FILM SCORE FRIDAY 5/28/04
By Scott Bettencourt
Just as their Special Collection of Bruce Broughton's NARROW
MARGIN has become available, Intrada has announced that their next
CD in the series will be Leigh Harline's score for 1957's classic
WWII submarine thriller THE
ENEMY BELOW, which will be available in July. The CD will feature
the complete score in stereo, as well as liner notes by a writer with the
improbable name of "Jeff Bond."
Sarabande will be releasing a CD of Jeff Beal's music for the
popular Tony Shalhoub TV mystery series MONK on July 15th.
Sony's SPIDER-MAN 2 soundtrack, to be released
June 22nd, will feature a "Spidey Suite" and a "Doc Ock Suite" by Danny
Elfman along with the inevitable songs. No word yet if there will be
a separate score album.
The online magazine salon.com is more noted for
its political coverage than its film music analysis, but this week it featured
by Dave Roos entitled "Wail Watching," discussing my least favorite
current trend in film music, which I think of as "the Eastern moan" and
which Roos calls "the vaguely ethnic wail." Roos discusses the start of
this trend in Gladiator and its continuation in scores such as The
Four Feathers and Hulk, culminating in its current use in The
Passion of the Christ and Troy. John Debney discusses
his own use of it in Passion, though when the article was first
published his name was consistently misspelled as "Denby" (maybe the writer
was confusing him with acclaimed New Yorker critic David Denby)
but the mistake has since been corrected.
Film fans who were upset when George Lucas made alterations
to the first three Star Wars films and kept the original versions
out of circulation will have more fuel for the flames of their anger when
they learn that Lucas is planning to release a similarly altered version
of his first feature, THX-1138,
which will now feature digitally augmented cityscapes and crowd scenes.
So if you've got a letterboxed laserdisc of his original, outstanding version,
FIND ME A YOUNG JOHN WILLIAMS
FROM: "Mark Ford"
SUBJECT: Johnny Williams TV appearances
Attention John Williams fans, for what will probably be fleeting
appearances by him on late 50's TV...
The TRIO pop culture cable channel is currently showing reruns of
the Johnny Staccato TV series. [Excerpted from the TRIO website] "Set in
NYC, this Brilliant but canceled series centered on jazz pianist Johnny
Staccato, who supplemented his meager income as a jazz pianist by working
as a Private Detective. An important background for many episodes was "Waldo's,"
a small jazz club in Greenwich Village where Johnny spent much of his spare
time and met most of his clients. Originally airing on NBC in 1959, this
series was shot in black and white and features amazing jazz performances
by the Pete Candoli jazz combo which included Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne,
Red Mitchell, Red Norvo and Johnny Williams, who perform the score by Oscar-winning
composer Elmer Bernstein."
Johnny (John) Williams appears as "Piano Player" in the following
Shop of the 4 Winds - showing 7/2/04 at 8:30 EDT, 7/19/04 at 8:00
& 11:00 EDT
Naked Truth - showing 7/1 at 8:00 & 11:00 EDT
Proof that the man came from the world of jazz. Enjoy!
