FILM SCORE FRIDAY 12/19/03
By Scott Bettencourt
Thursday morning, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced
this year's nominations for the Golden Globes, the awards to be presented
on January 25th. Here are the nominees in the music categories:
Alexandre Desplat, "Girl with a Pearl Earring"
Danny Elfman, "Big Fish"
Howard Shore, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Gabriel Yared, "Cold Mountain"
Hans Zimmer, "The Last Samurai"
"The Heart of Every Girl", "Mona Lisa Smile" - Music by Elton John,
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
"Into the West", "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" -
Music & Lyrics by Howard Shore, Fran Walsh, Annie Lennox
"Man of the Hour", "Big Fish" - Music & Lyrics by Eddie Vedder
"Time Enough for Tears", "In America" - Music & Lyrics by Bono,
Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer
"You Will Be My Ain True Love", "Cold Mountain" - Music & Lyrics
Vangelis has reportedly been signed to score Oliver
Stone's upcoming Alexander the Great biopic (the director's first film
since Any Given Sunday in 1999), which features Colin Farrell, Anthony
Hopkins, Val Kilmer, Jared Leto, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Rosario Dawson,
and a bunch of other really homely actors.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Brannigan - Dominic Frontiere - La-La Land
Cold Mountain - Gabriel Yared, various - Sony Classical
Peter Pan - James Newton Howard - Varese Sarabande
Scary Movie 3 - James L. Venable, various - Varese Sarabande
Secret Weapons Over Normandy - Michael Giacchino - La-La Land
IN THEATERS TODAY
Calendar Girls - Patrick Doyle - Score CD on Hollywood
The Fog of War - Philip Glass - Score CD on Orange Mountain
The Hebrew Hammer - Michael Cohen
House of Sand and Fog - James Horner - Score CD on Varese Sarabande
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - Howard Shore
- Score CD on Reprise
Mona Lisa Smile - Rachel Portman - Song CD on Epic with one
Big Fish - Danny Elfman - Sony Classical
Paycheck - John Powell - Varese Sarabande
The Statement - Normand Corbeil - Varese Sarabande
RoboCop - Basil Poledouris - Varese Sarabande
Amerika - Basil Poledouris - Prometheus
Battle Cry - Max Steiner - Screen Archives/BYU
The Black Swan - Alfred Newman - Screen Archives
The Butterfly Effect - Michael Suby - La-La Land
Dirty Harry - Lalo Schifrin - Aleph
The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal - various - La-La Land
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken - Vic Mizzy - Percepto
Hidalgo - James Newton Howard - Hollywood
The Keys of the Kingdom - Alfred Newman - Screen Archives
Mighty Joe Young, etc. - Roy Webb, et al - Monstrous Movie Music
The Reluctant Astronaut - Vic Mizzy - Percepto
This Island Earth, etc. - Herman Stein, et al - Monstrous Movie
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
December 19 - Galt MacDermot born (1928)
December 19 - Fred Karlin begins recording his score to The
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1973)
December 19 - Michel Magne died (1984)
December 19 - Roger Webb died (2002)
December 22 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording score to Tribute
to a Bad Man (1955)
December 22 - Joe Strummer died (2002)
December 23 - Jeff Alexander died (1989)
December 24 - Franz Waxman born (1906)
December 24 - Carlo Rustichelli born (1916)
December 24 - Bernard Herrmann died (1975)
December 25 - Nathaniel Shilkret born (1895)
December 25 - Pete Rugolo born (1915)
December 25 - Charles Chaplin died (1977)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
BIG FISH - Danny Elfman
"And Danny Elfman's music -- long on orchestration, short on melody
-- never quits; Elfman bathes every scene in golden corn oil."
David Edelstein, Slate.com
"Per the norm with Burton's films, craft aspects are superlative, beginning
with Dennis Gassner's exceptionally varied production design and Colleen
Atwood's equally diverse costumes, and including Philippe Rousselot's sensitively
modulated lensing, Danny Elfman's supple score and the many imaginative
special effects, among them a literal rendering of the imposing title creature."
Todd McCarthy, Variety
"Danny Elfman's score is uncharacteristically directed at the tear ducts."
J. Hoberman, Village Voice
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING - Alexandre Desplat
"The gorgeous score, by Alexandre Desplat, brushes in a haunted gloom
that gives the picture life where none seems to exist."
