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Film Score Friday 7/21/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 7/20/2017 - 9:00 PM
Varese Sarabande plans to release three new CDs in their limited edition series of contemporary film music next week.

Choreographer Matthew Bourne has created dance pieces inspired by the films The Servant (Play without Words) and Edward Scissorhands, so it should be no surprise that his latest piece, THE RED SHOES (opening at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theater on September 15th, closing October 1st), is adapted from the classic Powell-Pressberger film.

But what is surprising is that the show's musical accompaniment, arranged by Bourne's regular collaborator Terry Davies, is not based on Brian Easdale's Oscar-winning score for the film but on the music of Bernard Herrmann. This article features Bourne discussing scores that inspired the ballet -- Citizen Kane, Fahrenheit 451, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Hangover Square, Mysterious Island, North by Northwest, Obsession, Taxi Driver and Vertigo -- though it's not entirely clear from the piece if music from all of these films is featured in the score. (The Bourne ballet was discussed in a comment thread in April of last year).

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Film Score Friday 7/14/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 7/13/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada pairs two scores from films produced by the Disney studios that can be described by the oxymoron "light-hearted films about the Vietnam War" -- the hit GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM, which earned Robin Williams his first Oscar nomination, and featured one of the final scores by the incomparable Alex North; and an expanded version of David Newman's stirring music for 1995's OPERATION DUMBO DROP.

La-La Land has announced a new slate of soundtrack CD releases, including two multi-disc sets which may be Holy Grails for many film music fans.

In the mid-1960s, when widescreen epics included slapstick spectacles like It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Blake Edwards directed the period action farce THE GREAT RACE, starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk and Jack Lemmon (that is not a typo). Since it was a Blake Edwards film not made between 1971 and 1974, the score was composed by the incomparable Henry Mancini. As was common at the time, the original soundtrack LP was a re-recording with the selections (including the film's Oscar-nominated song "The Sweetheart Tree") chosen more for commercial reasons than to highlight the film's score cues, so collectors have begged for the original Great Race score tracks for decades. La-La Land's Great Race features 114 minutes of original score tracks on two discs with the 27 minute LP re-recording cues on Disc Three, and is expected to begin shipping next week.

The turn of the 21st century was a dispiriting time in which some of the coolest and most cinematic TV series of the 1960s -- The Avengers, I Spy, The Wild Wild West -- were turned into really lousy movies. Fortunately, one can still watch the original shows on home video in all their small-screen glory, and the great musical legacy of '60s television finds new life with La-La Land's four-disc boxed set of episode scores from THE WILD WILD WEST.  This series starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin as Secret Service agents in post-Civil War America was an imaginative combination of Western, James Bond and Jules Verne, and featured one of the greatest of all TV main title themes, courtesy of Richard Markowitz. The La-La Land set features episodes scores by Markowitz as well as by Robert Drasnin, Harry Geller, Dave Grusin, Jack Pleis, Walter Scharf, Richard Shores and Fred Steiner, along with the show's unused orignial theme by Golden Age maestro Dimitri Tiomkin. The set is expected to begin shipping next week.

The commercial and critical success of Fatal Attraction in 1987 led to a subgenre of thrillers about ordinary folk menaced by mentally ill people in all walks of life, and 1992's UNLAWFUL ENTRY, directed by Jonathan Kaplan (Heart Like a Wheel, The Accused), pitted obsessed cop Ray Liotta against happily married couple Kurt Russell and Madeleine Stowe. For the music, Kaplan reunited with his Project X composer, James Horner, who provided an electronics-dominated score. Intrada released a 35-minute score CD at the time, while LLL's remastered and expanded version features 49 minutes of Horner music, shipping this week.

The latest episodic collaboration between composer Blake Neely and TV writer-producer Greg Berlanti is a revisionist version of the beloved Archie comics titled RIVERDALE, which places the popular teen characters in a mystery-soap narrative. La-La Land's CD of music from the show's first season is expected to begin shipping next week.

