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Hans Zimmer's DUNKIRK

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I can't wait for all the Zimmer interviews leading up to this score. I wonder how many times he'll say he's a terrible composer, and that he did his best but it probably isn't good enough. 

 

I swear Zimmer heard the Williams story about Schindler's List and thought "Holy shit, Johnny sounds so humble. I better tell everyone quickly how damn awful I am every second of the day, so I can be even more humble."

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1 hour ago, publicist said:

 

As usual you implemented something into my post that just wasn't there: i didn't complain about laymen liking Zimmer stuff but that journalists from serious papers writing concert reviews and such seemingly unable to differentiate between a crossover artist from the pop/rock background (he even referred to his band!) and classical composers. You can dislike the distinction between U and E Musik (entertainment and serious, roughly translated) but to be ignorant about it is no badge of honor for a professional writer.

 

It's like writing about food and not knowing what truffles are.

 

All the reviews I find by major critics here are really elitist and somewhat critical or dismissive of any film music, even Williams (unless it's Prokofiev). Must be different where you are. :lol:

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1 minute ago, mstrox said:

 

Oh man, I'd totally SUCK at a Humble-Off.  I'd be just terrible.

 

Oh no, I know you'd be far better at it than I would be.  No no, I'm in awe of your talent. I am nothing compared to the master.

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3 hours ago, publicist said:

I stopped reading film music reviews because frankly, they often re just not insightful enough but more like puff pieces the intern has to write on fridays to fill the empty weekend slots.

 

This.

 

Though I gather there a handful of individuals here who could put together some interesting pieces for a proper film music blog of sorts.

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2 hours ago, Will said:

All the reviews I find by major critics here are really elitist and somewhat critical or dismissive of any film music, even Williams (unless it's Prokofiev). Must be different where you are. :lol:

 

That seems to be a uniquely American phenomenon. An inferiority complex stemming from relatively a young cultural tradition and one that is imported almost wholesale from the Old World. The art music of Mitteleuropa sat at the top of America's so called high culture podium for a very long time, and it was only with the vanguard of Koussevitzky, Stokowski, Copland, Bernstein et al. did America begin to break out of that stranglehold through the promotion of new works by homegrown talent. The awful snobbery towards WIlliams from the musical intellgentsia (used very lightly) is very much a remnant of that cultural stranglehold.

 

3 hours ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

In that case, it was just an offhanded quip I wanted to make since it is a rather colorful name.  I know there's nothing inherently anti-porn in most feminist thinking.

 

You're not off the mark.

 

 

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3 hours ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

In that case, it was just an offhanded quip I wanted to make since it is a rather colorful name.  I know there's nothing inherently anti-porn in most feminist thinking.

 

------

 

 

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I mean, for god's sake!

 

Im actually looking forward to both this film and score. 

 

Both Zimmer and Nolan are insufferable to listen to though, regardless of the quality of what they put out. 

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3 hours ago, Sharky said:

 

That seems to be a uniquely American phenomenon. An inferiority complex stemming from relatively a young cultural tradition and one that is imported almost wholesale from the Old World. The art music of Mitteleuropa sat at the top of America's so called high culture podium for a very long time, and it was only with the vanguard of Koussevitzky, Stokowski, Copland, Bernstein et al. did America begin to break out of that stranglehold through the promotion of new works by homegrown talent. The awful snobbery towards WIlliams from the musical intellgentsia (used very lightly) is very much a remnant of that cultural stranglehold.

 

Entirely true, and maddening.

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Definitely the Zimmer score I'm the most interested in since Interstellar. Lets see how this one turns out. Looking forward to listening it. 

 

9 hours ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

 

Spicer seemed like an odd choice, but after hearing him on the congas, whoa!

 

He dressed up as the Easter bunny during the recording sessions in order to appear "authentic". 

