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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. 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...
  2. I believe his comment was "how exhausting!" The catalogue is different from what it would have been when it was shown to Williams, though.
  3. I read the piece. Rickman doesn't sound a particularly curmudgeony kind of person in these notes: I've read memoires or diaries of other actors/filmmakers that were much more acerbic.
  4. There's never a perfectly defined line for how far we fragment the themes into their composite parts: its partially why leitmotif lists for The Ring vary so greatly: from 84 (Lavignac) to 261 (Mikisch). Its a question, in part, of how much the composite parts appear in isolation from one another and to what extent they develop distinct associations, but its also a question of their independent musical character. I believe Lavignac lists one "Freia theme" which in most catalogues is listed as two separate motives, and if you know the score you can definitely see the point of separating them: they have different musical characters, are mostly used independently from each other and have different associations. Whereas the motive associated with Valhalla, which has many composite parts, is almost always counted as one motive even though we do hear its separate components independently, but they all have a very similar musical characters and they all carry the same associations. Likewise, Doug Adams used to list the Main Star Wars theme as two separate motives: they're not used independently of each other particularly, but they do have very distinct musical character. For the purposes of Star Wars themes, I think using Frank Lehman's thematic catalogue is a sufficient starting point. He counts three different motives associated with Rey and two or three associated with Kylo Ren, and I believe all of those appear in the end-credits. So, by that "counting" that would constitute a fairly large amount of material and quite possibly the densest of Williams' ouvre.
  5. Meh, I never make too much fuss about titles. The War of the Rohirrim deserves to be called Lord of the Rings even less than The Rings of Power, but I’m still intrigued by it. The show wouldn’t have been one iota better no matter what name you’d stick it with.
  6. Yeah, that's my point: Sir Noel Coward once said that you don't want "two layers of romance" to vye for the audience's attention. It could be that Columbus' sugary visuals with Williams' dulcet score were too much for Rickman.
  7. Cato here, but I still like The Order of the Phoenix the most: my memory of the book - if I hadn't already given-up on them by that point - is sketchy at best and I'm just judging them as one should: as movies. That movie had some editing choices I might have gone about differently, but on the whole it clipped along and had what I consider to be a very moving ending. I'm also partial to Azkaban (very inventive) and The Half-Blood Prince. I've mellowed down on my dislike for The Philosopher's Stone: Columbus direction is a little pedestrian, but the novelty of the film counts for a lot and ultimately saves it from its own pacing. Chamber of Secrets, while more intense, does not have that luxury, sadly. As for Rickman's thoughts on the Williams' score, I think its something along the lines of how@Fabulin reads it. Maybe he found the marriage of music and visuals a little cloying.
  8. You jest, but a while back there was a discussion about how negative opinions don't play as well to the Fellowship of Fans audience and how we might go about redressing that balance... I think this most recent episode, however, granted me some more leeway because we ALL thought it was bonkers. But I do generally try to point out good things about what I watch: even in something awful like The Rise of Skywalker I try my darndest to find some positives like "it looks beautiful" or "the action setpieces are nice", etc... Up until the recent episode, I didn't find the show a fiasco on that level - mostly it was just a little dull.
  9. Yes, we get it. Just because you have symbolism in your visuals doesn't mean its good symbolism or that they're good visuals. The title sequence is simply not worthy of Shore's great music.
  10. I really don't want to be too harsh - I like the slow-motion, I don't mind the returning lines, I think this Elrond is a great character, I think the Durins are great, I like a lot of the tableaux. Its really just the length of the setup - five hours fifteen minutes of it! - and now this most recent plot development (and one yet to come in the upcoming episode) that are throwing me off. Many people are thinking he's Sauron, but I think the idea of an ersatz-Aragorn (Ersatzagorn, if you will) would be too appealing to these writers to play it anyway other than straight.
  11. That moment had many people laughing out loud. It certainly did me. They just chose the wrong take for her closeups: there are better takes in some teasers where its more her having a moment of respite and appreciating the wind on her face and it looks like a nice moment; whereas in the finished piece, its this silly grin which, if you saw a lot of interviews with Morfydd Clark, she does a lot. But it doesn't work for this Galadriel - I timed it, it happens less than two minutes after she threatens to stab Elendil. Its perhaps worth saying that Clark hadn't ridden horses prior to this show, and so while I'm sure we're not seeing her literally first horse-ride, its nevertheless a fresh experience for her and so what we're seeing is Morfydd Clark's joy of horse-riding rather than Galadriel's. There's also a rumour that when the shot was taken she hadn't mastered the gallop and so we're seeing a juxtaposition of her face on a riding double, but that's as of yet unconfirmed.
