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CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Accident Man
 - Sean Murray - Dragon's Domain
Advise and Consent 
- Jerry Fielding - Kritzerland
Firewalker - Gary Chang - Varese Sarabande
Giuda Uccide Il Venderi
 - Nico Fidenco - Kronos
Here We Go Again, Rubinot 
- Andrew Powell - Kronos
The Prisoner of Zenda - Henry Mancini - La-La Land
The Return of Swamp Thing
 - Chuck Cirino - Dragon's Domain
Slender Man - Ramin Djawadi, Brandon Campbell - Sony [CD-R] 


IN THEATERS TODAY

Alpha - Joseph S. DeBeasi, Michael Stearns
Benched - Jared Faber
Crazy Rich Asians - Brian Tyler
Down a Dark Hall - Victor Reyes 
Juliet, Naked - Nathan Larson - Soundtrack CD due Aug. 17 on Milan
Mile 22 - Jeff Russo
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich - Fabio Frizzi
The Wife - Jocelyn Pook


COMING SOON

August 24
The Darkest Minds
 - Benjamin Wallfisch - Milan
Hurricane
 - Nino Rota - Varese Sarabande
Legion: Season 2
 - Jeff Russo - Lakeshore
Westworld: Season 2 - Ramin Djawadi - WaterTower
August 31
Animal Crackers - Bear McCreary - Sony (import)
Jack Ryan - Ramin Djawadi - La-La Land
Kin - Mogwai - Rock Action (import)
Le Stagioni Del Nostro Amore/Padre di Famiglia
 - Carlo Rustichelli - Saimel

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
 - Roque Banos - Saimel
M'esperaras?
 - Arnau Bataller - Saimel
Q - The Winged Serpent
 - Robert O. Ragland - Kronos
Saving Private Ryan - John Williams - La-La Land
Yellowstone - Brian Tyler - Sony [CD-R]
September 7
Christopher Robin - Geoff Zanelli, Jon Brion (import)
Sounder 
- Taj Mahal - Varese Sarabande
Septmeber 14
Doctor Who: The Five Doctors
 - Peter Howell - Silva
Unbroken: Path to Redemption
- Brandon Roberts - Universal
September 21
White Boy Rick - Max Richter - Deutsche Grammophon
Date Unknown
Doctor Who: The Invasion
 - Don Harper, Brian Hodgson - Silva
Mission: Impossible - Fallout - Lorne Balfe - La-La Land
Not Afraid, Not Afraid
 - Gabriel Yared - Caldera


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

August 17 - Lisa Coleman born (1960)
August 17 - Ernest Gold bgins recording his score for A Child Is Waiting (1962)
August 17 - John Williams begins recording his score for Black Sunday (1976)
August 17 - Johnny Harris records his score for The New Adventures of Wonder Woman episode “The Deadly Sting” (1978)
August 18 - Igo Kantor born (1930)
August 18 - John Debney born (1956)
August 18 - Tan Dun born (1957)
August 18 - Stuart Matthewman born (1960)
August 18 - Artie Kane records his score for The New Adventures of Wonder Woman episode “The Return of Wonder Woman” (1977)
August 18 - Robert Russell Bennett died (1981)
August 18 - Jack Elliott died (2001)
August 18 - Elmer Bernstein died (2004)
August 19 - Fumio Hayasaka born (1914)
August 19 - Herman Stein born (1915)
August 19 - Luchi De Jesus born (1923)
August 19 - William Motzing born (1937)
August 19 - Ray Cooper born (1942)
August 19 - Gustavo Santaolalla born (1951)
August 19 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for Desire Under the Elms (1957)
August 19 - Andre Previn begins recording his score to The Subterraneans (1959)
August 19 - Recording sessions begin for Bronislau Kaper's score for BUtterfield 8 (1960)
August 19 - Alexander Courage's score for the Star Trek episode "The Man Trap" is recorded (1966)
August 19 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to The Illustrated Man (1968)
August 19 - Jerry Fielding records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Controllers” (1969)
August 19 - Lalo Schifrin begins recording his score for Telefon (1977)
August 19 - Luchi De Jesus died (1984)
August 19 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Equinox, Part II” (1999)
August 19 - Geoff Zanelli wins the Emmy for Into the West; Sean Callery wins his second Emmy, for the 24 episode “Day 5: 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.”; Edward Shearmur wins for Masters of Horror’s main title theme (2006) 
August 20 - Raoul Kraushaar born (1908)
August 20 - Alain Goraguer born (1931)
August 20 - Stelvio Cipriani born (1937)
August 20 - Isaac Hayes born (1942)
August 20 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Naked Now" (1987)
August 21 - Constant Lambert died (1951)
August 21 - Basil Poledouris born (1945)
August 21 - Recording sessions begin for Hugo Friedhofer’s score for Two Flags West (1950)
August 21 - Joe Strummer born (1952)
August 21 - Walter Schumann died (1958)
August 21 - Gerald Fried records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Widow” (1967)
August 21 - Angelo Francesco Lavagnino died (1987)
August 21 - Richard Band begins recording his score for Robo Warriors (1996)
August 21 - Alex Wurman wins the Emmy for his Temple Grandin score; Sean Callery wins his third Emmy, for the 24 episode score “Day 8: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman win for Nurse Jackie’s main title theme (2010)
August 22 - Stanislas Syrewicz born (1946)
August 22 - Bronislau Kaper begins recording his score for Ride, Vaquero! (1952)
August 22 - Johnny Green begins recording his score for Twilight of Honor (1963)
August 22 - James Dooley born (1976)
August 22 - Bruce Broughton begins recording his score for This Girl for Hire (1983)
August 22 - John Williams begins recording his score for the Amazing Stories episode "The Mission" (1985)
August 23 - Constant Lambert born (1905)
August 23 - Martial Solal born (1927)
August 23 - Ian Fraser born (1933)
August 23 - Willy Russell born (1947)
August 23 - Julian Nott born (1960)
August 23 - Alexandre Desplat born (1961)
August 23 - Howard Blake begins recording his score for S.O.S. Titanic (1979)
August 23 - Marvin Hatley died (1986)
August 23 - David Rose died (1990)
August 23 - Jurriaan Andriessen died (1996)

DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

BERLIN SYNDROME - Bryony Marks

"The film never explains why Clare finds this encounter so cathartic. She and Andi discuss their interests -- Klimt, photography, GDR-era architecture -- but little about their pasts. Their chemistry is both intellectual and primal, and Shortland uses dim natural lighting, fractured close-ups, and a sparse yet brilliantly cerebral soundtrack by Bryony Marks to enhance its mysterious allure. Once their stark yet steamy courtship suddenly transforms into a relationship of captivity and dominance, Shaun Green’s screenplay (adapted from the novel by Melanie Joosten) pointedly refuses to dig into Clare’s background or relationship history. Now a prisoner, her life is arrested by circumstance until she finds a way out of Andi’s East Berlin apartment. Tucked inside a courtyard in a forlorn and otherwise abandoned building, her jail is heavily secured with an iron lock and double-paned windows."
 
Christopher Gray, Slant Magazine
 
"As Andi and Clare spend a couple afternoons and evenings exploring Berlin, Shortland uses gauzy visuals and slow motion to capture the disorienting, intoxicating sensation of discovering a new place and a new person. But Clare doesn’t really know Andi -- or anyone else in the city, or even the language, for that matter -- when she finally goes home with him to his modest apartment. The unsettling, electronic score from Bryony Marks provides a tense undertone as he’s undressing and pleasuring her. What should be sexy and thrilling ends up being eerie and frightening."
 
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com
 
"After a few somewhat clever jolts in the opening third of the film (including a shocker when Clare finds a clump of blonde hair in the shower drain, which makes her realize she’s not his first victim), Shortland spends the next hour putting Palmer through a repetitive loop of attempted escapes that don’t pan out while giving the ominous lower-register piano keys of her film’s composer a workout. A subplot about Andi’s relationship with his sick and withholding father goes nowhere interesting and certainly doesn’t explain how he turned into a monster."
 
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

"There’s nothing wrong with a simplistic thriller, but 'Berlin Syndrome' has the trappings of a movie that aspires to something more. The drifty camera and the droning music create a curiously ethereal mood that undercuts the tension. Shortland has used similar devices in her earlier works, the coming-of-age film 'Somersault' (2004) and the wartime drama 'Lore' (2012). In both those movies, such stylization held us suspended between subjectivity and detachment, and the gambit worked. As 'Berlin Syndrome' proceeds, however, we start to feel like we’re drowning in atmosphere, and it gets harder and harder to stay interested in what happens next."
 
Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

"Editor Jack Hutchings can take a bow for the film’s slinky, insidious rhythm, but the movie is technically pristine in every department, from Bryony Marks’ highly inventive, selective score to Melinda Doring’s carefully thought-out production design -- the spatial dynamics and restrictions of which cruelly turn Clare’s professed passion for GDR architecture against her. McMicking’s camerawork, finally, is dazzling throughout, manipulating framing and focus to portray Clare’s boxy surroundings as a patchwork landscape of forbidden and permitted spaces, and seeking soul-relieving beauty wherever it can: As seen through Clare’s eyes, a dismal string of Christmas lights carries all the radiant promise of the outside world."
 
