‘Tinker, Tailor’ joins the December club

Posted by · 11:06 am · August 29th, 2011

American viewers already frustrated about waiting two months longer than the Brits to lay eyes on Tomas Alfredson’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” — welcome to our world, guys — won’t be pleased by Pete Hammond’s revelation in a recent column that the wait has been extended by three weeks. Yes, Focus Features has pushed the […]

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In praise of the modern movie soundtrack

Posted by · 7:41 am · August 5th, 2011

I generally try to ignore film opinion pieces I think are fundamentally misguided — à chacun son goût and all that, plus the fact that fighting one mind is generally more trouble than it’s worth — but Ben Walsh’s idle article in The Independent today on the supposed demise of the movie soundtrack does such […]

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Clint Mansell scoring ‘The Iron Lady’

Posted by · 7:16 am · July 22nd, 2011

I’ll level with you, folks: there are a lot of prestige titles coming out in late 2011 that I’m itching to see, and “The Iron Lady” isn’t one of them. Putting to one side concerns about Phyllida Lloyd’s filmmaking prowess — I thought her ill at ease with the medium in “Mamma Mia!”, but she’s […]

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TECH SUPPORT: ‘Inception’ dominates below the line

Posted by · 8:47 am · February 28th, 2011

So, the morning after a terrible prediction record at this year’s Oscars, I’ll try to make some sense of what the Academy told us, and what it means for the crafts artists we got to know along the circuit this year. As the evening went on, many people began to wonder if “The Social Network” […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part two

Posted by · 8:40 am · February 25th, 2011

Yesterday we began our final look at the 10 crafts categories.  Check out part one here.  Today, the conclusion.  Meanwhile, you can find my final predictions in all categories here. Best Music (Original Score) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, despite their atypical approach to film music composition, are very much contenders in this race. Having […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Music (Original Score)

Posted by · 10:39 am · February 16th, 2011

Recently the International Film Music Critics Association were the last critics group to offer their (specialized) thoughts on the 2010 film year. The announcement made for an interesting counter to the year in score awardage. And the eventual nominees for Best Original Score reflected, if nothing else, a continued break with tradition. The music branch […]

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The Bagger in-studio with Reznor/Ross

Posted by · 11:53 am · February 3rd, 2011

A little difficult not to be totally envious of Melena Ryzik’s recent trip to Trent Reznor’s crib/studio to talk “The Social Network” with the Nine Inch Nails front man and his composing partner, Atticus Ross:

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TECH SUPPORT: Analyzing the nominees

Posted by · 11:53 am · January 28th, 2011

So the 83rd Annual Academy Award nominations were finally announced this week, and I did fairly well in handicapping the nominees. Outside of Best Sound Mixing, I never missed more than one nominee in a category. Unfortunately, there were no categories where I scored 100% (apart from Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay). Oh well. […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part one

Posted by · 8:57 am · January 20th, 2011

It seems hard to believe that it’s been more than six months since I wrote this year’s introductory Tech Support column ( a dissection of the art direction race). Much has changed since then, naturally, as we are less than a week away from the big day when we find out the nominees for the […]

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In praise of Reznor/Ross

Posted by · 8:44 am · January 19th, 2011

This year’s Best Original Score race really has me at a loss.  I freely admit that I have no idea what will happen there.  Some days I think we’ll get a small surprise like Alexandre Desplat sliding in for his best work this year in “The Ghost Writer,” others I think we could just get […]

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FIRST-HALF FYC: Below-the-line standouts

Posted by · 11:45 am · January 11th, 2011

For the penultimate installment in our reflection on the most Oscar-worthy achievements from the largely forgotten first half of 2010’s release calendar, I’m backtracking away from the major categories to the place I should perhaps have started: the technical sphere. Had I thought to start this column 20-odd weeks in advance of nomination day, I […]

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77 scores competing for Oscar, ‘Toy Story 3’ not among them

Posted by · 5:20 am · December 30th, 2010

They may have enjoyed a three-year run of nominations in the category, finally taking the gold with “Up” earlier this year, but Pixar’s hot streak in Best Original Score will not continue at the 2010 Oscars. Although Randy Newman’s “Toy Story 3” score wasn’t ruled ineligible by the Academy — unlike his work on last […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: ‘True Grit’ composer Carter Burwell

Posted by · 11:54 am · December 23rd, 2010

Nearing the end of our week-long series of interviews with the below-the-line talent of Joel and Ethan Coen’s “True Grit,” we’re talking today with the film’s composer Carter Burwell. Of the entire Coen crafts family, Burwell is one of the true veterans.  He goes way back with the brothers — all the way back, in […]

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Academy DQs scores for ‘Fighter,’ ‘Grit,’ ‘Kids’ and ‘Swan’

Posted by · 5:43 pm · December 20th, 2010

I had a bad feeling Carter Burwell’s work in “True Grit” was going to get the axe from a consistently dubious music branch, and so it has. Along with three other hopefuls. Variety is reporting that Burwell’s score and Clint Mansell’s for “Black Swan” were nixed due to being overwhelmed by pre-existing music (19th century […]

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Well put

Posted by · 2:41 pm · December 6th, 2010

Misconceptions about Daft Punk’s musical score: Fans became excited when it was announced that Grammy winning electronica duo Daft Punk would be scoring the film. They received their first taste of the music when the track “End of Line” was played in the hidden room that displayed the new lightcycle at the Flynn’s arcade set-up […]

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Eligibility of Burwell’s ‘Grit’ score still up in the air

Posted by · 5:55 pm · December 1st, 2010

Anne Thompson is reporting in her “True Grit” review that Carter Burwell’s score from the film is ineligible for Academy consideration due to elements being based on hymns of the period.  However, this is not official, first and foremost because the score hasn’t even been submitted to the Academy’s music branch yet. I’m told there […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Fighter’ bows, Jackman bows out, Best Picture questions

Posted by · 4:40 am · November 13th, 2010

• David O. Russell’s “The Fighter” unspooled at the AFI Fest. Kris was impressed and later reported from a Q&A with the film’s stars. • This week’s Off the Carpet column pondered the presence of money-spinners in this year’s Best Picture race. • The Long Shot, meanwhile, wondered if that very race is currently looking […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume II

Posted by · 12:35 pm · November 12th, 2010

A great score can take a film from memorable to unforgettable.  Whether it be Vangelis’s synthesizer on the beach in “Chariots of Fire,” Nino Rota’s haunting waltz from “The Godfather” or John Williams’s blaring, adventurous march from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” scores can elevate amazing images to bring the director’s vision to even greater […]

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