La-La Land is expected to announce its latest group of "Black Friday" end-of-year CD releases today.
Kronos has announced three new soundtrack releases -- the score for Roger Corman's 1957 adventure film VIKING WOMEN AND THE SEA SERPENT (whose onscreen title, amusingly enough, is actually The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Yoyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent), by B-movie great Albert Glasser; Bruno Nicolai's music for the TV documentary series CIVILTA DEL MEDITERRANEO; and Francesco DeMasi's score for another TV documentary series, L'UOMO EUROPO.
Dragon's Domain has announced four new soundtrack releases -- THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION VOL. 1, featuring the scores for QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE (by Marlin Skiles) and WORLD WITHOUT END (by Leith Stevens); THE GERALD FRIED COLLECTION VOL. 1, featuring two scores by the Oscar nominee and Emmy winner -- the 1978 TV horror movie CRUISE INTO TERROR and the U.S. score for the Mexican film SURVIVE!, inspired by the same true story as Alive; William Ross's score for the IMAX 3D film T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS; and Brian May's score for the Australian horror classic PATRICK.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has announced this year’s Grammy nominations, including the following film music-related categories:
BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
AD ASTRA - Max Richter
BECOMING - Kamasi Washington
JOKER - Hildur Guðnadóttir
1917 - Thomas Newman
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER - John Williams
BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA
“BEAUTIFUL GHOSTS” – Cats – Andrew Lloyd Webber, Taylor Swift
“CARRIED ME WITH YOU” – Onward – Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth
“INTO THE UNKNOWN – Frozen 2 – Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“NO TIME TO DIE” – No Time to Die – Billie Eilish O’Connell, Finneas Baird O’Connell
“STAND UP” – Harriet – Joshuah Brian Campbell, Cynthia Erivo
BEST COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA
Alexandre Desplat was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition for “Plumfield” from his LITTLE WOMEN score. Hildur Guðnadóttir was nominated for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for JOKER’s “Bathroom Dance.” The soundtrack to JUDY, performed by Renee Zellweger, was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
The Crown: Series 4 - Martin Phipps - Sony (import)
A Suitable Boy - Alex Heffes, Anoushka Shankar - Silva
IN THEATERS TODAY
The animated sequel The Croods: The New Age, scored by Mark Motherbaugh, is opening this week in the U.S. where theaters are still open for business.
Morricone Segreto - Ennio Morricone - Decca
The Glorias - Elliot Goldenthal - Zarathustra
Jay Sebring...Cutting to the Truth - Jeff Beal - Noteforenote
La ragazza di Trieste - Riz Ortolani - Beat
Spasmo - Ennio Morricone - Beat
News of the World - James Newton Howard - Backlot
Nine Days - Antonio Pinto - Warner (import)
Film Music 1976-2020 - Brian Eno - Astralwerks
No Time to Die - Hans Zimmer - Decca
Civilta Del Mediterraneo - Bruno Nicolai - Kronos
Gaza Mon Amour - Andre Matthias - Kronos
The Gerald Fried Collection Vol. 1 - Gerald Fried - Dragon's Domain
The Golden Age of Science Fiction Vol. 1 - Marlin Skiles, Leith Stevens - Dragon's Domain
John Williams in Vienna [CD/BluRay] - John Williams - Deutsche Grammophon
Lolita My Love [stage] - John Barry - Kritzerland
L'Uomo Europo - Francesco DeMasi - Kronos
Marple - Dominik Scherrer - Quartet
Nel Cinema e Nella Classica - Pino Donaggio - Quartet
Patrick - Brian May - Dragon's Domain
The Shepherd - Arthur Valentin Grosz - Kronos
T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous - William Ross - Dragon's Domain
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 - Digitmovies
Viking Women and the Sea Serpent - Albert Glasser - Kronos
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
November 27 - Alberto Colombo born (1888)
November 27 - Richard Stone born (1953)
November 27 - Lyle Mays born (1953)
November 27 - Arthur Honegger died (1955)
November 27 - Bernard Herrmann marries Norma Shepherd, his third and final wife (1967)
November 27 - Lalo Schifrin begins recording his score for Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You (1969)
November 27 - Nick Thorburn born (1981)
November 27 - Filip Kutev died (1982)
November 27 - Stanley Black died (2002)
November 27 - Kunio Miyauchi died (2006)
November 28 - Mario Nascimbene born (1913)
November 28 - Gato Barbieri born (1932)
November 28 - Randy Newman born (1943)
