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This is a comments thread about FSM CD: Logan’s Run (1976 Feature Film)
 
 Posted:   Apr 13, 2012 - 2:58 AM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

The movie blows. As David Gerrold or someone said, it's yet another movie with a Meaning that boils down to: It's Not Nice To Kill People. Moviemakers--certainly not just Hollywood boobs--seem to think they have to lay that down and be Responsible, rather than assume the audience has a brain particle and can move beyond that a little.

The one element (other than the score) that works for me is the matte work, which is the only effects element that actually creates a sense of scale and wonder. While the 'futuristic' locations are actually kinda cool for what they are, they aren't enough to bring off the underfed world-building. I mean, this is one stupid movie, and I don't even want to get into details (I love the computer that, on hearing that Sanctuary doesn't exist, can't simply conclude that all the runners are now dead, but has a nervous breakdown that somehow ignites what appear to be explosive charges throughout the city).

The use of electronics here is is one of those cases where Goldsmith's ambition trumps his taste. The electronic flatulence is hilarious, and yet I appreciate that he was one of the composers back in this period who was attempting something different. (John Williams gets a pass because he wasn't writiing futuristic scifi scores but swashbucklers in SF clothing.) Goldsmith's score had to create a sense of otherness the sets and effects were failing to do in those scenes with the electronics, and from here it looks like a bit of a flop--and yet, those very elements are entertaining for the sheer weirdness.

Then we get to the outstanding early use of electronics for action music, which he wouldn't really expand on for years (the chase with that burbling synth, which is nowhere to be found on the original LP). It's as if once he used the electronics on that first scene of chasing the runner, he decided he'd set the scene, and returned to the sometimes brutal orchestral music for the action cues later on as a safer bet, not wanting to let electronics overwhelm what had to be a more people-oriented score. Goldsmith, as we know, scored much of the movie as a love story, and thank God for that, or the thing would have absolutely no resonance on the character level--he's really doing a lot of the heavy lifting for this thing.

There are of course a couple of 'chamber music' scenes, but there really isn't a lot of that. The orchestral material really starts pushing through once the chase is on, as Goldsmith strips back the electronics so by the time we and Logan see the sunrise (they missed a golden opportunity by not having Logan and Jessica scream 'Holy crap!' and "What the hell is that thing?!") he can really let loose. There are some lovely passages from that point on.

For me, though, this score will always be about the fight cue. This was one of the very first soundtracks I bought, and I thought it was okay, the love music a little sappy, but I was in grammar school. Then I flipped over the record and put the needle down on "You're Renewed" and had my mind blown. This wasn't anything like that cool STAR WARS score I'd been enjoying, this was...different. This wasn't "fun" action music, this was music for two guys trying to bash each other's head in. It was a real eye-opener about how music expressed its own character, could be used for different emotional states during physical action on the screen.

The FSM release is yet another example of how no film music composer benefits from expansions the way Goldsmith does. I don't get rid of the albums Goldsmith sequenced because they are cool expressions of the music in one way, but in every example of a complete score assembly for a JG score I enjoyed, the expansion trumps the original every time, and creates a new work. It's like the difference between seeing five pieces of a bicycle on the ground, then assembling them with the screws and bolts and the chain and the little pieces. They've both got the same major parts, but man, what a difference.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 13, 2012 - 6:05 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

The movie blows...The one element (other than the score) that works for me is the matte work, which is the only effects element that actually creates a sense of scale and wonder. While the 'futuristic' locations are actually kinda cool for what they are, they aren't enough to bring off the underfed world-building.


Cool visuals are enough to make me love a movie. There are plenty of "good" movies that have minimal visual appeal, and "bad" movies that are like living in a 1968 issue of Vogue or Playboy. I'll tai the latter any day.


The use of electronics here is is one of those cases where Goldsmith's ambition trumps his taste.


The electronics are all I listen to and I skip the rest. As someone who love electronic music, I think these segments are really solid.



The FSM release is yet another example of how no film music composer benefits from expansions the way Goldsmith does.


I don't necessarily agree with this, but I'll say that the original Logan LP is a hodgepodge, but the electronic half of the CD is brilliant.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 13, 2012 - 6:06 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Thanks for this thoughtful appreciation. I had always thought the film was DOA, which explained why the less interesting OMEN score won the Oscar that year. (The latter film was a hit.) The afterlife of LOGAN'S RUN as a favorite in some quarters and (I gather) a TV series is something that I've never understood. Need to look into the matter.

 
 Posted:   Apr 13, 2012 - 7:29 AM   
 By:   Andysummers   (Member)

Also the use of the scoring in electronically synthesized instruments with contemporary live orchestra is a neat touch. The world of Logan’s Run is ran by computers who judge that today, your time is up and you must come to carousel, run and you’ll be hunted down and terminated on the spot!

 
 Posted:   Apr 13, 2012 - 8:53 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

Logan's Run still showcases everything I love about Goldsmith's writing and it's a typical example of him creating a score that's a better "movie" than the movie for which it was written. Goldsmith's music has the poetry and strangeness of the novel hardwired into it (although undoubtedly Goldsmith never read the novel), while the movie is a flat, deflavorized sketch of the book (not that the book was a masterpiece but it IS one compared to the movie). Goldsmith pulled this hat trick off so many times (with Damnation Alley a year later) that people take it for granted.

 
 Posted:   Apr 13, 2012 - 9:40 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

You may think the THE OMEN score is less interesting and yet it's the score that propelled me into film score collecting. Nothing else did, that did.

(Okay, I was already a big fan of James Bond film music, but if it hadn't been for THE OMEN, I would probably be a classical music collector who owned some Bond albums, not a soundtrack nerd.)

And in terms of effect on screen, THE OMEN has the kind of immediate effect and creates the kind of immediate lasting impression that few film scores do.

That said, yes, THE OMEN is a relatively basic Goldsmith score while there are more 'clever' scores out there. Like LOGAN'S RUN. But, on screen, the LOGAN'S RUN score doesn't grab the audience like THE OMEN did.

Often, it's the simple scores that grab the audience, not the clever ones. And if grabbing the audience is the goal, that makes it a worthy way to do business.

Me, I think the mid-late 1970s is Jerry Goldsmith at his zenith. All my most favourite Jerry Goldsmith scores come from this period. And LOGAN'S RUN is one of them. I love it dearly.

Cheers

 
 Posted:   Apr 13, 2012 - 5:34 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

It's a beautiful piece of work from JG. There is substantial variety in the music and that includes the electronics. As David says, at first glance the tones surrounding the computer interrogations are assumed to be sound effects. But no, they are endowed with the Goldsmith musicata formula for length, breadth, depth and timing. They are a kind of sonic anti void-kampf resonator designed to instill feelings of dread and disquiet at just the right moment. No one else can do it quite like Goldsmith did.

Edit: Incidentally, the quintessential running musical cue is on track 10, Intensive Care, starting at 1:54. In the film itself the music can be heard at 56:53. Anyone care to disagree?

 
 Posted:   Apr 27, 2014 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Heads-up, New York area FSMers:

https://www.bowtiecinemas.com/movies/logans-run/

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 27, 2014 - 5:12 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

It's been a while since I saw this film, but I seem to recall that Goldsmith scored electronic music for scenes inside the dome and orchestral music for those outside. He made a musical boundary between the artificial and the natural. I think the score is great!

I saw LR during it's initial theatrical run at the Continental Theatre in Denver, which had a huge screen and fantastic surround sound. On that scale, the film had a big impact.

 
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