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Chen G.

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Chen G. last won the day on October 20 2019

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  1. Oh, right! And episode four had that extremly obvious homage to Apocalypse Now. Both cases violate one of the major rules of filmmaking: "Never make me think of a better movie that I could be watching instead of yours." Oh, if this series had even an iota of the gritty matter-of-fact-ness of Braveheart! I refrained from using that parallel here for being too much of a Cato, but the comparison that came to mind was that very scene in the movie with the rather-inert prologue that opens this show: Finrod has a long, flowery conversation with the KidLadriel and yet its not one bit as involving as Wallace senior's short, laconic "I know you can fight. But its our wits that make us Men." It also helps that when Wallace Senior is brought back dead, the movie spends time on it (remember when movies did that?) whereas here its just a short sequence of shots of Galadriel being sad.
  2. Before it starts losing its way in the 70 minute mark I'm rather fond of Bakshi's film. At least its not demystifying its audience with creation myths... I mean, I don't want to be too flippant with The Rings of Power: it all looks very nice and I love the concept of Adar and his renegade Orcs. I love this rendering of Elrond, too. But the narrative is slop.
  3. I'm reviewing it for Fellowship of Fans. Literally just recorded a video discussion about it with some lovely company.
  4. Crowe also recalls hearing in the tone of the conversation - he remembers it being with Jackson but it was actually with executive producer Mark Ordesky - that he was their choice for the part. This is true: Crowe (who came to mind because he had previously read for Boromir) was the backup in case Mortesen said no. They also thought of other alternatives, including Jason Patric, but didn't approach them.
  5. Yeah. I'm perfectly fine with the kind of literature that "lists" the motives, but I don't think the intricacy of the scores can be deduced from it having 87 leitmotives as opposed to 52. At its core, the magic of the leitmotif system is in a couple of things. One is the way the themes are organized: Bear's score, like most Hollywood scores that use themes for reminiscence, has the themes as a series of individual melodies. They may be linked to each other, but you can't subdivide them into sets and subsets of related and opposing themes: even in Star Wars you can't really do that beyond "good guys" and "bad guys." In Shore's Middle Earth scores, as in The Ring, you can: there are multiple "families" of related themes: like, all the themes associated with the Hobbits are related to each other, and they opposite all the themes associated with Sauron and the Orcs, which are related to each other, and there are further thematic sets for Dwarves, Elves, etc... That organizational principle comes very handy for a couple of reasons: one is that new leitmotives can be introduced fairly late in the game without it feeling like a hail mary because they immediately become attached to an existing set of musical ideas we're already familiar with. Another, even more meaningful reason, is that as the leitmotives develop, they do so in ways that either draw them further from or closer to themes from other "groups": so, as the conflict with Mordor reaches a boiling point, Hobbit-y themes get Mordor-ized, and so the experience of the piece is not one of two opposing musical forces that stand in stark juxtaposition, but rather of multiple musical forces that influence and merge with one another. In other words, the organization and development of the themes matters more than their sheer numbers.
  6. Its like they saw the kind of convoluted backstories that Fantastic Beasts gave to Nagini ("Oh, you think she's just a magic snake? Lol, actually she was once this woman, cool ainnit?) and that Solo gave to the Falcon ("Oh, you thought the Falcon had that fancy navigation computer because that's just the way it is? Lol, actualy it was once this very outspoken Droid of Lando's that got shot and was fused into the ship, cool ainnit?) and decided they could one-up that by giving Mordor a backstory nobody asked for.
  7. Its the earmark of an approach that can make the motives feel like labels and tags in ways that the mature leitmotif does not.
  8. I think there's a lot of truth to this. Shore did sketch a large body of "tunes" that were from the outset associated with certain (somewhat generalized) ideas in the film, but in actually using them he was very flexible and, ultimately, musical about it: I was watching some of Monoverantus' excellent breakdown of The Return of the King and sitting there thinking "The Shore of 2001 couldn't possibly have embarked on a score like The Return of the King." When he sketched "Shire/Hobbits" did he know he was going to do this to it? Did he know he was going to "poison" the Shire with the harmonies of Mordor? But even just within the Fellowship of the Ring: in the earliest stages of concieving of the score, did he think when he was starting to write the Hobbit music that he would take the chipper accompaniment figure and transform it before our eyes into the music of the Ringwraiths? I don't think so - his motives were constantly changing, not just musically and dramatically but also in his own concept of them and in what he finds himself capable of doing with them the more he was playing around with them; and taken across all six scores, he's been living with these melodies for so many years, they don't mean the same things to him that they meant when he first penned them, and that gives the piece an added dimension. Bear very much wrote a bunch of tunes, many of them for very specific implementations, and created a score by making a quilt of these melodies. Its very "I see this I hear this melody, I hear that alluded to I hear that melody." There's nothing wrong with doing that, especially under the time crunch he was in: most programatic music (including film scores) was written this way, but still - something's missing.
  9. Episode 6: not madcap like I thought it would be, but still underwhelming and, ultimately, silly.
  10. If it is, its probably just in the interest of keeping the score unified, not for some underlying thematic reason.
  11. I think of it as the kind of prefiguring (ahnen) of a form the leitmotif will later take, which you get either in overtures or even within the body of leitmotivic works: technically, the presentation of the motive associated with the sword in Das Rheingold ("So grüß' ich die Burg / sicher vor Bang' und Grau'n!") is "jumping the gun" in terms of the way that motive will be gradually rolled-out in Die Walküre.
  12. If what I hear about this upcoming episode is true, he might have had a good hearty laugh at the episode's expense. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna come friday. I have already packed drinks for the occasion!
  13. And of those two works The Hobbit is all but irrelevant: its really just parts of Appendix A, little bits of Appendix B, some mentions from within the pages of The Lord of the Rings proper: you end up with I want to say a maybe 40-page outline of the events. Which, fine by me if this was a more eventful, gripping show with engaging characters and plot developments that made more sense. Alas...
  14. I believe his comment was "how exhausting!" The catalogue is different from what it would have been when it was shown to Williams, though.
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