Intrada plans to release one new CD next week. For those who don't mind "spoilers" about upcoming releases, go to this Message Board thread.
Quartet is re-releasing their two-disc edition of Jerry Goldsmith's thrilling score for TOTAL RECALL with new packaging to celebrate the film's 30th anniversary. They are also releasing the score on a 3-LP vinyl set.
Kritzerland is releasing a CD of music from the TV* documentary series THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, which ran from 1957 to 1970 (its final three seasons as The 21st Century). The Kritzerland disc features music from the show's first two seasons, composed by George Antheil, Paul Creston, Gail Kubik, Darius Milhaud and Harold Shapero. (*When this column was originally posted I inexplicably referred to this as a radio program. Thanks to poster "scifiguy" for the correction. As a wise and great American once said, "D'oh!")
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
The Albert Glasser Collection vol. 1: Huk!/Tokyo File 212 - Albert Glasser - Dragon's Domain
Demon in the Bottle - John Morgan - Dragon's Domain
From Beyond - Richard Band - Dragon's Domain
Interstellar: Expanded Edition - Hans Zimmer - WaterTower
Munchie - Chuck Cirino - Dragon's Domain
Over the Moon - Steven Price - Milan
IN THEATERS TODAY
Freaky, the new dark horror comedy from Christopher Landon, the director of the Happy Death Day films (and starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton) opens this week, with a score by Bear McCreary. Due to the spike in coronavirus rates, some theaters that had re-opened are closing again for the time being.
The Crown: Series 4 - Martin Phipps - Sony (import)
Dark: Cycle 3 - Ben Frost - Invada (import)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Daniel Pemberton - Varese Sarabande
Morricone Segreto - Ennio Morricone - Decca
The Glorias - Elliot Goldenthal - Zarathustra
Jay Sebring...Cutting to the Truth - Jeff Beal - Noteforenote
News of the World - James Newton Howard - Backlot
Nine Days - Antonio Pinto - Warner (import)
Film Music 1976-2020 - Brian Eno - Astralwerks
The Haunting of Bly Manor - The Newton Brothers - Intrada
John Williams in Vienna [CD/BluRay] - John Williams - Deutsche Grammophon
Lolita My Love [stage] - John Barry - Kritzerland
No Time to Die - Hans Zimmer - Decca
A Suitable Boy - Alex Heffes, Anoushka Shankar - Silva
Total Recall [re-release] - Jerry Goldsmith - Quartet
The Twentieth Century - George Antheil, Paul Creston, Gail Kubik, Darius Milhaud, Harold Shapero - Kritzerland
Un Sceriffo Extraterrestre...Poco Extra e Molto Terrestre - Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
November 13 - Leonard Rosenman begins recording his score for Hell Is For Heroes (1961)
November 13 - Andre Previn begins recording his score to Dead Ringer (1963)
November 13 - Henry Mancini begins recording his score for The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1972)
November 13 - Maurice Ohana died (1992)
November 13 - David Bell records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Sword of Kahless” (1995)
November 13 - Carlo Rustichelli died (2004)
November 14 - Aaron Copland born (1900)
November 14 - Alden Shuman born (1924)
November 14 - Edmund Meisel died (1930)
November 14 - Wendy Carlos born (1939)
November 14 - Jean-Claude Petit born (1943)
November 14 - Yanni born (1954)
November 14 - Tom Judson born (1960)
November 14 - Stuart Staples born (1965)
November 14 - Alexander Courage records his score for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode “The Lost Bomb” (1966)
November 14 - Dave Grusin begins recording his score for The Scorpio Letters (1966)
November 14 - Leith Stevens records his score for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode “A Time to Die” (1967)
November 14 - Basil Poledouris records his score for the Twilight Zone episode “Song of the Younger World” (1986)
November 14 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Twilight Zone episode “Voices in the Earth” (1986)
November 14 - Sol Kaplan died (1990)
November 14 - Michel Colombier died (2004)
