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Ennio Morricone's Days of Heaven


Jay
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I was just wondering who here picked up FSM's release of Days of Heaven by Ennio Morricone?

I would love to hear people's thoughts on it. I am completely unfamiliar with it, but know it is highly regarded by Lukas Kendall and many others.

How is the listening experience of the FSM release compared to the old OST? How is the packaging and liner notes?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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Lukas Kendall really hyped it up like it was a must-have for ALL fans of film scores, that it was a really special score. I suppose it could have just been him doing his job as a marketer of one of his releases, but he seems like a genuinely honest guy who doesn't bullshit ya.

 

So not many people here bought it?

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I was thinking of buying it and I might do that in the coming weeks. The samples sound very good. The stuff Morricone did with Camille Saint-Saëns piece is really interesting.

Karol

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I was surprised when Lukas Kendall announced it and gave all the praise he did, saying it's "one of the most beautiful scores ever." Maybe it's just that not many people delve into Morricone beyond his westerns.

It's definitely in his Top 10, and paired with a brilliant film to boot, which is definitely one of the most beautiful films ever shot. There are probably samples of it on SAE, but this cue from the OST is probably a good one to decide whether you'll like it.

Here's a short snippet from the film, which contains my favorite shot 6 seconds in:

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It IS really wonderful and i will agree with fervour that the movie is a beaut. Morricone's transcendental style makes sweet, sweet love to Malick's reflection on...things, you know (like the tranquility of nature blabla).

Morricone is so ideally suited to Malick's loose storytelling style, it boggles the mind that he did use Zimmer and Horner afterwards.

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The fact that Malick hasn't used the same composer twice probably tells you something...

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That he's hard to work with and composers don't want to work with him again, or dislike how so much of the original music they write gets dropped, swapped, or chopped up

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DANIEL SCHWEIGER: The New World is done by Terrence Malick, a very esoteric director. Especially in terms of his music and he has never used what anyone could consider a traditional score until The New World. What was it like working with the director who had such unique approaches to film music?

