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SteveMc

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Everything posted by SteveMc

  1. This is a philosophical thread people! tsk tsk
  2. If I am John Williams the first thing I would do is sit down and write a couple of symphonies now that Star Wars is all finished.
  3. We had an ancient Hoover back in the day. Best vacuum cleaner we ever had, more than 10 years of service. All the others died a couple of years after purchase. We have a Hoover again now, not quite the same, but good enough.
  4. American composer Florence Price: Violin Concerto No. 2 EDIT: The Violin Concerto No. 1 in D is pretty good , too.
  5. Well, at least tell us what they studied, what their jobs are! Going to weddings is not really a profession, now is it?
  6. Four Weddings And a Funeral Just okay. I like a good "chick flick" more than most guys do, but this one, well, seemed just a bit too concerned with surface trappings for my liking. You never really get to know who the characters are. Solid performances, though. 3/4 After Hours Rather interesting one. A tad atypical for Scorsese, though he throws in plenty of camerawork and psychological stuff to make his presence behind the camera known. Basic plot is that a bored everyman is thrust into the half comical, half dark and disturbing underworld of New York, which seems to be populated mostly by rather absurd misfits artists. Not sure what the whole point is, whether the everyman will now love his "normal" life now or not. His character does not grow as much as he gradually becomes confused, without much in the way of resolution. 3/4 Rushmore The first Wes Anderson film that I can say I really enjoyed. Max is a unique take on the Ferris Bueller prototype, and, despite being a pain, remains sympathetic and eventually demonstrates growth as a character. Camerawork and editing are delicious. Performances are compelling. I like how Anderson does not shy away from showing the kind of darker or unexpected sides to the characters. The ending ties things maybe too neatly together, but Anderson was young and hopeful, so he can be forgiven for that. Plus watching the movie was a fun exercise in recognizing Houston area locations and objects. 3.5/4
  7. Well, even something like Home Alone has him writing a piece like "Star of Bethlehem" which seems to be very self-aware of its seriousness, without becoming self-important.
  8. This is how I divide his career. The 50s represents a student period, so I would keep that separate From about 1960-1974 we have the Early Period Here, Williams really began his career in the concert hall and for the screen. At first, he kind of divided the two fields, trying to write "serious" concert works and lighter film and TV works. As his concert career did not really take off, Williams seemed to begin to devote more creative energies to his dramatic works, now also using the name "John" for them. Jane Eyre perhaps represents his first fully mature work. The next period I call the Heroic Period which lasted from 1975 to about 1986 The death of his first wife, Barbara, is the event that divides the periods and, as Williams has said, marks a major turning point in his life and art. Williams's music in this period is marked by two things: subject material that reflects heroic themes and events, and characters; and, music that represents a struggle with and triumph over challenges in life. The transition piece here is the Violin Concerto, which, like his trio of disaster scores in a sense, deal with the emotions of a sudden calamity. After this, Williams seems to have become more personal in his music, even as he began scoring more and more high profile works. The intense forces of nature and exhausted triumph in Jaws. The reaching for something higher in the artisic triumph that is CE3K. The straightforward, ambitious heroics of the Star Wars movies, Superman, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, with their love themes that range from yearning, to acceptance (Death and Transfiguration quote in Superman) to romantic renewal. And, finally, the utter triumph and joy in the last sequence of E.T., where Williams, now at the pinnacle of American music, gives a symphonic statement that calls to mind the Finales of Beethoven's Heroic period. This period is followed by what I guess I can call the Reflective Period. This is a rather brief one, lasting from 1986 to maybe 1996. Here we find Williams thinking about his legacy, trying to craft music that can stand alone in a sense. He returned to more concert music writing. And, his film writing underwent a change to a more subtle approach. Scores like Empire of the Sun, Born on the Fourth of July, and Schindler's List are prime examples, but even his blockbuster scores, like The Last Crusade, Hook, and Jurassic Park are marked by this shift. For me, this represented Williams at his compositional peak. Next comes what I call John's Experimental Period, which started in about 1996 and lasted until 2005 or so. (KOTCS, and the late 00s concerti represent kindsof inter-period works) This period was marked by Williams beginning to be more eclectic in how he approached film projects. He began to be a little more adventurous with many scores, even more operatic, even, than he had been before. The Prequel Scores, A.I., and Memoirs of a Geisha are some prime examples. His concert works also began to really push the boundaries of modern romanticism. Finally, we have John's Late Period. Starting in about 2011, Williams started to write music that has felt a little reflective, where he has streamlined things, but has returned to a sort of straightforward vitality. Yet, the music he has written for film in this period are quite distinct from anything he has done before, even in recent years. Semi-retirement has allowed him to be more selective with his projects, and spend possibly some more time on them. Also, I find he has made strides in terms of structure in his concert works.
  9. Yeah, this place is a refuge from all that din.
  10. Get with the times! Even Matriss loves it now!
  11. I'm an old soul. My tastes and opinions in everything are rather at odds with the prevailing zeitgeists. I often feel like I was born at the wrong time, and things that make me think otherwise usually slip away from me.
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