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - John Williams - Atlantic
Narrow Margin - Bruce Broughton - Intrada Special Collection
IN THEATERS TODAY
Baadassss! - Tyler Bates - Song CD due from BBE
The Day After Tomorrow - Harald Kloser - Score CD on Varese
The Mother - Jeremy Sams
Raising Helen - John Debney - Song CD on Hollywood
Saved! - Christophe Beck
Soul Plane - The RZA
Battle of Britain - Ron Goodwin/William Walton - Varese Sarabande
The Chronicles of Riddick - Graeme Revell - Varese Sarabande
Dirty Harry - Lalo Schifrin - Aleph
The Great Escape - Elmer Bernstein - Varese Sarabande
The Lion in Winter - Richard Hartley - Varese Sarabande
Man on Fire - Harry Gregson-Williams - Varese Sarabande
The Notebook - Aaron Zigman - Varese Sarabande
Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation - John Morgan, William
Stromberg - Varese Sarabande
Van Helsing: The London Assignment - John Van Tongeren - Decca
Around the World in 80 Days - Trevor Jones - Disney
The Terminal - John Williams - Decca
The Door in the Floor - Marcelos Varvos - Decca
Salem's Lot - Christopher Gordon - Varese Sarabande
Two Brothers - Stephen Warbeck - Decca
The Clearing - Craig Armstrong - Varese Sarabande
Monk - Jeff Beal - Varese Sarabande
The Big Empty - Brian Tyler - La-La Land
The Brave Little Toaster - David Newman - Percepto
The Enemy Below - Leigh Harline - Intrada Special Collection
Foxes of Harrow - David Buttolph - Screen Archives
The Keys of the Kingdom - Alfred Newman - Screen Archives
Killer Klowns From Outer Space - John Massari - Percepto
King Arthur - Hans Zimmer - Hollywood
The Punisher - Carlo Siliotto - La-La Land
The Reluctant Astronaut - Vic Mizzy - Percepto
Son of Fury - Alfred Newman - Screen Archives
Terror Tract - Brian Tyler - La-La Land
Timeline - Jerry Goldsmith - Varese Sarabande
Vic Mizzy: Suites and Themes Vol. 2 - Vic Mizzy - Percepto
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
May 29 - Erich Wolfgang Korngold born (1897)
May 29 - Masaru Sato born (1928)
May 29 - Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov born (1936)
May 29 - David McHugh born (1941)
May 29 - Danny Elfman born (1953)
June 1 - Werner Janssen born (1900)
June 1 - Nelson Riddle born (1921)
June 2 - Marvin Hamlisch born (1944)
June 3 - Curtis Mayfield born (1942)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
GODZILLA (re-release) - Akira Ifukube
"Then comes a radio report -- 'Gojira has been sighted' -- and a special
bulletin -- 'All residents need to be evacuated immediately' -- and then
a long, long silence, the army's enormous spotlights playing over the black
ocean waters. The reptile's head, with its cruel, beady eyes, appears --
to the heraldic low horns and drum rolls of Akira Ifukube's stunning overture,
which segues into a mournful march reminiscent of the first movement of
Mahler's Fifth Symphony, and then into the film's most famous musical phrase,
the sawing, three-note string motif that sings, 'GO-ji-ra GO-ji-ra GO-ji-GO-ji-GO-ji-GO-ji
GO-ji-ra.' The deep-sea final sequence is underlit and hazy, the music
deeper and slower, invoking Wagner's Gotterdammerung; and you can only
just make out the blurred monster as it contemplates the divers, seeming
to await its own demise. 'Gojira' is no masterpiece, but it has the power
of a masterpiece: It's the most emotionally authentic fake monster movie
David Edelstein, Slate.com
REVERSIBLE ERRORS [TV] - Laura Karpmann
"Forced to re-investigate the case, Potter and Selleck -- who, shades
of 'Friends,' still makes a pretty convincing romantic lead opposite another
much-younger leading lady -- find time to reminisce about how great their
sexual escapades were (briefly shown at the outset, accompanied by a 'Body
Brian Lowry, Variety
SHREK 2 - Harry Gregson-Williams
"Design elements, from the imaginative costumes and glittering backgrounds
to the highly articulated character work, are superb, but while Harry Gregson-Williams'
score is inventively invigorating, some of the pop song choices are uncharacteristically
underwhelming for a franchise that sets its own bar so high."
Todd McCarthy, Variety
STRAYED - Philippe Sarde
"Though Philippe Sarde's score teeters on the edge of mawkish at times,
it generally enhances the mood."
David Stratton, Variety
BOOK IT, DANO
FROM: "Eric Kunze"
SUBJECT: Hawaii 5-0 fan alert
For fans of the music from Hawaii 5-0 who don't also track classical
listings, Albany Records has just released a CD (TROY 662) of Don Ray's
Piano Concerto and Suite No. 2 from Family Portrait. Don Ray's music was
featured on more Hawaii 5-0 episodes than any other composer. Both the
above works include numerous quotes from this much-beloved music.
