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Oscar Nominations 2015
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/14/2016 - 1:00 PM
This morning at 5:30, AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, actor John Krasinski, and filmmakers Guillermo Del Toro and Ang Lee announced this year's Oscar nominations, including the following music categories:


BRIGDE OF SPIES - Thomas Newman
CAROL - Carter Burwell
THE HATEFUL EIGHT - Ennio Morricone
SICARIO - Johann Johannsson


"Earned It" - Fifty Shades of Grey - Music and Lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville, Stephan Moccio
"Manta Rey" - Racing Extinction - Music by J. Ralph, Lyric by Antony Hegarty
"Simple Song #3" - Youth - Music and Lyric by David Lang
"Til It Happens to You" - The Hunting Ground - Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
"Writing's on the Wall" - Spectre - Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

No big surprises in Original Score, but I was relieved that Carter Burwell is finally an Oscar nominee. The nominations for Newman (his 13th) and Morricone (6th) were expected, and since the Weinsteins released Hateful Eight, there's no one around to start a whispering campaign about how the tracked-in cues from previous Morricone scores should make his work ineligible (and apparently I'm the only one who feels that way, so I'll finally shut up about it now, just glad that Morricone got another nomination and a plausible win). This is Williams' 45th nomination (UPDATE/CORRECTION: as keen-eyed readers like "jgrabner" have pointed out, this is actually Williams' FIFTIETH Oscar nomination!! 45 original-or-adapted score -- mostly originals -- and 5 songs), and his first for a Star Wars film since Jedi 32 years ago -- however, he was nominated for other scores each year of the prequel trilogy (specifically for Angela's Ashes, Catch Me If You Can and Memoirs of a Geisha), so he probably wasn't sad when he heard the news those years. Johannsson received his first nomination last year, for the very different Theory of Everything score.

As a Bond geek, I'm thrilled that Spectre's song got in (the film's only nomination). Not a fan of the Lady Gaga song, while this is the first year that two of the nominated songs are from documentaries. The "Earned It" nomination makes Fifty Shades officially the worst film of 2015 to get a nomination, following in the hallowed footsteps of films like The Swarm and Norbit. Youth's "Simple Song #3" is gorgeous, and one has to appreciate a category that has room for both David Lang and Gaga. I am a bit bummed that Shaun the Sheep Movie's "Feels Like Summer" and Meru's "The Light That Never Fails" didn't get in. 
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Film Score Friday 1/8/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/7/2016 - 9:00 PM
 Intrada has announced two new releases this week, both featuring previously unreleased scores -- the soundtrack to UNIDENTIFIED FLYING ODDBALL (aka The Spaceman and King Arthur), Disney's sci-fi-tinged 1979 remake of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, starring Dennis Dugan, Jim Dale and Ron Moody, with music by Ron Goodwin (Where Eagles Dare, Frenzy, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines); and one of Maurice Jarre's most obscure scores, for 1992's little seen Japanese romantic drama THE SETTING SUN, featuring Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland.

Next week La-La Land will present their only release for January, the three-disc set STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, VOL. 2. Disc One will feature cues from episodes scored by Dennis McCarthy, Disc Two will feature Jay Chattaway scores, and Disc Three will feature more McCarthy as well as music from George Romanis' only score for the series, the first season episode "Too Short a Season."

Tadlow has announced two brand new re-recordings: THE BLUE MAX, a two-disc set featuring a re-recording of Jerry Goldsmith's poplular score as well as re-recorded suites and themes from Goldsmith's The Chairman, The Final Conflict, A Gathering of Eagles, Inchon, MacArthur, The Mummy, Patton, The Sand Pebbles, and Tora! Tora! Tora!; and EPIC HOLLYWOOD: THE FILM MUSIC OF MIKLOS ROZSA, a recording of the concert in which Nic Raine conducted the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in a selection of pieces from Rozsa's scores for Ben-Hur, El Cid, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Ivanhoe, King of Kings, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes,  Providence, Quo Vadis, Sodom and Gomorrah and The Thief of Bagdad

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Timeless Film Music
Posted By Tim Burden 1/5/2016 - 9:00 PM

Happy New Year!

