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Aisle Seat 8-4: August Arrival Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 8/3/2020 - 10:00 PM
Long one of the most reliably poor-looking Abbott & Costello films on home video – the duo’s independently-produced 1949 comedy AFRICA SCREAMS (79 mins.) – is now, thanks to the 3-D Film Archive and Classic Flix, one of the best. Lovingly and painstakingly restored by Bob Furmanek and his team from the original 35mm nitrate film elements, this limited-edition Blu-Ray does justice to a picture that the comedy team produced outside their Universal Pictures deal – resulting in a myriad of terrible video releases since the film fell into the public domain once a distributor failed to renew its copyright.
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Film Score Friday 7/31/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 7/30/2020 - 10:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is a re-release of their out-of-print edition of David Newman's score for 1989's surprise hit BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (the long-awaited third film in the series, Bill & Ted Face the Music, is currently scheduled for release this September).


Quartet has announced two new releases -- Pino Donaggio's score for the 2001 action-adventure THE ORDER, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Charlton Heston (and not to be confused with the 2003 religious thriller of the same name, starring Heath Ledger); and Fernando Velazquez's score to OFERENDA A LA TORMENTA, the follow-up to El guardian invisible and Legado en los huesos.


The latest release from Caldera is the score for MAN AT THE TOP, the 1973 film inspired by the TV series of the same name, in which Kenneth Haigh played the character first played by Laurence Harvey in the 1959 Best Picture nominee Room at the Top and its 1965 sequel Life at the Top. The music was composed by the late, great Roy Budd (Get Carter, The Wild Geese, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger).


The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced this year's nominations for the Primetime Emmys, including the following music categories:

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Aisle Seat Video Vault: WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S, A Summer Classic
Posted By Andy Dursin 7/27/2020 - 10:00 PM
Plenty of articles have been written about the Summer of 1989 – one of the last great seasons for movie-goers as every week brought with it what would become a long-time viewer favorite. What hasn’t been written about – but should be – is a tribute to one of the great sleeper hits of the decade. Yes, I’m referring to WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S – a silly looking comedy that became an unlikely success pitted against the likes of Batman, Indiana Jones, a “Lethal Weapon” sequel and a myriad of other, more expensive studio films populating theaters at the time. While a surprise success upon its July 7th opening, the movie has remained a perennial favorite at the Aisle Seat – so much that it feels like this summer is the perfect time to extol its virtues.
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Film Score Friday 7/24/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 7/23/2020 - 10:00 PM
Kronos has announced their upcoming release of the score for SINS OF JEZEBEL, the 1953 Biblical drama starring Paulette Goddard and George Nader. The music was composed by Bert Shefter, a familiar name for genre fans for his many collaborations with composer Paul Sawtell, such as The Fly, The Lost World, and the original feature version of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

They are also releasing the score to the 2019 Slovenian political drama ALL AGAINST ALL (Vsi proti vsem), with music by Kristian Sensini (Rocks in My Pockets), and music from the Belgian TV series GINA & CHANTAL composed by Joris Hermy (Kattenoog)


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Dolce far niente/Le ambizioni sbagliate/Gli occhi, la bocca
- Nicola Piovani - Music Box
Dracula 2000
- Marco Beltrami - Varese Sarabande
Les colonnes du ciel/Felicien Greveche - Raymond Alessandrini - Music Box

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Aisle Seat 7-21: WAR OF THE WORLDS Remaster, Kino Lorber July Releases
Posted By Andy Dursin 7/20/2020 - 10:00 PM
George Pal’s awesome 1953 production of H.G. Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS (85 mins., 1953) represents ‘50s sci-fi at its best. From the majestic opening with Sir Cedric Hardwicke’s narration and Leith Stephens’ score, to the first appearance of Pal’s saucers and the scenes of stars Gene Barry and Ann Robinson hiding in a farmhouse from the invading Martians, few other films captured the imaginations of sci-fi fans like director Byron Haskin’s movie. The original “War of the Worlds” set the standard for dozens upon dozens of fantasy films that followed in its wake and still ranks today as one of the greatest genre pictures ever made.
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Film Score Friday 7/17/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 7/16/2020 - 10:00 PM
Quartet has announced two new CD releases.