Elvis Mitchell, New York Times
"Not exactly Master and Commander stuff, this Braudelian action is hyped
by the strenuously dancing snowflakes of Alexandre Desplat's over-sparkly
J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"In a film of outstanding craft contributions, noteworthy are Dien van
Straalen's costumes and, particularly, Alexandre Desplat's supple, beautifully
Todd McCarthy, Variety
THE STATEMENT - Normand Corbeil
"Veteran filmmaker Norman Jewison has crafted a taut, old-fashioned
thriller by assembling the requisite elements: A cat-and-mouse plot, resolute
characters on both sides of the law, political intrigue, and a suspenseful
Annlee Ellingson, Los Angeles Citybeat
ON CLASSIC GROUND
FROM: "Kirk Henderson"
This is one great score. Hands down. Lukas is correct in saying
in his liner notes that if you return this CD because of poor sound quality,
you're crazy. Early recordings by jazz greats Bessie Smith, Art Tatum,
Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and many others are preserved by recordings
that are marred by terrible surface noise or just plain bad recording,
yet we praise the fact that these recordings exist. It's all we have. The
release of the acetate tracks to On Dangerous Ground -- a score that has
to count as one of Bernard Herrmann's finest works, (in my opinion, up
there with Prokofiev's much praised film work) -- should make us lovers
of fine film scores indeed as grateful as jazz lovers would be listening
to a scratchy 78 recording of Satchmo's St. Louis Blues now preserved on
Indeed, some of the tracks of On Dangerous Ground have terrible
surface noise, but they don't take away from the fact that the music is
undeniably exceptional. We are luckier than the lovers of jazz, in one
regard: The old jazz greats are gone and those old recordings will unlikely
ever sound any better than they do now, but many of the great film scores
of yesteryear have been rerecorded with magnificent results. We know how
impressive On Dangerous Ground can sound in full stereo because Herrmann
himself rerecorded a scherzo from it during the 1970s.
If you bought this CD and are considering returning it because of
the sound quality, perhaps it's not great film music you like, but modern
recording technology. Thanks to FSM for choosing to release this great
work, warts and all.
ON CARY WONG'S OSCAR MEMO
FROM: "Dennis J. Logsdon"
remarks for the Oscars.
Even though I would have put Sinbad higher on the list, when Cary
speaks it is like listening to someone proofread my thoughts.
FROM: "Louis Banlaki"
In regards to what
Mr. Donohue wrote in regards of what happened to Jerry Goldsmith --
I don't think anything has happened. It's the quality of films today that
is the main problem and to be truthful, Hollywood isn't the way it once
was when Mr. Goldsmith showed us his genius with his classic scores from
the 60s and 70s.
All too many times I read and hear about interference from producers
or other powers that be that don't really give a damn about the music score
unless it makes them money. I don't think Goldsmith can write as he did
in the past because probably no one wants him to, or maybe he's just tired
of writing really innovative music that no one pays attention to except
lovers of film music like us. I agree that some of Goldsmith's music may
not measure up to his past but, I mean, look at the crap that is released
in theaters today. And the composer gets short shrift when he's hired on
last to work on a film. Gone are the glory days when Herrmann was given,
what, 12 weeks to score CITIZEN KANE? You don't see that kind of thing
today, at least I've never heard about it, so before Mr. Donohue bemoans
the past genius of Jerry Goldsmith I think he should watch past epics like
THE SAND PEBBLES or PATTON and watch the crap of today like TITANIC and
maybe he'll see the answer to his own question.
And after what happened with Goldsmith being reprimanded for his
opening bars for TOTAL RECALL sounding like CONAN, and at the director's
request!! I don't think I blame the composer for asking himself sometimes,
why should I bother? I could be wrong, too, but give the man a break. I'm
glad he's still scoring films and I have to admit I'm not really a big
fan of the Elfmans, Horner's or the Zimmers of the film music world. Hollywood
just doesn't have the great composes of the past. Of the few remaining
-- Goldsmith included, of course --greats, they're the only ones whose
music I'll bother to listen to anymore. I've tried hearing the new breed
and I'm really not impressed too much.
I think Hollywood needs a major renovation and get imagination and
originality back into their films and if I hear about a remake of ANOTHER
Michael Caine movie I shall go mad!!!
So will Mr. Donohue take his grievances to the people who I think
deserve to hear it: the people who control the creative people on a film.
Leave them alone and let them create and get rid of temp tracks!!
FROM: "Ron Pulliam"
SUBJECT: A reply to William Donahue
Geez, dude! Goldsmith doesn't have anything to prove!
Just so's ya know, he isn't being given the likes of "Titanic,"
"The Last Samurai," etc., to score these days. Sure, you might say his
agent is to blame, but agents cannot force musically illiterate directors
and producers to hire one of the greatest composers to ever put music to
Let's see how productive and imaginative and eager to please people
you are when you are over 70 years old and in bad health.
Oh, yeah! In case you haven't noticed, there's a world full of
REAL PROBLEMS that could use the anger and concern you've misplaced toward
ON THE ORCHESTRATOR POLL, AGAIN
FROM: "Preston Neal Jones"
SUBJECT: Orchestrator poll
When I started going to the movies regularly, Leo Shuken had just passed
on, and Jack Hayes was doing films like Marathon Man, The Elephant Man
and The Natural, so I tend to think of them separately.
To the Poll powers that be:
I'm sorry I didn't participate in the orchestrator poll, but I
might have had a problem had I done so. When I went to check the results
just now, I saw that Shuken and Hayes were split up. I couldn't imagine
voting for one but not the other -- unfair!
THE END OF AN ERA
FROM: "Ian Robinson"
So Zimmer's left Media Ventures and the composers are falling
out. Is this the film music equivalent of a boy band splitting up?