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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. But the Adams' way is to sit down with the composer, because he (very astutely) bases his analysis on the composer's intentions. Not only might he not get the chance to sit down with Williams, but there is an issue to be had with Williams trying to recollect every motif he wrote for scores forty years removed.
  2. Firstly, two wrongs (e.g. the lifts in Return of the Jedi) don't make a right. Secondly, regardless of those quotes, those scores were largely made up of new material, as is Williams practice. Here, partially because there aren't as many new ideas to fall back on, it isn't. Those lifts are only emblematic of a greater issue with the score, which is that it is dominated by the thematic ideas of Star Wars and The Force Awakens, and often in very familiar statements. That is a first for a Star Wars score. Or am I to understand that not only must we love this score, but we must love it as much as Wiliams' very best, or otherwise be deemed "close-minded"? And lastly, I should clarify that I don't dislike this score. Its not my favorite Star Wars score, not by a mile, but I also don't think its my least favorite, either.
  3. Indeed? There's not a single theme from the Middle Earth score whose B-section Adams classifies as a separate theme, even where it might be appropriate (e.g. The Shire theme). I recall him explaining at length, for instance, how the introduction figure to the History of the Ring (the one from the opening of Fellowship of the Ring) isn't a leitmotif in its own right. The same is true here. I mean, Lehman makes out three "themes" out of Duel of the Fates alone. Come on...
  4. Its been posted before. I have to say, though, I'm not a fan of cataloging each part of what is clearly one theme as a separate leitmotif, as the document linked by the article does.
  5. Fixed. Really, I wouldn't mind it so much if this wasn't coming from a composer who always tried so carefully (and succeed) in crafting scores that were each based on predominantly on new thematic material. For him to abandon (yes, abandon) that way of work in the eighth score is understandable, but disappointing nonetheless. I suppose one can make excuses for it, but that's what they'll always be - excuses. At the very least, we can agree its nowhere near top-tier Williams.
  6. Not to mention over-compensating in terms of seeing leitmotives anywhere. Its just a little piccolo figure: It doesn't represent anything.
  7. But since Han Solo doesn't have a lover during the events of Star Wars, surely any romance which will transpire during the events of Solo will have failed or ended in tragedy. That sets us up to a tragic love theme, which will probably by in minor, no?
  8. Even the fighting Uruk Hai isn't the same take on the material as it is on the CR.
  9. And yet, its not completely beyond Williams to give an existing character another, new theme, if only for the sake of keeping the score fresh. There should have been more of that in this. As it is, its a notable departure from the composer's body of work in that each score was based predominantly on new thematic material. And yet his compositions are, at their core, leitmotivic. That he sometimes (and not that often) strays away from the narrative significance of the leitmotif doesn't undo the structure as a whole. Wagner also used his themes like that, sometimes.
  10. Which is why a "more music from Middle Earth" or something like that might be a better idea.
  11. Its a continuity error, nevertheless. It goes to show that, during the production of the original Star Wars, Lucas had no idea he'd go back to this backstory, much less include the droids in it. Same goes for uncle Owen not recgonising either of the two droids. Its not a fault of the original Star Wars. Its because of the prequels!
  12. In general I think it would be beneficial to boundle up new material from both parts of the sextet for release. There's also some unreleased diegetic work from Plan 9, Viggo Mortensen et al, which I for one would love to hear, as well.
  13. Hamill is possibly better here than he ever was, in any role. I don't mind the character, except for his attempt on Ben's life, which is out-of-character. Otherwise, everything with him is cinematic gold. Too bad there was a lot of bad stuff to mire the gold in. Really, at the end of The Force Awakens, what did you expect Luke to be other than a broken old man?
  14. Point is, James Newton Howard is the man for the job. No further discussion is needed there.
  15. My guess is that he found that the score already had enough themes in it (new and old). Williams doesn't like to write particularly dense scores.
  16. Yes, exactly. Just felt like a cutaway gag. It was begging for a laugh-track. I don't have a problem with those jokes, per se, I just would have cut them for time. There is enough humor to be wrung from Luke and Rey (like I said, that reaching-out killed me) that you don't need all that stuff, and it just adds to this film's already egregious pacing and runtime.
  17. I wouldn't take this as a very "romantic" application of the leitmotif: it doesn't take much thinking to realize why its there. Its not like leitmotives need to represent what's readily apparent on the screen. I personally prefer the Howard Shore school of thought. Williams does this often enough that it somehwat "cheapens" some of the themes, to me. After eight scores, themes such as the Rebel Fanfare and The Force theme have been, very unfortunately, reduced to generally "triumphant music" and "melancholic music" accordingly, which is a shame. Not to mention the way Shore creates sets and subsets of related themes, the way he uses the opening of the film as an overture or entr'acte, the way he uses the third score as a summation of the existing thematic material, etc. On the level of the leitmotivic construction, its in a whole other level.
  18. It is played as a Star Destroyer is heading back to the Death Star. Again, more than being applied to the Star Destroyer, its more a way for Williams to introduce this motif as early as he possibly can. Williams was very specific about what this motif means. Its undoubtedly a motif for the Death Star.
  19. Humor is so incredibly subjective, that I don't look so much into whether a joke landed or not. Personally, I laughed my ass off of the reaching out and Yoda's "page-turners" remarks. What matters about humor in a film like this is how well its integrated into the narrative. Done right, it can be used to leverage suspense and darkness. For that to work, it needs to be spontaneous and understated. Something like Poe's hang-up routine may be funny to some, but I think anyone can see that it doesn't really fit into the opening "James Bond" action scene of this film. Other jokes I would just cut for the sake of the runtime. I mean, Chewbacca's run-in with the Porgs feels like an in-universe commercial break. There is a cutaway to the Caretakers (I believe in the cours of Rey's training, a rock is dislodged at their cart) that I rolled my eyes at, which is to say nothing of how detailed this film is with Luke's daily routine: WHY did I need to see him mil that, that...that thing? WHY?
  20. And yet all his films have great kernels of humanity and emotion to them. Superb filmmaker!
  21. I find it quite memorable, and very emotionally resonant, for me.
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