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publicist

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  1.  

    North's score for John Huston's last movie, 'The Dead', is also a very good 'quiet' score. As for him being underrated: there's a reason Spielberg recommended North to his friends Robbins/Barwood for 'Dragonslayer' but he himself used JW, a big North admirer, and usually wanted him to be more Steiner than North. And Spielberg was right. North is too cerebral for regular audiences, even if he did catchy things occasionally.

     

    Interesting trivia: WB studio chief Jack Warner was a big fan, which was surprising, because Warner was a Steiner and Korngold kind of guy. When Mike Nichols did 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf', he wanted André Previn (a personal friend). Warner let Nichols run pretty much his own show on this movie, but there he put his foot down and told Nichols to 'get the fuck off my lot' and barred him from editing and scoring, which as ultimately done by North.

     

     

  2. 1 hour ago, HunterTech said:

    With TRoS, I've been used to people either merely enjoying the production work put into the film, or finding it so silly it makes it rather entertaining for them. Otherwise, it tends to be a resounding meh at best from a lot of people who has seen it.

     

    Me and some schoolmates had this pact that we would finish the saga together in a cinema, come what may. I remember it was a rather cold December night and all of us assembled in a Berlin multiplex being completely in agreement before the movie started that our engagement level was as low as the temperature.

     

    The movie was pretty bad, yes, but also weightlessly inoffensive and it rushed by in a breeze. I remember that i was weighing the thought that Disney found a secret tech formula by which they could feed all the silly lore, actor avatars and Williams' music sheets into a computer system, pressed a key and out came The Rise of Skywalker. Then i asked myself what would happen if they shuffled the elements around a little, or changed a certain variable - could they just press the key again and again? Then i watched three episodes of 'Obi Wan' and found my theory validated.

  3. 2 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

    I am no Horner expert. But when I hear that simple lullaby tune of Legends, that you shared with the video, I can firmly say, that little bit of simple and uniform repeated melody pattern doesn’t justify the dramatic orchestral efforts in the background. This IS highly pretentious while this Peaton Place has a song-like lyrical quality to it. My view.

     

    And Peyton Place *was* written in 1957. 

     

    I always took that as a kind of amusing personality quirk of Horner, to build this raw reality around him, and with knowledge of the autistic disorder, it's not too surprising. In the old FSM days it was characterized as dishonesty, but it was anything but. 

     

    I also think, in hindsight he was absolutely right about the shrug regarding his classical borrowings, nowadays you'd think at least someone keeps the candle burning instead of burning him at stake. But i also think that by the time of his death, his style had become so repetitive, it was like a rut he couldn't get out of anymore, so there were obviously limits to his modes of expression.

     

    With 'Willow' now i'm in complete satisfaction with my Horner collection. Nothing more is needed.

  4. 1 hour ago, Henry Sítrónu said:

    I think you DO want to misunderstand him. I thought he was talking about harmonies. And in this respect, Legends Of The Fall is restrained. There are major and minor chords. Maybe a 7th. But no 9ths, no 6ths, nothing diminished or augmented. As opposed to Peyton Place, which at times sounds like silent film music or from the 30s/40s

     

    To each his own. I know my Horner well enough so i could cite numerous examples where he stressed, without being particularly challenged to do so, how he avoids schmaltzy, overwrought, Hollywood-ian melodrama and i'm not deaf enough not to realize that Horner was an epitome of exactly that kind of scoring (take your pick, there are enough contenders until he was rather unceremoniously dumped by Ron Howard for 'The Missing').

     

    Don't get me wrong, i absolutely love some of those, the split strings, the bombastic swells etc., but when a guy tells me, with a straight face, that 'Legends' or 'Perfect Storm' are 'restrained' because of harmonic or chordal choices i ask myself what would (or indeed, could) be the opposite of restraint, then...?

