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Film Score Friday 3/25/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/24/2016 - 9:00 PM
Four film composers have died in just the last few weeks.

Sir George Martin died on March 8 at the age of 90. Early in his career Martin produced novelty and comedy albums, including the cast album for Beyond the Fringe, but of course earned his greatest success and fame working with The Beatles, producing most of their albums except Let It Be, and received an Oscar nomination for Music (Scoring of music - adaptation or treatment) for his work on A Hard Day's Night. He wrote a handful of film scores, most memorably Yellow Submarine and Live and Let Die, as well as Pulp and Honky Tonk Freeway (a shared credit with Elmer Bernstein).

Keith Emerson died on March 10 at the age of 71. The England-born rock keyboardist and composer was best known for his band Emerson, Lake and Palmer but also dabbled in film scoring, his credits including the 1981 thriller Nighthawks which pit NY cops Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams against international terrorist Rutger Hauer, as well as a handful of Italian horror films including Dario Argento's Inferno. He also contributed to the score for Toho's Godzilla: Final Wars under the pseudonym Kisu Emason.

Jean-Eudes Chanfrault died on March 11 at the age of 41. A French-born composer and "laptop musician," he released his first album, Computer Assisted Sunset, in 2005, and he wrote scores for features, shorts and television. A few of his films were released in the U.S., including the French thriller High Tension, the English suspense drama Donkey Punch, and the American supernatural teen drama Jamie Marks Is Dead.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies died on March 14 at the age of 81. Born in Salford, England, he was best known for his concert works, including ten symphonies, but he also composed two films scores for director Ken Russell -- The Devils and The Boy Friend, the latter earning him a 1971 Oscar nomination for Music (Scoring: Adapation and Original Song Score), which he shared with Peter Greenwell; suites from his two film scores are available on CD.

Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.

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Aisle Seat 3-22: Spring Arrival Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/22/2016 - 9:00 PM
Olive’s March releases on Blu-Ray are highlighted by a pair of cult comedies and one of the earliest Chuck Norris action vehicles: the drive-in affair BREAKER! BREAKER! (85 mins., 1977, PG), which was notable for offering Norris his first starring role.
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Three Asian Kids Walk Into the Oscars...
Posted By Cary Wong 3/22/2016 - 9:00 AM

The 2016 Oscars are over, and in a few months we’re going to forget who won. For the record, the surprise Best Picture winner was Spotlight. But there still seems to be a lingering debate about race and racial sensitivity in the Academy, as well as in the film industry in general. A group of 25 Asian and Asian-American Academy members (including Oscar-winner Ang Lee) wrote a letter on March 9, 2016 to the Academy, decrying the fact that after host Ch

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The March Issue of FSM ONLINE Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 3/21/2016 - 2:00 AM
The March edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. This month's cover stories are a trio of thrillers: DAVID WINGO talks about his score to MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, PAUL HEPKER and MARK KILIAN discuss EYE IN THE SKY, and BEAR MCCREARY chronicles his work on the monstrous 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. Also this issue, we remember the late GEORGE MARTIN; a concert review of A PRUSSIAN REQUIEM by JOHN POWELL; a “rendez-vous” with French cinema at Lincoln Center; an interview with ALEX HEFFES about 11.22.63; odds and ends from Cary Wong’s notepad; CAIRO DECLARATION and Chinese cinema; LAURA KARPMAN goes UNDERGROUND; Gold Rush kicks off an in-depth series on DIMITRI TIOMKIN; 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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Film Score Friday 3/18/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/17/2016 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has released two new CDs this week -- a two-disc release of one of the greatest scores of the 1970s, Miklos Rozsa's thrilling symphonic music for Ray Harryhausen's wonderful THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD from newly discovered stereo tapes, featuring both the original LP sequencing and the complete score; and the score to the 2015 fantasy film ABULELE, music by Frank Ilfman (Big Bad Wolves).

