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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. Nah. Adams was just toying with the idea, I believe. I think he was just voicing the bemoaning of fans that, seeing as how Han is the only main character without a theme, are willing to do whatever intellectual blackflips necessary to find a theme for Han in the love theme. Musically, the theme clearly belongs to the princess and it's clearly a love theme. Since Its used to represent the pair and, even more generally, their entire storyline throughout the film, it is sometimes applied to Han himself, but it's certainly not his theme, per se. Take for instance the first statement: Williams clearly just really wanted to introduce this theme as early as possible in the film, so he didn't wait until the Princess showed up on screen but settled for Han. Matessino also called it the Han Solo theme once or twice, but it strikes me just as trying not to repeat the term "love theme" too much, rather than putting forward an argument that the theme is for Han first. Williams did once refer (in an FSM interview twenty years removed from Return of the Jedi, mind you) to music for Han but that still doesn't mean that it's his personal theme. He also said that the interviewe was testing his memory as far as the thematic material goes.
  2. That statement had been thrown around quite a bit, by Lucas, by Williams, etc. I think what they mean by that is that its more of a love story and a love theme in the classical Hollywood tradition, whereas the Han and Leia love story was forged as they were on the run from the Empire.
  3. Neat! A very interesting read, especially for the prequel scores, since they didn't get the Doug Adams' treatment. Thanks for that.
  4. It won't. Williams like to write new thematic material for each film and base the overwhelming majority of the score on this new material. He also doesn't compose with sequels in mind, so I don't think that he wrote the Jedi Steps with the intention of making it the theme of the sequel. As it is, its just a one-time melody.
  5. You see, that is a method of storytelling I really don't like. To leave all these gaping plot holes ("oh, so I guessed Phasma did escape the trash compactor and Starkiller Base somehow") and than fill them in with novels is: betraying the narrative of the series: You should be able to watch just the movies and for it to make sense. paves the road to inconsistencies as these books are afterthoughts, at best. is a complete cash-grab.
  6. Its a long theme with several parts, yes. Many of Williams' longer themes (which are typically his main themes) have two or three distinctive parts in them: think about Luke's theme during the crawl: the A-phrase is very brassy but the B-phrase (after the Rebel Fanfare) is surprisingly lyrical. Across the Stars' A-Section is very romantic, but it than moves into the more angsty B-phrase and the even more portentous C-phrase/end-cap. Its not even a strictly a Williams' device, either. Think about the B-phrase of the Shire theme. Very different effect, right?
  7. Even assuming that he did guess correctly, the big question for me is whether he will write trailer music that reuses the existing thematic material or will he use the trailer to exhibit one or two new themes that will be at the forefront of this upcoming movie. That much is true. It's a very long-lined and multi-facet idea. Essentially it's like Williams writing Leia's theme, only now from the point of view of a grandfather. For me, its just too lilting and delicate compared to his larger more sweeping themes. It didn't leave an impression on me coming out of the theater, and to this day its not something you'd catch me humming, and I believe the same is true of the average moviegoer. The proof, than, is in the puddin'.
  8. Mine is probably the same, but with Braveheart on top, followed by Titanic. Braveheart sure does have a lot of filler (and synth filler, at that) and it's certainly not particularly leitmotivically intricate, but its certainly written to be incredibly affecting, and complements the film incredibly well. Its also got a couple of incredibly full and rich string performances from the London Symphony Orchestra. There are moments where it feels absoloutly huge. Titanic got knocked off of the top because it feels deriviative of Braveheart. I know both Horner and James Cameron really liked that score, and the Hymn for the Sea has a lineup just straight out of that score: Ulieann Pipes, tin Whistle and boy choir. Its also not as dynamic and varied. Maybe I just cannot divorce the music from the film. Braveheart is an absolute masterpiece, in my eyes. It has romance, action, amazing visuals and great drama and tragedy mixed up in measure. Even just on the level of the romance, it's just as believable in the forty minutes of screen time in Braveheart, as it is in the three hours of Titanic.