Composer Steve Jablonsky reteamed with director Michael Bay for their mutual fifth entry in the Transformers franchise, the recently released TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, and La-La Land's Last Knight is a limited edition (3000 units) two-disc set featuring more than two hours of Jablonsky score, and is expected to begin shipping the week after next.

In the least surprising film music news of the last year or two, it was confirmed that John Williams will write the score for Steven Spielberg's upcoming journalism docudrama THE PAPERS (formerly titled The Post), with Meryl Streep as Washington Post owner Katherine Graham and Tom Hanks as editor Ben Bradlee (the role that won Jason Robards his All the President's Men Oscar).

However, in the most surprising film news of the last year or two, it was announced that since Spielberg's other upcoming film, the Willy-Wonka-meets-virtual-reality sci-fi adventure READY PLAYER ONE, would need to be scored at roughly the same time as The Papers, the film would be scored by Alan Silvestri, who has scored other Spielberg productions such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Back to the Future trilogy, this will be the first time he has worked with Spielberg as a director.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced this year's Primetime Emmy nominations, including the following music-related cateogories (below the fold):

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Film Score Friday 7/7/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 7/6/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Quartet is a two-disc set presenting for the first time the score for the 1986 historical romance LADY JANE, which gave Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes early starring roles and featured the kind of top-notch supporting cast you expect from British period dramas, including John Wood, Michael Hordern, Jill Bennett, Joss Ackland, Richard Johnson and Patrick Stewart as Henry Gray (sadly, for Next Generation fans, not Earl Grey). The film was one of the few directed by legendary theater director Trevor Nunn (his other two were Hedda and Twelfth Night), and the score was composed by Stephen Oliver, who also scored Nunn's acclaimed epic stage production of Nicholas Nickleby. Lady Jane was the only feature scored by Oliver, who died in 1992 at the age of 42. Quartet's Lady Jane features both the complete score as well as the sequencing planned for the never-released soundtrack LP.

Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has just invited 774 actors, filmmakers and publicists to join their ranks, including the following Music Branch members: composers Mark Adler, Edesio Alejandro, David Amram, Craig Armstrong, Angelo Badalamenti, Nicholas Britell, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Lisa Gerrard, Justin Hurwitz, Abel Korzeniowski, Mica Levi, Atli Orvarsson, Laurent Perez Del Mar, Jocelyn Pook, Laura Rossi, Philip Sheppard, Stephen James Taylor, Benjamin Wallfisch and Debbie Wiseman; songwriters Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Justin Timberlake; and music editors Nancy Allen, Jordan Corngold, and Todd Kasow.  

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Film Score Friday 6/30/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 6/29/2017 - 9:00 PM
 The latest release from Intrada is a 2-disc set featuring music from four episodes from the long-running STARGATE SG1, composed by genre movie veteran Richard Band.

I uploaded this column a few days ago before leaving on vacation, so if anything important happened since then... (picture me shrugging).

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Film Score Friday 6/23/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 6/22/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Quartet is an expanded and remastered CD of Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-nominated score for 1973's true-life prison escape drama PAPILLON, starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman and directed by one of the composer's most valued collaborators, Franklin J. Schaffner (Planet of the Apes, Patton).

Intrada plans to release one new two-CD set next week.

For Los Angeles-area moviegoers, the New Beverly Cinema has announced their July screening schedule, including their continuation of "Sci-Fi Summer," with the accent on Michael Crichton (yay!) and midnight Cronenberg screenings. Films screened next month include a week-long run of Bong Joon Ho's brand new Okja (screening in 35mm, though it was shot digitally), as well as The Last Starfighter (July 1-2), Videodrome (July 1), Jurassic Park (July 8-9), The Fly [1986] (July 8), Snowpiercer/Lifeforce [the longer, all-Mancini cut] (July 9-10), Westworld/Runaway (July 14-15), Innerspace (July 15-16), Rabid (July 15), The Andromeda Strain/The Terminal Man (July 21-22), SpaceCamp (July 22-23), Scanners (July 22), and Total Recall/The Running Man (July 28)

Our own Joe Sikoryak has informed me of this interesting update to the Grammys' rules regarding their soundtrack-related categories (see below the fold):

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Film Score Friday 6/16/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 6/15/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is the first volume of music from the popular science TV series COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY, composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri, who won two Emmys for his contribution to the series.

