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2011 Academy Awards Thread


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You know the Oscars were bad when sports talk radio (and pretty much everyone else) is slamming them. Sounds like it was an awful show last night.

Congrats to Randy Newman.

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The Social Network winning for Best Score was largely announced and expected, so I can't understand people getting so upset for this... I didn't care for Academy Awards this year (and also last year, and the year before last year, etc.), probably because I saw many times the least deserving nominee of the bunch getting the award home, so I'm not that touched by this year's turnaround.

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I won't even bother to comment much. Frankly, I quit following nominations/winners something like 4-5 years ago. I know some of winners in the "best score" category, but that's mainly because it was plastered all over pretty much ever film music site. I'm happy for deserving people who get a nod once in a while, especially if that means something for them. But I myself couldn't care less.

Karol

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There's only ever been two worthwhile occasions for me: Spielberg* getting his Oscar for Schindler's and Jackson getting his for ROTK.

*This is the best drink of water after the longest drought in my life!

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You would cry too, knowing that you played Padme Amidala and somehow are now the darling of Hollywood.

Ha, I was thinking exactly the same! She looked as if she thought "I can't believe it - my career survived The Phantom Menace!"

You know, not even only successfull actor post-star wars Harrison fornd has managed to get an oscar...

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What the heck, they should stop this whole circus forever. I am happy for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross but Social Network is not music Oscar worthy. I guess this soundtrack has been written in an hour or so.

I mean Indiana Jones or Superman or Geisha didn't receive an Oscar, and this score did? If there are no good candidates, than skip the Oscar in the category for a year.

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I wouldn't say so. It is quite good as a electronic music. But I can't be sure whether it has any merit as far as film scoring goes.

Karol

I don't say it's bad music. Maybe they should split up the music category in electronic and symphonic.

Just an idea: Ben Hur- Gone With the Wind- Star Wars - Dance With Wolves - Schindler's List - Gladiator - Lord of the Rings - Brokeback Mountain - Slumdog Millionaire - The Social Network

We heading the wrong way.

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I for one have no problem with non-orchestral, or "experimental" scores beating the more traditional symphonic approach, to the Oscar.

If the score fits the movie, it is eligible. I may disagree with the choice, but that's another matter entirely...

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I guess this soundtrack has been written in an hour or so.

I'm curious, what makes you say that?

More importantly at what point does working for hours on end equal a better end result or render something award worthy? I know plenty of artists who spend hours working on something, and the end result is substandard shit. One or two of them work under me, and I'm having a hell of a time trying to get them to change that. Because they don't know how to work and think for those many hours. They work like mindless automatons. I'd say this applies to 90% of people who consider themselves "artists," "professionals," or "___________."

Most people are not aware of themselves as they work. And that's why most people spend 99% of their lives doing OK work, regardless of industry. If they're accountants, they produce OK balance sheets, if they are composers they produce OK music. And they can spend days working on it.

Time does not quality make. It's a wonderful asset though.

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What is it then, a category?

Yes. Even last year James Horner talked about it in his lenghty video interview. That it is increasingly difficult to talk about the quality of film scores and what it in fact is. After all you have a classically-inclined compositions (Desplat), next to prog-rock-like MV stuff (Zimmer), gigantic brass-heavy onslaught (Powell) and electronica (the winner) next to each other. It's not like it forms a coherent picture.

You might say the orchestral music is the most sophisticated technically , but it is hardly the most prominent and well used devices in the last decade (or even more). We all heard good or great compositions in that time, but how often is it well presented in their films?

A pain in everyones arse?

That too.

Karol

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You might say the orchestral music is the most sophisticated technically

I don't like superlatives that attempt to judge based on technical sophistication.

That makes, for example, the work visual effects guys do for a movie superior to what composers do, because our field is more sophisticated technically than all of the other Oscar categories combined.

It's all fun and games saying you're technically superior to someone else, until another group beats you. ;)

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You might say the orchestral music is the most sophisticated technically

That makes the visual effects guys superior people to film composers, because our field is more sophisticated technically than all of the other Oscar categories combined.

