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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. Doesn't sound right to me. These films have a certain aesthetic which extends to their runtime. I like long movies, but for this series I don't think it will work. It has always relied on a very kinetic narrative. It will probably turn out to be fake news, anyhow.
  2. Than prepared to not be surprised. The program has been published. No mention of choir. Though, as you say, unlike Return of the Jedi, here it will likely go unnoticed.
  3. Titanic is the exception to the rule. As for Lord of the Rings and Dark Knight, they're not even in the top ten anymore. Dark stories are not as accessible, I'm afraid. Its easier to watch something that is just "fun" throughout like, say, The Avengers. There is some poignancy to several episodes, I've found. And I do think Empire Strikes Back is deserving of a masterpiece status. Some films earlier in the history of the medium achieved this status for much less. And this is all coming from someone who is a casual fan of Star Wars, at best.
  4. Yes, but Empire Strikes Back is a serious film, in terms of tone; Revenge of the Sith, for all its flaws, is a serious film. So the aesthetics of Star Wars allow for a serious story to be told. Force Awakens is also quite serious, actually. Its just counteracted by insistent (albeit good) humor. The Last Jedi is certainly being sold as a "serious" film, as well.
  5. Its called making a four-quadrant film, and its something that Hollywood does reasonably well most of the time with these blockbusters. Of all the studios, Disney is the one most associated with a "brand" in terms of the tone of its films. And yes that makes it difficult for them to produce truly poignant pieces of cinema. Because to be poignant, a film needs to be serious, and being serious makes the film a lot more dark and dire. Also, while serious, dire and foreboding films can be made to make a lot of money (Lord of the Rings, Dark Knight) they are nowehere near the very top of the box office. That's reserved for stuff like Avatar, the Force Awakens and Jurrassic World. Even just in the Star Wars franchise, look at The Empire Strikes Back, the most dire and serious of the films (besides Revenge of the Sith), and also by far the least profitable one.
  6. Its a curious thing, for me, because I was never aware of music in film as music. It was always such an integral part of the impression and the emotion of the scene that I never thought of it as music per se. I mean, I was humming the Minas Tirith theme to no end for the better part of four years, without understanding what I was doing. The first time I was aware of music in film as being music was the company theme in An Unexpected Journey, because of the shift from source to underscore to end-credits song. The first theme that I ever hummed was, I believe, the Superman theme.
  7. Me too, but its not that great that It would lead me into sitting through upward of two and a half hours of british actors chewing the scenery to no end.
  8. I get it. Its certainly not my favorite element of Harry Potter films, although since it comes hand-in-hand with the narrative growing progressively darker (in that the characters and the narrative "grow up") I'll take it over a stakeless two hour and forty minutes of retreaded exposition any day. Its not like any of the Harry Potter films are these cinematic masterpieces or critical darlings.
  9. I think the question is whether or not he will utilize the trailer to introduce the new main theme (e.g. Gondor in Ascension for Return of the King or the Company theme for An Unexpected Journey) , or will it just be your average trailer-ized "epic" statement of the Force.
  10. Interesting. To me, its the Chris Columbus films that are WAY too juvenile. I like the music, but not nearly as much as I need in order to sit through those films, especially Chamber of Secrets.
  11. Yes, like I said, its not really an issue that should very much affect the quality of the performance, but it would have been nice if they could match the size of the orchestra from the recording of Empire and Jedi, which is over 100 pieces, plus a small choir for the latter. Its really not such a big undertaking, is what I meant.
  12. And he made a similar point before the release of The Phantom Menace. Among other things, its important for the Academy Awards. Not that I think that's why he works the way he does.
  13. Well, they are from a totally different period of his professional life, and his style changed since than. Any composer would be hard-pressed to wed those two styles together within a single score, so maybe having only sparse quotes of his existing entries is warranted here. As for JJ, we know that in keeping with his remake effort, he even told Williams to "connect it to the earlier films" so he was naturally all for quotes of existing themes. I don't imagine we'll here it and even if we do, it will probably only be a brief cameo. Its barely in Return of the Jedi, as it is.
