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 Posted:   Feb 11, 2014 - 11:54 AM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

Great piece on Desplat!

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/11/meet-alexandre-desplat-hollywood-s-master-composer.html

 
 Posted:   Feb 11, 2014 - 12:58 PM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

I'd say Desplat has a long way to go in his career before "master composer" is anything but extreme hyperbole, but I do like a lot of what he's doing. Thanks for sharing the article, Maleficio!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 11, 2014 - 1:10 PM   
 By:   ChristianKühn   (Member)

"Desplat is wearing a black Maison Martin Margiela sport coat, a white v-neck t-shirt, black drainpipe jeans, discotheque sneakers, and a gossamery purple scarf. His black hair sweeps back from the crest of his high forehead and laps at the nape of his neck; his lips are pursed."

roll eyes

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 11, 2014 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

Damn. The title of this post made me think he was doing a signing or a "meet & greet."

James

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 11, 2014 - 8:48 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)

He's nowhere near the true greats, but he's probably the best of the newer breed.

Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 11, 2014 - 8:49 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)

dp

 
 Posted:   Feb 11, 2014 - 9:07 PM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

I'm just sick of him doing virtually every high profile movie these days. He did 6 movies in 2007... 7 movies in 2009... 9 in 2011... 8 more in 2012... I can't remember anyone who over-saturated the market this insanely in such a short amount of time.

At this point, whenever I see in the trades that any of the major studios is putting any film into production, I basically just assume that Desplat is scoring it until someone tells me otherwise. It's madness. I'm happy to see non-Hans Zimmer affiliated people earn successful careers in film music, but I don't want to simply see one impersonal music factory get replaced by another (even if Desplat actually does do much of the work himself).

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 3:19 AM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

I'm just sick of him doing virtually every high profile movie these days. He did 6 movies in 2007... 7 movies in 2009... 9 in 2011... 8 more in 2012... I can't remember anyone who over-saturated the market this insanely in such a short amount of time.

At this point, whenever I see in the trades that any of the major studios is putting any film into production, I basically just assume that Desplat is scoring it until someone tells me otherwise. It's madness. I'm happy to see non-Hans Zimmer affiliated people earn successful careers in film music, but I don't want to simply see one impersonal music factory get replaced by another (even if Desplat actually does do much of the work himself).


You can't blame Desplat for not turning down work.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 3:28 AM   
 By:   Juanki   (Member)

I'm just sick of him doing virtually every high profile movie these days. He did 6 movies in 2007... 7 movies in 2009... 9 in 2011... 8 more in 2012... I can't remember anyone who over-saturated the market this insanely in such a short amount of time.

At this point, whenever I see in the trades that any of the major studios is putting any film into production, I basically just assume that Desplat is scoring it until someone tells me otherwise. It's madness. I'm happy to see non-Hans Zimmer affiliated people earn successful careers in film music, but I don't want to simply see one impersonal music factory get replaced by another (even if Desplat actually does do much of the work himself).


It's the best alternative to Zimmer kind of music. And I find your argument non sense. I mean, there were years in which James Horner composed 10 scores or Jerry Goldsmith did 6 and nobody was annoyed about that.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 3:36 AM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

I'm just sick of him doing virtually every high profile movie these days. He did 6 movies in 2007... 7 movies in 2009... 9 in 2011... 8 more in 2012... I can't remember anyone who over-saturated the market this insanely in such a short amount of time.

At this point, whenever I see in the trades that any of the major studios is putting any film into production, I basically just assume that Desplat is scoring it until someone tells me otherwise. It's madness. I'm happy to see non-Hans Zimmer affiliated people earn successful careers in film music, but I don't want to simply see one impersonal music factory get replaced by another (even if Desplat actually does do much of the work himself).


It's the best alternative to Zimmer kind of music. And I find your argument non sense. I mean, there were years in which James Horner composed 10 scores or Jerry Goldsmith did 6 and nobody was annoyed about that.


Also composers like Georges Delerue and Ennio Morricone were extremely prolific in their time.

Heck, Delerue is credited with 8 scores in 1983 and he did all his own orchestration.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 6:33 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)


It's the best alternative to Zimmer kind of music. And I find your argument non sense. I mean, there were years in which James Horner composed 10 scores or Jerry Goldsmith did 6 and nobody was annoyed about that.

Also composers like Georges Delerue and Ennio Morricone were extremely prolific in their time.

Heck, Delerue is credited with 8 scores in 1983 and he did all his own orchestration.


The James Horner who scored 10 films released in 1993 (at least 2 of them were delayed for a great deal of time, even years) was a lot different than the Desplat of today. Desplat's scores (to me) already sound reed-thin enough as it is, but with each successive score, they sound even.....reed...ier? You can call that style, for sure, and I still appreciate most of what he's doing, but I find that Desplat takes the subtlety to such an extreme that, after the first track or two, I sometimes forget there's even music playing.

And you can't even begin to compare Desplat's work to Goldsmith, who until he did U.S. Marshals and that became the template for seemingly half of his work toward the end of his life, gave you something fresh, musically interesting AND noticeable to the human ear.

I'm a fan of Desplat (Birth and Benjamin Button are two of the best scores of the millennium, in my opinion), but he doesn't have a whole lot of range orchestrally (in that his action music is mostly and shockingly pretty bad and all that leaves you is his character-based dramatic scoring; Monuments Men hasn't really grabbed me, outside of the golf clap-worthy throwback nature of parts of the score).

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 7:39 AM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

And I find your argument non sense.

Well, it's really an opinion - not an argument - and I'm standin' by it.

I agree with a lot of what Shaun wrote above… I didn't know who Desplat was until I saw BIRTH in 2005 or so. I loved his _sound_ immediately, but I found myself consistently bored by the scores themselves. 9 years later, my opinion hasn't changed a whole lot. I don't by the albums much anymore (although I did just get THE MONUMENTS MEN and find it to be dull as dishwater, outside of the big theme), but I'm certainly still seeing the movies he scores and I'm a little mystified by the acclaim he's getting. ARGO sounded like two hours of nothingness until the big finale. The year before, Desplat managed to somehow write music for the climax of an 8 part, decade-long series of boy wizard movies that was the most subdued and lifeless of the franchise, showing signs of life only when he quoted the John Williams material at the end. It goes on and on.

It's the best alternative to Zimmer kind of music.

With respect, I disagree completely. The best alternative to the Zimmer approach (which itself can be great, at times) is many composers with many voices all getting to do a wide variety of movies. When Georges Delerue and Jerry Goldsmith (and even James Horner) were doing high numbers of movies per year 1) they were doing so at a time when a wide variety of composers were also getting opportunities to score interesting movies and 2) those guys had the range and chops to mix things up and keep things interesting - often _really_ interesting. Also, they didn't keep that pace up for years on end the way that Desplat does. In our current era, Media Ventures alumni suck up a lot of the plum assignments, and I'm not interested in seeing the handful of projects that are left all go to one or two guys. Why would anyone want that?

I remember that in the late 90s, some producer commented that David Arnold was going to be one of the greats because he was being very smart about not over-scheduling himself. Arnold isn't my top favorite, but I like him a lot and I think he consistently turns in solid music. He's been a great Bond composer, and somehow he handled Harry Gregson Williams' NARNIA theme better than Harry Gregson Williams himself did! I'd love to see Desplat take a similar approach: Focus on a handful of movies that he really wants to do (and actually put the effort into making those good) rather than blow through a half dozen per year or so.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

Well we all have different tastes....but I think Desplat the best active composer out there right now and I look forward to every single one of his scores.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 7:50 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

I agree with MALEFICIO he is the best VERY active composer in films right now[sans guys like Williams, Morricone who are slowly closing their careers out].

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

All I know is since the days of Goldsmith and Morricone's glory I have been waiting for a composer to do what they did, surprise me! I couldn't imagine what they might come up with next. When I might get enthused about a composer, such as Thomas Newman on THE PLAYER I would wonder what would come next? But after hearing the same template used in AMERICAN BEAUTY, SIX FEET UNDER, LEMONY SNICKET and even smack in the middle of SAVING MR. BANKS, my enthusiasm has lessened.

But when Desplat came into town, as Elfman has said, he was a force to be reckoned with. No regurgitation, no templates, no "do it one more time" to sooth the crowd. All I said was "Is all this from the same composer?" which is what I said in those Goldsmith/Morricone glory days.
















 
 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 9:48 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

john makes some good points.
How I would love the variety of old.
Can you imagine a slate of films this year promising new scores by the likes of Bruce Broughton, David Newman, Cliff Eidelman, Lee Holdridge, David Shire, all being allowed to write in their own distinctive styles, together with the scores from Elfman, JNH, Horner and the Zimmer factory that will be forthcoming.
That would go someway to making things sound a bit more varied.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   Juanki   (Member)

ARGO sounded like two hours of nothingness until the big finale.

Listen again. It's an extremely effective score adding tension and urgency.

The best alternative to the Zimmer approach (which itself can be great, at times)

Great? From the creators of "12 Years of Slave", "Man of Steel", "Captain Phillips" and Horn of doom?

The problem nowadays is that in your movie you can feature this Zimmer approach or find some alternative. Alexandre Desplat is the head of that alternative. And the important thing is that producers trust on him (something that unfortunately doesn't happen with David Arnold, Rachel Portman, Bruce Broughton, John Ottman and so many good composers which are lost in today film scoring).

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

I've been listening to Monuments Men repeatedly and it just keeps getting better and better.

Not to mention that almost every Desplat album is mastered with sound quality in mind; you can really crank the volume on his albums without there ever being distortion or sound fatiguing.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 6:41 PM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

Seeing Rachel Portman's name in this thread, that's who Desplat reminds me of, just a bit. I can see Desplat headed toward Portman's dull, watered-down path (unfortunately).

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2014 - 8:21 AM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/17/philomenas-composer-turning-a-secret-into-a-score/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

One of Desplat's upcoming films this year is UNBROKEN directed by Angelina Jolie.

 
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