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 Posted:   Dec 6, 2021 - 5:51 AM   
 By:   Night   (Member)

Alex Ross (music critic from The New Yorker) calls Greenwood's score "a sustained masterwork of scoring":

"The composer now has three films in theatres: “Licorice Pizza,” “Spencer,” and, most notably, “The Power of the Dog”—a sustained masterwork of scoring that builds tension and shapes character in equal measure."

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/12/13/ash-fures-hive-rise-is-a-visceral-experience-in-sound

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2021 - 8:28 AM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

If there are any bemoaning the lack of a Licorice Pizza score album, I saw the movie this weekend (it was excellent) and as far as I could tell there were only two score cues in the entire movie (and they sounded pretty similar), so whatever of Greenwood's is on the song CD might actually be a pretty accurate representation of the score.

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2021 - 10:36 PM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

If there are any bemoaning the lack of a Licorice Pizza score album, I saw the movie this weekend (it was excellent) and as far as I could tell there were only two score cues in the entire movie (and they sounded pretty similar), so whatever of Greenwood's is on the song CD might actually be a pretty accurate representation of the score.

P.T. Anderson spoke after a screening of "Licorice Pizza" in L.A. November 23 and he mentioned Greenwood only composed about seven to ten minutes of music to underscore the love theme for the film (sorry, I forget the exact timing, but it only comes in a couple of times front and end, and I thought it was beautifully done). By design, per Anderson, they wanted the film to rely on music of the day, like "American Graffiti," "Rock and Roll High School" and "Dazed and Confused."

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2021 - 1:49 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I'm no FANatic of Jonny Greenwood - I haven't really liked any of his scores, sorry. But - after having watched The Power of the Dog I felt his score worked perfectly in the film - every bit of it. And that's where it has to work. I also thought it's not really a score I'd ever want to hear outside of the film, but as music and image and characters working hand in hand, it's really good.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2021 - 3:06 PM   
 By:   Spinmeister   (Member)

I have nothing nice to say.

An unconvincing period piece with an unconvincing lead. As for the score, I couldn't hear it over the crash of the gong every time Smaug reenacted Bambi Meets Godzilla.



I cut out during the introduction with the parents. I'd seen all this before and without the oppressive air of self-importance lingering about it.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2021 - 3:18 PM   
 By:   steffromuk   (Member)

I cut out during the introduction with the parents. I'd seen all this before and without the oppressive air of self-importance lingering about it.

I guess you missed the most important part of the film then. But I can understand it's not made for all audiences. It's certainly not a classic western. And That's why I loved it so much. The score plays a big role in this.

At last, a cowboy movie that depicts real life situations with real men and women struggling being themselves in the harsh West of the early 1900s. this movie really haunts me. I can't stop thinking about it.

Greenwood's work is perfectly capturing the mood, the tension and weight of the environment on the characters.
It's masterful, I think.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2021 - 4:19 PM   
 By:   Spinmeister   (Member)

I guess you missed the most important part of the film then.

Ya … "important" … that's where I get off the bus and walk instead.

p.s. I know how the movie ends. And even if I didn't know the details, I'd have to be blind not to see the anvil hanging in the air ready to drop. If I've seen one exposé on pathetic closet-cases I've seen them all. And winding back the clock 90 years to examine the trials and tribulations of being a "sensitive" man in that man's world is hardly instructive or revelatory to the criticism of the patriarchy in the 21st century.

The film reeks of Indie preciousness, and anointed with Greenwood's "highbrow" score only makes the affair all that more insufferable.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2021 - 4:31 PM   
 By:   steffromuk   (Member)

I guess you missed the most important part of the film then.

Ya … "important" … that's where I get off the bus and walk instead.

p.s. I know how the movie ends. And even if I didn't know the details, I'd have to be blind not to see the anvil hanging in the air ready to drop. If I've seen one exposé on pathetic closet-cases I've seen them all. And winding back the clock 90 years to examine the trials and tribulations of being a "sensitive" man in that man's world is hardly instructive or revelatory to the criticism of the patriarchy in the 21st century.