Filmmaker Nicholas Meyer was originally a novelist, and his first break-out hit was THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION, his 1974 novel which told of Sherlock Holmes' attempt to cure his cocaine addition by undergoing therapy with Sigmund Freud. The bestseller was quickly made into a film, with Herbert Ross directing Meyer's own Oscar-nominated screenplay and an all-star cast: Nicol Wiliamson as Holmes, Robert Duvall as Watson, Alan Arkin as Freud, Vanessa Redgrave as a damsel in distress, and Laurence Olivier with a very different take on Professor Moriarty. The master Ken Adam was the production designer, Alan Barrett designed the Oscar-nominated costumes, and at one point, the film was to be scored by Bernard Herrmann (!), but his passing in December 1975 after completing Taxi Driver made that impossible, so the assigment went to John Addison, who provided one of his most exciting and engaging scores, full of romance, energy and a wealth of melody. The score was never released commercially, though a promotional LP was made available a few years later (for reasons I cannot explain even to myself, I have three copies of that LP). Quartet's edition is a two-disc set which features the score as originally recorded for the film, several alternate tracks and the promo LP sequencing, as well as "The Madame's Song," which Stephen Sondheim wrote for the film, and liner notes by Frank DeWald.

The label is also re-issuing their two-disc edition of Arthur B. Rubinstein's score for the 1983 hit WARGAMES.


Dragon's Domain and Buysoundtrax have announced four new CD releases -- Craig Safan's score for the 1987 stalker-thriller LADY BEWARE, starring Diane Lane; THE PETER BERNSTEIN COLLECTION VOL. 1, featuring the composer's music for Meggido (Omega Code 2) and Island City; music from the documentary series MEDAL OF HONOR by Richard Stone and Mark Watters; and ALAN HOWARTH LIVE AT HOLLYWOOD THEATER, with Alan Howarth performing pieces from his own scores and the scores he composed with John Carpenter.

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July FSMO Is Live!
Posted By Jon Kaplan 7/13/2020 - 4:00 AM

The July edition of FSM ONLINE went live last Friday but we forgot to tell you!

This month’s cover story asks the question: Is film music DEAD OR ALIVE? Check out the Top 10 Reasons for each. Also this issue, SEGUN AKINOLA discusses his score for THE LAST TREE, dubbed by critics as the British Moonlight; remembering the late legend, ENNIO MORRICONE; SOUNDTRACK OBSCURITIES rises from the ashes; BRIAN TYLER chats about the third season of YELLOWSTONE and the upcoming film CL

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Film Score Friday 7/10/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 7/9/2020 - 10:00 PM
One of the legends of film music, Ennio Morricone, passed away on Monday, July 6, at the age of 91. Morricone had a staggeringly long run as a feature composer, receiving his first scoring credit in 1961. His indelible scores for Sergio Leone's Westerns made him a film-music brand name, and following his Oscar nomination for his gorgeous Days of Heaven score in 1978, he became an A-lister in Hollywood as well, with five additional nominations culminating in his 2015 win for The Hateful Eight, as well as his 2006 honorary Oscar "for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music." Much like Bernard Herrmann, he was ultimately respected even by those who disdain traditional film music (the kind of people who seem to think John Williams is only capable of writing fantasy-adventure scores), but unlike Herrmann, Morricone was able to earn that respect long before the end of his career. Tributes and obituaries for the composer can be found at websites all over the Net, including BBC.com, Deadline, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, Lawyers, Guns & Money, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, Variety (by Jon Burlingame), and The Washington Post.


Another Oscar winner, composer/songwriter Johnny Mandel, died on June 29th at the age of 94 at his home in Ojai, California. He worked as a musician, arranger and songwriter before making his big screen scoring debut with his jazz score for Robert Wise's Oscar-winning 1958 docudrama I Want to Live!  Over the course of his career he won five Grammys, as well as the Original Song Oscar for The Sandpiper's "The Shadow of Your Smile." His offbeat score for Robert Altman's M*A*S*H included the main title song "Suicide is Painless," whose melody, used as the theme for the long-running TV spinoff, is probably his most widely recoginzed composition. Over the course of his feature career, he worked with an impressive roster of directors besides Altman and Wise, including Michael Apted (Agatha), Hal Ashby (Being There, The Last Detail), John Boorman (Point Blank), Norman Jewison (The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming) and Sidney Lumet (Deathtrap, The Verdict), as well as scoring such cult favorites as Caddyshack and Pretty Poison. He is survived by his daughter, Marissa. Jon Burlingame's obituary for the composer can be found at Variety.