La-La Land has announced three new limited edition releases due on March 29th -- the first release of Blake Neely's score for the 2009 magician comedy THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD, starring Colin Hanks, Emily Blunt and John Malkovich; the soundtrack to the direct-to-video animated feature BATMAN: THE MYSTERY OF THE BATWOMAN, scored by Lolita Ritmanis; and a re-release of the original LP sequencing for Jerry Goldsmith's 1986 LINK, previously released on CD by Varese Sarabande at the time of the film's release, and decades later on Intrada.

The latest release in Varese Sarabande's LP-to-CD subscription series presents the score the 1983 family drama A MINOR MIRACLE, starring the movie dream team of John Huston and Pele (no, I did not make that up), scored by Rick Patterson (Happy Hour, Return of the Killer Tomatoes).

The latest release from Kritzerland is a two-disc set featuring expanded version of the soundtracks to two films featuring the Glenn Miller Orchestra and songs by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon -- 1941's SUN VALLEY SERENADE, which was nominated for three Oscars including Emil Newman's music direction and the original song "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," and 1942's ORCHESTRA WIVES, which was nominated for the song "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazzo," and like Sun Valley Serenade, features music direction by both Emil Newman and Alfred Newman.

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Aisle Seat 3-15: Shout-Tastic March Rundown
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/14/2016 - 9:00 PM
Proof that comedy producer Judd Apatow could manufacture a satisfying product within the disciplined confines of network TV, the sadly short-lived series FREAKS AND GEEKS (aprx. 14 hours, 1999-2000) continues to be an enduring fan favorite. Filled with future talent in front of and behind the camera, this often hilarious, wisely observed tale of growing up in suburban Detroit circa 1980 makes its high-definition debut later this month courtesy of Shout! Factory in a wonderful new nine-disc box-set.
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The "Last" Top Forty Composer Countdown, Part Two
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/11/2016 - 9:00 PM
2011 RANKING: Not ranked
AGE: Unavailable
BACKGROUND: Bachelor’s in Composition at Manhattan School of Music, Masters in Music for Visual Media at UCLA; taught Electronic Music and Composition curriculum at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music; arranger, music producer, video game composer, theater composer
TYPECAST IN: Sci-fi action
1. Straight Outta Compton--161 (U.S. gross in millions)
2. The Divergent Series: Insurgent--130
3. Oblivion--89
4. Earth to Echo--38
5. The Raid--4
6. The Raid 2--2
Trapanese had racked up plentiful credits as assistant and arranger for feature composers as well as a composer on his own right on shorts and documentaries before receiving his first major feature scoring credit for the U.S. release of the stunning Indonesian action film The Raid. Following his work as an arranger/orchestrator on Daft Punk’s popular score to Tron: Legacy, he scored the animated spinoff TV series Tron Uprising, and collaborated with Anthony Gonzalez and his band M83 for Oblivion, the lavish futuristic thriller from Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. He returned for the music for the sequel The Raid 2 and also scored the found-footage E.T. riff Earth to Echo, but in 2015 he had his highest grossing films to date -- Insurgent, the second in the Divergent series (the first in that series was scored by Tom Holkenborg, who’s since gone on to much bigger and much much better things), and the commercial and critical smash Straight Outta Compton, which even (and unexpectedly) spawned a recently released score CD. His newest film is the third of the Divergents (yet another final-book-made-into-two-movies, though the studio is downplaying that fact, perhaps wisely), and Variety’s review cited Trapanese’s “fresh ‘Tron: Legacy’-like score” as one of the film’s few praiseworthy elements. [When originally posted, this column erroneously reported that Trapanese is the son of session musician Joseph Trapanese, Sr.; I apologize for the error]
WHAT’S NEXT: The Divergent Series: Allegiant
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Film Score Friday 3/11/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/10/2016 - 9:00 PM
Quartet has announed two new, imminent releases - the first release of Ken Thorne's score for the 1969 adventure comedy SINFUL DAVEY, starring John Hurt and Pamela Franklin, which is one of director John Huston's least-remembered films (John Barry reportedly wrote an unused and still unreleased score); and an expanded version of Jean-Claude Petit's score (featuring a wonderful main theme) for the final film Richard Lester directed before his retirement, THE RETURN OF THE MUSKETEERS, which reunited most of the stars of his beloved Musketeers films (including Michael York, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain, Frank Finlay, Roy Kinnear and, surprisingly for Four Musketeers fans, Christopher Lee) for an adaptation of the second of Dumas' Musketeers novels, Twenty Years After (Kinnear's tragic death during production was one of the main reasons Lester gave up filmmaking).

