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Aisle Seat 9-22: Autumn Arrival Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 9/21/2020 - 10:00 PM
We’re long enough into the Blu-Ray format’s lifespan that an influx of fascinating curiosities are coming our way every month, and independent label Fun City Editions leads the way this week with a compelling, remastered release from the short-lived Atlantic Releasing Corporation. ALPHABET CITY (85 mins., 1984, R) stars Vincent Spano, fresh off “Baby It’s You” and “The Black Stallion Returns,” as a drug dealer in the rough-and-tumble NYC neighborhood of its title. After too many deals and run-ins with lowlifes, Spano’s Johnny decides it’s time to get his mother (Zora Lamphert) and sister (Jami Gertz) out from the muck before his mob overlords come for them – along with his girlfriend (Kate Vernon, daughter of “Animal House”’s Dean Wormer), an artist also taking care of their infant daughter.
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Film Score Friday 9/18/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 9/17/2020 - 10:00 PM
Music Box has announced two new releases -- the third volume of their LES B.O. INTROUVABLES series, a three-disc set featuring rare French scores by various composers (in this case Bernard Gerard, Georges Hatzinnassios, Pierre Jansen, Pino Marchese, Patrice Mestral and Michel Portal); and a disc featuring two scores by Krishna Levy (Artemisia, 8 Women), CONTRE-ENQUETE (2006) and MORDBURO (1996).


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

The Final Countdown [reissue]
- John Scott - JOS
Mulan - Harry Gregson-Williams - Disney (import)


IN THEATERS TODAY

IFC is set to open the film The Nest (score by Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire), starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon, in some parts of the country where theaters are open.

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Film Score Friday 9/11/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 9/10/2020 - 10:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is a remastered edition of their two-disc, out-of-print MUSSOLINI: THE UNTOLD STORY, the 1985 three-part miniseries starring George C. Scott as Il Duce, co-starring David Suchet, Lee Grant, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Raul Julia, Virginia Madsen, Gabriel Byrne and Robert Downey Jr. The symphonic score was composed by seven-time Emmy winner (and two-time Oscar nominee) Laurence Rosenthal.


Quartet has just released a two-disc edition of John Addison's light-hearted orchestral score for SWASHBUCKLER, the 1976 pirate adventure starring Robert Shaw, Genevieve Bujold, James Earl Jones, Peter Boyle, Beau Bridges, and Geoffrey Holder (yes, there is a big studio film where Robert Shaw is the romantic hero and James Earl Jones is his sidekick). Quartet's release features the full original score plus extra cues on Disc One, and the original 1976 LP sequencing on Disc Two.


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Der Bestatter
- Raphael Benjamin Meyer - Alhambra
Mussolini: The Untold Story [reissue] - Laurence Rosenthal - Intrada Special Collection
One Potato, Two Potato - Gerald Fried - Caldera
Outlander: Season 5 - Bear McCreary - Sony
Swashbuckler
- John Addison - Quartet

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September FSM ONLINE Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 9/10/2020 - 3:00 AM
The September edition of FSM ONLINE is now live, and as more and more films are starting to finally see a release, we've got some of our best content in months. The cover story is an interview with HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS about his score for Disney's live-action version of MULAN, premiering on Disney+ this weekend. Also this issue, LAURA KARPMAN scores HBO's LOVECRAFT COUNTRY for J. J. Abrams and Jordan Peele; JOSEPH TRAPANESE gets high on Netflix's PROJECT POWER; JAY WADLEY tackles Charlie Kaufman's I'M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS, also for Netflix; the first half of Erik Heine’s 30TH ANNIVERSARY REVUE OF THE FILM MUSIC OF 1990, featuring scores like ROBOCOP 2, DICK TRACY and QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER; a closer look at ALEXANDRE DESPLAT's underappreciated work on the recent adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN; JEREMY TURNER discusses the disturbing Netflix series IMMIGRATION NATION; WONG'S TURN goes crazy for LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA; an ALL-ALEXANDRE EAR OF THE MONTH contest; lots of album reviews, including JOHN WILLIAMS IN VIENNA, AN AMERICAN PICKLE and GEORGE FENTON: THE PIANO FRAMED; more embedded audio clips, and more. Enjoy!