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11 hours ago, Will said:

All the reviews I find by major critics here are really elitist and somewhat critical or dismissive of any film music, even Williams (unless it's Prokofiev). Must be different where you are. :lol:

 

I think it's more that the critics here now often come from light music (if at all) and, because of shrinking budgets and lack of interest on reader's part, review Arctic Monkeys albums as well as a new Haydn cycle, the last one being the subject they learn about on Wikipedia.

10 hours ago, KK said:

Though I gather there a handful of individuals here who could put together some interesting pieces for a proper film music blog of sorts.

 

But what for? 90% of recent scores i would review just as a duty, not because it would be much fun.

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While it's interesting to hear about an unusual technical challenge that a composer faced, most just deal with it, produce a score and that's that. It feels like Zimmer particularly shouts from the hills about his current challenge, then makes a big deal of whatever 'revolutionary' technique he's going to use or celebrity he's going to collaborate with. He certainly doesn't have Williams' humility, and the resulting score bears little evidence of such a 'revolution'.

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Zimmer's more of a visionary than Williams, but he lacks his craftsmanship. He's a big picture guy. It's the gestalt that matters most to him, not the finer computational details. Which isn't to say he doesn't obsess over a single synth patch or voicing, but that just serves as a creative inroad--en entry point to explore larger ideas.

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47 minutes ago, Sharky said:

Zimmer's more of a visionary than Williams, but he lacks his craftsmanship. He's a big picture guy. It's the gestalt that matters most to him, not the finer computational details. Which isn't to say he doesn't obsess over a single synth patch or voicing, but that just serves as a creative inroad--en entry point to explore larger ideas.

 

Zimmer is not a visionary.

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You are confusing fad with vision.  Do not equate innovation with vision.  Do you believe Justin Beiber who has 12 billion youtube views, 78 million facebook fans, 1000 million dollar sales for an album to be a visionary or a fad (frankly I think we would all agree these are sad stats but I just looked them up)?  Zimmer is not in any way a complete reshaping of musical rhetoric.  He is a sharp and savvy producer and that is why composers mimic him.  You tell us why he is more than that.

 

I have yet to hear something from him I thought was anything beyond serviceable.  Get over it Grey, others are allowed opinions that do not glorify him the way you do.  Music is not his strongest point (in my opinion) and I will argue he would agree with me.  His strength is in servicing the directors emotional intention and that is a very good strength to have but not the same thing. 

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17 minutes ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

Come on, there's no need for a "get over it," nor an accusation of "glorifying."  Anyone can think what they like, but you should know by now I'm gonna ask someone to back up what they say if it's interesting enough.

 

Fair enough.

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16 minutes ago, karelm said:

You are confusing fad with vision.  Do not equate innovation with vision.  Do you believe Justin Beiber who has 12 billion youtube views, 78 million facebook fans, 1000 million dollar sales for an album to be a visionary or a fad (frankly I think we would all agree these are sad stats but I just looked them up)?  Zimmer is not in any way a complete reshaping of musical rhetoric.  He is a sharp and savvy producer and that is why composers mimic him.  You tell us why he is more than that.

 

I have yet to hear something from him I thought was anything beyond serviceable.  Get over it Grey, others are allowed opinions that do not glorify him the way you do.  Music is not his strongest point (in my opinion) and I will argue he would agree with me.  His strength is in servicing the directors emotional intention and that is a very good strength to have but not the same thing. 

 

I agree with this. When I think of a Zimmer score, I see it as a production, something produced. There is that whiff of anonymity with comes with all mass produced things.

 

When I think of a Williams score, I see it is as the work of an artist, something written by an individual. It is his and entirely his. 

 

I might be speaking just for myself here, but the allure of even consuming art is that someone put thought into it. THAT is the attractive part which renders art created by others worth studying and taking pleasure in. Something thoughtful is something that will appeal to me atleast, where even though I am not blown off by the quality, I can appreciate the work and thought that went into it. It lends the crucial connection element and the human element to art, specially in terms of music. A work of art is just a paean to the skill and thought process of the artist. We as much revel in the expression of the artist as the work itself. (Think of this as the equivalent of the auteur theory from film criticism applied to music.)