  9. Me neither, and here it is a film that comes up in every Holocaust Memorial Day.
  10. Williams just doesn't work like that. He just sees a film and scores it. He doesn't look ahead to the sequel and writes with that in mind. He doesn't introduce embryonic forms of themes that are to come in a later episode. If he did, we would have heard hints of Across the Stars in Phantom Menace, which we don't. Even if he wanted to, we know thanks to Rian Johnson that there really isn't such an overarching story planned in advance, as indeed is the case with most trilogies. You're making it sound like Rey's theme is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Personally, the only renditions I really like are the last few ones. I think he will use the existing themes, but maybe he'd introduce a new theme, for the First Order itself and use it often so he doesn't have to repeat the existing themes, which he doesn't like to do.
  11. Its a tough call. The Force Awakens has more polish than Revenge of the Sith: good acting, good effects (minus the occasional Rathtar), etc. But it isn't as dark and serious as Revenge of the Sith, which is what I like about it. No. I still like the film. True. It always was one of the motifs that Williams was playing loose with, e.g. Sail Barge Assault, but I'd argue that two wrongs don't make a right.
  12. Still not elegiac enough; too menacing. It again underscores Ren's ruthlessness more so than the tragedy of Han's death. It also adds up to an already too-long list of Williams' using leitmotifs from a purely romantic standpoint rather than a thematic one, something that this particular score is especially abundant in, as it was. I mean, using themes like that is as valid an approach as any, but only if used sparingly. I mean, that The Force permiates the entire Star Wars universe isn't enough to justify some of its musical applications, including this one. As it is, its just there to sound cool and ominous. Its Leia's theme for Ben's death all over again. Or maybe its Williams compensating for that forty years later by having Ben's theme for the death of his stand-in. Hey, now that I'm thinking about it, It's Ben's revenge on Leia for hijacking his musical moment, literally! Genius!
  13. Than it should have been staged differently from the outset to have more weight. Its not that its terrible or something like that, it just isn't what one would hope it would be, especially within the framework of the whole series. Hell, even the dramatically inept George Lucas found a way to put Qui Gon's death in the middle of an action finale and still give it time to "sink" into the audience's mind.
  14. Given the right film, I'd cry you a swimming pool's worth. The Force Awakens, as with most Star Wars films, just isn't aiming at that, from the outset.
  15. It would have been poignant, had the scene been about Han's death. But it wasn't. Not really. It was about Ren's ruthlessness. It even pulls the old Bamby's-mum-trick on us and quickly segues away from the tragedy, in this case into another action scene. Granted, Ben's death did that, too. But I'm not going to grant a film greatness by the fault. For a death scene to be truly poignant it also needs to accompany our heroes further afield, whereas Han's death informs very little of the climax of the film. Compare with how much Gandalf's death is contemplated upon in Fellowship of the Ring. Han doesn't earn anything like that. Its just there because it needed to be there. Anything in The Force Awakens that wasn't from the original Star Wars comes from earlier drafts of that movie and it's sequels, where you find the knights of Ren, and an alternate ending for Return of the Jedi involving Han dying, Luke falling into depression and going to exile and Leia remaining the leader of the Rebelion.
  16. Well, to be fair, I'm not a huge fan of the Michael-Bay spinning camera, but its not enough to undo the effectiveness of the scene. It still doesn't make up for the rubbish third-act, though.
  17. I like The Force Awakens (albeit on the most basic level) and I think it's pretty snappy. About the only thing I don't like (besides the remake-aspect of it) is that the third act kind of sucks. Part of the problem is Starkiller Base. Since it isn't set up early in the narrative it just kind of comes out of nowhere. Fortunately, the only way to redeem a weak third act is to ensure that the last scene or shot are strong such that the audience is left with a strong finale, which the film provides nicely.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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