  12. Not accounting for tastes, the Shore theme has the advantage of being something we've already heard (or, for new listeners, something they will hear) multiple times, in several forms and with all manner of associations, and so it has a significance to the listener that a completely new theme by Bear doesn't have.
  13. I think its a very fine score, definitely well beyond and above "acceptable". But for reasons outlined earlier, its hard - for some more than others - to not think of what could have been hearing this instead of this and this instead of this.
  14. I do wonder if, going forward, Howard Shore's excellent theme can seep into the underscore. It wouldn't help with not drawing comparisons, but it will give the (brilliant) Howard Shore-penned material some more air-time and set it against actual visuals. And I'm still hoping for a Howard Shore War of the Rohirrim score!
  15. You just answered your own question. The soundscape is very, very important: leitmotives always become associated with certain orchestral colours, whether its muted horns with the Tarnhelm, rumbling pianos with the Imperial Walkers or tin whistles with Hobbits. To replicate those colours so deliberately is to invite comparisons and, in so doing, ensure the score lives with an inferiority complex. Doesn't mean its not a fine, fine score; but the comparison is unavoidable. Only if Bear broke away completely with Howard Shore's practices - and, significantly, had the show not had a bona-fide Howard Shore piece in it - could those comparisons be avoided. As it is, they can't.
  16. I would be perfectly capable of listening to Bear's score without thinking of Shore, by the way, just like I can Leonard Rosenman's. But, unlike Rosenman's score, here each episode opens with a (fantastic, by the way) Howard Shore piece. Furthermore, each episode features timbres which are used very deliberately to evoke Howard Shore's "sound": We see Dwarves, enter the male voices. Why? Because that's an association we have in Howard Shore's scores. Elf scenes? Ethereal female choir and harps? Why, because that's a colour Shore associates with the Elves. Hobbits? tin whistles and uileann pipes galore, because that's what we associate with the Hobbits. Even the Hardinfelle that's used to score the Soutlands scenes (and Halbrand's) recall Shore's Rohan writing. Orcs get lots of percussion and very nasal exotic woodwinds. Why? Because that's what the bad guys are associated with in HOWARD SHORE'S SCORES. If you don't want to invite comparisons, write something totally different. As it is, Bear didn't do that: He intentionally wrote something that begs the comparisons, and only serves to highlight the differences.
  17. A simple harmonic language isn't a bad thing. Besides, the complexity of Shore's writing is less in the harmonic language and more the motivic complexity: There had flat out not been anything like it since Der Ring Des Nibelungen.
  18. I think its a very lovely score, but the Shore titles and the fact that Shore's colours are used: so, men for Dwarves, women for Elves, celtic instruments for Hobbits, and even the Hardinfelle - all make me ache for a Howard Shore score or at least for some of his themes. Its sad to think the downfall of Numenore won't be scored with a version of the main nature theme: think how powerful it would have been that this theme we associate with the Eagles and the Moth and the Rohirrim coming to the rescue would also be attached to the great cataclysm of Numenore.
  19. Its certainly a major idea for the film, and its a shame it got lost in the subsequent scores. But these scores really don't have "main" themes.
  20. Ema Horvath is a big fan favourite, yes. She lurks around on Reddit and she's got none of the airs and graces that so many of the other cast members (motioning in the direct of Benjamin Walker) do.
  21. The dragon sickness is like the love potion in Tristan: its not real. Thorin just thinks he single-handedly set Smaug loose on his own heirs and is left with nothing but the gold, and so his depression causes him to go mad and attach a lot of importance to the gold. Certainly the insomnia doesn't help. All the traits he exhibits under scourge of the supposed "dragon sickness" are ones he already exhibits earlier down the line: self-delusion, bad temper, pride, isolationism, neuroticism, etc.. At any rate, the Dragon Sickness thing is set-up much more thoroughly than this whole Mithril malarky.
  22. ...that invariably coalesce with that hilt somehow being used to make a big explosion et voilà, InstaMordor! Did I mention jumping the shark a second time?
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