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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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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Desplat leads International Film Music Critics nods

Posted by · 10:18 am · February 11th, 2011

Alexandre Desplat has enjoyed a brilliant career in U.S. features as of late (on the back of immense talent, naturally).  2010 was a grand year for the composer as he, once again, balanced scoring duties on a number of notable films. Today, the final announcement from the critics awards circuit has landed in the form […]

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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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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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Malick’s ‘Thin Red Line’ shines on Criterion Blu

Posted by · 12:01 pm · September 28th, 2010

If you’re sitting there right now, reading these words, killing time, nothing much to do this afternoon, do yourself a favor — go out and buy the new Criterion Blu-ray release of Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line.” I’ve been delighting in this top 10 all-timer all week, probably my most anticipated home video release […]

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Zimmer, Pfister, ‘Toy Story 3,’ ‘Iron Man 2’ kick off the season

Posted by · 10:12 am · September 16th, 2010

The first awards of the Oscar season have been announced for Carlos de Abreu’s Hollywood Film Festival.  Hans Zimmer will get some love for his “Inception” score, while Wally Pfister will be recognized for his work behind the camera on the film.  Meanwhile, “Toy Story 3” and “Iron Man 2” have been singled out for […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume I

Posted by · 4:31 pm · August 19th, 2010

I am marveled by the accomplishments of all the crafts artists who elevate our films, but this is particularly the case with respect to music composers. Composing equals genius as far as I am concerned.These musicians  join the film at the end, when usually only the director, editor and perhaps the sound mixers are still […]

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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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‘Inception’ soundtrack contest winners!

Posted by · 3:56 pm · July 21st, 2010

I’ve touched down in San Diego for all the Comic-Con shenanigans of the next four days, but a little business to tend to. Thanks to the 60-plus participants in our “Inception” soundtrack giveaway haiku contest. There were lots of great entries, but the two I settled on came from KYLE and GEORGIE. Respectively (and I […]

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CONTEST: Win a copy of the ‘Inception’ soundtrack

Posted by · 5:06 pm · July 17th, 2010

Following yesterday’s interview with “Inception” composer Hans Zimmer, I thought it would be fun to run a contest and give a few of these bad boys away.  (Confession: Yes, I ended up with more than one.) I figure we’ll go with an oldie but a goodie from Sasha Stone: A haiku contest! Cut loose with […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Inception’ composer Hans Zimmer and ambient music designer Mel Wesson

Posted by · 6:36 pm · July 16th, 2010

From outside on 14th Street, Hans Zimmer’s Santa Monica offices reflect the typically sterile architecture of the city. Take a few steps in and you’re in the expected world of a musician: bays of dubbing equipment lining the walls, screening alcoves filled to the brim with technology, the usual trappings of a media artist…nothing out […]

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In case you missed the Zimmer/Marr performance

Posted by · 3:30 pm · July 14th, 2010

Eek!  Another “Inception” post?  Hopefully that’s okay for certain…types.  But in case you missed the live stream of Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr’s performance of the “Inception” score after the premiere last night, have a look/listen (with lead-in red carpet interviews to boot):

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Zimmer and Marr to perform ‘Inception’ concert

Posted by · 3:50 pm · July 12th, 2010

The publicity machine is oiled and clicking around Hans Zimmer lately, as well it should be.  The composer seems to be enjoying a hot streak of celebrated creativity as of late, thanks largely to his recent collaborations with director Christopher Nolan. Nolan’s much-anticipated film “Inception” will hold its Los Angeles premiere tomorrow night at Grauman’s […]

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So, is ‘Inception’ a go for Oscar?

Posted by · 5:08 pm · July 5th, 2010

Now that the review embargo walls have crashed on “Inception” (though most of what’s out there is web-based media as we’ll wait a while for print reactions), I guess it’s fair to dive into the awards implications of the film.  I preferred to stay away from that kind of talk in my review. The first […]

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Preview Zimmer’s ‘Inception’ score

Posted by · 12:38 pm · July 3rd, 2010

Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” is 13 days away, though the bulk of reviews will be dropping in 51 hours.  How’s that for a countdown? The score from Hans Zimmer is exciting the same people behind the scenes who saw greatness and potential awards success in his work on “Sherlock Holmes.” It’s already available for pre-order at […]

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Andy Trudeau handicaps the original score contenders

Posted by · 7:42 pm · March 6th, 2010

One of the best parts of Oscar season is NPR’s rundown of the Best Original Score nominees by music critic Andy Trudeau.  The copy is live now, but the audio won’t be up until noon (EST) tomorrow.  He says there’s not a real standout this year, and goes with Hans Zimmer and “Sherlock Holmes” for […]

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