November 14 - Irving Gertz died (2008)
November 15 - Sune Waldimir born (1907)
November 15 - Jurriaan Andriessen born (1925)
November 15 - Les Baxter records his score for The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
November 15 - John Williams begins recording his score to The Cowboys (1971)
November 15 - Richard Addinsell died (1977)
November 15 - Alexandre Tansman died (1986)
November 15 - Saul Chaplin died (1997)
November 15 - Roberto Pregadio died (2010)
November 15 - Luis Bacalov died (2017)
November 16 - Paul Hindemith born (1895)
November 16 - Roberto Nicolosi born (1914)
November 16 - Gianni Ferrio born (1924)
November 16 - The Lost Weekend is released in theaters (1945)
November 16 - Dennis McCarthy records his scores for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes “Home Soil” and “Hide and Q” (1987)
November 16 - Maurice Jarre begins recording his score for The Murder of Mary Phagan (1987)
November 16 - David Bell records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Covenant” (1998)
November 17 - Robert Drasnin born (1927)
November 17 - David Amram born (1930)
November 17 - Michael Andrews born (1967)
November 17 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Where Silence Has Lease" (1988)
November 17 - Wilfred Josephs died (1997)
November 17 - Jay Chattaway begins recording his score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Awakening” (2004)
November 18 - Carter Burwell born (1955)
November 18 - Ben-Hur premieres in New York (1959)
November 18 - Duncan Sheik born (1969)
November 18 - Lalo Schifrin begins recording his score for The Mean Season (1984)
November 18 - Craig Safan records his scores for the Twilight Zone episodes “Dead Woman’s Shoes” and “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium” (1985)
November 18 - George Romanis records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Too Short a Sesaon” (1987)
November 18 - Bruce Broughton begins recording his score for Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1992)
November 18 - David Bell records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Ascent” (1996)
November 18 - Paul Bowles died (1999)
November 18 - Michael Kamen died (2003)
November 18 - Cy Coleman died (2004)
November 19 - Salil Chowdhury born (1925)
November 19 - Harry Robinson born (1932)
November 19 - Paul Glass born (1934)
November 19 - Trade Martin born (1943)
November 19 - Joel Goldsmith born (1957)
November 19 - Lyn Murray records his score for the Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “Thanatos Palace Hotel” (1964)
November 19 - Dee Barton begins recording his score for High Plains Drifter (1972)
November 19 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Concerning Flight” (1997)
November 19 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Carpenter Street” (2003)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC
AVA - Bear McCreary
"The unremarkable lensing and nondescript locations enhance the feeling that you’re watching a pilot for a series on a streaming service that you’ve never heard of, but one that has surprisingly deep pockets. Scenes set in an abandoned church that’s been turned into an underground nightclub have the intimation of 'John Wick''s baroque excess, and prolific TV and film composer Bear McCreary’s throbbing electronic score dutifully pushes the action forward. But neither is utilized with enough flair. Similarly, while there are a couple of cool shots of knives flying across the screen at improbable speeds that recall editor Zach Staenberg’s work on the 'Matrix' trilogy, most of the action is choppy and uninspired."
Katie Rife, The Onion AV Club
"The details aren’t sloppy, but neither are they noteworthy; the cinematography by Stephen Goldblatt ('Our Souls at Night') is perfunctory and uninspired, and the score by Bear McCreary ('Fantasy Island') relies too much on droning repetition. To their credit, even if this was a paycheck gig for Malkovich and Farrell, they do seem to be making an effort and to be enjoying the chance to work opposite each other (and opposite Chastain)."