La-La Land has announced their planned slate of releases for this month.

On July 14th, they will release a two-disc edition of TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA, the light-hearted 1970 Western directed by Don Siegel, featuring the unusual pairing of Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine. This is the only one of the originally announced collaborations between La-La Land and Universal that had not yet been released, and the film was the first non-Leone Eastwood vehicle to be scored by the legendary Ennio Morricone (and the only one after that was In the Line of Fire).

On the same day, they plan to release ESCAPE TO DANGER, a collection of music composed for "audio adventures" of Dr. Who by Joe Kraemer (The Way of the Gun, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation)

On July 28, they will release the soundtrack to THE OUTPOST, the new Mideast war movie directed by entertainment-journalist-turned-filmmaker Rod Lurie (The Contender, The Last Castle). Like most of Lurie's films, The Outpost was scored by Larry Groupe.


Varese Sarabande will be releasing Marco Beltrami's score for DRACULA 2000 as a limited edition, stand-alone CD; the label previously released it as part of their Little Box of Horrors set.

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Aisle Seat 7-7: July Sizzler Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 7/6/2020 - 10:00 PM
Sure to be one of the year’s top catalog releases on Blu-Ray, Kit Parker Films and MVD’s four-disc LAUREL & HARDY: THE DEFINITIVE RESTORATIONS serves up long-awaited new transfers – from original 35mm sources, no less – of the legendary comic duo’s finest shorts and features.
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Film Score Friday 7/3/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 7/2/2020 - 10:00 PM
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced their list of 819 actors, filmmakers and publicists whom they are inviting to join the organization. As usual, the list includes many people one is surprised to see weren't already members (Ben Mendelsohn, anyone? Udo Kier?), as well as a lot of welcome and deserving newcomers (including Mackenzie Davis, Ana de Armas, Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Adele Haenel, Brian Tyree Henry, Thomasin McKenzie, Florence Pugh and Lakeith Stanfield). The list including the following Music Branch invitees: score composers Tamar-Kali Brown, Chanda Dancy, Nainita Desai, Arhynn Descy, Bryce Dessner, Ilan Eshkeri, Robert Glasper, Andrea Guerra, Tom Howe, Devonte Hynes, Jung Jae-Il, Peter Kam, Lele Marchitelli, Cyril Morin, Khaled Mouzanar, Blake Neely, Roger Neill, Michael Nyman, Sattar Oraki, Michiru Oshima, Park Inyoung, Max Richter, Jeff Russo, Arturo Sandoval, Anton Sanko and Jermaine Stegall; songwriters Joshuah Brian Campbell, Cynthia Erivo (also invited to the Actors branch, no surprise), Chad Hugo, Larry Mullen Jr., Patrice Rushen and Bernie Taupin; and music editors Clint Bennett and Katie Greathouse.
 


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

La notte dell’ultimo giorno/Processo per diretissima - Stelvio Cipriani - Quartet
Max et les ferrailleurs/Vincent, Francois, Paul et les autres - Philippe Sarde - Quartet

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Today in Film Score History:
August 5
Abigail Mead born as Vivian Kubrick (1960)
Adolph Deutsch begins recording his score for The Matchmaker (1957)
Alexander Courage's music for the Star Trek episode "The Enterprise Incident" is recorded (1968)
Christopher Gunning born (1944)
Cyril Morin born (1962)
Fred Karger died (1979)
Henry Mancini begins recording his score for Mommie Dearest (1981)
Henry Mancini begins recording his score for Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his unused score for Gladiator (1991)
Michael Small begins recording his score for Comes a Horseman (1978)
Robert Prince records his first Mission: Impossible score, for the episode “Homecoming” (1970)
Stuart Hancock born (1975)
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