On Saturday, June 24, Brian Tyler will be signing copies of his CD for THE MUMMY at Creature Features in Burbank, CA, at 2:00 p.m., with a Q&A hosted by Daniel Schweiger.

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Film Score Friday 6/9/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 6/8/2017 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.


The Black Prince
- George Kallis - Caldera
I Don't Feel at Home In This World Anymore - Brooke Blair, Will Blair - Lakeshore
The Lost City of Z - Christopher Spelman - Filmtrax
The Promise - Gabriel Yared - Lakeshore
Viceroy's House - A.R. Rahman - Filmtrax
The Yakuza - Dave Grusin - Varese Sarabande
The Zookeeper's Wife - Harry Gregson-Williams - Filmtrax 

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Film Score Friday 6/2/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 6/1/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is Max Steiner's Oscar-nominated score for the classic 1954 military drama THE CAINE MUTINY, starring Humphrey Bogart (as the unforgettable, paranoid Captain Queeg), Jose Ferrer and Fred MacMurray. The film originally inspired a non-score LP that was yanked from release, making it a legendarily rare item; only a small amount of Steiner's score had ever been released, and Intrada's Caine CD is the first release of the film's complete music from the original tracks.

Tadlow has announced two brand-new soundtrack CD releases of particular historic importance: the original tracks for Elmer Bernstein's final score, the documentary CECIL B. DEMILLE: AMERICAN EPIC, and a re-recording of Dimitri Tiomkin's score for the notorious 1946 romantic Western DUEL IN THE SUN, starring Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones, with Nic Raine conducting the City of Prague Philharmonic Ochestra & Chorus.

The latest release from Quartet is an expanded, two-disc version of Ennio Morricone's score for the 1990 gangster drama STATE OF GRACE, starring Sean Penn, Robin Wright, John Turturro, Burgess Meredith, John C. Reilly, Ed Harris and Gary Oldman (because apparently they couldn't afford any good actors). The Quartet State of Grace features both the complete score that Morricone recorded for the film as well as the sequencing featured on MCA's original soundtrack CD.

The latest CD in Varese Sarabande's We Hear You series will be Dave Grusin's score for the 1974 thriller THE YAKUZA, starring Robert Mitchum, directed by Sydney Pollack and written by Paul Schrader, Leonard Scharader and Robert Towne, a score whose only previous release was from the Film Score Monthly label.

This Saturday, June 3rd, at 2:00, composer Geoff Zanelli will be signing CDs of his brand-new score for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, at Creature Features in Burbank, CA.

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Film Score Friday 5/26/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 5/25/2017 - 9:00 PM
Varese Sarabande has announced three new CDs in their Limited Edition series of contemporary scores -- the new period spy thriller THE EXCEPTION, starring Lily James, Jai Courtney and Christopher Plummer, with music by Ilan Eshkeri (The Young Victoria, Shaun the Sheep Movie); PASSAGE TO DAWN, a romantic drama from Spain scored by Diego Navarro; and FILM MUSIC FESTIVAL KRAKOW - 2017, a compilation featuring original cues and re-recordings by a variety of composers, including the first commercial release of a cue from Abel Korzeniowski's Escape from Tomorrow.

Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.