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
"Taylor keeps things nominally stylish in a way that doesn’t betray any particular style. Veteran cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt applies a slick of bright metallic lipgloss to action set pieces and intimate domestic scenes alike. Editor Zach Staenberg ('The Matrix') chops up the combat sequences in ways that inspire due admiration for the high-end stunt work but no real astonishment over their stagingm [sic] while Bear McCreary’s score burbles away with consistent electronic menace. All this is effective enough, but there’s a stranger, spikier, more unnerving film to be pulled from the sleek genre carapace of 'Ava,' a film less interested in what makes a contract killer tick than in the superhuman Swiss-watch regularity of her ticking in the first place."
Guy Lodge, Variety
"The film’s competent stunts and action sequences are of the grittier 'Bourne' variety, with hand-to-hand combat often preferred to guns and explosions. But the glossy cinematography from Stephen Goldblatt, another 'The Help' alumnus, and the editing by Zach Staenberg ('The Matrix') never manage to impart the same visceral thrills that are the hallmark of Paul Greengrass’ action cinema. The score, courtesy of Bear McCreary, is sleekly generic."
Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter
BLACKBIRD - Peter Gregson
"'Blackbird' is a remake of the 2014 Danish film 'Silent Heart,' both with screenplays by Christian Torpe. This is very much the Hollywood version, with Oscar-winning actresses, sad violins on the score signaling serious drama, and a gorgeous setting, the English shore standing in for Connecticut."
Neil Minow, RogerEbert.com
"British production 'Blackbird' was shot in England, where a seaside location near Chichester substitutes semi-credibly for the purported coastal Connecticut setting. More key is the home Lily purportedly designed, a handsome, spacious spread whose clean white modernist lines are echoed by DP Mike Eley’s elegant widescreen images. Cellist Peter Gregson’s original score for chamber string ensemble (plus occasional piano) provides a discreet complement to the emotions on display."
Dennis Harvey, Variety
ENOLA HOLMES - Daniel Pemberton
"While 'Enola Holmes'' empowering feminist message might feel a little on the nose at times, the film, is nevertheless, a witty and endearing little bauble with terrific elan. Adapted by Jack Thorne ('This is England ’88,' and ''90' and 'The Scouting Book for Boys'), the writing is otherwise crisp and nimble, much like the film and Daniel Pemberton’s enthusiastic score, adds to the growing tally of captivating ingredients."
Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist
"London through the eyes of cinematographer Giles Nuttgens ('Colette,' 'Hell or High Water') is an imposing, crowded cesspool of chaos, a sharp contrast from the lush colors and warm sunshine of the countryside. Here is where 'Enola Holmes' really begins to feel like two movies functioning side by side, mostly in concert with each other. Enola is still searching for her mother -- and along the way, finds a badass underground of women fighters, led by Susan Wokoma’s formidable tea shop owner/jiujitsu trainer. But she also wants to protect Tewksbury from the dastardly forces insistent on putting him in his place, and get to the bottom of why he’s in danger. Brown’s charismatic presence goes a long way toward helping sew up these storylines neatly, as do Adam Bosman’s editing and Daniel Pemberton’s lively score."
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com
EXIT PLAN - Mikkel Hess
"Elements here, not least the 'guests'' striped pajamas (a bit eerily redolent of the concentration camp), suggest this narrative is meant not to be taken literally, but as metaphor. Either way, however, it’s too cloudy to surrender much meaning, and the aura of mystery is insufficiently potent in itself. (Not helping is Mikkel Hess' original score, whose plinking child’s-piano-exercise theme undermines the serious tenor.)"
Dennis Harvey, Variety
FEELS GOOD MAN - Ari Balouzian, Ryan Hope
"Driven by Ari Balouzian and Ryan Hope’s alternately playful, anxious and mournful score, 'Feels Good Man' offers an inside peek at the internet’s growing ability to affect and shape modern society, which often makes the film a nightmare about extremism and technology. Yet in its closing discussion of Pepe’s new role as a heartening symbol of democracy and resistance for Hong Kong protesters, it also suggests that if the figurative genie can never be put back in the bottle, he can hopefully still be transformed once more -- this time from a figure of darkness into one of light."