JAMES HORNER: I would sum up Terry as a brilliant photographer - and that’s where it stops. The images in The New World are stunning, in Thin Red Line are stunning. In Thin Red Line he was surrounded by a couple of three or four people, a wonderful editor, a wondurful sound effects person who guided him through the dubbing and a couple of other people. And on The New World they were not employed. And Terry shot The New World and the whole idea of The New World was going to be a love story between John Smith and Pocahontas. And there is no reason in the world why it could not have been as great love story as Titanic was. That was the premise he got hired on and that is the premise he promised everybody he was going to deliever. So he went out shooting the movie, went over time, and got beautiful images and everybody "Oh god, this is so beautiful". There were a couple of things that were pasted together by a couple of the experienced editors of the love scenes. "Oh, this gonna be great, absolutely great". Okay, he had eight editors working for him - two prestigeous, the rest out of the wood work and some assistants. There was so much film he was working on night - on night there was a crew, on day there was a crew. When I first saw it, it was a mishmash of unrelated scenes, complete mishmash. I said "Well Terry, you need to..." - he asked me what I thought - "You need to cohere this, I mean this scene should be there" or kinds of editing things were wrong. It was the first assembly and he is a very, very nice man. That was like in April and he was supposed to have a cut ready by May to look at. And that we missed, he missed his deadline and it was in middle of June we saw it, the studio saw it and it was the same thing I saw two days after he finished shooting. It has gone through two and a half month work and it was just the same state. This was when I first saw it and red lights start to go up everywhere because I’m getting close to my recording dates and this is unscoreable like this. He also knew what the music was. I played him scenes, I played himeverything on the piano and I had the feeling he does not really know what movie music was. He didn’t have any experience with real film music being presented to him. Even in Thin Red Line it was all cut up. Here I was writing music for him which he would say was beautiful and great and sounded great on the piano, whatever. But I knew - and I warned everybody - this man does not have a clue what to do with movie music or how it works, not a clue. He is gonna to hear his first cue and not know what to do with it and I warned everybody. I begged him to watch several of movies that have music in them very effectively. Be it One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, I mean I showed him all kinds of films or asked him to see all kinds of films that were head scores in them. He said he would, but he never did. And slowly the editorial team started to disintegrate. The good editors left and they brought in more asisstants and it was cut by a bunch of incompetence. There was no real editor. He continued on in that way asking for opinions and we were approaching recording recording and there were no scenes to record, there were no scenes to time. He had no structure, literally, no structure. Scene A that was should go to scene B to C to D a natural progression. He had it attached to scene Z and that was attached to scene X and that was attached to scene D. I mean, there was no way to score it. So what I did with the film company’s permission is I made sequences from myself. I had my music editors assemble sequences as I thought they should be or as they normally be. And we scored some of that and it was lovely, just what everybody had hoped would be intended by the film. And Terry saw it and immediately took it back to his editing room and cut it apart and we were still recording and I realized that it was just a waste of everybody’s money to keep recording that we were commited because we had hired the orchestra. So Terry was making this movie that was incomprehensable. Everybody told him it was unwatchable. Everybody. Everybody. And he had Final Cut and when a director has final cut everbody can scream and shout but unless you’re willing to really go head to head in combat you basiclally have to throb your hands and say "I have no control of this man." And if we get the reputation of taking a director’s cut film from a director and recutting it ourselves and releasing no one want to make movies with us. So the studio company let him go along. He never did preview it but he played it for the studio and there were 35 people would come to the screenings and slowly over the course of three hours - because it’s a three hour movie - they would walk out. The editor who had worked on The Thin Red Line begged Terry to fix the fim. It was a love story and Terry doesn’t feel those feelings. All I can say is that Terry is on the surface a stone and he does not know how to tell love stories to save his live. When we scored the movie he completely disassembled everything. The score made no sense anymore and he started to stick in Wagner over scenes and a Mozart piano concerto over an Indian attack everybody to a man thought he was insane. By this time I was no longer on, I basically said "**** you" so I just did say a four letter word. I’m out of here. I’ve done my score. I thought what I have done was exactly what my brief was being hired, exactly what the studio wanted, exactly what the film supposed to be and the one who broke the bond was Terry. From the day he started editing to the final day when they kicked him off the dubbing stage he was just spending hour after hour doing nothing. It was like shuffling the tiles in a Rubik’s Cube. There was never a solution. All he was do was shuffle scene D over to scene X or Y would go up to A. Now that. Let’s try putting up A after D and putting D behind J. There wasn’t any gift of telling the movie. Terry doesn’t so this. And that was something we all learned about the great Terry. I never felt so letdown by a filmmaker in my life.

DANIEL SCHWEIGER: Well, I think, it’s a listing experience. There certainly is no letdown.

JAMES HORNER: Well, the cd is as I intended. I said to myself "This is not worth it. I want to resign." I’ll get my money anyway so to speak but I don’t care about the money. I want to do what is needed in the film and make a wonderful film. I kept telling Terry "Terry, this does not have any emotion in it. Don’t you understand?" He looked at it and he would say "I don’t know if emotion is important here." The whole movie goes by without you knowing that this girls is even called Pocahontas. I don’t even know if people noticed that. No one ever uses the word Pocahontas in the movie. I said "Terry, people, this is the name of the girl", she got this name of her backer when she hounded into the english fort. Nobody knew what her real indian name was and this was the name of this women up to the end of this movie. You never knew she was Pocahontas, there was never really a love story, it was only alluded to. It was a complete mishmash and what was released. What amazing is 50 million dollars later what was released in the cinema was the exact version of the movie I saw when it was first assembled. The only thing different was they had spent 40 million dollars in between editing, moving the Rubik’s Cube. Out came the other end the same movie and all the important people have resigned and said "Terry, you’re out of your mind.". That’s the story of The New World. It was the most disappointing experience I’ve ever had with a man because not only threw out my score - he loved my score - he didn’t have a clue what to do with it. He didn’t have a clue how to use music. So what he started to do was as I said take classicle pieces. But not even pieces the would be transparent and lovely. He was taking Wagner like a thick, thick planket or rock putting it on his movie and, I swear to god, on the dubbing stage everybody thought he was joking and he would bring up these musical solutions and take out the score and putting in Wagner or take out the score there and putting in Mozart. The cd is what I wrote for the movie and it makes a lovely cd but it’s the weirdest experience, he loved all the music, but he had not a clue. It’s not like he fired me and I’m bitter. What happened was I’m bitter because he did not make the movie he promised everybody he would make. Everybody felt betrayed, from the film company down to the editors. Everybody felt betrayed and this was the man who took the story that could have been one of the great love stories and was one of the great love stories in history and turned it into crap. And it’s because he doesn’t believe in those things, he doesn’t understand them and most importantly he has not an emotion in his body. He’s emotionless. He looks at a scene and it breaks everbody’s heart and there are 15 people in the room crying. When we scored a scene the orchestra came in because it looks so beautiful, its photography is so stunning and it was a scene we put together for scoring. It wasn’t Terry’s cut , it was more or less James Horner and his music editors’ cut. So that we could have a structure to score to, otherwise it was just going to black film. There was no film to record to. It was a fifteen minutes sequence literally there were like 80 people. We played it like two or three times. He was in the room, all crying all thinking how moving it was, how brilliant it was - not the music, but the scene. They thought the picture was so beautiful and the story and everybody was so excited and I tought surely that showed Terry that he was on the wrong track. The primary editor Richard Chew etc were there and it was so clear what people longed for in the movie what the music brought out. But that’s not the movie Terry had in mind and he saw the reaction and he took that whole scene and, of course, but it back on the Rubik’s Cube stage and the whole thing was deconstructed and unwatchable again.

