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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. Well, the Jedi Steps sequence (which is essentialy scored with an inverted variation of Luke's theme) has echoes of the Imperial March, so yeah. But in that sequence it made sense, at least during the time of scoring: the music was suggesting the possiblity that Luke may turn out to have turned to evil. Its a subtle but powerful dramatic mechanism. In the Last Jedi, however, a couple of questionable decisions aside, that isn't really an issue, so why have the music suggest that in The Spark?
  2. Indeed. But its not that big of an issue. Like I said, its not like his music is banned in any formal way (after all, we are a western democracy) its just a taboo, and one that is gradually wearing out, as we get further and further removed from the memories of World War II.
  3. Try telling that to the current Israeli minister of culture. You'll risk giving her an aneurysm.
  4. The Rohan material in general is very memorable, I think.
  5. Indeed. I don't think its that much of an issue, though. He was antisemetic (and generally a very acerbic man at times) but that's true of so many people in the arts and entertainment buisness, and we generally don't shun their works off the way we do Wagner's, much less after such a long time. I never found the Nazi issue to be particularly relevant, as it happened long after the composer had died. Its not his "fault" that Hitler loved his music. Hell, we play Strauss' music, and he was employed by the Nazi party for a short period of time. I also always ask people on this subject: if Mozart was antisemetic, would his music be banned? Because Wagner is of that very stature. By the way, Howard Shore is also Jewish, and he clearly LOVES Wagner's music. I find his main tunes for the various films to be as memorable as anything out there. You don't need every single theme in the catalog to be particularly memorable (you don't see people humming the Boba Fett motif either, right?). Once you have one or two big tunes per film, you can have as many little motives as you want, and that's what Shore does.
  6. Titanic isn't symphonic Enya, it's just Braveheart 2.00. I like the original better. Sure, but a rewatch never hurts. Its a shame, really. In high-school, Wagner is only mentioned through his anti-semetic statements, within the context of the background to the Nazi brand of antisemitism. So the impression one is left with is that he was a loud-mouth, wannabe composer. The extent of his musical genius is never shown.
  7. Indeed. It's not forbidden or anything, just taboo.
  8. Hell, true snobs of classical music often look down on romantic music (to which most orchestral film scores belong) and/or programmatic music (which films scores are by definition) altogether. That the layman knows orchestral music as "classical" really is a shame.
  9. Wagner really is in his own league on this. It's a shame they don't play his music in my country.
  10. Yeah, I thought of that, but you'd still want them at least sitting quite far away if you actually want tension in the finding of the keyhole, Bilbo losing the key, etc... And I see it as tied to the character of Balin (who is unsure about their cause from the very beginning) who urges the company to leave, and to the theme of the film, which seeks to temper with Thorin's ambition and raises the viewpoint of such characters as Bard who indeed view it as vain. Anyhow, I see the issue, it's just really not a big one for me, nor are others of that sort. I find the Dwarves, and especially Thorin, to be extremly compelling throughout, and that's what counts.
  11. Really, I'm not quite sure how I would have staged either of the two differently. Doesn't make them examples of brilliant cinema, but to me they weren't as bad as they were to you. The way the films are written, they seemingly have no other choice left, and you want to prove Bilbo's contribution and inject the scene with some tension. I guess another aspect that saves it for me is that, perhaps unlike the Sam example, that scene immediately turns on a dime as Bilbo finds the door almost immediately thereafter. They certainly didn't undo my investment in the Dwarves and Thorin, or the emotional effectiveness of them actually setting foot inside Erebor.
  12. I think the proof of Shore's orchestrations are in the pudding, as it were. That he managed to craft a unique sound for his work as a whole, and to each culture within that work, both by use of the orchestra, the choir and a loooong list of unusual instruments - is all one could hope for in terms of orchestration, and than some.