Also note with sadness the passing of Fred Karlin whose music for
Futureworld and the TV miniseries turned series Man from Atlantis is still
remembered with great fondness.
SAFE SCORING WITH TROJANS
SUBJECT: Gabriel's Horner
I think "hatred of a man out for blood and revenge" is overstating it a
little bit, and frankly I find it refreshing that for once a composer went
public with his story instead of just playing politics and shutting up
for the sake of future work.
I am glad that film score fans, critics and movie reviewers are
taking the time to note just how bad Horner's score is to "Troy." It's
nice to know that many people are listening & pay attention to movie
music. While I praise Yared for his wonderful, spectacular music, I too
look down at Petersen and the studio for rejecting this wonderful work.
Listening to Yared's music, it makes me wonder what people were smoking
of course when he was fired. Overall, Yared's score should have been kept
in the film, end of story.
Now to create controversy and stress.
There is a lot of hate rampant on the Internet for Horner, his score,
and for just taking over the project. I have yet to understand this. Would
we concentrate the same amount of hate towards Jerry Goldsmith or John
Barry if they had taken over for Yared? I think not. It really shames me
that people even go out to say that Horner was working behind the scenes
just waiting for Yared to be removed. At this point, it's not hate, it's
just ludicrousy and inflicting terror on the film music community. It's
really quite childish. I was surprised that a petition wasn't written to
get Yared back on like what happened in "Timeline" with Goldsmith. I'm
not saying it's wrong, but is there really anything we can do with less
than two weeks to write and record an "epic" score?
While I love and appreciate Yared's beautiful music, I can't help
but also lose respect for him. If you look past his score and the efforts
put forth (which most people won't be able to do), this man writes a letter
detailing the events and "pointing fingers" for his departure. We then
see people posting messages of hate towards Horner and what was supposedly
done, which were deleted by webmasters at some soundtrack review web sites.
How can a person do this? Or why? Yared risks his reputation not just as
a composer, but just as a person, as a "Joe Schmoe" who lives in this world
as the rest of us. I don't remember hearing a peep from Goldsmith with
his rejected score. We heard from Donner, which was great, but Goldsmith
didn't go around making accusations or sending out letters to web sites.
In the end, directors and studios probably won't remember a rejected score
in "Troy." They will remember what this man did, and his actions afterwards.
As a graduate student and researcher, I know what it is to lose
something you have created, or have articles rejected for reasons sometimes
unknown to me. But I don't go writing letters and bad-mouthing people,
whether it comes from my mouth or if I ask others to do it for me. Yes,
it's a horrible, sick feeling of putting so much effort into something
and then having it rejected, but I face the troubles head-on and don't
make a fuss. You just make the next one even better.
Well, now that I've wreaked havoc among the people, I encourage
every single person reading this to look at recent events objectively and,
if possible, without bias. Take a step back and see for yourself what a
rejected score has driven people to say and do. I will say that I still
admire Yared's work. I will admire his unique and artistic perspective
in his film music and his concert works. But I will remember and not forget
the hatred of a man out for blood and revenge.
Considering how long Yared had spent working on the score, if there
were something truly wrong with it it should have been abundantly clear
much earlier, and if Petersen felt the need to replace him then he should
have been replaced sooner so the second composer could have had an acceptable
amount of time to write a thoughtful, original replacement score.
That said, I saw the film last weekend and Horner's score was much better
than I expected -- at least the orchestral parts. The synth-y cues and
the inevitable "vaguely ethnic wail" were predictably lazy. I also felt
the "Remember" theme sounded distractingly like Silvestri's theme for Tomb
Raider 2. Which reminds me -- Horner's claim in his FSM interview that
the world is running out of new melodies is one of the saddest justifications
for plagiarism (or at the very least lazy composing -- did he really have
to use that danger theme AGAIN?) I've ever heard.