Guy Lodge, Variety
 
"Shortland handles the foreshadowing skillfully, not just with an assist from composer Bryony Marks' unsettling electronic score, but in moments like the couple's rapturous first sexual experience together in the otherwise abandoned apartment block where Andi lives. Encouraging her moans of pleasure, he says with ominous undertones, 'No one will hear you.' From the start, it's clear this will not be a fine romance, a threat amplified in the insidious framing of Germain McMicking's moody widescreen visuals, whether capturing buildings, spaces or bodies."
 
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
 
EQUALS - Dustin O'Halloran, Sascha Ring

"Finally, a cure for the incurable romantic. Drake Doremus‘ 'Equals,' starring Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart and presumably sponsored by Tide White & Bright, is a film that might just make you hate love. Rather like being trapped on the set of 'The Island' with a pair of obnoxiously lovesick naifs and only the 'Equilibrium' script to distract you, its few saving graces are some decent shot-making, a rather great score and the loveliness of its lead actors’ faces. But while Hoult and Stewart as the star cross’d Silas and Nia are both as committed as they’ve ever been, it feels like they committed to a much better film: Nathan Parker‘s script, as outlined by Doremus, gives them nothing to work with save for some tired 'Romeo and Juliet' beats and recycled 'emotionless dystopia' cliches. It’s exactly as much fun as hanging out with a new couple who can’t stop making googoo eyes at each other, smug in the unshakeable belief that no one in the world has ever felt they way they do before. Yes, Nia and Silas are That Couple. Sometimes there’s some nice framing; sometimes pulsating colored lights give a woozy look to things and allow otherwise staid conversations carried out in corridors to look silhouetted and pretty. Dustin O’Halloran and Sascha Ring/Apparat‘s score is so good that occasionally you can close your eyes and think you’re listening to a pretty decent ambient electronica album. And again, for the record, Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult are as good as they could possibly be in a film this wan, this involved in its own insistent winsomeness."
 
Jessica Kiang, IndieWire
 
"And still the movie dithers in aestheticized reverie, with Doremus giving us longing, shaky close-ups against beds of plangent electronica, then giving us some more. Maybe he’s consciously denying us the satisfactions of genre -- pointedly not letting his story go the way of 'Logan’s Run' or 'The Giver.' But he’s not exactly filling the void that’s left with anything revelatory, either. Doremus doesn’t even seem all that interested in taking us into the nooks and crannies of this not-so-strange and not-so-brave new world."
 
Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice
 
"In fact, none of the writer-director’s collaborators are given the freedom to display their gifts. That’s most egregiously true of composer Dustin O’Halloran, whose plaintive piano opuses have been the heart and soul of Doremus’ earlier films; here, he delivers some anonymous ambient fuzz and calls it a day."
 
David Ehrlich, IndieWire

"From Doremus’ side of things, it can’t be easy to depict something as subtle as 'intermittent feeling' or 'increased sensitivity,' though the helmer does a fine job of laying the groundwork for the attraction blooming between Silas and Nia -- boosted by the resonant collection of electronic tones and chimes that constitute 'Equals'' futuristic score. In time, the film will introduce other 'Defects' (as those more sentimentally inclined members of society are called), including Australian actors Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver, who give two of the most subdued performances of their respective careers."
 
Peter Debruge, Variety

MANIFESTO - Nils Frahm, Ben Lukas Boysen

"Music by the German electro-classical composer Nils Frahm and Ben Lukas Boysen hums over long, elegant shots that dwell as much on the movie’s environments as on its star. Cinematographer Christoph Krauss gives us the concrete ruins of modernist innovation in architecture; a recursive, Escher-like stock market floor; a funeral procession in a cold wood. The puppeteer scene features the work of puppet-master Suse Wächter, who has produced a tiny version of Cate Blanchett that exactly has her smile."
 
Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic

"Her characters are, in order of screen appearance: a raving hobo, a high-speed trader (in the Futurism segment), a blue-collar sanitation worker, a CEO, a punk rocker, a scientist, a funeral speaker, a puppeteer (complete with Cate Blanchett-styled puppet, designed by Suse Wächter), a choreographer, a newsreader, and a teacher. Blanchett interprets them as archetypes, not fully realized human beings, transcending both gender and class as she gazes directly into the camera lens, the transformations aided by makeup artist Morag Ross and hair designer Massimo Gattabrusi. As the movie morphs before our eyes, Blanchett’s voice offers the semblance of continuity, aided by Nils Frahm and Ben Lukas Boysen’s equally chameleonic score."
 