The film reeks of Indie preciousness, and anointed with Greenwood's "highbrow" score only makes the affair all that more insufferable.


Something tells me you're not a fan of Jane Campion's cinema. This movie is iconic of all the stories she's been telling over her impressive career.
Yes, her films are brainy and pretty philosophical. But I never found them pretentious. She's always focused on giving a voice to the discretes, the ones people don't notice or don't want to look at.
This one is no different from her previous works in that matter.

You can call her pretentious. I think she just tells the stories she wants to tell, in the way she wants.
I find her work, most of the time, very subtle and heartfelt. I feel respected as an audience when I watch her films.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2021 - 5:00 PM   
 By:   Spinmeister   (Member)

Something tells me you're not a fan of Jane Campion's cinema. This movie is iconic of all the stories she's been telling over her impressive career.

I'd rather rewatch Johnny Guitar.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2021 - 1:43 PM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

I mean, get out of this thread maybe?

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2021 - 8:09 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

Ya … "important" … that's where I get off the bus and walk instead.

p.s. I know how the movie ends. And even if I didn't know the details, I'd have to be blind not to see the anvil hanging in the air ready to drop. If I've seen one exposé on pathetic closet-cases I've seen them all. And winding back the clock 90 years to examine the trials and tribulations of being a "sensitive" man in that man's world is hardly instructive or revelatory to the criticism of the patriarchy in the 21st century.


While it is quite obvious you have no idea what this movie is about because you admitted you didn't watch it. It is quite awe-inspiring you don't know what it is about because you then pretended to know what it was about after admitting you hadn't watched it. And even then your pretend examination displays your inability to even discuss what the story was about. Truly a paradox of profundity.

I digress. A great little movie. Always wonderful to see a Western where no bullet is fired yet the tension is still wraught. While the ending seems quite tragic on first glance when you reflect you catch yourself thinking on the sinister nature of the psychological game of abuse at play. Quite a stirring drama. The type of film they so rarely make these days. Gathering by the opinions of many on this board, it seems no wonder; attention spans are at an all-time low.

 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2021 - 12:25 AM   
 By:   No Respectable Gentleman   (Member)

Meh.

An OK but overrated film. The theme of toxic masculinity is all the rage so no surprise that the cowboy played by (the miscast) Cumberbatch is a humorless bully with suppressed homosexual yearnings. The scene suggesting intimacy between himself and the boy incorporates the most heavy-handed symbolism since the love scene in RYAN'S DAUGHTER.

But Campion will almost certainly take home the Best Director Oscar because, hey, she's a woman and Spielberg already has two.

As for the score, I must say I expected better.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2021 - 1:17 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I've always been a big fan of Campion, especially how she lets surroundings be a meaningful character that mirrors the human characters. Obviously, THE PIANO is the pinnacle here, but also evident in TOP OF THE LAKE. Well, while there are plenty of surroundings and impressive vistas in this too, I didn't feel like enough time was devoted to their visceral presence, and the mirroring only tangential at best (like the whole 'power of the dog' shadow in the mountains), so the film didn't do as much for me as her previous work, I'm afraid. It's a good film, for sure, but not one that will be a top contender of the year for me.

Greenwood's score was somewhat similar to Jeff Grace's for MEEK'S CUTOFF (a film I really liked), i.e. twangy and repetitive, very "earthy" colours through guitar and chilly textures. It's good, but I often wish he would open up -- just a bit -- from his enclosed style with a bit of warmth. Even when he does pastiche (like in this year's SPENCER), there are always some alienating effects.

 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2021 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

The scene suggesting intimacy between himself and the boy incorporates the most heavy-handed symbolism since the love scene in RYAN'S DAUGHTER.

But Campion will almost certainly take home the Best Director Oscar because, hey, she's a woman and Spielberg already has two.


Certainly not my read of that particular scene since it is about Peter subtly extracting information from a particularly vulnerable man. It is a revenge narrative, not a love story. At least to my read.

If Campion wins an Oscar, then it will be because she is "due" one, as these awards typically work. She has been an acclaimed director in her field for many decades. Spielberg was also an acclaimed director in his field for many decades before he also won his first for Schindler's List. Anybody still putting stock into the Oscars, however, is a bit of a fool.