Subscribers, you’ll get notification by email shortly. Or, just go here to log in. For those who want to join FSM ONLINE, go here, click on the “Subscribe” link and follow the instructions. And email us if you have any questions.

Thank you for support, especially during these trying times. Enjoy the issue, and stay safe!

Sincerely,

Your Friends at FSM ONLINE

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Aisle Seat 9-8: The 23rd Anniversary Edition!
Posted By Andy Dursin 9/7/2020 - 10:00 PM
In a weird year that’s going to end up being a patchwork of new releases and catalog titles, there’s little doubt the most noteworthy UHD package in the latter category will likely be Sony’s stupendous COLUMBIA CLASSICS VOLUME 1 (Sony). This Limited Edition deluxe set includes the premiere of no less than six varied titles from Columbia’s filmography, each one presented in glorious new 2160p HVEC encoded transfers with ample extras. As of now, the films in this gorgeous set – which also includes a bonus DVD and a glossy, photo-packed book – aren’t scheduled to be sold individually, making this the only way you can appreciate these Sony 4K restorations.
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Film Score Friday 9/4/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 9/3/2020 - 10:00 PM
La-La Land has announced three new releases for the week of September 15 - the soundrack to MUNSTER, GO HOME!, the feature film spinoff of TV's The Munsters, featuring the score by the show's composer Jack Marshall (father of producer-director Frank Marshall and composer Phil Marshall); the first release of John Powell's score for the 1999 romantic comedy FORCES OF NATURE, starring Sandra Bullock, Ben Affleck and Maura Tierney; and the third edition of the label's QUINN MARTIN COLLECTION featuring unreleased music from the shows of the veteran TV producer, this one a two-disc set with Patrick Williams' music for the long-running cop series THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO, pairing Karl Malden and Michael Douglas, and the short-lived spy series A MAN CALLED SLOANE, starring Robert Conrad and Dan O'Herlihy.


The latest release from the Varese Sarabande CD Club is a Deluxe Edition of the score to WILD WILD WEST, director Barry Sonnenfeld's infamous yet lavish 1999 feature film version of the beloved 1960s Western/spy/fantasy TV series. The surprising but inspired choice to score the film was Elmer Bernstein, who wrote some of Hollywood's greatest Western scores. Varese Sarabande released a score CD featuring 30 minutes of the film's music back in 1999; the Deluxe Edition features a whopping 76 minutes of music, including cues composed by or with Elmer's son, Peter Bernstein.

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Film Score Friday 8/28/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 8/27/2020 - 10:00 PM
The latest CD from Intrada presents the first-ever commercial release of Jerry Goldsmith's score for the modern-day gangster thriler THE DON IS DEAD. The film, released by Universal in 1973 between the two Godfather films, tells the complicated story of a mob war and stars Anthony Quinn, Frederic Forrest and the late, great Robert Forster. The film was directed by Hollywood veteran Richard Fleischer, whose electic resume includes everything from Doctor Dolittle to Mandingo and who made three science-fiction classics, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fantastic Voyage and Soylent Green; he and Goldsmith previously collaborated on Tora! Tora! Tora! and The Last Run. One of the few Goldsmith feature scores from the '70s to never receive a soundtrack release until now, The Don Is Dead features a typically exciting Goldsmith mixture of orchestra and electronics, with an original song composed by Goldsmith for the film, and the Intrada CD features the full score plus a handful of extras including an alternate version of the main title.


Varese Sarabande is expected to announce one new limited edition CD Club release today. 


Looking over the list of new films I managed to see in theaters in 2020 in the two-and-a-half months before the shutdown, I was surprised to notice that more of their scores have received vinyl-only releases (Bacurau, Emma., The Gentlemen, The Invisible Man, The Lodge, Ordinary Love, The Photograph) than have been released on CD (Birds of Prey, Color Out of Space, Gretel & Hansel, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Way Back).

Some of the latest scores to have vinyl releases announced include Terence Blanchard's score for Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, Nathan Halpern's score for Swallow, and of course the 8-LP set of Ludwig Goransson's The Mandalorian, due in November from Mondo.

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Film Score Friday 8/21/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 8/20/2020 - 10:00 PM
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Alan Howarth Live at Hollywood Theater
- Alan Howarth, John Carpenter - Buysoundtrax
Lady Beware - Craig Safan - Dragon's Domain
The Last Dalai Lama? - Philip Glass, Tenzin Choegyal - Orange Mountain
Man at the Top - Roy Budd - Caldera
The Peter Bernstein Collection vol. 1 - Peter Bernstein - Dragon's Domain
Rocco and His Brothers - Nino Rota - Quartet
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Aisle Seat 8-18: Kino Lorber August Wrap
Posted By Andy Dursin 8/17/2020 - 10:00 PM
Most gaps in Clint Eastwood’s filmography have been addressed on Blu-Ray by now, though Eastwood’s third directorial outing, BREEZY (106 mins., 1973, R; Kino Lorber), has been exclusive to international markets for several years. Kino Lorber finally rectifies this omission with the first U.S. release of the movie in high-definition, and while regarded as a minor film in which Eastwood doesn’t appear (sans a background cameo), “Breezy” is a worthwhile, affecting and highly appealing movie that’s less a “product of its time” than its premise would suggest on the surface.
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Film Score Friday 8/14/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 8/13/2020 - 10:00 PM
Quartet continues their series of expanded versions of classic Nino Rota scores with a new, two-disc edition of ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS, director Luchino Visconti's epic 1960 drama starring Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Anne Girardot, Katina Paxinou and Claudia Cardinale. The set features an expanded version of the original score plus the original LP sequencing and a handful of alternate cues.


Emmy-winning composer Billy Goldenberg died on August 4, 2020 at the age of 84. Born William Leon Goldenberg in Brooklyn, New York, his parents were both musicians – his mother was a violinist, and his father, Morris Goldenberg, was a percussionist as well as an author and a teacher at Juilliard. The younger Goldenberg began playing the piano at the age of 5, and after his graduation from Columbia College he wrote songs for the popular children’s series The Kukla, Fran and Ollie Show.

He worked steadily on Broadway productions through the 1960s.  He was the pianist and composer of incidental music for An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May, and provided dance arrangements and dance music for such Broadway musicals as 110 in the Shade (based on The Rainmaker) and Henry, Sweet Henry (based on The World of Henry Orient).

In the late 1960s, he served as musical director for the TV special Elvis ‘68 and began working for Stanley Wilson, music director at Universal Television. It was in television that he would go on to spend most of his scoring career, though he had more than a dozen feature films to his credit, including the Elvis comedy-drama Change of Habit; the coming-of-age romance Red Sky at Morning; Herbert Ross’ film version of Woody Allen’s stage hit Play It Again, Sam, the first film to pair Allen with Diane Keaton; the change-of-pace Barbra Streisand vehicle Up the Sandbox; the cult classic Hollywood murder mystery The Last of Sheila, from a screenplay by Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins; Peter Hyams’ feature directing debut Busting; Stanley Kramer’s conspiracy thriller The Domino Principle; and the comedy-drama Reuben, Reuben, which earned Tom Conti a Best Actor nomination, opposite Kelly McGillis in her first film role. (Goldenberg may be one of the few film composers of the past who still has more scores released on vinyl than on CD)

Goldenberg’s scoring career at Universal began with episodes of It Takes a Thief and the supernatural mystery movie Fear No Evil, starring Louis Jourdan (as well as its sequel, Ritual of Evil). His assignment to score the three-story pilot for Rod Serling’s Night Gallery was especially notable as one of the segments was directed by Steven Spielberg. Goldenberg would work with Spielberg again on “Murder by the Book,” the first regular episode of Columbo, “LA 2017,” the off-beat, sci-fi themed episode of The Name of the Game, and, most famously, the movie-of-the-week Duel, directed by Spielberg from a Richard Matheson teleplay and story, which was a critical and popular smash that helped propel Spielberg to his feature directing career. (Years later, Goldenberg would score three episodes of the Spielberg-produced Amazing Stories, including stories directed by Peter Hyams and Paul Bartel, and one written by Spielberg’s sister Anne, co-writer of Big).

