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What is it about Science Fiction that lends itself to high quality music?


BLUMENKOHL
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Consider this list:

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

Star Wars

Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi

The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

Revenge of the Sith

Star Trek The Motion Picture

Star Trek Wrath of Khan

Star Trek The Search for Spock

Star Trek The Final Frontier

Star Trek The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek First Contact

Star Trek Insurrection

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Total Recall

Back to the Future

Alien

Aliens

Planet of the Apes

The Matrix

Matrix Reloaded

Matrix Revolutions

Independence Day

Jurassic Park

The Lost World

Signs

Tron

Tron: Legacy

Superman

Minority Report

Super 8

John Carter

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Thing

Robocop

Godzilla

Gattaca

Logan's Run

Starship Troopers

Fahrenheit 451

Avatar

AI Artificial Intelligence

The Iron Giant

Krull

Battle Beyond the Stars

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It's a Superhero movie.

Would you not consider, then, Robocop to be also a superhero? What makes us think that the central nervous system of a dead man could ever be successfully transferred to a cybernetic body?

And even within their own movie universe, Jedi are something of superheroes, making the Star Wars films glorified superhero movies.

So extend Blume's argument to superhero/comic book movies, and you can absorb the Superman franchise, the classic Batman films, the Spider-Man movies, and most of the X-Men movies.

It's because fanciful images on the screen lend themselves well to having vast symphonic music to further stimulate the imagination. Before Star Wars ushered in a symphonic score revolution for science fiction, a lot of science fiction film makers relied on electronic beeps and boops because that's what they thought the audience expected.

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Robocop definetly follows the pattern of the Superhero film closely. I would certainly consider it one. But with sci-fi elements.

Sci-fi is has a very broad definition. Several titles Broc gave are debatable, but I don't think Supes is sci-fi.

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You've completely missed Blume's point! Instead, you'd rather split hairs, which is rather wasteful of hairs if you ask me. Blume lists 46 movies and you can't overlook one of them, a measly 2% of the list.

At any rate, Kal-El is an alien being that looks, walks, talks, eats, sleeps, etc. just like a human being. He comes to earth and the energy of our sun touches his biology in such a way to make him invincible. I can live with calling this science fiction. Who cares if he flies around with a silly cape and tights? The "fantasy" is that he fights for truth, justice, and the American way instead of establishing himself invincible emperor of this silly planet.

It's no less plausible science fiction than a dormant egg on an otherwise dead planet that waits for a human host to come along, fuse with its biochemistry, and then explosively spawn a vicious alien creature that kills everything in its path.

I would consider "superhero" movie a subset of the very wide sci-fi/fantasy genre, which can still cross over into action, drama, adventure, western, comedy, romance, and horror genres.

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Stan Lee's writing blurred the lines of the superhero and science fiction genres pretty well I think.

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Science Fiction inspires the imagination of artists working in most art forms, I'd have thought. It's only natural that a major talent like John Williams should give the fantastical a deeply thought out musical soundscape - the same as concept artists might relish the opportunity to envision a universe on canvas.

I don't really think the answer to this question is all that illusive or profound.

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Consider this list:

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial ****

Star Wars ****

Empire Strikes Back ***1/2

Return of the Jedi ***

The Phantom Menace ***1/2

Attack of the Clones 1/2

Revenge of the Sith 3/4

Star Trek The Motion Picture ****

Star Trek Wrath of Khan ****

Star Trek The Search for Spock ***1/2

Star Trek The Final Frontier **

Star Trek The Undiscovered Country **

Star Trek First Contact **1/2

Star Trek Insurrection **1/2

Close Encounters of the Third Kind ****

Total Recall **1/2

Back to the Future **1/2

Alien ***

Aliens ***1/2

Planet of the Apes ***

The Matrix **

Matrix Reloaded **

Matrix Revolutions **

Independence Day ***

Jurassic Park ****

The Lost World ****

Signs ****

Tron **

Tron: Legacy **

Superman ****

Minority Report **1/2

Super 8 **1/2

John Carter ***

The Day the Earth Stood Still ***(original)

The Thing ***1/2 (original) *** morricone

Robocop

Godzilla

Gattaca

Logan's Run **

Starship Troopers ***

Fahrenheit 451

Avatar ****

AI Artificial Intelligence ***

The Iron Giant

Krull

Battle Beyond the Stars

NOT ALL THE ABOVE LENDS ITSELF TO HIGH QUALITY MUSIC.

some of it was quite ordinary or bad. Some don't even get ranked because they did not break into my memory

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aotc, rots are bad scores from JW, there are several which I find very overrated. Some just arn't worth even listen too. I'm not sure if blume meant Godzille old or new, old is a cool score but I don't own, and the new is nothing I care about at all.

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I was thinking more along the lines of in comparison to what we're are putting up with in new movies made today. I'm not AotC biggest fan, but it still absolutely annihilates 90% of what Hollywood's soundtrack factory has become happy to churn out.

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The Last Starfighter

The Swarm

Leviathan

Black Hole

SpaceHunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone

Just listing other sci-fi scores not in the list.

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You also forgot the obvious: Harry Mancini's amazing score for Lifeforce. It has elements of sci-fi in it, as well as horror, so wouldn't that count too?

And since your topic seems broad, wouldn't that include sci-fi shows too? I'd like to throw in Shirley Walker's Space: Above & