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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Towne toasts Arndt’s success

Posted by · 1:57 pm · November 13th, 2010

I had the loveliest time last night at a reception in honor of “Toy Story 3” writer Michael Arndt hosted by the great Robert Towne.  The night began to wrap up and with nearly all guests having left, things segued to the hotel bar as USA Today’s Anthony Breznican, director Lee Unkrich, composer Michael Giacchino, […]

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Portman and Giacchino: too many notes?

Posted by · 6:55 pm · October 15th, 2010

“It’s quality work. There are simply too many notes,” says the Emperor Joseph II to an incredulous Mozart in Milos Forman’s 1984 Oscar-guzzler “Amadeus.” It’s a delicious critique, and it’s one I’ve found myself remembering a lot over the past few weeks of London Film Festival viewing, during which I seem have jotted down the […]

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Interviews with the winners

Posted by · 10:25 am · March 8th, 2010

Before we close the book on 2009, here’s one last rundown of our interviews with this year’s Oscar recipients.  It was lovely to meet with them all as this was truly, for the most part, a season of camaraderie. “The Cove” Louie Psihoyos (Best Documentary Feature) “Crazy Heart” Jeff Bridges (Best Actor) Ryan Bingham and […]

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Giacchino dominates IFMCA Awards

Posted by · 10:06 am · March 1st, 2010

Kris was wondering what became of the last precursor of the season, the International Film Music Critics Association Awards. Right on cue, you can check out their choices at The Circuit. No surprise that they’re all about Michael Giacchino this year, but nice to see some love for “A Single Man” too.

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: Composer symposium, part two

Posted by · 1:22 pm · February 26th, 2010

I think everyone who has seen Pixar’s “Up” was utterly taken by the scene “Married Life,” where emotions ran high and three characters were built between images and music.  As Kris mentioned in this morning’s Oscar Guide, composer Michael Giacchino had the full aural attention of the audience for 10 minutes. Speaking to Giacchino, it’s […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Music (Original Score)

Posted by · 11:26 am · February 26th, 2010

For years the composers of the music branch tended to be a bit insular. Impressive newcomer talent was often ignored while the usual suspects showed up year after year. Not long ago, there seemed to be a shift, yielding slates much like the one we have for 2009. There is one first-timer, but other nominees […]

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2/23 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:59 am · February 23rd, 2010

• Peter Knegt chats with Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner. [indieWIRE] • Oscar party kits, anyone? With bingo! [Oscars.org] • “The Messenger” writers and Oscar nominees Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon on their process. [MTV Movies Blog]

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2/22 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:01 am · February 22nd, 2010

• Scott Feinberg talks at length with Harvey Weinstein, who had a busy week of Pied Pipering the Oscar bloggers last week. [And the Winner Is…] • Presumed costume design frotnrunner Sandy Powell sure is making the rounds.  She sits down with Paul Gaita to discuss the threads of “The Young Victoria.” [The Envelope] • […]

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The nominees react

Posted by · 8:08 am · February 2nd, 2010

Throughout the morning and early afternoon we took statements from or hopped on the phone with 44 of today’s Oscar nominees.  Their reactions… Maggie Gyllenhaal, supporting actress, “Crazy Heart”: The thing is, you know, I’m so proud of the movie and I always have been, more proud of it than any of the work I’ve […]

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Grammys for Giacchino

Posted by · 5:33 am · February 1st, 2010

As the music world celebrated the general awesomeness that is Taylor Swift last night, Oscar-minded Hollywood couldn’t resist infringing on the proceedings slightly. When Jeff Bridges even crops up at the Grammy Awards (to introduce a Les Paul tribute), you just know that he’s this year’s chosen one. Bridges at least acquitted himself with dignity, […]

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International Film Music Critics nominees

Posted by · 11:18 am · January 29th, 2010

This just arrived via press release.  Talk about your refreshingly diverse list of contenders. Predicting the Academy’s Best Original Score category can often be a bit of a chore.  There is no “guild” for the composers, after all, nothing to serve as a barometer.  For the longest time you could generally count on the group […]

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LA Times shines light on notable 2009 composers

Posted by · 6:56 am · December 9th, 2009

LA Times music critic Todd Martens has posted a useful series of short interviews with the men behind some of the year’s most distinctive film scores. Indeed, it’s group of five names that isn’t too hard to imagine mirroring the year’s eventual Oscar slate: Alexandre Desplat for “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Michael Giacchino for “Up,” Randy […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: NBR winners, Spirit nods and Jeff Bridges

Posted by · 8:18 pm · December 4th, 2009

• The National Board of Review offered the season’s first major precursors, with “Up in the Air” sitting pretty. • The Independent Spirit Award nominations were topped by “Precious” and, more surprisingly, “The Last Station.” • Indie award rivals the Gotham Awards, meanwhile, crowned “The Hurt Locker” as the year’s best. • Fresh off his […]

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Grammy nods for ‘Basterds,’ Giacchino… and Steve Martin

Posted by · 6:34 am · December 3rd, 2009

I’m always interested to see what cinematic musical achievements the Grammy Awards single out for recognition each year, largely because their pop sensibilities are so different (and their eligibility criteria so much looser) from those of the Oscars that they may as well exist on different planets. Last year, for example, they selected “The Dark […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume II

Posted by · 7:12 pm · November 19th, 2009

Some categories haven’t had that much renewal since I last reviewed them. Best Original Score is an exception. Principally, this is because the category is very difficult to judge before hearing the scores, not to mention last minute personnel changes (as composers always seem to be the most disposable members of film crews). As I […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume I

Posted by · 10:51 am · September 2nd, 2009

As long as humanity has been recording history, music has been immensely important in society. Not only can it be joyous and entertaining, but it can capture the mood and feel of a time and a place. Cinema has been no exception in this regard. The creation of original music for a film is awarded […]

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Michael Giacchino tapped to head Oscar orchestra

Posted by · 12:28 pm · November 17th, 2008

From the AMPAS press release: Michael Giacchino will serve as the musical director for the 81st Academy Awards®, telecast producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Bill Condon announced today. Though Giacchino has composed music and conducted orchestras for both film and television, this will be his first time with the baton for the Oscar telecast […]

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