Intrada plans to announce two new CDs next week.

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Aisle Seat 3-8: March Mania Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/7/2016 - 9:00 PM
The easy-going charm of James Garner carried the breezy SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF (93 mins., 1969), a United Artists western parody that may not have grilled the genre as sharply as Mel Brooks’ later “Blazing Saddles,” but comes off today as a genial vehicle for its charismatic star.
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The "Last" Top Forty Composer Countdown, Part One
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/4/2016 - 9:00 PM
I'm calling this countdown series the "last" one simply because, given how long it's taken me to finally get around to it -- and with the one-column false start in November of 2013 -- I honestly doubt I'll get around to doing another one. Frankly, if I get this one finished I will have impressed myself, but then I'm easily impressed. Especially by myself. On the upside, this is planned to be a ten-column series, so get ready for a lot of reading (or not reading; it's entirely up to you).
2011 RANKING: Not ranked
AGE: 38
BIRTHPLACE:  Nottingham, England
REPRESENTATION: Gorfaine/Schwartz
BACKGROUND: Cambridge, rock programmer-arranger-musician, programmer for Trevor Jones, music editor for Howard Shore
TYPECAST IN:  Science-fiction
1. Gravity--274 (U.S. gross in millions)
2. Fury--85   
3. The World’s End--25  
4. Attack the Block--1 
Steven Price may have scored his first film only five years ago, but he’s been gainfully employed in the film music world for two decades. His first credit was as a music mixer on the Irish drama Trojan Eddie, released when he was only 19, and within a few years he was working for such major composers as Trevor Jones (as a musician and programmer) and Howard Shore (as music editor on the final two Lord of the Rings films). After more than a decade of dues paying, he received his first feature scoring credit on Joe Cornish’s critically acclaimed first-film, the low-budget sci-fi thriller Attack the Block. He had already worked with Block executive producer Edgar Wright, serving as music editor and additional composer for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Price graduated to principal composer for Wright’s next film, the comedic Quatermass homage The World’s End. That fall his career moved into a whole new realm with Alfonso Cuaron’s visually groundbreaking Gravity. Along with rave reviews and blockbuster box-office, Gravity managed to win a whopping seven Oscars including one for Price’s original score -- an impressive achievement for a composer so early in his career, and an unusual one in that Price’s work on the film largely eschewed melody in favor of a more soundscape-oriented approach. He wrote a comparatively more thematic score for 2014’s impressively crafted World War II adventure Fury, but his hoped-for entry into the field of blockbuster superhero movies fell through when Edgar Wright left his long-in-development Ant-Man, replaced by director Peyton Reed (and composer Christophe Beck). His next feature project has yet to be announced, but so far he’s got a 4 to 1 movie-to-Oscar ratio (as well as a Grammy for his contribution to Adele’s album 21), and that’s nothing to sneeze at...since I first wrote this (but before it was uploaded), Price has been announced to reunite with Fury director David Ayer for the highly anticipated graphic novel adaptation Suicide Squad, so a good case can be made that he should be ranked above #40 on this list, but someone's too lazy to rework the list, and I suspect it's me.

WHAT'S NEXT: Suicide Squad 
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Today in Film Score History:
October 26
Bob Cobert born (1924)
Curt Sobel born (1953)
Howard Shore begins recording his score for She-Devil (1989)
Jacques Loussier born (1934)
Recording sessions begin for Roy Webb’s score to Fixed Bayonets (1951)
Richard La Salle records his score for the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “Unchained Woman” (1979)
Victor Schertzinger died (1941)
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