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Elliot Goldenthal


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30 minutes ago, Thor said:

I continue to be amazed by the fact that you select your favourite scores by the awards they have received.

 

I select them for discovery, it's only a start.... a kind of objective "where to start".

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1 hour ago, Thor said:

 

I see. Well, that's something.

 

Well it give some hints... Now if you tell me that you're a big fan of Goldenthal and you never listened to "Frida"... well...

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FRIDA is excellent, but I don't play it very often. Been a Goldenthal completist since the 90s, and have everything he's done that is available in some form or another (and beyond). Met him a few times too. But there's still a HUGE back catalogue of unreleased gems, both concert works and film scores, that need to see the light of day! FOOL'S FIRE first, please.

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36 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

I like Goldenthal, but I wouldn't put Frida amongst my top scores from him, despite the Oscar. 

 

Same. My favorites from him are Alien3, Demolition Man, Heat, and Sphere

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51 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

I like Goldenthal, but I wouldn't put Frida amongst my top scores from him, despite the Oscar. 

 

It is on the AFI list too... for what it means.

 

But I agree, it doesn't mean you have to love this score... you just have to know it's a peer/industry rewarded score.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

We're still waiting for a whole bunch of unreleased Goldenthal scores to come out, though. Beyond BATMAN & ROBIN. Here's my overview from years ago (it needs to be updated with later works):

 

FILMS:

STUDENT FILMS (allegedly about 20 films from NYU and others)
COCAINE COWBOYS
BLANK GENERATION
CRIMINAL JUSTICE
GRAND ISLE
FOOL'S FIRE
ROSWELL (not counting shoddy BSX rerecording)
VOICES (FROM A LOCKED ROOM) (adaptation & original music)
BATMAN & ROBIN
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (score)
FOREST (art installation film)

CONCERT MUSIC:

GRENDEL
BRASS QUINTET NO. 1
PASTIME VARIATIONS
SHADOW PLAY SCHERZO
ADAGIETTO DOLOROSO
LEMURIAN DANCE
LOS HERALDOS NEGROS
PAVANE FOR SOLO PIANO
LYRIC SUITE: THE FLOODS OF AVON

THEATRE:

A GOZZI SURPRISE
THE KING STAG
LIBERTY'S TAKEN
THE TRANSPOSED HEADS
THE SERPENT WOMAN
THE TEMPEST
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (1984 version)
TITUS ANDRONICUS (the stage version, obviously)

My wish list would probably look like this:

1. BATMAN & ROBIN (even though I have the original score programme digitally)
2. FOOL'S FIRE
3. SHADOW PLAY SCHERZO

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1 hour ago, Jim Ware said:

Fox/Disney only have distribution rights. It's still a Warner Bros. picture.

 

Warner Bros. only distributed the film (at first); Regency Enterprises produced it. Fox later entered into a partnership with Regency, and then it became a Fox (later Disney) picture. The WB logo doesn't even appear in the film anymore.

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By the way, as long as we're talking completely unreleased Goldenthal (well, at least I was, anyway), you might be interested to know that one of Goldenthal's student film scores from the mid 70s is available to watch on Youtube. I found it there about 10 years ago or so. It's called A FISTFUL OF FANTASIES, and you'll get to hear Goldenthal channel both Morricone and Barry, and be himself.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Thor said:

By the way, as long as we're talking completely unreleased Goldenthal (well, at least I was, anyway), you might be interested to know that one of Goldenthal's student film scores from the mid 70s is available to watch on Youtube. I found it there about 10 years ago or so. It's called A FISTFUL OF FANTASIES, and you'll get to hear Goldenthal channel both Morricone and Barry, and be himself.

 

 

 

Hahaha, your best post ever.  It reminds me of my student film scores which are almost always pastiche.  I recall screenings of hours long film screenings where student films like this were equally rubbish.  I even did a Star Wars parody that was quite bad where ultra fans kidnapped George Lucas but the music was Star Wars imitation circa 2006.   I would surely cringe to listen to that again.  Like the Goldenthal film, the film and score sucked...GREATLY.  But music history buffs like us adore it because it shows an early glimpse of the greatness that would become.  Though like you say, the music shows some glimpses of the wonderful composer to emerge, the experience of seeing this truly awful but thanks for posting it.  It still brought me joy.