Peter Debruge, Variety
 
"Incredibly, 'Manifesto' was shot in only 12 days and looks like a million dollars, with production design Erwin Prib doing a particularly good job of finding breathtaking and very different locations in and around Berlin. Nils Frahm and Ben Lukas Boysen’s versatile score completes the package."
 
Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter

THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.

Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPASAmerican Cinematheque: AeroAmerican Cinematheque: EgyptianArclight, Arena CineloungeLACMALaemmleNew BeverlyNuart and UCLA.

August 17
APOCALYPSE NOW (Carmine Coppola, Francis Coppola) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
BILLY MADISON (Randy Edelman), THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY [Arena Cinelounge]
BOWFINGER (David Newman), BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE (Peer Raben) [Arena Cinelounge]
STAR 80 (Ralph Burns), LENNY (Ralph Burns) [UCLA]
SUPER TROOPERS (38 Special) [Nuart]
THX 1138 (Lalo Schifrin), DUEL (Billy Goldenberg) [Cinematheque: Aero]

August 18
BLUE VELVET (Angelo Badalamenti), RIVER'S EDGE (Jurgen Kneiper) [Cinemathque: Egyptian]
DUMB AND DUMBER (Todd Rundgren), Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN [Arena Cinelounge]
THE MASK (Randy Edelman), EYES WITHOUT A FACE (Maurice Jarre) [Arena Cinelounge]
THE PAJAMA GAME (Richard Adler, Jerry Ross, Nelson Riddle, Buddy Bregman), DAMN YANKEES (Richard Adler, Jerry Ross, Ray Heindorf) [UCLA]
PLAYTIME (Francis Lemarque) [Cinematheque: Aero]
SHE DONE HIM WRONG [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

August 19
THE DEER HUNTER (Stanley Myers) [Cinematheque: Aero]
EDTV (Randy Edelman), SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM: TAKE ONE (Miles Davis) [Arena Cinelounge]
NIGHT TIDE (David Raksin), EASY RIDER [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED (John Barry), THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (Peter Gabriel) [Arena Cinelounge]

August 20
BILLY MADISON (Randy Edelman), THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY [Arena Cinelounge]
COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE (Yoko Kanno) [Arclight Hollywood]
SAVING SILVERMAN (Mike Simpson), FUNNY GAMES [Arena Cinelounge]

August 21
THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT (Guy Gross) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (David Newman) [Arclight Santa Monica]
BOWFINGER (David Newman), BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE (Peer Raben) [Arena Cinelounge]
EDTV (Randy Edelman), SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM: TAKE ONE (Miles Davis) [Arena Cinelounge]
FARGO (Carter Burwell) [Arclight Culver City]
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (Howard Shore) [Arclight Hollywood]
TOO WISE WIVES [LACMA]
THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (Max Steiner) [Arclight Sherman Oaks]

August 22
DUMB AND DUMBER (Todd Rundgren), Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN [Arena Cinelounge]
THE JOY LUCK CLUB (Rachel Portman) [AMPAS]
THE MAKIOKA SISTERS (Shinnosuke Okawa, Toshiyuki Watanabe) [Laemmle Royal]
THE MAKIOKA SISTERS (Shinnosuke Okawa, Toshiyuki Watanabe) [Laemmle Town Center-5]
PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED (John Barry), THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (Peter Gabriel) [Arena Cinelounge]

August 23
LICENCE TO KILL (Michael Kamen) [Laemmle NoHo]
THE MASK (Randy Edelman), EYES WITHOUT A FACE (Maurice Jarre) [Arena Cinelounge]
NOSTALGHIA [Cinematheque: Aero]
SAVING SILVERMAN (Mike Simpson), FUNNY GAMES [Arena Cinelounge]

August 24
ANDREI RUBLEV (Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov) [Cinematheque: Aero]
BLUEBEARD'S EIGHTH WIFE (Frederick Hollander, Werner R. Heymann), THE MERRY WIDOW (Franz Lehar, Herbert Stothart) [UCLA]
THE MUPPET MOVIE (Paul Williams, Kenny Ascher) [Nuart]

August 25
DUNE (Toto) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
KISS ME, KATE (Cole Porter, Andre Previn, Saul Chaplin), MY SISTER EILEEN (Jule Styne, George Duning, Morris Stoloff) [UCLA]
SOLARIS (Edward Artemyev) [Cinematheque: Aero]
TWO FOR THE ROAD (Henry Mancini) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
WHITE CHRISTMAS (Irving Berlin, Van Cleave, Joseph J. Lilley) [UCLA]

August 26
THE LITTLE PRINCE (Frederick Loewe, Angela Morley, Douglas Gamley) [UCLA]
SHANE (Victor Young) [Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts]
SOUTH PACIFIC (Richard Rodgers, Alfred Newman) [Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts]
STALKER (Edward Artemyev) [Cinemathqeque: Aero]
THE WILD BUNCH (Jerry Fielding) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]


THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY

It happens more often than one would like to admit that the things that one loved as a child don't always hold up when viewed again as an adult. The Avengers was one of my favorite shows in my youth, and though I still enjoy watching it now, particularly for Laurie Johnson's music and Diana Rigg's amazing Emma Peel, I couldn't actually argue that it's especially good.