Nick Schager, Variety
HAMMER - Jeff Morrow
"With some additional shooting in Newfoundland, DP Mike McLaughlin’s widescreen imagery is handsome of both scenery and composition. Other design contributions are strong, including a score by Jeff Morrow that eschews straight suspense for a dissonant, nagging sense that fate is going to toy cruelly with these hapless lives no matter what."
Dennis Harvey, Variety
JUDY & PUNCH - Francois Tetaz
"With quite a simple plot, it’s not a particularly challenging or unpredictable storyline, but it’s elevated by great performances, refreshingly dry humour, bold cinematography by Stefan Duscio, and a vibrant original score by François Tétaz. I did feel 'Judy & Punch' would have benefitted from a little more backstory on the forest-dwelling outcasts and needed a little more depth to the characters, but overall it packs a powerful punch. Foulkes clearly has a deft touch, lifting the film with daring wit and polished direction. For a debut, this is some achievement, resulting in a unique concoction of the genre to create a fantastical and shocking tale with a darkly funny twist."
Zoe Margolis, CineVue
"François Tétaz’s electric ren faire score is dark enough to solidify the danger, but plucky enough to grant us the permission we need to laugh at anything too gruesome, and probably would have allowed Foulkes to push things to even further extremes if she felt compelled. But she goes far enough: The tale of Judy and Punch dovetails with (and then gleefully rejects) the puppet story on which it’s based with such frenzied zeal that we don’t even feel our initial horror curdle into bloodlust. If we can’t stop the violence of our stories from bleeding over into real life, Foulkes’ debut at least finds a singular way to punch back."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
"There’s a lot going on here, and it all gets a bit heavy-handed at times. But Foulkes certainly knows how to create a mood, helped along by a doomy score from Francois Tetaz that is mixed with everything from an electronic version of Bach’s 'Air on a G String' to 'Who by Fire,' Leonard Cohen’s elegant recitation of ways to die, which haunts a central montage."
Steve Pond, The Wrap
"Cast and crew fully commit to this skewed fairy tale, whose ingenuity of detail lifts it over the occasional obviousness of plot or message. Foulkes’ writing especially shines in the fun that’s had with fracturing archaic language, or nonverbal incongruities like a quasi-gypsy community practicing tai chi to a Leonard Cohen song. Excellent design contributions conjure equally familiar yet slightly askew takes on vaguely 18th-century mittle-Yurrup dress and decor, all handsomely captured in Stefan Duscio’s widescreen cinematography. Francois Tetaz’s score incorporates everything from lightly ironic orchestral sobriety to the odd bit of retro prog-rock."
Dennis Harvey, Variety
"To tell much more would spoil the fun, even if that sounds like an unlikely result given the above. But Foulkes manages the film's many tonal shifts with impressive nimbleness, smoothing the transitions with a subtle original score by Francois Tetaz and a quirky soundtrack that includes an electronic take on Bach's 'Air on a G String' and Leonard Cohen's 'Who by Fire.' Indeed, throughout, Foulkes and her collaborators playfully weave together period-accurate details and cheekily incongruous anachronisms, like having a squadron of characters in Renaissance dress performing tai chi moves together in the forest. Likewise, the dialogue mixes it up with archaic elocutions and more modern turns of phrase along with classic Punch and Judy lines such as 'That's how you do it,' but somehow the final effect is neither jarring nor arch. Meanwhile, Stefan Duscio's digital cinematography uses, per press notes, old-school lenses to create intentional imperfections and digital grain in post, all of which contribute to a somewhat antic 1960s or '70s cult-film vibe, as if the Monty Python troop were making a spoof of 'The Wicker Man.'"
Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter
KAJILLIONAIRE - Emile Mosseri
"Robert and Theresa Dyne (Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger, both on unusually misanthropic form) are, in whatever sense, Old Dolio’s parents. A pair of low-grade scam artists (though there’s not much artistry on display) they live by 'skimming,' which sets them apart from the rest of society, all of whom, according to Robert, are afflicted with the pointless desire to be 'kajillionaires.' In a perversely sunny, pastel-colored LA, shot in Sebastian Winterø’s sprightly photography and melodically accompanied by Emile Mosseri‘s delightful score, they’ve brought up Old Dolio as less a beloved daughter than a useful, fully brainwashed adjunct to their petty crime gang. Even her ridiculous name is the result of an unsuccessful extortion attempt, as Old Dolio explains in a sudden monologue too hilarious to spoil here."
Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
"'Kajillionaire' turns on the subtle rhythms of Emilie Mosseri’s score and a bright, sun-soaked palette that strikes an ironic juxtaposition with some of the darker developments. But its true engine is Wood, tasked with the unique challenge of playing a woman who 'doesn’t know anything about tender feelings' and shrinks into her body on default. It’s a fascinating variation on the wild-child concept, made all the more distinctive by the urban sprawl that surrounds her."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"As in 'Me and You and Everyone We Know' -- where July also explored the universal human craving for connection -- the wryly observant storyteller embraces a sense of everyday eccentricity while keeping her film’s feet firmly on the ground. Sure, the tone is unusual: neutral for a time, as July entrusts composer Emile Mosseri ('The Last Black Man in San Francisco') to carbonate the cocktail. But frequent surprises aside, it’s never too out there for audiences to relate. Think Todd Solondz without all the rape jokes. There’s also a queer twist most people won’t see coming, distracted as they’re sure to be by the family’s criminal shenanigans."
Peter Debruge, Variety
THE NEST - Richard Reed Parry
"On a formal level, it’s because, from the opening shot of the O’Haras’ well-appointed house, with its two-car garage, under a gray sky, DP Mátyás Erdély (who also shot 'Son of Saul,' and Josh Mond‘s Durkin-produced 'James White') makes 'The Nest' look almost exactly like a horror movie from the late 1970s/early 1980s, like Peter Medak‘s 'The Changeling' or that part of a slasher movie before the doomed kids have left suburbia for the cabin in the woods. Matthew Hannam‘s precise editing lets everything breathe just a beat longer than strictly necessary, as though to keep us waiting for a jump scare that never comes. And Arcade Fire‘s Richard Reed Parry, turning in his first full-length score, is clearly working from the same memo. His ’70s-inflected psychothriller compositions loop subtly broken melodies over beds of uneasy strings, only to be interrupted by bursts of perfectly selected ’80s synthpop: Bronski Beat, The Communards, New Order."
Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
"Nevertheless, Law and Coon have thrown themselves into this material with rich, measured turns that come alive in Durkin’s elegant frames. Coon in particular delivers one of her most riveting performances to date, oscillating from supportive housewife to fiery individualist, and a dance floor sequence in which she works through her rage is practically a short film unto itself. Law, meanwhile, exudes the dark comic possibilities of a man caught between his forced confidence and the embarrassing consequences of failing to come up with a plan. Set to an absorbing slow jazz score by Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Perry and assembled out of masterful long takes with 'Son of Saul' cinematographer Mátyás Erély, the drama carries an air of sophistication even when the narrative falters."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"Writer/director Sean Durkin ('Martha Marcy May Marlene') has delivered the cinematic equivalent of those substantial, long-yet-not-too-long short stories that says everything about its subject without actually saying everything; or, perhaps conversely, a poem or song that takes you through stages/aspects of a magnetic but destructive relationship (like Stephen Sondheim's 'Sorry Grateful' from 'Company,' or Bob Dylan's 'Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts' from 'Blood on the Tracks'). Durkin's script and direction are as economical and exact as they are compassionate and merciless, feeling for these characters without pandering to the audience by constantly proclaiming their lovability. The cinematography (by Mátyás Erdély), editing (by Matthew Hannam) and score (by Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry) are all on the same page, it seems. There's nothing fussy about any creative choice."