November 28 - Terry Plumeri born (1944)
November 28 - Bernard Herrmann records his score for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “Where the Woodbine Twineth” (1964)
November 28 - Joseph Mullendore records his score for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode “The Return of Blackbeard” (1967)
November 28 - Richard LaSalle records his score for the Land of the Giants episode “Home Sweet Home” (1969)
November 28 - Robert Prince records his score for the Land of the Giants episode “Nightmare” (1969)
November 28 - Laurence Rosenthal begins recording his score to Clash of the Titans (1980)
November 28 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Elementary, Dear Data” (1988)
November 28 - Jerry Goldsmith records his music for the Judge Dredd trailer (1994)
November 29 - Chuck Mangione born (1940)
November 29 - Recording sessions begin on Herbert Stothart’s score for Hills of Home (1947)
November 29 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score to Moonfleet (1954)
November 29 - Erich Wolfgang Korngold died (1957)
November 29 - Russell Garcia begins recording his score for Atlantis the Lost Continent (1960)
November 29 - Alexander Courage's score to the second Star Trek pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," is recorded (1965)
November 29 - Carl Stalling died (1972)
November 29 - George Harrison died (2001)
November 29 - Shirley Walker died (2006)
November 29 - Allan Zavod died (2016)
November 30 - Gordon Parks born (1912)
November 30 - Edward Artemyev born (1937)
November 30 - Victor Young begins recording his score for September Affair (1949)
November 30 - Christophe Beck born (1972)
December 1 - Peter Thomas born (1925)
December 1 - Gerald Fried records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Diplomat” (1968)
December 1 - Laurence Rosenthal begins recording his score to Heart Like a Wheel (1982)
December 1 - John Williams begins recording his replacement score for Rosewood (1996)
December 1 - Stephane Grappelli died (1997)
December 2 - Harry Sukman born (1912)
December 2 - Eddie Sauter born (1914)
December 2 - Milton Delugg born (1918)
December 2 - Cyril Ornadel born (1924)
December 2 - Artie Butler born (1942)
December 2 - Michael Whalen born (1965)
December 2 - Lennie Hayton records his score for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode “The Monster from Outer Space” (1965)
December 2 - Gerald Fried's score to the Star Trek episode "Shore Leave" is recorded (1966)
December 2 - Richard Markowitz begins recording his music for the three-part Mission: Impossible episode “The Falcon,” his final scores for the series (1969)
December 2 - Francois-Eudes Chanfrault born (1974)
December 2 - John Williams begins recording his score for Midway (1975)
December 2 - Aaron Copland died (1990)
December 3 - Nino Rota born (1911)
December 3 - Karl de Groof born (1923)
December 3 - Franz Waxman begins recording his score for Woman of the Year (1941)
December 3 - Christopher Slaski born (1974)
December 3 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score to McQ (1973)
December 3 - Adam Wingard born (1982)
December 3 - Hoyt Curtin died (2000)
December 3 - Dee Barton died (2001)
December 3 - Derek Wadsworth died (2008)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
BEATS - JD Twitch (Keith McIvor)
"Carried along by JD Twitch’s ethereal score and electrified by occasional jolts of period-appropriate club music (The Prodigy, Orbital, LFO, etc.), 'Beats' alternately plays out like a thumping character study and a bittersweet mood piece. The drab, angry, morning-after aesthetic proves transportive as Welsh adds such a visceral new dimension to the 'I was there' power of the film’s source material that it’s hard to believe this all came out of a one-man play (by co-writer Kieran Hurley). But the story is only so transportive because of the ultra-believable friendship between Johnno and Spanner, a friendship which -- like the music scene that defines it -- is fighting an unwinnable war of attrition against 'social responsibility.' Ortega and Macdonald are phenomenal foils for each other, and the more resigned Johnno gets, the more desperate Spanner is to keep the party going."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
FOLLOWED - Jason Soudah
"Despite the fictive Lennox’s fearsome rep, there’s nothing visually atmospheric about this hotel setting, with its generic rooms and hallways. Nor do some glitchy visual effects add much more than sensory clutter. One plus is Jason Soudah’s original score, which at least provides some of the queasy suspense generally lacking in the action itself."