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  • 4 months later...

I think Elliot Goldenthal is my favourite film composer. I love how experimental and freewheeling he usually is. I realise just now that I care more for Goldenthal's best albums more than I do for any other film composer. Goldenthal has changed the way I think about film music, for the better. Him usually eschewing the emphasis on traditional melody in favor of orchestration as primary mode of thematic expression instead was something pretty new for film music.

 

To say something a bit negative, it would be that Titus overall never did much for me. It always largely felt like a best of score rather than something new. I still quite like the score and think it contains some of Goldenthal's best writing, like the Finale, but it isn't a top 5 Goldenthal score to me.

 

I think scores like Golden Gate and Heat are underrated. Both are superb mood scores that never got enough love. Cobb is another stunningly inventive and underrated score that is often overlooked.

 

I think Alien 3, Goldenthal's magnum opus, is a truly remarkable achievement; it is perhaps the best film score ever written even. It is hugely undervalued by most people. It has a secure place in my top 10 of all time.

 

In these days when people seem to fall themselves over for scores like Jonny Greenwood's There Will Be Blood and Mica Levi's Under the Skin, I just don't understand why Goldenthal's Alien 3 is so incredibly underrated. It never seems to make it into lists of the best scores that film people make and things like that.

 

Goldenthal in general seems to me to be hugely underrated. What we have here is a composer who can at the very least stand well next to the most lauded film composers, yet he isn't mentioned anywhere near enough as he should be.

 

My top 5 Goldenthal scores would probably look like this:

 

1. Alien 3

2. Heat

3. Golden Gate

4. Cobb

5. Michael Collins

 

I would love Goldenthal to score several movies a year more than anything else, I miss him so much.

 

Which five Goldenthal scores would you pick as his best?

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I'm not sure he's THAT underrated. Most film score fans rate him very, very highly.

 

He's my third favourite film composer of all time. I own everything he's done that is available in some form or other (plus a couple of things that aren't "available", strictly speaking), so picking a top 5 is tricky.


Maybe this:

 

1. ALIEN 3

2. Heat

3. Golden Gate

4. Sphere

5. Interview with the Vampire

 

Or something.

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Interview with the Vampire has to be one of the best scores ever written in that short amount of time.

 

Maybe not that underrated by film score fans (although I don't see Goldenthal discussed as much as most of the most lauded film composers, but I understand that his inactivity may be the reason), but by film writers in general I have almost never see him mentioned. Pitchfork didn't include any Goldenthal score in their top 50 film scores of all time for example.

 

I missed this by the way, Goldenthal and Julie Taymor was on the Soundtracking podcast last month talking about The Glorias:

 

https://edithbowman.com/2021/05/episode-246-julie-taymor-elliot-goldenthal-on-the-music-of-the-glorias/

 

And there was also this videocast of Goldenthal talking about his work:

 

 

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1. Heat

2. Alien³

3. Demolition Man

4. Sphere

5. Michael Collins

 

This prompts me to ask: what's everyone's favorite main title cue by Goldenthal? Mine would be Heat (no surprise)

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15 minutes ago, Corellian2019 said:

This prompts me to ask: what's everyone's favorite main title cue by Goldenthal? Mine would be Heat (no surprise)

 

Agnus Dei from Alien 3, of course!

 

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Either Cobb or Heat. I have always loved that Goldenthal sung that ancient church hymn himself, he could have easily have used a professional singer, but no he did it himself. It gives the whole opening of the movie a personal touch :)

 

Although I would say Heat is also my favourite main title cue by Goldenthal. I love how Goldenthal wrote for the Kronos quartet for Heat. The opening is so atmospheric.

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2 hours ago, Aenae said:

In these days when people seem to fall themselves over for scores like Jonny Greenwood's There Will Be Blood and Mica Levi's Under the Skin, I just don't understand why Goldenthal's Alien 3 is so incredibly underrated. It never seems to make it into lists of the best scores that film people make and things like that.