On the other hand, I've been re-watching the first season of the original Star Trek for the first time in decades, and I am shocked at how genuinely great the earliest episodes are. I know I shouldn't be so shocked -- Star Trek has been one of the most important cultural touchstones of my life from childhood, followed by (in more or less chronological order) James Bond movies, Ray Harryhausen, Hitchcock and film scores. But watching those first Treks again, I wasn't feeling just nostalgia but amazement about how much better the episodes were than I'd remembered.

With one small caveat -- in the first seven episodes I watched, there were three different episodes where the regulars had to content with "evil" doubles -- in The Man Trap, the salt vampire takes on McCoy's appearance (at one point the episode was almost titled "The Unreal McCoy"); in The Enemy Within, a transporter accident creates a "good" Kirk and a "bad" Kirk; and in What Are Little Girls Made Of?, Kirk is temporarily replaced by an android double. Three doubles in the first seven episodes -- that's some pretty sloppy show-running (or whatever they called show-running in the mid-60s).

That said, one of the most effective things about these earliest episodes is that they are all to some degree thrillers or even horror stories. I've long thought Charlie X was the all-time best episode -- it takes a basic sci-fi/horror premise (strongly reminiscent of the classic short story "It's a Good Life," immortalized on a Twilight Zone episode and remade by Joe Dante for the feature) and balances the genuinely disturbing thriller elements with exceptionally well written and acted character-based scenes, dominated by Robert Walker Jr.'s stunning performance with Shatner and Grace Lee Whitney interacting with him expertly, culminating in a tragic but inevitable finale. But watching these early episodes again, I'm convinced that the other ones are nearly as strong -- partly due to the contributions of such top genre writers as Robert Bloch, George Clayton Johnson and Richard Matheson.  

The Man Trap, the first one aired but not the first one shot, is a particular favorite, with its ambitiously mind-bending opening scene (with three crew members each seeing a different "Nancy") to its disturbing undertones (is the salt vampire actually Dr. Crater's lover?). The Naked Time impressed me for its mixture of suspense and genuine laughs -- Nimoy's deadpan reading of "Take d'Artagnan here to sickbay" after subduing the sword-wielding Sulu was a particular highlight. 

Even episodes I hadn't especially enjoyed in the past seemed especially strong. Dagger of the Mind is a well-plotted paranoid thriller (though I'm still unclear on how Dr. Adams changed from a humanitarian to a brain-washing torturer -- maybe the casting of the Manchurian Candidate himself, James Gregory, was suppose to answer that), while Miri has a clever set-up that could form the basis of a modern-day zombie movie (like 28 Days Later), a young adult dystopian thriller, or both (so it's basically Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, without the CGI).

I suspect viewers tend to mock the rec-room scenes in the early episodes -- the singing, the 3-dimensional chess -- but these are actually some of my favorite moments in the series. Before the show started focusing so singly on the lead trio (rumored to be due to one star's ego), there was much more of a sense of the Enterprise as a place where people actually lived, with crew members who flirted, played games, sang songs. 

One of my favorite things about the show is of course the wonderful scoring, by the likes of Alexander Courage, George Duning, Jerry Fielding, Gerald Fried, Sol Kaplan and Fred Steiner. I've come to wonder if my exposure to this music at such a young age had a big influence on my tastes in film scores -- Fred Steiner has always had a rather Herrmann-esque sound (especially in his Twilight Zone eposides), and his Star Trek music might be why I responded so eagerly to the first Herrmann score I remember noticing, The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Thrilling as it has been for me to watch episodes I've known for nearly a half century and feel like I'm seeing them for the first time, I suspect this enthusiasm won't last. I happened to catch some of The Return of the Archons and Errand of Mercy on local TV while visiting the Bay Area, and they didn't seem nearly as strong or memorable as these early episodes, and Spock's Brain is as bad as its reputation would have it.

Still, the greatness of those early episodes, especially compared to some of the other old sci-fi shows I've been watching (Lost in Space, UFO, Space: 1999), has been truly inspiring.

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