  5. Horner basically tiptoes around the open secret that a handful of ghostwriters did the main chores on Beauty.

     

    There recently was a LA Times interview from around the time of 'Casper' linked here, where he - presumably with a straight face - claimed to have written a restrained and simple score for 'Legends of the Fall'. Which is one of the contradictions of the century. But if you dig deep enough, you'll find Horner the king of such contradictions. 

     

    My favourite was one he did together with Brian Grazer about 'A Beautiful Mind', where they both have a laugh about all the other film composers who always will use the same notes - not so with James!

  6. WB had another PR nightmare on their hand a few years later with '300', and on the whole i applaud both Yared and Goldenthal on standing their ground. It might not appear 'professional' to big studios, but this euphemism basically just covers bad ongoing practice. And Petersen's handling of the AFO Newman rejection was, by all accounts, as bad as the Yared case.

  7. 7 hours ago, OneBuckFilms said:

    If I recall correctly, the score files were only up a very short time before he had to take it down, and it may have been a ceace-and-desist type message from the studio.

     

    If i recall correctly, the score was never properly completed but consisted of rough mixes and still missing elements (choral or otherwise). The bootleg album was probably distributed by Yared (it was around the same time), but he probably didn't put it on Napster - these things have a way of turning up eventually. 

     

    And while it may have been not a career boost move, it's equally foolish to think keeping a lid on the whole affair would have been, either. In the end, it made everyone involved in it look bad, WB, Petersen, Horner and Yared in the sense that Hollywood found his magnum opus less worthy than a second-hand late rewrite. 

  8. 1 hour ago, Bespin said:

    I discarted "Seconds" just because it's a score from 1966, because usually from that era, I prefer re-recordings.

     

    But it's known to be a great early Goldsmith.

     

    I should give it a try.

     

    I don't think it's for you, it's a very sparse, harsh and cerebral score from an era where Goldsmith was generally much more chamber-music oriented/edgy and less thematic.

  9. 5 hours ago, Taikomochi said:


    Well, that ain’t me because I listen to plenty of classical. I wouldn’t presume what anyone else does or doesn’t listen to because I would have no way of knowing, nor would I attempt to invalidate and gatekeep their opinions based on that info. 

     

    It has nothing to do with gatekeeping to point out that such a comment is close-minded and ignorant. Guys who listen to Hanson et al. FIRST would of course recognize this music in E. T. but it's unlikely that their first reaction is 'gee, that's so much better than what Hanson did'. It's imho a typical fan reaction - in the worst sense.


  10. The bicycle music wasn't the only passage from E. T.'s tearful goodbye sequence that takes its cue from Hanson.

     

    And while it's inevitable that such mentions arouse fan wrath, i always get a chuckle when that dreaded sentence appears 'JW did it better'...yeah sure, when your point of reference is a heart tugging movie from your formative years, sure, beats Hanson. But it's also true that such opinions are 99.99% held by guys who never listen to anything but film music and/or have little knowledge of the classical repertoire.

  11. 5 hours ago, HunterTech said:

    I was gonna refrain from saying this earlier due to the "no shit" vibes it gave, but I swear it feels like you people forget film composers are just following orders a lot of the time.

     

    This is half-true and half omitting the (more bitter) truth behind it: you don't even need educated composers for the most of the 'content' scored these days. And as time goes by, this generational exchange is happening. And i'm not just talking about JunkieXL. I listened carefully through whatever i watched on Prime, Disney+, or Netflix when i still had it, and especially in the genres that used to soak music up like a sponge, i. e. historical or period dramas, 90% or more of it was just chords. It may have lots of electronic layering, to make it sound more impressive, but in a purely musical sense, the harmonization and counterpoint is kindergarten-level.

     

    Before-mentioned guys like Challis, Gordon or even a Laura Karpman are certainly exceptions to the rule, but i believe the 'only following orders' mantra less and less. Even established guys like Giacchino, who can turn out a conceptually decent score like Batman (god knows how many months that took him) only use a very basic musical lingua and get by just by sounding like old film music.

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