Yesterday was the 38th anniversary of the release of the original ALIEN, for which Jerry Goldsmith wrote one of his most striking and downright scariest scores. Director Ridley Scott (apparently encouraged by editor Terry Rawlings) notoriously reworked much of Goldsmith's music, substituting other music such as Howard Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony (used as the film's end title) and cues from Goldsmith's first Oscar-nominated score, for 1962's Freud (for the dripping-acid and Dallas-in-the-air-vent scenes). Goldsmith had an even more disappointing experience with his next project with Scott, the lavish fantasy Legend, as Goldsmith's score was replaced in U.S prints with a new score by Tangerine Dream, and even the European release featured some tracked-in music. Fortunately, the later DVD release of Legend featured multiple cuts of the film with multiple scores, and over the years Scott seems to be slowly learning to appreciate Goldsmith's music. His underrated 2005 historical epic Kingdom of Heaven (which must be seen in the longer Director's Cut to be truly appreciated) featured a score by Harry Gregson-Williams but also contained tracked-in cues including a piece from Goldsmith's The 13th Warrior. Scott's 2012 Alien prequel Prometheus featured Goldsmith's Alien theme in one scene (otherwise the score was composed by Marc Streitenfeld with memorable additional material by Gregson-Williams), and the just-released ALIEN: COVENANT, with score credited to Jed Kurzel, features Goldsmith's music, faithfully adapted, in several prominent places as well as multiple uses of Gregson-Williams' Prometheus themes, making it the first in the Alien series with a true sequel score.

The one major change to the Film Score Friday format in recent years was the addition of the THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A. section at the end of the colum, which lists screenings of older films at revival theaters around the Los Angeles area. This section began in 2010, after I mentioned on the site that I'd seen a 35mm print of the wonderfully bad but still somehow wonderful Damnation Alley (with its thrilling and largely unreleased score by Goldsmith) at L.A.'s Silent Movie Theater, and a reader complained that I should have let people know the film would be screening in the area (after all, the score is deservedly popular among many film score fans, and I'm not the only one for whom a complete Damnation Alley CD is one of our last film music holy grails). Thus "The Next Ten Days In L.A." was born, so I should make extra effort to point out that Damnation Alley is returning to L.A. for one night next month.

The New Beverly's just-announced June schedule features an emphasis on science-fiction (as well as an emphasis on, conversely, the films of director Jerry Schatzberg), with the line-up including The Road Warrior/Mad Max: Fury Road (June 2-3), A Boy and His Dog (June 3, midnight), Star Trek -- The Motion Picture/The Black Hole (June 9-10), The Omega Man (June 10, midnight), First Spaceship on Venus/Mars Needs Women (June 13), RoboCop/Starship Troopers (June 16-17), X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes/The Man with Two Brains (June 23-24), Flash Gordon (June 24-25), Barbarella (June 24, midnight), Message from Space/Starcrash (June 27), 2010/Interstellar (June 30-July 1), and for one night only, on June 20, a "Grindhouse" double feature of Damnation Alley and Battle Beyond the Stars (featuring one of the earliest scores by James Horner). To quote the great George Peppard from Damnation Alley, "This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches. I repeat: KILLER COCKROACHES!"

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Film Score Friday 5/19/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 5/18/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is a three-disc edition of Jerry Goldsmith's 1986 sequel score POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE. Disc One features the complete score in the original digital mix prepared for the soundtrack by Goldsmith and mixer Bruce Botnick; Disc Two features the analog mixes of the complete score as heard in the film; and Disc Three features an hour's worth of alternate versions of cues from the film.

The latest CD from Quartet features two previously unreleased scores composed by Frank DeVol for Burt Reynolds films of the mid-1970s directed by Robert Aldrich -- the 1975 romantic noir HUSTLE, pairing Reynolds with Catherine Deneuve, and his brief score for the hit prison football comedy drama THE LONGEST YARD.

Next week Varese Sarabande plans to announce three new releases in their Limited Edition series, including one compilation CD. 

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Today in Film Score History:
July 27
Alex North begins recording his score to The Outrage (1964)
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Harry Lubin died (1977)
Jerome Moross died (1983)
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