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
"Durkin writes in the film's press notes that the film was partly inspired by his own experience of transatlantic living as a kid in the '80s and '90s and how struck he was at the time by the vast cultural differences between the two places, a gap much narrowed today. The film's spooky editing rhythms and Erdely's masterful use of penumbral back lighting enhance that disjointed, out-of-kilter feeling. Meanwhile, Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry's string-led soundtrack adds a spaced-out melancholy vibe that's both classy and faintly menacing, and represents an interesting contrast to the choice cuts of vintage mid-'80s Britpop, including early tracks by The Cure, Bronski Beat and the Thompson Twins."
Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter
POSSESSOR - Jim Williams
"Untangling that hazy, convoluted storyline amidst all the heavily stylized carnage and outright nihilism may be the film’s biggest drawback, but presumably that’s exactly what Cronenberg intended. All is surreal, illusory, and forbidding. Superbly lensed by cinematographer Karim Hussain ('We are Still Here') and backed by a haunting, chilly score by composer and frequent Ben Wheatley collaborator Jim Williams, 'Possessor' is queasy-smart near-masterpiece of psychotronic slippage. Like its protagonist’s risky psychogenic recollections, it’ll stick with you whether you’d like it to or not."
Marc Savlov, The Austin Chronicle
"Jim Williams’ febrile horror score adds to the increasingly dispiriting sense that Cronenberg is less interested in complexity than in ostentatious jolts. The biggest surprise, though, isn’t found in the squishy mutilation or emotional decay. It’s in the fact that he’s blessed with a brilliant actor who allows each of her roles to possess her, and he chooses to hide her away in a lab machine."
Elizabeth Weitzman, The Wrap
"'Possessor' remains most appealing, visually and thematically, when displaying the internal tug of war between Vos and Colin, as host and parasite, respectively. To these ends, cinematographer Karim Hussain and editor Matthew Hannam craft trippy sequences utilizing lens flares and filters to overlay the faces of Colin and Vos in striking tableaus. Moreover, Cronenberg and Hussain, even in the sequences based in reality, love drenching their subjects in blue, pink, and red lighting for contemplative moods and beautiful shadows. In 'Possessor,' Cronenberg expresses a clear eye for composition while composer Jim Williams’ reliance on ambient synths heightens an eerie tense atmosphere."
Robert Daniels, The Playlist
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: Ma (Tripi), The Painted Veil (Desplat), Us (Abels), Shout at the Devil (Jarre), Noted Expert (Black), Il prigioniero (Morricone), Advise and Consent (Fielding), Stormy Weather (various), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Williams), A Dog's Journey (Isham), Bad Times at the El Royale (Giacchino), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Williams/Ross), Pet Sematary Two (Governor), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Williams), White Witch Doctor (Herrmann), King Rat (Barry), Elephant Walk/Botany Bay/Stalag 17 (Waxman), Little Fish (LaChiusa), Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" (Dvorak), Howard the Duck (Barry/Levay), The Believer Music Issue 2004 (various), Downhill Racer (Hopkins), The Good German (Newman), Silver Streak (Mancini), Monsignor (Williams), Lawrence of Arabia (Jarre), Virtuosity (Young), Lovers and Liars (Morricone), Brawl in Cell Block 99 (Herriott/Zahler)
Read: Billy Bathgate, by E.L. Doctorow
Seen: Kenneth Branagh's remake of Death on the Nile and the Ryan Reynolds-starring videogame comedy Free Guy have both been postponed from their December theatrical release dates, new dates unknown.
Watched: Dr. Renault's Secret; Star Trek: Discovery ("Into the Forest I Go"); The Haunted House ; Penny Dreadful ("Glorious Horrors"); Violent Saturday; Tales from the Crypt ("Collection Completed"); Blondes at Work; Star Trek: Discovery ("Despite Yourself"); The Frozen North ; Penny Dreadful: City of Angels ("Santa Muerte")