 

With Zimmer I get none of the above. Sometimes his work might be categorized as "innovative" but his work is innovative just for the sake of being innovative. It is entirely thoughtless betraying a barren imagination that is dressing up the absence of any discernible skill with so many bells and whistles. 

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15 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

When I think of a Zimmer score, I see it as a production, something produced.

 

Is that how you see Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper or The Man-Machine? An anonymous product, a lifeless commodity?

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That said, I sincerely hope anyone wishing to become an artist in the future is forced to undergo radical implantation surgery so we get them hooked up with cameras and microphones so we can see exactly how they work and have real data to then debate who is better on the internet. 

 

It's the only way we can know if we can truly enjoy something, by academically dissecting its every aspect and inception until it is a meaningless thing. 

 

But wait, why stop there? We must implant all parents with cameras and microphones so that we can understand their baby-making process. Certainly the quality of sex that led to conception of a to-be composer will impact my enjoyment of the end result. Sex in the back of a car? Not art. Too cheap. Sex in a fancy hotel in Dubai? Too commercial. Not art. Sex in a house? May be the only way to get artists who produce true artistry. 

 

But what about the quality of the bed in the house? I can't enjoy music if I'm picturing the composer having been conceived in a creaky wooden bed...

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40 minutes ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

The Cauliflower knows whereof he speaks.

 

He has often defended Giacchino. Be careful to not give too much credence to Blume. He seems to have a subtle but obvious Anti-Williams agenda. I reckon he's not far of from being a David Irving type.

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4 hours ago, Sharky said:

 

Is that how you see Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper or The Man-Machine? An anonymous product, a lifeless commodity?

 

No, then I think it's the opposite of that. Those that you mention are full of personality and character. I wish I could say the same about the sound that the Zimmer factory has created all these years ago. A lot of the music I hear sounds very similar and formulaic to me. Worse thing about it, I can identify the style but no longer the composer behind it. There was a time when this was different. I immediately knew when I heard Williams, Morricone, Fielding, Vangelis or Goldsmith. 

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A film made by hundreds of people with countless unplannable interferences and lucky accidents is the work of one auteur? It was invented by some french critics in the 50s and those they were citing roundly dismissed it as phooey (Welles, Ford etc.).

 

Williams is probably closer in the ballpark but for film directors it's baloney.

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If the auteur's movie is baloney, then why does Armageddon not feel like a Woody Allen movie? What is making the distinction? According to you it can't be Woody Allen because he's only the director and a director can never be an auteur. Right? 

 

Is the auteur's movie a Chinese hoax?

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Talking about Nolan, this is what he would chime in if he was a poster here:

 

Quote

Christopher Nolan: "I remember being very struck by Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner and noticing or sort of analyzing the fact that I liked [Scott's] Alien, as well — two totally different films, different actors, different stories, really, but the same mind behind them. And that’s what I was sort of focused on, the idea of the director and how the director could have a controlling effect on the creative side of the film that’s indefinable, but important and something you kind of feel."

 

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I guess both of you never actually read about the history of the auteur theory or what its implications were. 'Blade Runner' certainly isn't an 'auteur' movie just because it has distinctive characteristics of Ridley Scott, the problem being that nobody can really pinpoint what his ultimate influence on the elements you or me would cite as being distinctly his actually were - did he write the screenplay? Did he labor painstakingly over the much-lauded effect work and imagery (more so than those fx wizards)? Did Rutger Hauer make suggestions over his portrayal of the android that made this character ultimately more compelling than what was in the screenplay?

 

To enshrine all these crucial elements and more (the yellow barrels in 'Jaws', anyone?) as creative solo action of one guy is just idiotic, and that's what Bazin and Truffaut tried to say: 'Vertigo' is A HITCHCOCK MOVIE but then, it starts with a 3-minute sequence that is solely the effort of Saul Bass and Bernard Herrmann? Both had probably enough artistic ego to offer AH their own interpretations of his input, if there was any at all. 

