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Beautiful Kilar
Posted By: Michael Barrett 2/16/2010 - 9:00 PM
A movie I found out of the blue this week is SALTO, a 1965 film by Tadeusz Konwicki. It's being released on DVD by Facets Video. Konwicki is known as one of Poland's most important postwar novelists, but it turns out he directed six features and one episode of an anthology, and now I'd like to see all of them.
Comments: 8  (read on)
Don't Open That Door! or, The Unexplored Land of Radio Music
Posted By: Michael Barrett 2/7/2010 - 9:00 PM
I have the impression that little is known about the place of "soundtracks" in Old Time Radio, by which I mean that I know little about it. Try Googling "radio music" and see what you get. 
Comments: 0  (read on)
Bernstein and Burnett at the Omnibus
Posted By: Michael Barrett 1/21/2010 - 9:00 PM
I'm enjoying a collection of Leonard Bernstein's lectures on the old OMNIBUS series hosted by Alistair Cooke. Bernstein embarked on these after his success with the score for ON THE WATERFRONT, as Cooke mentions in one of his introductions.
Comments: 1  (read on)
Salute to Uncle Walt . . . and Leonard Maltin
Posted By: Michael Barrett 1/3/2010 - 9:00 PM
When I was a lad, I saved my nickels and quarters until I had accrued the $6.95 necessary to order Leonard Maltin's "The Disney Films" from Publishers Central Bureau. It was the first film reference book I ever owned, the first I was determined to have.
Comments: 8  (read on)
Some Favorite DVDs of 2009
Posted By: Michael Barrett 12/28/2009 - 9:00 PM
There's no reason anyone should be interested in my favorite DVDs of 2009, so it must be perfect for a blog post! Here's an alphabetical listing of stuff I enjoyed.
Bolt, Up, Kung Fu Panda, Sita Sings the Blues--Delightful animations. You can stream SITA free from the artist's website. This is a beautiful use of music in film (sometimes comparable to YELLOW SUBMARINE), including music by Annette Hanshaw, Todd Michaelsen and others.
Comments: 3  (read on)
Stamping Out Composers
Posted By: Michael Barrett 12/15/2009 - 9:00 PM
It's been 10 years since the U.S. Postal Service issued a series of six stamps honoring classic Hollywood composers. In 1999, Bernard Herrmann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, Max Steiner, Dimitri Tiomkin, and Franz Waxman were officially en-stamped.
Comments: 0  (read on)
One Francis or Another; notes on some animated music
Posted By: Michael Barrett 11/19/2009 - 9:00 PM
Alexeieff's colorful advertising films, whose abstractions often have little direct relation to the function of the product in question, are often presented with titles and a music credit. The disc comes with a long technical booklet explaining the animation techniques but says nothing about the music, so I'm filling in a few blanks here.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Children's Choirs and Devil's Lullabies, or The Kids Aren't Alright
Posted By: Michael Barrett 10/22/2009 - 9:00 PM
Brothers and sisters, it's devil music. No, I'm not talking about rock and roll, but about two related clichés in horror scores about bad kids: the children's choir and the demonic lullaby. These subjects occurred to me when reading a reference to a children's choir used in Jonathan Elias' soundtrack to the original CHILDREN OF THE CORN. A book is waiting to be written on this subject, but I'm not writing it. In case anyone is planning to write it, however, here are a few incomplete notes.
Comments: 0  (read on)
Posted By: Michael Barrett 9/26/2009 - 9:00 PM
I'm not really such a cast-album person but neither do I eschew them. I've heard some things, he says chewing a nail. When I listen, I imagine a movie in my head, and sometimes I wish that movie had been made. Is it too late? What are shows that would film well? 
Comments: 11  (read on)
THE RISE AND FALL OF TITLE SONGS. Or, They go up-diddley-up-up, they go down-diddley-down-down
Posted By: Michael Barrett 8/25/2009 - 9:00 PM
These are the songs that play over the opening credits. There are people for whom these are the least interesting items on the soundtrack, perhaps because they're waiting for the "real" music and not these concessions to pop, conceived with an eye on the hit 45rpm and radio promotion.
Then there are those benighted ones among us who think they're a highlight!
Comments: 12  (read on)
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Today in Film Score History:
March 21
Alex North begins recording his score for Spartacus (1960)
Alexander Courage records his score for the Lost in Space episode "The Mechanical Men" (1967)
Alfred Newman wins his seventh Oscar, his second for Score, for Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1956)
Antony Hopkins born (1921)
Gary Hughes born (1922)
Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Journey’s End “ (1994)
John Williams wins his fifth Oscar, for his Schindler's List score (1994)
Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score to The Green Berets (1968)
Mort Lindsey born (1923)
Nicola Piovani wins his first Oscar, for Life is Beautiful; Stephen Warbeck wins the final Comedy or Musical Score Oscar for Shakespeare in Love (1999)
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