Personally, I think Horner comes off as way more arrogant here than in the bit dedicated to Troy. He's absolutely clueless here.

Karol

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He has a point. If Malick had a clue, he wouldn't hire James Horner, wouldn't shoot an expensive movie in dire need of an audience and would listen to at least some knowledgeable people around him (Horner even named them).

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Yeah Horner's an idiot.

He's difficult to work with, but if you read what Zimmer and Desplat and Morricone have to say, they all enjoyed the experience. Morricone understood, and composed the score in pieces that could easily be moved around for editing purposes. The Thin Red Line is Zimmer's personal favorite of his own music.

Horner wanted and expected a traditional film. Malick doesn't make traditional films. Zimmer and Malick talked for hours about color and how to pair image and sound, and look at the final product.

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Yes, that's an area in which Zimmer is definitely ahead of many of his peers. In a way.

He has a point. If Malick had a clue, he wouldn't hire James Horner, wouldn't shoot an expensive movie in dire need of an audience and would listen to at least some knowledgeable people around him (Horner even named them).

Well, I've seen the movie and loved it. So I'm glad he didn't. ;)

Karol

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I just saw the film for the first time recently. Great film, by far the most accesible of Malick's work.

In addition to Morricone's haunting score, I also loved the use of Saint-Saens' "The Aquarium" over the main credits and two other places in the film.

I should probably get this CD, but I will go for the old album arrangement, of course, not the FSM expansion.

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I should get this one.

I should probably get this CD, but I will go for the old album arrangement, of course, not the FSM expansion.

The old album is included on the expasion and it's said to have superior sound quality.

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I just saw the film for the first time recently. Great film, by far the most accesible of Malick's work.

In addition to Morricone's haunting score, I also loved the use of Saint-Saens' "The Aquarium" over the main credits and two other places in the film.

I should probably get this CD, but I will go for the old album arrangement, of course, not the FSM expansion.

It is so beautifully rendered i could cry at the images alone - and the story is enigmatic enough but kept in check by traditional storytelling which can't be said about his recent films.

Thor, get the FSM treatment, the old albums sound like shit and you have the album presentation on the FSM, anyway. It's a score that deserves the expanded treatment, it's plays a bit like an unplugged album with bits and pieces inspired by 4 musical ideas and it's very soothing, you can play it in the background and get in a somewhat melancholic summer evening mood.

Well, I've seen the movie and loved it. So I'm glad he didn't. ;)

Karol

Good for you, but we can poop on Horner all we want, he is no idiot, he has done purely atmospheric scores on occasion, so i guess he got a briefing, presumably by some studio honchos and set his mind to it, then Malick acted like the nutty professor and said F... Y.. to Horners score which no doubt was prepared under a lot of stress.

I don't think THE NEW WORLD as it is should have had Horner's Captain Obvious-score with its BRAVEHEART love theme roaming around with the subtlety of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE over tranquil nature images, but there sure was some miscommunication which reminds me of the famous Scott/Goldsmith feuds.