Dennis Harvey, Variety
HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD - Matija Strišna
"The first moments in 'House of Hummingbird' lay the groundwork for the simmering domestic strife to come. Shot with the intimacy of a handheld confessional, the opening scene begins with Eun-hee returning home after another day of 8th grade only to find herself locked out of her family’s apartment on the umpteenth floor of some anonymous tower. 'I’m here!' she wails against the door, but we’re the only ones who are able to hear her. The camera zooms out over the city to make Eun-hee look as small as she feels -- it might all be too sad if not for the synth hug of Matija Strišna’s Purity Ring-adjacent score, which promises the film’s protagonist a self-understanding that still feels like it’s a long way off."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
MY DARLING VIVIAN - Ian A. Hughes
"All of them -- singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, Kathy Cash Tittle, Cindy Cash and Tara Cash Schwoebel (who's credited as co-producer) -- are compelling interviewees, their anecdotes sharp and tender. Firstborn Rosanne, who's also an author, brings a writerly precision to her reminiscences, and also a psychotherapy veteran's insights. Given the richness and wisdom of the women's recollections, the score might have been more judiciously used; its Satie-esque strains can provide the perfect punctuation, but at times it competes with the storytelling rather than enhancing it."
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
NOBODY KNOWS I’M HERE - Carlos Cabezas Rocuant
"A lot of that mood is delivered by Larraín regular Sergio Armstrong’s marvelous, murdery camerawork, which occupies his usual half-lit register and suggests a mountainous malevolence lurking somewhere nearby, prowling through the eerie forests, drifting implacably over steel-gray waters, or framing Memo, dressed in a yellow slicker like the doomed kid in a Stephen King book, against the roaring blur of a waterfall. Carlos Cabezas Rocuant’s score, too, with its glimmering strings and far-off bells, leans toward the mysterious, despite there being no huge mystery here, except maybe the mystery of why this is all so mysterious. Surreal sequences that may or may not be actually happening also give us some striking imagery, like an inexplicably beautiful overhead shot of Memo vomiting up a viscous liquid that spreads around him in a dark pink corona as he retches. And occasional flourishes, like a cut between a high drone shot and an actual drone dropping unexpectedly down in front of Memo, have a welcome wittiness, even if they belong in a spikier film."
Jessica Kiang, Variety
THE OUTPOST - Larry Groupé
"Awash with the ominous tones of Larry Groupé’s score (which restrains itself from full-chested military bravado until the very end), every set-up is framed in a way that conditions you to expect a sudden jolt of violence. Sometimes it stays quiet, and other times major characters are sniped down with little fanfare. The savage grace of the battle choreography is sustained far longer than your nerves can take it, and the result is some of the most intense modern combat footage this side of 'Black Hawk Down.' Understanding that some of the wannabe young Rambos watching this at home might want to partake in the action, Lurie emphasizes valor over victory whenever he can, and that -- to quote one character -- 'it doesn’t matter what kind of soldier you are' when the army hangs you out to dry. 'Dead bodies attract dead bodies' is a common refrain here, and those words radiate off the screen."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
SYNCHRONIC - Jimmy LaValle
"What’s most striking about the filmmakers this time around is their tremendous sense of cinematic confidence. They never question if their audience is going to follow them along this strange, curlicued path; we’re dying to see where they’re going, and they goose things along with strategic deployment of Jimmy LaValle’s (aka ambient indie artist The Album Leaf) pulsing, coiling score, and the script’s little bursts of humor, loaded like landmines. The performances are all rich and lived-in (even Dornan is good), but Mackie really is the star of the movie, and shines in it. Those Marvel movies pay the rent, sure, but it feels like we’re losing out on some terrific performances while he’s twiddling his thumbs on green-screen stages in Atlanta."
Jason Bailey, The Playlist
"Mackie and '50 Shades'' Dornan can’t sell such flimsy material, though they do bring some charm and sincerity to the two men’s grumpily codependent buddy dynamic. 'Synchronic' is more accomplished in its packaging than its content, even if Jimmy LaValle’s pervasive original score sometimes obscures dialogue, and the decent visual design factors (including Moorhead’s widescreen lensing) have their own issues."
Dennis Harvey, Variety
VOLITION - Matthew Rogers
"It’s not the most profound, spectacular, funny or novel of recent time-travel movies. But it’s the one that best exploits this subgenre’s twisty potential while remaining faithful to the tenor and aesthetic of a traditional, enjoyably humble crime meller. The sci-fi angle that separates it from a noirish 1940s B-pic or a street-smart 1970s thriller is underlined by Matthew Rogers’s pulsing synth score."