 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2021 - 7:33 AM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

Even when [Greenwood] does pastiche (like in this year's SPENCER), there are always some alienating effects.

Who on Earth is it a pastiche of?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2021 - 8:32 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Not who, what. It taps into baroque stylings.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2021 - 1:09 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I’m going to talk about the film to those who have SEEN it. I've enjoyed your comments. I’ll black out my comments for those who haven’t viewed the films. Also let me add that I’m fine with people liking it or not liking it. I’m not looking to argue.

My husband did not like it. He thought since it was a western, it would be full of action and shoot outs. He found it dull and slow. I found it intellectually interesting and, in some ways, rather profound. I think Jane Campion did a marvelous job of directing the narrative and the actors. I found it rich in psychological insights and symbols.

Yes, we’ve had movies about closeted gays, but that doesn’t mean that this movie projects some kind a cliché. (We still have movies about slavery in the Civil War and other historical issues.) This movie takes place in 1925 where certain types of sexuality were still hidden. Same in the 1950’s when Cumberbatch played Alan Turing and suffered greatly for being a homosexual. In 1963 the two cowboys in Brokeback Mountain could not “come out.” Note in Brokeback Mountain and in The Power Of The Dog, all were cowboys, the most macho kind of job. Also, as reviewers have noted Power Of The Dog deals with “toxic masculinity.” Cumberbatch certainly is toxic.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil does a stunning acting job. Due to his repression of his sexuality, he heaps cruel emotional abuse on George’s new wife and her sensitive, rather effete son, Peter. Phil is also a racist as he would rather burn his hides than sell them to a Native American. He plays mind games to push the wife away from his brother and ridicules Peter for his lack of macho skills and behaviors like making flowers out of paper. But Peter is much more than a delicate, possibly gay young man. He dissects a rabbit and snaps the neck of an injured rabbit without any emotion. He tolerates Phil’s abuse until he figures out what Phil really is and has been taught by the dead “Buck.” (Does Phil want to become Peter’s mentor as Buck was his mentor?) He uses Phil’s secret to establish a rapport; however, Peter is not without his own internal toughness. Remember Peter always said that he would protect his mother.

I think this is a revenge, psychological thriller. Ask yourself this. Who is the Alpha Dog at the end?


I think Campion asked Green to compose music that showed the psychological underpinnings of the characters. I can’t say the music worked for me. It distracted me, and I’ve viewed movies scored by other composers that did a better job of those underpinnings. However, I am going to watch the movie again just to see (hear) if the music works better upon a second viewing. Perhaps I will change my mind.

 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2021 - 5:03 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

Joan, love hearing from you as always. My read of the story and the psychological "game" is near identical to yours. I do think Phil saw this new opportunity with Peter as a kinship/attraction he experienced before with Bronco Henry. Unfortunately Peter utilized that as a tactic in his scheme to exact pain against Phil. The final Biblical quote is a powerful remark in the ability of a confident defender.

And Thor, copy that. Now I understand your "pastiche" comment. It is a word I use to describe referencing another individuals work rather than a larger style and approach. I loved the scores for Power of the Dog and Spencer. I wish more composers we're operating at a level with Greenwood (some are, Brittell and Mosseri IMO) because film scoring has largely been boring for so long.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2021 - 10:22 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I too always love reading your assessments, nut_score. I think we are pretty similar in our interpretations.

I forgot the biblical quotation. For anyone who is interested it is:

"Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog."

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2021 - 10:42 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I noticed some comments about Campion, Spielberg, and the Oscars. I think both will be nominated for best director. If you have seen tick,tick...Boom!, I think you'd consider Lin-Manuel Miranda as another Oscar contender for best director.

I thought Cumberbatch was superb as Phil. While watching him, I forgot that he was British and played roles like Hamlet. I bought into his toxic masculinity, vulnerability, and damaged psyche. I would bet he will be nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor.

Another equally stunning male performance was Andrew Garfield in tick,tick...Boom! I'd call a tie between those two men. However, I still haven't seen a few new films which might change my mind.

 
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