All I'm saying a classically trained musician has a greater knowledge of his craft in general. You know, I'm talking about those who write things on paper straight from their heads (without any aid, like piano). You can't argue that's a rare and almost god-like gift. And in that sense, more sophisticated. I'm not talking about one's feelings towards any particular genre. You don't need a great piece of music to be affected emotionally. If that was the only thing a piece of music could achieve the best thing ever would be techno dance music. Because it goes straight to the point, stimulating brain and body in the most basic way.

Karol

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Gladiator didn't win, and you skipped like 10 years in between.

The Social Network was a great score, it just wasn't the best out of the nominees.

Oh, and skip a year?! :lol: No good scores this year, sorry guys no one will ever match the God-like amazing brilliant ultimate John Williams. The score category is disbanded because no one will ever come close.

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I wouldn't say so. It is quite good as a electronic music. But I can't be sure whether it has any merit as far as film scoring goes.

Karol

I don't say it's bad music. Maybe they should split up the music category in electronic and symphonic.

Just an idea: Ben Hur- Gone With the Wind- Star Wars - Dance With Wolves - Schindler's List - Gladiator - Lord of the Rings - Brokeback Mountain - Slumdog Millionaire - The Social Network

We heading the wrong way.

And yet last year's win for Up was totally deserved.

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A worthy score, in my opinion would be:

1) A exceptionally well written piece of music in itself.

2) A composition is well presented in the film (works well with picture, sound and dialogue).

3) Supports a narrative in a basic fashion and enhances something that's on screen (by which I simply mean drive/pace).

4) Adds some things to the picture that are not already there. A subtext, counter-point, whatever is needed. But it must be something that probably isn't even in the script.

Now then, you can argue whether TSN is well written piece of music, because it depends. But you could say so, I guess. It is well presented in the film and drives the narative in some senses. You can't argue with these two, because that's what brought it into spotlight. But I'm not so sure about the fourth thing though. It is the kind of thing in my system of rating that is very hard to achieve. You know, something as simple as the presence the love/family theme in The Omen. There is no need for it to be there, really. Not in this developed form anyway. A simple piano chords would do. It changes the meaning of the story and gives the audience something a bit more than just a thrill ride. And in that sense it makes a film better.

Another well known example would be Jaws. If some random person would hear a middle portion of the album (the two chases, for example), they would never have guessed it was from this very movie. Because all people know is the shark ostinato. This is the only thing the film needs really. And yet, it goes into entirely different direction with all these scherzos. And this is something that certainly wasn't required.

And it's not like LOTR trilogy needs 80 themes/motifs (and that's why bothered me up until recently). But by doing this the music itself creates a mirror world of its own. With a lot of connections and lineage of ideas that give you another layer of information.

Karol

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Original score went to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for "The Social Network," an urgent composition that drove the film's headlong momentum. Its strength was to serve the film almost single-mindedly; nobody left humming it, or perhaps even particularly remembering it, but that was a strength. - Roger Ebert.

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Original score went to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for "The Social Network," an urgent composition that drove the film's headlong momentum. Nobody left humming it, or perhaps even particularly remembering it. In fact, I don't believe the film had any music in it at all. - Roger Ebert.

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Yes, and this is exactly the main problem here. Not that it is electronic and stuff like that.

But I have to admit what I miss most about film music these days is the beauty of "performance" something that's missing from works like TSN. Today pretty much everybody can be a musician. Just download software, choose samples and... do music. You don't have to study the craft or anything like that. You don't have to practice for years to master your skills on a intrument. And, I think, the music is much less special these days. For me great music was always something a mere mortal couldn't do.

I mean, just listen to what Howard Shore had to say about LOTR live to projection and symphony performances. Every single orchestra is different and that's what makes the acoustic music so endearing.

Karol

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Very romantic, but rather beside the point when Oscars are concerned.

The trend these days is to subliminally support a film, no big sumptuous themes, nothing to distract from the actors, what's going on on screen and the directors vision.