  14. What, that "dare we use the Imperial March here?" comment? Again, there is not much guesswork to be made here. Williams is consistent in that he is quite vocal (and proud) of writing scores that are based predominantly on new thematic material with each entry.
  15. That is interesting. Maybe there will be something to be found in that score which will be like those quotes of Bespin during the Battle of the Heroes. Although, again, Williams is always trying to write as much of the score based on new thematic material, even if that leads to continuity issues.
  16. But we have seen live performances that reinstitute unused sections (including parts that were not on the album) like the Lord of the Rings concerts. Although, to be fair, even with those there was/is a learning curve of sorts. Also, those concerts show that it is possible to amass large forces (they're performed at a minimum of 230 performers, I believe) and while it doesnt necessarily effect the quality of the performance, its staging does add this larger-than-life Mahler-esque quality that I think suits those concerts well. The forces here are surprisingly small, even compared to the recorded ensemble. Normally I don't mind, but something like the male choir in Return of the Jedi is used a bit too frequently for its ommision not to be frowned upon, I think.
  17. Not on the level of the music itself or the performance, those were to be expected to be good. The issues are rather on the level of the production: The film is presented in its special edition; Williams' personal engagement in the project seems to be small; The music follows the finished film (replete with edits, muted music, etc); diegetic music is not performed; choir and unique orchestrations are removed; the forces are drastically reduced; etcetra.
  18. Even the programs scanned earlier in the thread seem to only be based on pre-existing interviews with Williams. Its all kind of dissappointing, in a way, really.
  19. Well, when you're staging Gurre Leider or something like that, you kind of have to do those reductions. Just like recruiting twice the trumpets (or the entire brass section) just for the charge of the Rohirrim is just not feasible. In the meanwhile, the program for Return of the Jedi was published. No choir is mentioned. I don't get it, it's an amplified performance so they could have got away with a small choir like in the original recording. It doesn't even require singers of unusual range.
  20. Exactly. The least children-oriented is "Empire Strikes Back", which is by far the least lucrative entry of the whole series. This new trilogy is all PG-13 and the "The Force Awakens" does feel more dire than the original Star Wars, but I wouldn't say its truly dark in the way that "Revenge of the Sith" is. Part of why that is so, has to do with the witty banter between characters. There's some sort of joke in every other line of dialogue and it does inject levity into the story. Its a bit much for me, but it is what it is. I like my films serious and, by that token, dark. It puts the audience in a state that allows for more emotional involvement.
  21. Star Wars is as nostalgic as it is because it originaly aimed at a very young demographic. They were, essentialy, kids' films. They have moments of gravity or darkness, sure, but their tone is mostly dominated by "fun space adventures." I only encountered them as an adult. They're just not as big a deal outside of the US, so I wasn't growing up in a scene of popular culture that was as informed (or saturated) with Star Wars. Now, I enjoy grandeur of scale in films, so I'm not against long running franchise, but I think there is certainly a point where a series is drawn too thin. There is something to be said for a sense of finality in film.
  22. It's not like they're huge forces to recreate, but yeah. Even the Lord of the Rings performances, which have been known to reach gargantuan sizes, don't reinstitute all of the unusual orchestrations in that (two timpanists, double brass, etc...).
  23. Yes, he abandoned his plan for nine episodes before making Return of the Jedi. His original idea was basically to stretch the original trilogy over six films, and break up the sextet with a prequel trilogy in the middle. He probably later realized how stupid this was. But don't tell that to Kathleen Kennedy.
  24. But wasn't Disney's making of this trilogy hanging on "George always wanted to make nine films"? They won't have that excuse (which, admittedly, was true before Return of the Jedi) going forward into more Episodes, and marketing-wise its important.
  25. Beats me. But It was after Lord of the Rings. Large orchestral forces (not to mention choirs, and o-daiko drums) were the currency at the time.
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