I think it's worth reminding all film score enthusiasts how uniquely special Patrick Doyle's score to Branagh's Cinderella is. As Patrick himself says at the start of this 17 minute audio feature: "My job was to make the music sound timeless, as if the music was always there." He does just that and weaves some of the familiar in and out seamlessly. Not just tipping his hat affectionately to the Disney canon, but de

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Aisle Seat 1-5: 2016 Premiere Edition!
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/4/2016 - 9:00 PM
There’s noting more exciting for me than opening up a fresh batch of new Blu-Rays from Twilight Time and Kino Lorber and seeing, for the first time in high-def, catalog titles I had only previously experienced on DVD (or TV) in standard-definition. In fact, the collective efforts of labels like TT, Kino, Shout and Olive has been one of the great assets for Blu-Ray in the last year, especially as major studios license out more of their back catalog, shunning in many instances the very format they helped to establish.
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Oscar Predictions And Other End Of 2015 Lists
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/2/2016 - 1:00 PM
Predictions are in boldface, followed by those which I personally would nominate in italics. As with previous years' lists, for several categories I have NOT provided my own nominations, since frankly I know jack about costumes, sound and so forth. Films that I have listed as my own personal nominations yet which are not actually eligible in those categories are marked with an asterisk.


(This year, there will be anywhere from five to ten Best Picture nominees, so I will rank them in order of likeliness -- my guess is that there will be nine, because that’s how many there were three of the last four years. Which means, of course, there will probably be eight or ten.)

1. Inside Out
2. Spotlight
3. Brooklyn
4. Steve Jobs
5. Bridge of Spies
6. Carol
7. The Revenant
8. Room
9. The Danish Girl
10. Sicario

1. Son of Saul
2. Experimenter
3. The Tribe
4. 45 Years
5. While We're Young
6. Anomalisa
7. Steve Jobs
8. What We Do in the Shadows
9. Sicario
10. Mad Max: Fury Road

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Film Score Friday 1/1/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/31/2015 - 9:00 PM
Remember last Friday when I wished everyone Merry Christmas? Well, now it's New Year's Day, so Happy New Year. My work here is done. (At least, until I post my Oscar predictions, possibly this afternoon or tomorrow)

Intrada plans to release two new CDs next week.

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Film Score Friday 12/25/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/24/2015 - 9:00 PM
It's Christmas today. So Merry Christmas.


Fernando Velazquez: Concert Suites/Music for Films
 - Fernando Velazquez - Quartet
The Pick-Up Artist/Rapture
 - Georges Delerue - Kritzerland
Pino Donaggio: Canzoni Per Il Cinema
 - Pino Donaggio - Quartet
Stick Man - Rene Aubry - Magic Light [CD-R]
Tom Sawyer 
- Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, John Williams - Quartet
Total Recall
 - Jerry Goldsmith - Quartet 

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Aisle Seat 12-22: Christmas & New Years Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 12/21/2015 - 9:00 PM
Fueled by fan interest and the resurgence of sequels/prequels/remakes/reboots, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS smashed every box-office record this weekend in theaters around the world, making Disney’s $4 billion purchase of George Lucas’ company and all of its properties look like a bargain – especially when you factor in the millions its sequels and spin-offs (apparently coming at us on an annual basis now) are sure to generate.
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2015 Memo to the Oscar Music Branch - The Maestros Awaken
Posted By Cary Wong 12/20/2015 - 9:00 PM

As we all tend to our Star Wars: The Force Awakens hangovers and enjoy the rest of the holiday season, the Music Branch of the Academy is (hopefully) taking a serious look at the scores of the 2015 to select the five most worthy of an Oscar nomination. In the December issue of FSMO, I provide an analysis of this race and lay out th

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FSMO December Issue Is Now Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 12/18/2015 - 2:00 AM
The December edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. This month's cover story is a journey to a long time ago…an archival interview with JOHN WILLIAMS about STAR WARS from 1978. Also this issue, the album review you’ve been waiting for: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS; an in-depth retrospective on the original LP albums for STAR WARS, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI; an interview with MYCHAEL DANNA and JEFF DANNA about THE GOOD DINOSAUR; Cary Wong’s annual letter to the Academy Music Branch; ALAN SILVESTRI visits Northern Ireland to talk BACK TO THE FUTURE; ROQUE BAÑOS goes whaling IN THE HEART OF THE SEA; KEEGAN DEWITT discusses his latest independent fare, I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS; documentary composer J. RALPH chats RACING EXTINCTION; a 50-year anniversary analysis of the JOHN BARRY classic, THUNDERBALL; JACK WALL returns for BLACK OPS III; Gold Rush dreams of a WHITE CHRISTMAS; a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET mega-review; 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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Today in Film Score History:
September 1
Erich Kunzel died (2009)
Franz Waxman begins recording his score for Sunset Blvd. (1949)
Gil Melle begins recording his score for The Organization (1971)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Magic (1978)
Marc Donahue died (2002)
Victor Young begins recording his score for Strategic Air Command (1954)
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