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The auteur theory was always a bit nebulously applied to American cinema because America cinema simply does not operate on the same terms. But it is very easily applied to the work of many European directors and beyond, film systems which allow much greater control to the film-maker. Only in Hollywood is making films by committee primarily a thing.

 

Take the films of von Trier and Haneke, they are so absolutely a projection of the worldview of their directors, so utterly singular to them that they are more or less literally the product of one mind. No one else can make a von Trier and Haneke movie and therefore the theory can be successfully applied to that. Film is a collaborative medium but the director has control over every single element. I definitely know this is true of Haneke because I have read and seen vast amounts of interviews with himself and his cast and crew and you just realize how much control he has. In a scene in Amour when Isabelle Huppert drinks tea, Haneke even directed when she drinks the tea, how big of a gulp she takes and how much tea she drinks. Everything you see in any frame of any Haneke film is absolutely and completely decided by him, including the hankerchief in an extra's pocket. Of course a director has helper but the auteur theory absolutely bares out.

 

Take von Trier. His films are absolutely bizarre in a lot of ways but take a film like Melancholia. It is the product of his mind entirely. No other director could have conceived it or made it or executed it as he did. Paul Bettany, an actor who mainly works in Hollywood films said he HATED working with von Trier in his masterpiece Dogville because he said it is NOT a collaboration. He said it is entirely von Trier's gig and he said you realize you are just a prop for the director. He tried to take some ideas to von Trier about his character and von Trier simply shut him down and told him to do as he was instructed. 

 

In American cinema, directors don't have as much control and stars are more powerful. Producers are more powerful too. But some auteurs do flourish. Take Wes Anderson or even Woody, two absolutely singular directors who make films that are unmistakably theres and could not be made by anyone else.

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10 hours ago, Stefancos said:

 

He has often defended Giacchino. Be careful to not give too much credence to Blume. He seems to have a subtle but obvious Anti-Williams agenda. I reckon he's not far of from being a David Irving type.

 

STEFAN COSMAN DOES NOT HAVE A STRUGGLE! 

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32 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

In American cinema, directors don't have as much control and stars are more powerful. Producers are more powerful too. But some auteurs do flourish. Take Wes Anderson or even Woody, two absolutely singular directors who make films that are unmistakably theres and could not be made by anyone else.

 

But even for those, Woody gives actors leeway and is open to suggestions from his crew. I agree - certainly more - about van Trier and Haneke but even for them my argument stands: you or whoever claims 'that's van Trier!' do not really know how the elements came together. IMHO, a director who doesn't write the script, doesn't act and doesn't shoot/edit his films can't claim to be the sole 'auteur'. Also, it seems a rather asshole/narcissistic position.

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6 hours ago, publicist said:

 Did Rutger Hauer make suggestions over his portrayal of the android that made this character ultimately more compelling than what was in the screenplay?

 

 

Android?! What?! ;)

 

First of all, suggestions need a stamp of approval from the director. They talk those things over, you know. Secondly, if the contribution is not in the way of the overall storytelling and vision of the director then I don't see it as a hindrance of auteurship. 

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2 minutes ago, publicist said:

 

But even for those, Woody gives actors leeway and is open to suggestions from his crew. I agree - certainly more - about van Trier and Haneke but even for them my argument stands: you or whoever claims 'that's van Trier!' do not really know how the elements came together. IMHO, a director who doesn't write the script, doesn't act and doesn't shoot/edit his films can't claim to be the sole 'auteur'. Also, it seems a rather asshole/narcissistic position.

 

I don't think it's a narcissistic position. It is  attributing credit where it is due. We attribute some of the most monumental achievements of human thought and artistry to single persons, why not cinematic works too? War and Peace was written by one man, so was Ulysses. Sistine Chapel ceiling is attributed to one man too. So why not films?

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Because they aren't done by one person and as far as we know, often ruled by all kinds of interferences that just makes the label impractical and misleading.

 

It's just another stupid label invented for film fans to hang their adoration on this one face when the term 'film director' pretty much sums it up. 

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