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Kevin

Carter Burwell

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I'm a casual fan of Carter Burwell. I think his three best scores have been Conspiracy Theory, Miller's Crossing and True Grit. But there's more of his career that I need to explore. My favourite score by him is Conspiracy Theory, for sake of how ridiculously enjoyable it is. And the 'End Titles' cue from Miller's Crossing is very lovely with how it interpolates the folk tune into the orchestra.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv1MHTP8_YU

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Not exactly a 'fan', but I do like some of his work: A Serious Man, Fargo, bits of In Bruges, The Alamo, Where the Wild Things Are.

And True Grit is currently my absolute favourite score right now (although the OST/promo is a little frustrating - each has cues the other doesn't, meaning that since I wanted to give Burwell some money for the effort, I had to swap some cues out for completeness).

He absolutely has a voice, very pastoral. It gets a little too 'soft' for my tastes sometimes.

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Only his score for Rob Roy, which I got in the mid 90s, is in my collection.

Great mixture of music on that soundtrack (and a truly great film, too).

Best...swordfight...EVER!

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Rob Roy is the only score of his I'm familiar with also. It's quite good I think.

I wouldn't take it over, say, Braveheart. But still, it's quite good.

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I know some of his scores, but only from the movies. I remember the music from Coen brothers' movies: to Fargo, Burn After Reading, and some others like Being John Malkovich. They certainly draw attention to themselves, in a good sense. But, sadly, I haven't got a single CD of his.

Karol

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This doesn't actually have much to do with Burwell, but I was watching this 2013 panel with him and the Coens and Alec Baldwin earlier today and wanted to call out a specific "WTF?!" moment.

 

Here Baldwin is talking about how "unique" the composer/filmmaker collaboration of the Coens and Burwell is and actually says:

Quote

I don't think anybody has had the relationship you guys have had in terms of 15 consecutive films.

And no one contradicts him!

 

 

These are all smart people who know movies very well.  How do you say something like that without thinking of Spielberg/Williams (whose streak is 19 consecutive films I think, Empire of the Sun - Lincoln), the most famous composer-director relationship ever!  So weird.

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Not to mention the other long-running director composer collaborations both past and present, that have worked on more then 15 films. 

 

That's a rather ignorant and strange remark, especially when Burwell work with The Coens in the past decade seems to have less prominent, and often times a lot of his main themes are based off classical older music and hymns. I like a lot of his work, but really? That's just a bizarre thing to say. 

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It's definitely a slap-worthy comment. I mean Burwell has does 17 movies with the Coen Brothers, while Spielberg has worked with Williams on 28 films in total, there's no comparison, and lets not forget the long-running director composer teams like Shore / Cronenberg, Burton / Elfman, Silvestri / Zemeckis etc..., and even some of the classic "teams". It's not even a debate.

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Burwell is a fine composer but many of his greatest hits tend to be adaptations. Fargo, It Happened to You etc. I have yet to hear a great composition from him. Conspiracy Theory gets there as does the unreleased The Jackal but I wonder how much of that pumping score was his, considering that he is not exactly 'pumping'. But then again he did replace Barry on Mercury Rising to replace what the producers described as tedium with 'pumping'. This is the description of the score he did to The Jackal, so the 'pumping' must have been his work, right?

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On 10/25/2017 at 7:40 PM, Koray Savas said:

How is Fargo an adaptation?

 

Burwell is a fantastic composer. 

 

The main theme is taken from a Norwegian folk song

 

 

But I agree, I'm actually finding Burwell one of the most reliable film composers lately. He's been doing good work the last few years with unique projects.

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I was disappointed when he was kicked off Gangster Squad and Thor 2. The former would have been something special, but we got a Jablonsky phone-in instead. The latter would have been interesting to see how he would have tackled a studio blockbuster. I imagine that’s not really the side of the industry he wants to be involved in, though. He’s one of the composers left that has still maintained his director collaborators (Coens, Haynes, McDonagh).

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9 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

But I agree, I'm actually finding Burwell one of the most reliable film composers lately. He's been doing good work the last few years with unique projects.

 

Even with awful ones:

 

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