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Aisle Seat 1-21: Killing Fields, Carrie, Blue Jasmine
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/20/2014 - 9:00 PM
Music lost one of its champions when Marvin Hamlisch passed away in 2012. PBS’ American Masters documentary, MARVIN HAMLISCH: WHAT HE DID FOR LOVE DVD (84 mins., 2013; PBS), is a wonderful tribute to the late composer, born a musical prodigy with a personality that wasn’t suited for the life of a virtuoso pianist.
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Film Score Friday 1/17/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/16/2014 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced the three CDs they will be releasing next week -- one of James Newton Howard's most sought-after scores, for the 1993 urban psychological drama FALLING DOWN, starring Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall; a CD pairing music from two Oscar-winning Paramount films scored by Lyn Murray -- Alfred Hitchcock's romantic caper TO CATCH A THIEF, featuring the classic teaming of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, and the Korean War drama (not World War II as I'd originally, erroneously reported) THE BRIDGES AT TOKO-RI; and a re-release of their out-of-print version of Richard Band's cult classic RE-ANIMATOR score.

The latest CD announced by Kritzerland is the first-ever commercial release of the score to JOSEPH ANDREWS. Director Tony Richardson had arguably his greatest success with his 1963 film version of Fielding's classic Tom Jones, which earned Richardson Oscars for Picture and Directing, and in 1977 he directed the film version of Fielding's first novel, with Peter Firth as the title character and Anne-Margaret as the libidinous Lady Booby. Hugh Griffith had a cameo reprising his Oscar-winning role as Tom Jones' Squire Western, while the lighthearted, romantic score was composed by Tom Jones' other Oscar winner, Richardson's longtime collaborator John Addison. The only previous release of this score was a composer promo LP; the Kritzerland edition has additional music (but apparently not the Jim Dale songs featured in the film, which were also absent from the promo LP).

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Oscar Nominations 2013
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/16/2014 - 3:00 PM


THE BOOK THIEF - John Williams
GRAVITY - Steven Price
HER - William Butler, Owen Pallett
PHILOMENA - Alexandre Desplat
SAVING MR. BANKS - Thomas Newman

An interesting mix of the perpetually-nominated (this makes 12 for Newman, six for Desplat, and I-can't-count-that-high for Williams) and newcomers. Everyone except me knew Gravity was a shoo-in; I thought the branch might not cotton to its non-melodic, atmospheric approach, and frankly I also felt it was the film's one craft area that wasn't oustanding. Her is even more surprising, both because of the presence of two composers, and also the nature of the scoring credit: "Music by Arcade Fire, Additional Music by Owen Pallett." Hans Zimmer's 12 Years a Slave is the surprising omission, especially since it was one of the most nominated films overall, and I thought Captain Phillips would provide a first nomination for the rapidly rising Henry Jackman.


"ALONE YET NOT ALONE" - Alone Yet Not Alone - Music by Bruce Broughton, Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
"HAPPY" - Despicable Me 2 - Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
"LET IT GO" - Frozen - Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
"THE MOON SONG" - Her - Music by Karen O, Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
"ORDINARY LOVE" - Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom - Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Lyric by Paul Hewson

The IMDB page on Alone Yet Not Alone doesn't list a single actor I've ever heard of, while Rotten Tomatoes doesn't have a single review. That must be a hell of a song (William Ross wrote the actual score to the film).  I think Frozen could have earned more song nominations if the studio had submitted more of its songs; either way, "Let It Go" seems like the front runner, especially since both the album and the film are hugely successful. Spike Jonze joins the company of such Oscar-nominated lyricists as Julie Taymor and Lars von Trier.

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Next FSM ONLINE Issue Now Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 1/15/2014 - 2:00 AM
The ever-hopeful January edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. Kicking off 2014, the cover story is an interview with PATRICK DOYLE on JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT, featuring a wealth of multimedia exclusives, including scoring session footage, and the composer demonstrating his themes at the piano. And hold on on to your seats for our annual YEAR IN REVIEW coverage, with diverse contributions from an array of contributors. Also in this issue: BENJAMIN WALLFISCH, discusses THE THIRTEENTH TALE and HOURS; an enormous look at the film music critic PAGE COOK; Part 2 of AN EVENING WITH GEORGE FENTON, in which the composer talks of his collaborations with Harold Ramis, Andy Tennant and more; a review of the London live-to-picture concert of THE ARTIST; a first-time TORN PAGES; more embedded audio clips, and more.
Subscribers, you’ll get notification by email shortly. Or, just go here to log in. For those who want to join FSM ONLINE, go here, click on the “Subscribe” link and follow the instructions. And email us if you have any questions.
Your Friends at FSM ONLINE
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Aisle Seat 1-15: It's a MAD MAD MAD MAD Blu-Ray
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/14/2014 - 9:00 PM
Though far from the funniest film ever made, IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (154/197 mins., 1963) is undoubtedly one of the biggest cinematic comedies ever mounted in terms of scale – offering a veritable who’s who of classic Golden Age comedians in a picture that has long generated a love/hate relationship among viewers. While the movie’s artistic merits are debatable, there’s no denying that Criterion has produced one of the most praiseworthy restorations we’ve seen on home video in years with their new Blu-Ray/DVD edition of Stanley Kramer’s gargantuan 1963 release.
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Aisle Seat 1-14: RAISING The New Year
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/13/2014 - 9:00 PM
Sir Lew Grade’s ITC Entertainment produced a number of high-profile cinematic vehicles in the ‘70s, several of them ending up as notable box-office failures. The most notorious of the lot was RAISE THE TITANIC (**½, 116 mins., 1980, PG), a film that’s actually not nearly as terrible as its disastrous commercial performance would lead one to believe.
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Film Score Friday 1/10/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/9/2014 - 9:00 PM
The latest CDs from La-La Land, due next week, are new and improved releases of previously available scores -- a remastered version of one of Leonard Rosenman's finest scores, the Oscar-winning science-fiction adventure FANTASTIC VOYAGE, featuring the same cues as the early Film Score Monthly CD but with improved sound; and a greatly expanded version (78 minutes, compared to the original 32-minute Varese release) of Patrick Doyle's full-bodied romantic thriller score for his second feature collaboration with director-star Kenneth Branagh, DEAD AGAIN.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced their latest nominations for their film awards, including Original Film Music:

THE BOOK THIEF - John Williams
GRAVITY - Steven Price
SAVING MR. BANKS - Thomas Newman
12 YEARS A SLAVE - Hans Zimmer

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Film Score Friday 1/3/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/2/2014 - 9:00 PM
Next week Intrada releases two scores from very different eras of filmmaking. THE YOUNG SAVAGES, a 1961 adpatation of Evan Hunter's novel A Matter of Conviction, was the feature directing debut of John Frankenheimer, pitting district attorney Burt Lancaster against muderous juvenile delinquents. The film was also the feature scoring debut of David Amram, who went on to compose The Manchurian Candidate for Frankenheimer as well an unused score for Seven Days in May. Their other new release features Vince DiCola's score for 1986's beloved (by a certain generation) animated feature TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE, featuring Orson Welles as the voice of Unicron.

Music Box has announced two new CDs due this month - Angelo Badalamenti's score for the 1987 noir TOUGH GUYS DON'T DANCE, adapted by director Norman Mailer from his own novel, starring Ryan O'Neal, Isabella Rosselini, Wings Hauser, Lawrence Tierney, Penn Jillette and Frances Fisher, featuring 10 minutes of music not included on the original Varese Sarabande LP; and a CD featuring three scores by Michel Korb -- AFRIKAOILI, TRAVAIL D'ARABE and LES 4 SAISONS DESPIGOULE.

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My Vintage Selection for 2013, Part 2!
Posted By Thomas Rucki 12/31/2013 - 3:01 AM
In this final part, we will thoroughly analyze the television music of one single decade: the Swinging Sixties. Let's ride along with wayfarer George Duning and his gang of composers!
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My Vintage Selection for 2013, Part 1!
Posted By Thomas Rucki 12/31/2013 - 3:00 AM
In this first part, we will focus on two decades of film music scores from the Swinging Sixties to the Subversive Seventies. 2013 was generous for Jerry Fielding—and especially, with a Clint Eastwood-related score: Escape from Alcatraz (1979)—and Jerry Goldsmith materials.
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Today in Film Score History:
August 23
Alexandre Desplat born (1961)
Constant Lambert born (1905)
David Rose died (1990)
Howard Blake begins recording his score for S.O.S. Titanic (1979)
Julian Nott born (1960)
Jurriaan Andriessen died (1996)
Martial Solal born (1927)
Marvin Hatley died (1986)
Willy Russell born (1947)
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