 

Because Alien 3 sucks. The films you score do a lot to either tank or catapult your score into public consciousness.

 

Goldenthal also has a lot of respect in filmmaker circles, and in the 90s he was the arthouse/alternative voice you wanted to elevate your film (like Greenwood or Britell is today). But his output dwindled to nothing in the 2000s, and Hollywood's short memory requires constant reinforcement. 

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On 6/7/2021 at 6:34 AM, Aenae said:

I think Elliot Goldenthal is my favourite film composer. I love how experimental and freewheeling he usually is. I realise just now that I care more for Goldenthal's best albums more than I do for any other film composer. Goldenthal has changed the way I think about film music, for the better. Him usually eschewing the emphasis on traditional melody in favor of orchestration as primary mode of thematic expression instead was something pretty new for film music.

 

To say something a bit negative, it would be that Titus overall never did much for me. It always largely felt like a best of score rather than something new. I still quite like the score and think it contains some of Goldenthal's best writing, like the Finale, but it isn't a top 5 Goldenthal score to me.

 

I think scores like Golden Gate and Heat are underrated. Both are superb mood scores that never got enough love. Cobb is another stunningly inventive and underrated score that is often overlooked.

 

I think Alien 3, Goldenthal's magnum opus, is a truly remarkable achievement; it is perhaps the best film score ever written even. It is hugely undervalued by most people. It has a secure place in my top 10 of all time.

 

In these days when people seem to fall themselves over for scores like Jonny Greenwood's There Will Be Blood and Mica Levi's Under the Skin, I just don't understand why Goldenthal's Alien 3 is so incredibly underrated. It never seems to make it into lists of the best scores that film people make and things like that.

 

Goldenthal in general seems to me to be hugely underrated. What we have here is a composer who can at the very least stand well next to the most lauded film composers, yet he isn't mentioned anywhere near enough as he should be.

 

My top 5 Goldenthal scores would probably look like this:

 

1. Alien 3

2. Cobb

3. Golden Gate

4. Michael Collins

5. Heat

 

I would love Goldenthal to score several movies a year more than anything else, I miss him so much.

 

Which five Goldenthal scores would you pick as his best?

 

Titus blew me away.  I saw that in a theater with a friend who hated everything about it.  I can't explain why it resonated so deeply with me me but the music was a big, big part of me but also the raw emotional content.  I thought the direction was fantastic too.  I had never heard or seen anything from Taymor before so no, don't say I fell for her reputation.  Here is an example.  The first frames of a child playing in what seemed like a war torn region seemed very disturbed until a man carried him out into a Roman arena and it became clear the child was not a character but a chorus - the observer of the drama who represented an innocent perspective, an important point of view in this telling.   Immediately we are greeted with the disturbing sight of a funeral procession of a Roman army returning from battle.  Broken but in complete regalia with incredible music ala Carmina Buruna's O Fortuna.  It's barbaric but also ceremonial befitting ritualistic warfare.  The victors march the vanquished including the Goth queen who desperately implores Titus, the conquering general, to spare her children.  Without compassion he says my rituals declare payment for this victory and it is the entrails of your captured children (who were fallen foes).  I could feel her crushed soul because she didn't say a word, she just crumbled at the sight of Titus who had no regard to her humanity and took no compassion as she implored him to take pity on her as a mother not as a queen.  This was so beautify acted, directed, and scored and set in motion the revenge escalation sequences to come.  I LOVED this film.  I just loved everything about it and especially loved the score, it is incredibly rare in its range and magnificence and one of the most transformative film scores I have ever heard.   But I get others hate it like my friend I was with.

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  • 1 month later...

Solid episode. A lot of small details I did not know about such as his childhood and how he got his first jobs in the industry.


I really, really love Goldenthal, even if the last years have been quieter. I really hope we get a longer version of his Sphere score as well. But it's a Warner Bros. movie so... :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just revisited Sphere and yes, this is a superb score. It is so underrated...

 

Gotta love that opening music when we see the helicopter flying, it is so atmospheric ;) Love that water theme music too.

 

Imagine a Goldenthal Avatar score!

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