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Well, Horner is an idiot, because he want on a giant rant about how Malick is a terrible filmmaker and doesn't know how to edit.

I wonder if he would have said the same thing in an alternate universe where Quentin Tarantino hired him to score Pulp Fiction. "I DON'T UNDERSTAND! WHY IS SCENE A GOING INTO SCENE D?!?!"

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Koray, without wanting to sound rude, you and most others (read: all) here are not really in the position to judge seasoned Hollywood pro's and their intellectual capacities as if they are village idiots.

He sure knew why he made a stink about those projects and you can bet that he could make the same rant about Cameron etc. but he never did that for a reason.

As for Malick, i think one shouldn't equal the filmmaker (the process of MAKING a film) with the finished product. I'm pretty sure he's a terrible filmMAKER, all accounts on his films say so. He often acted irresponseable to his producers and fellow filmmakers, forcing crews and actors into desperation etc. That all is well-documented.

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Just because he's a perfectionist it means he's a bad filmmaker? I wish more people were like him. As you say, the final product shows. I don't understand how you can be a terrible director yet make a great film.

As for Horner, based on interviews and information from someone who's worked with him, he's an ass and has a very bad temper.

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He's not described as a perfectionist (watch documentaries about DAYS OF HEAVEN or TRL), but as someone unable to communicate his wishes or even unsure about them often leading to fucked up schedules, waiting crews, angry cooperators and budget overruns.

I am not one of his investors, but i can see there's a business side to things and Malick sure isn't any step lower on the asshole scale than Horner is (who has a pretty bad reputation, i know that, too).

It's just ridiculous to heap Malick on some pedestal when the results are movies like NEW WOLRD or TREE OF LIFE, both of which reek more of ego run amok than good filmmaking.

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There's no doubt that Horner is a brilliant film composer who has an uncanny knack of getting to the emotional core of a film. It's no coincidence he's one of my alltime favourite composers. That being said, he's VERY traditional-minded, and really thinks very "Hollywood". That's pretty clear from the interview, where he compares THE NEW WORLD to a new potential TITANIC love story (WTF?). He never really grasped Malick's more alternative way of making films, and just cements the fact that he will never be an arthouse composer. So he was WAAAY off base there. BUT....it was really refreshing to hear someone in industry talk so candidly about a colleague.

Personally, I prefer Malick in a more challenging idiom, and think TREE OF LIFE was one of the best and most beautiful films this year. So powerful, it needs multiple viewing and extended time to be properly digested. The music alone is worth a treatise.

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He never really grasped Malick's more alternative way of making films, and just cements the fact that he will never be an arthouse composer. So he was WAAAY off base there.

But that's not what he is saying! Basically Horner laments that Malick never was able to communicate WHAT he wanted, arthouse or not. He even listened to Horner's music and gave him a big GO AHEAD on it - so it seems Malick wasn't entirely against Horner's concept, either.

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He never really grasped Malick's more alternative way of making films, and just cements the fact that he will never be an arthouse composer. So he was WAAAY off base there.

But that's not what he is saying! Basically Horner laments that Malick never was able to communicate WHAT he wanted, arthouse or not. He even listened to Horner's music and gave him a big GO AHEAD on it - so it seems Malick wasn't entirely against Horner's concept, either.

Well, the difference was not so much in sound, but in application. Horner probably pictured a more traditional, straightforward love narrative, while Malick was never about that in the first place. Still, much of Horner's music ends up in the film and works very well where it is being used. I think this is less a case of mis-communication and more a case of two film workers being on completely different planets, ideology-wise.

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It sure is, i still don't get why so many people here and elsewhere who presumably are under 30 and never had any kind of critical success in the filmmaking industry automatically assume that Horner, who for all his faults is a studied and well-weathered veteran, is a kind of doofus.

He certainly knew what kind of filmmaker Malick is, having seen his prior films and could easily supply an atmospheric score like NAME OF THE ROSE, THUNDERHEART or LIFE BEFORE HER EYES. That he did not shows me that he either arrogantly assumed to know best or that he was a victim of Malick's unsure instructions. I tend to believe the latter.