Before scoring Spielberg’s Columbo episode, he had scored the second of the show’s two pilot movies, Ransom for a Dead Man, and his witty approach helped set the tone for the show’s music throughout its run, with his main theme showing up as a source cue in several episodes. One of Goldenberg’s most notable TV successes was the original musical Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, directed by legendary editor Sam O’Steen (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown), and starring Maureen Stapleton and Charles Durning. It won three Emmys and received 11 nominations, including an Emmy and two nominations for Goldenberg and lyricists Alan & Marilyn Bergman. Goldenberg and the Bergmans reteamed with teleplay writer Jerome Kass to adapt the film into the 1978 Broadway musical Ballroom, which marked director-choreographer Michael Bennett’s first show after A Chorus Line. The musical, starring Dorothy Loudon and Vincent Gardenia, ran for 116 performances, winning one Tony (for Choreography) and eight nominations.

Particularly during the 1970s and ‘80s, Goldenberg would become one of the most prolific and honored composers in television. He won Emmys for the Lives of Benjamin Franklin episode “The Rebel;” the miniseries King, starring Paul Winfield as MLK and Cicely Tyson as Coretta; the miniseries Rage of Angels, from the Sidney Sheldon book; and the "special musical material" for Stardust Ballroom. He earned a total of 24 Primetime Emmy nominations over the course of his career in a variety of categories, and one Daytime Emmy nomination. His memorable TV projects include the delightful theme for Banacek as well as scores for The UFO Incident, Helter Skelter, and the miniseries remake of Around the World in 80 Days. For one of his final projects, he teamed up with his friend Beatrice Arthur for the one-woman show Bea Arthur on Broadway, serving as her accompanist and receiving co-credit for the show’s conception. (Research sources for this article include the Variety obituary by Jon Burlingame and the Hollywood Reporter obituary by Mike Barnes; special thanks to Jon Burlingame for pointing out some errors in the original posted version of this column, regarding the date of Goldenberg's passing and his total Emmy wins/nominations, which have now been corrected).

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NEXT 10 >>
Film Score Monthly Online
1990 in Film Music: A 30th Anniversary Revue, Part 1
Reflections on Mulan
H.P. Karpman Country
He's Got the Power
Jay Wadley Is Thinking of Scoring Things
Revisiting Little Women
Revisiting Little Women Sidebar: The Four Faces of Desplat
ICE to Meet You
Wong's Turn: Miranda Rights
Ear of the Month Contest: All Alexandre, Vol. 2
Today in Film Score History:
September 22
Artie Kane records his score for The New Adventures of Wonder Woman episode “The Bermuda Triangle Crisis” (1977)
Charles Previn died (1973)
Chuck Wild born (1946)
Dimitri Tiomkin begins recording his score for Last Train from Gun Hill (1958)
Harry Geller’s score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Bottomless Pit” is recorded (1966)
J.A.C. Redford records his score for the Twilight Zone episode “What Are Friends For?” (1986)
Jack Shaindlin died (1978)
John Addison wins his only Emmy, for the Murder, She Wrote episode “The Murder of Sherlock Holmes;” Allyn Ferguson wins his only Emmy, for Camille (1985)
John Williams begins recording his score for Home Alone (1990)
Kenyon Hopkins begins recording his score for Downhill Racer (1969)
Konrad Elfers died (1996)
Leith Stevens records his score for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode “The Left-Handed Man” (1965)
Lenny Stack died (2019)
Nick Cave born (1957)
Pat Metheny records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Grandpa's Ghost" (1985)
Robert Mellin born (1902)
Samuel Matlovsky's score for the Star Trek episode "I, Mudd" is recorded (1967)
Tuomas Kantelinen born (1969)
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