Dennis Harvey, Variety
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA - Evgueni Galperine, Sacha Galperine
"With names and identities hidden to keep the subjects safe, France and cinematographers Askold Kurov and Derek Wiesehahn earn unprecedented access to survivors of Chechnya’s targeted persecution. His documentary shows horrifying photographic evidence of torture, and listens intently when a survivor calmly shares his horrifying experience of watching others die or brutalized by police with his shocked boyfriend. Interspersed throughout the documentary are activist-obtained videos showing what’s at stake for those who don’t leave in time: a cruel death at the hands of strangers or worse, their families. The images cut to black before gruesome endings, but the cruelty is unmistakable. Evgueni Galperine and Sacha Galperine score the film with a discordant, uneasy sound, the kind of off-putting rhythm to make a viewer uncomfortable listening as they are watching the horrors unfold."
Monica Castillo, RogerEbert.com
"'Welcome to Chechnya' can at times feel like an odd composite of a raw humanitarian undertaking punctuated by either unnecessary surveillance videos of homophobic attacks or overtly slick talking-head testimonials recorded inside a sterile studio, a very different type of heterotopia to that of the shelter. The suspenseful music can also feel out of place, or maybe just redundant, as the human drama is overwhelming and sufficiently immersive without it. (Madeleine Sackler’s 'Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus,' though set in a different region and portraying a different sort of queerness, the lethal crackdown on experimental theater artists, is an example of how unvarnished aesthetics in service of capturing unvarnished living can be a more coherent, and even ethical, approach.)"
Diego Semerene, Slant Magazine
"In parallel with this disclosure, he becomes the only subject in the film to let slip his real name and his digital mask -- one of several deftly applied by VFX supervisor Ryan Laney, with only fleeting blurs and seams to betray the illusion. The dissolution of his computerized face, in the midst of an impassioned press conference with Russian media, is the one gasp-inducing moment of showmanship in a film that otherwise deploys clean, no-fuss shooting and cutting to gripping effect. Otherwise, the only flashes of cinematic artifice come via the cold, quick pulse of Evgueni and Sacha Galperine’s score at the most white-knuckle moments in proceedings."
Guy Lodge, Variety
"All this is chilling stuff, given trenchant treatment by France and his co-writer and editor Tyler H. Walk, who make judicious use of the score by brothers Evgueni and Sacha Galperine to heighten dramatic tension at appropriate moments. The film balances cold indignation over the barbarism being allowed to continue with scorching emotional impact in the personal stories."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
YUMMY - Nico Renson
"Once 'Yummy' kicks off its apocalypse by introducing this patient zero, that’s when things start to get really bad. As it mounts chaos, a lighting style that’s meant to be dynamic instead becomes monotonous: some parts of a room have a tinge of orange, or some have blue. The pacing takes on the same plain quality, as sometimes they scurry through a chase sequence, sometimes they have bare dialogue that slightly gives them more slightly personality than the zombies. The two-note guitar riff that chugs along during any action scenes starts to feel like an inside joke."
Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (Scott), Garden of Evil (Herrmann), Battle for the Planet of the Apes (Rosenman), The Miracle Worker (Rosenman), The Curse of Frankenstein/The Horror of Dracula (Bernard), Succession (Britell), First Daughter Suite (LaChiusa), Mars: Season Two (Reitzell), Hovhaness Treasures (Hovhaness), The Other Side of the Wind (Legrand), Betty Page - Danger Girl (various), Motherless Brooklyn (Pemberton), Crawl (Aruj/Thum), King Solomon's Mines (Goldsmith), The Amazing Mr. Blunden (Bernstein), Villa Rides! The Western Film Music of Maurice Jarre (Jarre), Bloodline (Morricone), A Tribute to Michael Kamen (Kamen), Young Sherlock Holmes (Broughton), Dora and the Lost City of Gold (Debney/Franco), The Egyptian (Newman/Herrmann), Apollo 13 (Horner), QBVII (Goldsmith), An American Tail (Horner), Street Scene (Weill), Batteries Not Included (Horner), The Orchestral Music of Charles Ives (Ives), The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Horner), Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits 1955 (various)
Read: The Snapper, by Roddy Doyle
Seen: Warner Bros. has announced that Wonder Woman 1984 is still planning to be released in theaters on Christmas day of this year, but will also begin streaming simultaneously.
Watched: The Farmer's Wife; Star Trek: Discovery ("Vaulting Ambition"); Westworld ("Trompe L'oeil"); The High Sign ; Silicon Valley ("Minimum Viable Product")