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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. True. And it was all filmed simultaneously. Here, we know thanks to Johnson that there wasn't even much of a story outline. What I meant is that as a film trilogy, Lord of the Rings changed the perception of what a film franchise should be (including in terms of marketing) and paved the way for the modern "cinematic universe" logic. And that's exactly why that should never happen. After all that time, no answer in the world is going to be satisfying. It will just be demistifying. Early marketing had us believe The Last Jedi would dabble in this, but I never bought it, nor do I want it. It's just wrong.
  2. It is, in the sense that it isn't part of the narrative thrust of the nine episodes. That much is clear. You can thank Lord of the Rings for that.
  3. The Silmarillion needs to be a film series. Something along the lines of a Beren and Luthien movie (with the story of Feanor told in the opening prologue), the tale of Turin Turambar (probably needs two films), Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin, and a film about the Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath. I doubt anyone would touch the fall of Numenor. It's not quite as character driven, and so would be very difficult to adapt to a visual medium. That being said, Beren and Luthien isn't easy to adapt either. It still has fairytale elements that stuck to it across its various drafts (the metamorphosis) and the ending would require the filmmakers to illustrate Luthien's sacrifice while still leaving enough mystery around Mandos.
  4. Indeed it doesn't matter - if its applied to something other than Luke. That the track is titled "Jedi Steps" doesn't make the theme about the Jedi Temple. To my mind, the melody anticipates meeting Luke. And its construction, just like the shots of the forsaken ruins or Luke's hooded figure, inform us of Luke's grim state-of-mind. So it remains about Luke, hence I don't see grounds to consider it a separate theme in any real way, although that depends on how it will be used (if at all) in the next two films.
  5. I think I've watched each of the Middle Earth films a couple of dozens of times. Dunno if it amounts to over fifty. I'm actually rewatching them again leading up to Return of the King live to-projection in December. Watched the Desolation of Smaug today.
  6. I actually wasn't and am not expecting Luke to turn to the Dark Side. Its too obvious a path for Rian Johnson to tread. Although, to be fair, having him just become disinterested isn't that much more original or novel, either.
  7. Its difficult to me to classify Williams' music as "dark" but that also has to do with the fact that so many of his prominent scores were for films that were - certainly in his eyes - as children films.
  8. But, on the other hand, it's the same ensemble in the same stage. And again, I think the more restrained sound is something that stems from the way Williams' writes music in the last few years.
  9. Abrams is of this contemporary discipline that one should not be made aware of music in film, which is nonesense.
  10. It does sound proverbial in the film. Anyhow, there's nothing in the dialogue to suggest that he sailed straight from the river Running into the Anduin, which of course is impossible. Its much better than saying that he's sailing towards somewhere more geographically appropriate but that we never heard of and never hear of again in the films, e.g. Dorwinion. Anyhow, all of this is beyond nitpicking. It never even occurred to me until just now.
  11. I think that had it been written with the London Symphony Orchestra in mind, it might have been somewhat different. And again, I do think that a lot of it stems from Williams' preferences rather than the choice of orchestra, although a better (and bigger) orchestra surely wouldn't have hurt it.
  12. I wasn't made conciously aware of any new melody after my first viewing, or the second one, at that. I was only really registering to existing themes. The music needed to be more "epic" to really punch through the mix. But with this small freelance orchestra, you can't really reach the same sound as you can with the London Symphony Orchestra, although something is telling me that this issue has just as much to do with Williams' style of writing in these past few years. Which is unfortunate because it may mean that we will be left with this much more restrained sound going forward, too.
  13. That has to do with the fact that the main new idea, Rey's theme, is this delicate lilting idea, compared to the more bold themes that Williams' used to stress out in the past. As a result, the film-mix doesn't do it any favors, and it goes virtually unnoticed by the average moviegoer. Since the score centers around that motif almost as an idea-fixee, makes this demerit true of most of the music. Kylo Ren's main theme, being typically scored for brass, is more high-key in that regard, but its brevity makes it hard for someone who is not preconditioned to notice music to latch unto it. And upon rewatching the film and listening to the score again, those nostaglic moments aren't terribly frequent: a couple of quotes of Leia, a couple of Leia and Han and of Luke's theme. The "Unknown" chords (the so-called map motif) are used quite frequently, but that's just a staple of Williams' writing style more so than it is part of the motivic narrative of the music. It also wasn't used terribly often in the previous scores so it gets a pass. My main issue in that regard is with the Rebel Fanfare. The way its used in the film makes it feel like its there almost as a "Star Wars is back" theme. But other than that, it really isn't as nostalgic as one might imagine going in.
