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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. Sorry, I meant 1996, for the scores Horner wrote and that had debuted in 1995, the oscar for which he lost to The Postman, for crying out loud.
  2. Didn't he record just as much for Return of the Jedi? and even more for The Force Awakens? Also, is Williams misremembering when he says: "“Rey has a theme, Kylo Ren has a theme, Finn has one, Rose has one." Either he's refering to that "pursuit" ostinato from The Force Awakens (which I don't recall at all in this), or he is talking about new material from this film which relates to Finn, which again I certainly can't point to, or he's misremembering slightly. Interesting that he doesn't mention Holdo as having a theme, I'd say it's a case for naming that motif as "desperation", but than ex silentio isn't my favorite way of proving a point.
  3. Don't you give Williams any ideas. There's already enough Xylophone/Glockenspiel runs in his music, as it is.
  4. Yes, there are moments where it is deflated by the acting, but for the most part I think it works. That was very bold of George Lucas to go for. I mean, killing the younglings? Anakin getting burnt beyond repair? Very out-of-character for Star Wars, in a good way.
  5. Me too, but I'm not a big fan of either. They're just solid entertainment. And again, derivative as it, I do find The Force Awakens to be the better of the two. As for ranking the whole series, as others around here are so keen to do: that's more tricky, for me. I do like Empire Strikes Back the most, that's for sure. Its the only truly outstanding film in the series: a nearly perfectly made motion picture. Then its a toss-up between the original Star Wars and The Force Awakens (the latter being derivative of the former, but also far better acted, and imbued with far more foreboding) and, after that, a toss-up between Return of the Jedi, The Last Jedi and Revenge of the Sith, with Sith being the darkest, The Last Jedi being the most visually striking, and Return of the Jedi being the most conclusive. I like The Phantom Menace significantly less, although I don't hate it by any means, but I do have a strong dislike for Attack of the Clones: easily the worst of the series; makes Phantom Menace look like a masterwork.
  6. Oh, I loved that statement of Luke and Leia. Works wonders in the picture!
  7. Since when is disagreement unpleasant? This is a discussion board, and discussion is, by its very nature, driven by disagreement. If everyone agrees to something, there would be no need to discuss it. At no point did this discussion (unlike others) took a turn towards the unpleasant. It's just a friendly, intellectual exchange of ideas and opinions, I think.
  8. That's certainly a good idea, but than, some of them are labeled under "themes" and some under "incidental motifs", no doubt depending on their prominence. So its more than just being organized and convenient. Its not a criticism by any means: the paper clearly states that it "includes B-themes when they are heard detached in underscore." I'm just offering a different take on that.
  9. Our distinction between themes and motifs is an artificial one. "Themes", at least in the case of these scores, are just leitmotives that are much longer than usual. "Luke's theme", for instance, is a leitmotif for Luke, regardless of how long it is.
  10. I don't think he intended for those things to be anything but what you say: one theme, multi-faceted as it may be. Williams writes long themes with introduction figures, bridge sections, b-phrases, end-caps, etc. Rarely, if at all, does he refer to them as separate thematic ideas, nor does he imbue each of them with a distinct narrative function to justify such a distinction.
  11. And through intention: there are inevitably going to be some recurring gestures in a feature-film length score. Doesn't mean that every recurring sequence of a couple of notes is a deliberate leitmotif. Its like how, in a screenplay, not every repeated phrase, much less a repeated word, is necessarily a callback.
  12. But Adams works by getting the composer to point out the different themes, and rightly so: otherwise, you'd have all sorts of little recurring gestures that you could never be too sure about. That a gesture is recurring doesn't necessarily mean that its a theme. Sometimes, the composer's intention (or lack thereof) is clear through the music, sometimes - not so much. That's where the composer has to come in and say "yeah" or "nay".
  13. I'll third (?) that! Verbose alert! The criteria is clear alright. Its certainly not an issue of consistency on the part of your analysis, and its certainly not the first time I've seen such an approach so its not like I don't understand where you're coming from. I'm just not entirely sure its the best approach, is all. I also do not think it is what Williams intended, which is perhaps the most significant drawback I find in such a naming convention, semantic though it might be. I've never seen him suggest anything of this nature in interviews, liner notes, etc - with the exception of one fleeting comment about the main theme, whose B-phrase I believe he had confused, at the time, with Leia's theme (to be fair, I think it was an interview a good 14 years removed from Return of the Jedi). Even looking back at such things as the liner notes to Empire Strikes Back, for instance, at no point does Williams, in his own words, refer to the ostinato accompaniment of the Imperial March, distinct as it is in sound and application, as a different theme alltogether, and how could it be? what, in terms of the story, does it represent that the unabridged theme does not? Does it really represent anything other than the Empire and Vader is some way? I guess that's the deciding aspect, for me: when one starts to dissect a theme, one can be hard-pressed to provide each part of the theme with a unique narrative meaning, which is part of what makes a leitmotif what it is. Again, if we are to look to the Adams analysis of that other score (as inappropriate as such a comparison might be, given how well Doug knew Shore's intentions, and at the time of the composition no less, unlike we do Williams'), the B-phrase of The Shire theme is distinct, and applied separately and very differently in the score, and I would even argue that it represents a whole other facet of the Shire, and yet its not a theme in its own right, by Adams' account. And its true of other themes in those scores glossary, as well, as it is also true of those of other composers, Williams included. There's an element of personal interpretation there, I guess, but to my mind its not the best approach.
  14. The Force Awakens is, I think, a more polished and certainly better paced film. This film is more ambitious, and much, much more visually striking, but also has some bad composite and CG shots, serious pacing issues throughout, and a lot of the characters don't feel nearly as compelling, which also extends to the level of their acting and dialogue: this includes all the baddies (Snoke, Hux, Phasma), DJ and, to some extent, Rose. I also think a lot of the aesthetic of the set-design are a departure from the worn-down, "used" look of Star Wars, which The Force Awakens did adhere to, and more of a step in the glossy look of the prequels: namely, Canto Bight and Snoke's chambers. I feel like Rian Johnson lacked restraint in terms of action and stakes (to the point that the film is already so climactic with the ramming of Snoke's ship that it feels like it could come to close, which it doesn't) and in terms of his attempts at surprising the audience: really, all you need is one surprising twist at the mid-point (Snoke's demise) and that's it. You don't need to completely subvert expectation in every single turn. I enjoyed it well enough. But I do think people can't help but feel disappointed at what they hoped would be a truly outstanding film, and wasn't.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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...
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Not to mention over-compensating in terms of seeing leitmotives anywhere. Its just a little piccolo figure: It doesn't represent anything.
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