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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2/23 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Leo speaks again on Adgate, hosts speak out on show, Burwell on ‘Grit’ score

Posted by · 8:14 am · February 23rd, 2011

• Melissa Leo tells a different story on Adgate: She was doing what Parmount told her to do. [Daily Beast] • Telecast hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway in their first interview on the upcoming festivities. [Hollywood Reporter] • Meanwhile, Tom Sherak tells Susan Wloszczyna we’ll like the style of the show. [USA Today]

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1/20 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Portman milestones, Best Director not equal to Best Picture, Sony goes iTunes, too

Posted by · 8:03 am · January 20th, 2011

• Eight milestones in the evolution of Natalie Portman. [Movieline] • Carolyn Giardana notes a rare Best Visual Effects nomination for an animated film at the BAFTAs. [Hollywood Reporter] • Nathaniel Rogers argues against the notion that Best Director must equal Best Picture. [The Film Experience]

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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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WEEKLY WRAP: Precursors begin, ‘Grit’ unveiled and Oscar hosts tapped

Posted by · 2:18 pm · December 3rd, 2010

• The biggest news of this busy week may well have been the announcement of James Franco and Anne Hathaway as this year’s Oscarcast hosts. • Unless you count “The Social Network” dominating the National Board of Review as bigger news, that is. • Or, for that matter, our first look at the Coen brothers’ […]

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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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The Coens’ no-frills ‘True Grit’ hearkens to western heyday

Posted by · 10:00 am · December 1st, 2010

I’ve seen the Coen brothers’ “True Grit” twice now, and it’s not because the film is some “Inception”-like, mind-bending narrative maze. Quite the opposite, actually. I saddled up to it a second time yesterday morning because I wasn’t quite anticipating what I got the first time around and I wanted to consider it further knowing […]

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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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Desplat, Zimmer, Burwell lead World Soundtrack nominees

Posted by · 4:52 pm · August 9th, 2010

The World Soundtrack Awards aren’t quite as authoritative as their lofty names implies — established in 2001 to accompany the annual Ghent Film Festival in Belgium, they are voted upon by an educational organization of film composers dubbing themselves the World Soundtrack Academy. Given their European origins, it’s interesting how much their awards overlap with […]

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Carter Burwell on musical inspiration for ‘True Grit’

Posted by · 6:06 am · April 21st, 2010

Amid his coverage of the Nashville Film Festival, Nathaniel Rogers at The Film Experience served up a nice little nugget on composer Carter Burwell, the subject of a much-deserved individual tribute at the fest. Naturally, there was much emphasis on his ongoing collaboration with the Brothers Coen, which will continue this year with “True Grit.” […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: The crafts of ‘A Serious Man’

Posted by · 1:26 pm · January 14th, 2010

The Coen brothers’ latest film “A Serious Man” opens with a quote from French Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (better known as Rashi):  “Accept with simplicity everything that happens to you.” It’s obviously quite applicable to the themes of fatalism and inevitability strewn throughout the film.  But that word, “simple,” also comes up over and over again […]

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‘Wild Things,’ ‘Crazy Heart’ ineligible for score Oscar

Posted by · 12:43 pm · January 4th, 2010

Steve Pond reports that Karen O and Carter Burwell’s wonderful, Golden Globe-nominated score for “Where the Wild Things Are” has been disqualified for Best Original Score by the Academy’s music branch. T-Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton’s “Crazy Heart” score, which has taken several critics’ prizes, will not compete either. It’s hardly a surprise, given that […]

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Studio FYC sites on the march

Posted by · 9:32 am · November 11th, 2009

It’s that time of year, when studios roll out their awards-centric websites for films in play.  You get screening info, news and notes, reminders of how AMAZING their films are (with critical quotes to back it up), goodies like screenplays and such, etc.  It’s a good way to see how wide the net is cast […]

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