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The trend these days is to subliminally support a film, no big sumptuous themes, nothing to distract from the actors, what's going on on screen and the directors vision.

Big theme or no big theme, isn't that how it's always been?

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Very romantic, but rather beside the point when Oscars are concerned.

The trend these days is to subliminally support a film, no big sumptuous themes, nothing to distract from the actors, what's going on on screen and the directors vision.

And movies like ESB and Jurassic Park, et al would not be as memorable if it not for their scores. A shame really.

I would really like for a director (and studio) to have the balls and allow a film to be filmed with breathing space for the score to flourish.

HTTYD did this pretty well for a modern movie.

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It baffles me most people here are apparantly perfectly happy with this choice. I am sorry but I incline to my opinion, this score is not Oscar worthy.

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Maybe, but didn't you comment a while back about Jaws and CE3K that the music is so up front at times that it makes the film seem a bit old fasioned?

I don't know but some of the barrel music in Jaws is very old-fashioned, Steef, even in 1975.

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So did we go forwards, or backwards?

In general, I would say 'backwards'. Most music I hear today is artistically strapped in a straitjacket. Even the disco music from the '70s sounds more risky, weird and experimental than anything in the charts today.

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I has nothing to do with music being old-fashioned or modern. It's about finding a right parallel where the music has actually anything to say. In this case, going back to old swashbucklers.

Karol

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It baffles me most people here are apparantly perfectly happy with this choice. I am sorry but I incline to my opinion, this score is not Oscar worthy.

No worries, I'm with you. I think my roommates hate me now after the rant they had to endure while we were watching the show together (even though they actually agreed with me). I still think that the music was not a real score, rather something like adapted songs. And that has nothing to do with electronic vs. symphonic music... there are great (mostly) electronic scores out there - Dune, 1492, etc. - but these actually scored the movie. TSN at best created some ambient feeling, as if they'd just used songs/club music (isn't some of it actually used as source music in the club scenes?). Well, for me this is just another entry in our "undeserved oscars" thread; hardly anything new.

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It baffles me most people here are apparantly perfectly happy with this choice. I am sorry but I incline to my opinion, this score is not Oscar worthy.

No worries, I'm with you. I think my roommates hate me now after the rant they had to endure while we were watching the show together (even though they actually agreed with me). I still think that the music was not a real score, rather something like adapted songs. And that has nothing to do with electronic vs. symphonic music... there are great (mostly) electronic scores out there - Dune, 1492, etc. - but these actually scored the movie. TSN at best created some ambient feeling, as if they'd just used songs/club music (isn't some of it actually used as source music in the club scenes?). Well, for me this is just another entry in our "undeserved oscars" thread; hardly anything new.

Thanks, I fully agree with what you say. I forgot to say indeed nothing new...if it were very innovayive or groundbreaking, ok, but this kind of underscore has been heard so many times. Btw I have nothing against electronic music (being a big admirer of Karlheinz Stockhausen), but these are Oscars.

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Yeah, I agree. It is very difficult to rate film music. After all it's not a genre.

Of course not.

It's a marketing tool to hang promotional work upon.

I for one appreciate film music not being stagnant.

I imagine if I stood in a mechanic's garage and recorded the sounds for an hour, I deserved an Academy Award.

Frankly, "The Social Network"s win marks an all-time low in that category. It makes Santaolalla's effort look like gold. And at the same time, it exposes like no other score before just how much this category is being treated as a prostitute.

I don't even want John Williams to be nominated anymore, the ceremony has become a public humiliation to any gifted composer.

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Let's fuel the giant mob that wants to crucify Reznor and Ross! They didn't write to picture. They wrote suites and Fincher picked them and placed them where he wanted. The three-note theme wasn't even a theme until Fincher made it so.

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Morricone worked closely with Leone and the script. He didn't shoot to picture, but they were working in the same realm and conveying the same thematic ideas.

Same way with Inception. Zimmer scored the script, and made the proper adjustments after the film was completed.

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