  14. I seem to recall him being positive towards some of the changes in that trilogy: namely the way Thranduil is incorperated into the Prologue in An Unexpected Journey. Although to be fair all I've heard from him on the matter comes from the documentarie attached to the production.
  15. What I mean is that they know the material even outside of the bounderies of the material they are legally allowed to base their adaptations about so, while they can't draw from it directly, they can use it as inspiration and a rough guideline. I think that's great, both for the adaptations themselves and as a groundwork for whatever future projects this "cinematic universe" entails. Also, these adaptations have, I believe, the "blessing" and support of Tom Shippey, the greatest Tolkien scholar in town. Professor Lotem, who translated Tolkien's writings to Hebrew and has been in touch with Shippey, once told me that Shippey (being the man who replaced Tolkien in his academic position) probably sees himself as an heir of Tolkien's work just as much as Christopher.
  16. Sure, but I mean that it feels like they read through the whole thing: the abberivated version in Return of the King doesn't flesh out the White Council or the fate of Thrain in the way that the drafts in "The Quest of Erebor" do, and those scenes in the films, while not directly derived from that material, were clearly inspired by it. Even the idea that Sauron and Smaug are "in league" and that Sauron is behind the Battle of the Five Armies is taken from the idea that, had Smaug not been slayen and/or had Bolg won the Battle of the Five Armies, it would have ensured Sauron's victory in the war of the ring. I think the entire production team worked (or were asked to work) with the annotated Hobbit rather than just the original novel. Here's Shore's copy:
  17. You can clearly see the influence of the Unfinished Tales in The Hobbit. It's clear that the screenwriters read "The Quest of Erebor" as they were writing the script. Even Shore didn't use The Hobbit book to write the score. He used the Annotated Hobbit!
  18. Ain't no way the Estate is going anywhere near Disney. Tolkien hated Walt. Warner Brothers effectively have the right to the entire second age. If you think about it, the Silmarillion doesn't really add something that substantial to the deluge of Numenore compared to the Appendices of Lord of the Rings. Too bad it just isn't as good a story. By that Way, the mention of "Blue Wizards" in An Unexpected Journey is technically a violation of rights: they're never called that in Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. Goes to show that the Estate isn't as overprotective as we are made to think.
  19. Didn't Williams create a diegetic piece for Canto Bight? Surely it will be in that vein of music.
  20. The stories of Middle Earth take place in a part of the continent that is supposed to parallel continental Europe, so there is a reason for there not being Asian or Black characters. The only chance was in Laketown, but that part of the series already had a lot of characters: Bard, his daughters, again, the Master, Alfrid, Percy, etc... Insisting on this too much is a really regressive approach to diversity, to the point that it becomes a matter of box checking. To me, it's enough that the movie isn't racist or homophobic in its messages.
  21. I think the Tolkien films get a free pass of sorts in terms of diversity because Tolkien's writings exercise diversity within the rules of its own universe: not in terms of Black/White/Asian/Female/None-Heterosexual diversity, but here in terms of Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, etc....
  22. You're comparing apples with kumquats and oranges. The Williams' way is to create individual but connected scores. The Howard Shore way is to create scores that function as parts of a greater whole. As a result, their ethics of using existing thematic material in later scores differs. I mean, I see the emotional manipulation that the score to An Unexpected Journey (in the finished film) is going for, but it's really not that bad. And Giachinno didn't have a cause to use much of Williams' existing catalogue, so that's another wholly different can of worms in and of itself.
  23. I would give the score that much: with the film that we got, it's surprising that the score is as based on original material as it is, and not pushing our nostalgia buttons as often.
  24. I don't know. I'm glad to know that the Estate is ready to play along, but I think Tolkien׳s vision is more inherently cinematic. It won't work as well on Television.
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