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I don't know why Malick doesn't work with Jonny Greenwood ... If I was a big legendary artsy fartsy director like Malick, I would never work with James 'Hollywood' Horner. I certainly wouldn't work with Zimmer ... Something is fishy about the ol' Malickster.

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I don't know why Malick doesn't work with Jonny Greenwood ... If I was a big legendary artsy fartsy director like Malick, I would never work with James 'Hollywood' Horner. I certainly wouldn't work with Zimmer ... Something is fishy about the ol' Malickster.

I'm not necessarily sure working with a less Hollywood-inclined composer like Greenwood would work either. Malick is so extremely conscious about musical use in film, and part of his approach is using various exsting pieces (classical, jazz, otherwise) so a composer would almost always work WITH those pieces. Morricone was probably the composer who had to work the LEAST towards this, but even some of his tracks mirror the meter and percussive effects of Saint-Saens' "The Aquarium".

That's one of the things I admire so much about Malick and why he is one of the greatest American directors, despite having only five films to his resume thus far.

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That's one of the things I admire so much about Malick and why he is one of the greatest American directors, despite having only five films to his resume thus far.

That takes no one by surprise. :sigh:

I still think that as a composer devoted to this subject, you certainly would say this with clenched lips.

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I don't know why Malick doesn't work with Jonny Greenwood ... If I was a big legendary artsy fartsy director like Malick, I would never work with James 'Hollywood' Horner. I certainly wouldn't work with Zimmer ... Something is fishy about the ol' Malickster.

Maybe because he isn't an artsy fartsy director?

It sure is, i still don't get why so many people here and elsewhere who presumably are under 30 and never had any kind of critical success in the filmmaking industry automatically assume that Horner, who for all his faults is a studied and well-weathered veteran, is a kind of doofus.

I don't think he's a doofus, I think he didn't understand what Malick was going for. Either way, what he composed is great.

Personally, I prefer Malick in a more challenging idiom, and think TREE OF LIFE was one of the best and most beautiful films this year. So powerful, it needs multiple viewing and extended time to be properly digested. The music alone is worth a treatise.

Of the decade for me.

He's not described as a perfectionist (watch documentaries about DAYS OF HEAVEN or TRL), but as someone unable to communicate his wishes or even unsure about them often leading to fucked up schedules, waiting crews, angry cooperators and budget overruns.

I am not one of his investors, but i can see there's a business side to things and Malick sure isn't any step lower on the asshole scale than Horner is (who has a pretty bad reputation, i know that, too).

It's just ridiculous to heap Malick on some pedestal when the results are movies like NEW WOLRD or TREE OF LIFE, both of which reek more of ego run amok than good filmmaking.

Communication is probably not one of his strong points (he's never done an interview), but there's a reason why he's unsure about things and takes years to edit. He's a perfectionist.

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Communication is probably not one of his strong points (he's never done an interview), but there's a reason why he's unsure about things and takes years to edit. He's a perfectionist.

I don't know if A really leads to B here. James Cameron is a known perfectionist, too, but he doesn't let his composers work their nerves off and then lays the RHEINGOLD over their contributions.

And i may shock the devoted Malick-fan here, but using trodden warhorses like Wagner and Mozart isn't going to win you any prizes for sheer brilliance, either.

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But Morricone, Zimmer, and Desplat never had a problem with it. They talked and listened to each other's ideas. Horner is the one who stands out and it seems like he didn't want to listen.

It's true that he chops up all their music, because he's constantly editing.

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Communication is probably not one of his strong points (he's never done an interview), but there's a reason why he's unsure about things and takes years to edit. He's a perfectionist.

I don't know if A really leads to B here. James Cameron is a known perfectionist, too, but he doesn't let his composers work their nerves off and then lays the RHEINGOLD over their contributions.

Actually, I think that's the TRADEMARK of an auteur, much like Kubrick. Total control over the entire artistic expression - from inception to finished product. Ideally, one should strive to collaborate with the other film workers, but if they go against you or otherwise don't get what you're trying to do, then I most definitely like it when they have the integrity to go for their own vision. The use of "Rheingold" was just inspired to underscore the timeless, mythical quality of the scenes it was used -- drawing on its previous associations in addition to its purely musical qualities.

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