he is the composer only to find out he wasn't when the film started. Could you imaging sitting through that whole film after knowing your work wasn't used and then having to face everyone when the lights came up? Very wrong and disrespectful of Kubrick as a colleague and as an "employer."

Just my opinion anyway.

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 9:34 AM   
 By:   Microceratops   (Member)


I love North's score as standalone music, but I think what really dates it when you sync it to the picture is the recording itself. The orchestra is outstanding (those low brasses on the main titles are terrific!) but I wish it was faithfully re-recorded with a better mix. Goldsmith's version doesn't do much for me, I feel he took a lot of the North personality of the original out. But it's just my opinion, it's still a nice re-recording.

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 12:06 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)


1990s musicians simply do not sound as idiomatic as the original interpretations done in the 1950s & 1960s.


As a musician myself, I am a slightly perplexed by this statement, but I am also not necessarily disagreeing with what you're saying.

These kinds of decade differences are certainly obvious with music from an oral/aural tradition, such as jazz.

But North/Goldsmith are working with traditional western musical notation. I would think that these stylistic differences might have more to do with conductors than players.

In what ways do you think the playing itself changed between these decades? Again, I'm in no way challenging your hypothesis: I just don't understand.


Hi, Onya.

I was referring more to Varese's 1995 re-recording of North's STREETCAR, but also to the re-recordings overall.

I don't think the 90s musicians could ever duplicate the performances of jazz musicians from 1950, for example.

Hope this helps you to understand what I meant?

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 12:26 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Oh, I watched this last night. I thought it overall quite insipid, but not as bad as the commentary track for the DVD/BD. Alec Baldwin was really over the top in his worship of 2001 (and this is my second favorite movie) and it was kind of embarrassing how he peed all over these guys.

I didn't watch the Baldwin show (though I want to now), but the dude's a serious cinephile. You think Larry King would've asked anyone about the Alex North score?


No, but I think as a cinephile Baldwin needs to check his facts. When they got around to mentioning other Kubrick films, Baldwin thought Sam Jaffe was in THE KILLING. No, Alec, you're thinking of THE ASPHALT JUNGLE. Could it be Elisha Cook you're referring to, Alec? Then they start to talk about an actor in both THE KILLING and PATHS OF GLORY and none of them can recall that his name was Timothy Carey, one of Hollywood's most notorious weirdos. Baldwin then went into a list of Gary Lockwood's credits post 2001 and only mentioned the TV stuff. Hey, Alec, big cinephile, ever hear of FIRECREEK or MODEL SHOP or R.P.M.? But that was all forgivable. Much worse was when Baldwin starts to tell the story of how he had to learn a Russian phrase for THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. Hey, Alec, this interview is supposed to be about 2001, not your career, Mr. Ego. At least he didn't go into a narcissistic, screaming abusive rage. He has the decency to save those for just his kids. Oh, and by the way, Alec, not everyone loves 2001. Just read some comments on the web. A lot of people hate the movie (not that I agree with them).

Believe it or not, I don't really have anything against Alec Baldwin. I wouldn't want to know him personally, but he's OK as a general performer (or whatever he is). I just thought his interview was too dipshitty for my tastes. I watch MSNBC a lot (big time liberal, me), but Baldwin's show, so far, has left me wanting more -- as in more substance. Balwin, so far, is no Bill Moyers. And, no, Moyers probably wouldn't have brought up North's score either, but who knows? Maybe he's a cinephile too.

Also, I have nothing against Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood. I'm very much appreciate that they're still around to talk about 2001, but they weren't there for the entire production, so their knowledge is limited, so on a commentary track for 2001.... give me Rudy Behlmer any day.

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 1:02 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

An overblown boring piece of junk if there ever was any and highlighted only by some very impressive photography.

Make sure Alec Baldwin doesn't hear you say that. He might yell at you.

(Can't resist.)

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2013 - 2:54 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Rory: I'll look forward to it! But if it's about my insistence that things like the Strauss waltzes WORKED in the film, I certainly stand by that. I think Kubrick meant it as an incongruous juxtaposition which still managed to fit the scenes, and it does. I just found nothing in North's unused cues to convince me they would have worked better. Perhaps I'm not that adventurous, but I don't need new compositions for everything. You and I are big "2001" fans and whether it would have worked better with North's discarded score is, at this point, just academic. One person noted above that it would have made "2001" more interesting for him, and I can understand that -- a lot of people get lulled to sleep by Strauss waltzes! But, again, what Kubrick chose to use worked -- and continues to work -- perfectly for ME.

No, it was just your phrase that Kubrick "had the good sense" not to use North's score but go instead with what started out as a temp music track that bothers me. I'm not so sure of the "good sense" of it. What he did finally decide upon, I agree, does work, but I'm not sure now that it was the artistically right thing to do. Despite my love for 2001, I can't help but agree with Jerry Goldsmith on this subject. I believe Goldsmith is on the record for having said that it was wrong for Kubrick to use classical music. On some aesthetic plain it is theft. The Strauss's and Khachaturian couldn't be asked if it was okay with them, but in the end I've read that Ligeti wasn't too pleased with it. I've come to agree with another thing Goldsmith is supposed to have said, that every film deserves an original score. The cynic will say, well he was just trying to promote his profession, but I don't think so. While I also agree that North may not have been the right choice -- in fact, I don't think he was at all because of North's very distinct style (for me anyway) -- I still think now that 2001 deserved its own score. I like to think of a movie as a work of art and Kubrick, I think, was trying to make something that, if not original, at least unique. I think you and most everyone would say he was trying to make something original, so why not an original score? Also, I think that nothing in a movie, especially something that very much depends on suspension of disbelief, should take you out of the movie, and I remember that when 2001 was new, the use of the classical music, especially the Strauss waltz, was a distraction. It's now all water over the dam, 2001 is what it is, but I still wish, as much as I accept what is, that 2001 had been given an original score, and even if it had been North.

Imagine if Frank Schaffner had temp tracked PLANET OF THE APES with music from Bartok and Stravinsky and then decided to keep it. It may have "worked," but look what we would have missed. (Jesus, I just scared myself! A world without Goldsmith's PLANET score?!!!! That's a world I would not want to live in.)

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2013 - 7:52 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)



Hi, Onya.

I was referring more to Varese's 1995 re-recording of North's STREETCAR, but also to the re-recordings overall.

I don't think the 90s musicians could ever duplicate the performances of jazz musicians from 1950, for example.

Hope this helps you to understand what I meant?


Actually, I'm more confused now. wink

Both Streetcar and 2001 are composed with standard western musical notation, correct? Granted, there are a few small ensemble tracks on "Streetcar" that are probably more jazz-based, e.g. written trumpet melody with chord changes provided for the rhythm section.

I used jazz as an example to illustrate the challenges of recreating a particular vibe, mood and sound decades later.

But this example was presented in contrast to music written in the symphonic/classical/western tradition. 2001 and most of Streetcar would fall into this category, correct? I would therefore think that major differences in sound between the 1950s/60s and recent decades would have more to do with aesthetic choices being made by the conductor and also recording techniques. If a string section in the 1990s plays written parts significantly differently than their counterparts in the 1950s, wouldn't the conductor represent the major factor?

 
 Posted:   Nov 5, 2013 - 4:00 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Both Streetcar and 2001 are composed with standard western musical notation, correct?

Hi, Onya.

I'm getting confused, too. Maybe we aren't talking about the same thing after all.
But to answer, yes, as far as I know the manuscripts used standard western music notation.

 
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