  13. By the way, there's a hurdy-gurdy in "Flaming Red Hair."
  14. I'm talking about when the door actually opens. And yes, I suppose having them give up and walk away first wasn't the best idea for the film but it certainly didn't offend me the way it did you: it's a standard, if overused, device of heightening tension, as well as a means of giving Bilbo more agency in an otherwise Dwarf-centric story. It certainly couldn't just "happen" immediately. I guess that I give it a pass because it's staged such that Balin is the one to suggest that they walk away and he is portrayed from the very beginning as conflicted about their cause. In fact, his dumbfoundedness as he enters the mountain is a milestone in the development of his character. His and Thorin's awe is very palpable, and I still find the thing incredibly moving. Armitage and the other main Dwarves (Stot, McTavish, Nesbit) are fantastic throughout and make the films for me much more than Freeman's Bilbo. I'm totally fine with the trilogy being theirs, as it were.
  15. Oh, sure. But most composers have certain strengths. Williams' is the brass section. Shore's the voices. Sometimes, the brightness of the sound of the Xylophone or Glockenspiel in his writing breaks up the tension in his music: e.g. The Mustafar material.
  16. Well, its the most linear, most Bilbo-centric and most faithful to the novel. If that's your thing, you'll naturally like it the best. The other two really are a re-interpertation of the novel through the description of "Durin's Folk" which is fine by me: literary film adaptation are always a re-interpertation, to some extent. For one thing, the focus of the story in the later two shifted to Thorin and the Dwarves, whose story I find much, much more compeling than Bilbo's. All my favorite moments relate to them: I love the way they behold the mountain from across the mists of the long lake. One of the best emotional beats is the opening of the hidden door. Those kinds of moments are incredibly delicate to film. Its also a darker story, and I found it exhilirating for it. I very much appreciate the inclusion of the charred remains of the Smaug's victims, including an infant in his mother's arms. A great means of launching the narrative into the (false) third act!
  17. I don't see his creation as necessarily "indulgent". I understand why he made three films: its a packed novel, and each film has more than enough individual setpieces and sequences to justify a feature-film. It also accomodates better for the tonal shift following Smaug's leaving of the Lonely Mountain, where the novel suddenyl takes a turn to the archaic and becomes almost a political thriller between Thorin and Bard, and continues to become a tragic war epic. Really, the only part of the three that is overindulgent, in my eyes, is "An Unexpected Journey", so I frame it as a slip-up (which happens to all directors) rather than a regression, per se. The other two flow well and seem to lend themselves better to Jackson's darker streak, I feel. I think he just had a hard time coming to gripes with the rolicking novel, compard to the more archaic interpertation provided through "Durin's Folk" in "Return of the King." With the sequels, he felt less obligated to the former, and based his work more on the latter.
  18. Its funny, looking at some of my favorites, the Middle Earth scores are very much vocal pieces, Star Wars is very much a piece for brass, and Braveheart is all strings and woodwinds.
  19. Well, brass is undeniably Williams' strongest, and the music of Star Wars is the most brass-heavy in his catalog. I, on the other hand, very much see the human voice as the finest of all instruments, and so my preferences in terms of the two scores in question is clear. It doesn't mean that I'm going about calling my prefered musical franchise an "achievement without peer"...
  20. Game of Thrones takes gritty to a point where its beyond realistic. Its just too sanguine and depraved. Peter Jackson cited his inspiration as being derived from historical (and quasi-historical) epics, namely Braveheart. So its just as gritty as it needs to be. And yet, to me, the emotional core of every single one of his films still works, which overrides whatever production and editing woes his films may exhibit.
  21. Its also en example of his visual style: he likes getting the camera really, REALLY close to the actors. Much like Sergio Leone, it creates a nice juxtaposition with the shots of wide vistas. Although I think the edit of Fellowship of the Ring showcases too much of that tendency, compared to the rest of his opus. In that sense, you see a progression in his style of directing.
  22. Nah, that was just a rough cut. They're almost always mind-numbingly long. The rough cut of Revenge of the Sith was creeping up on four hours!
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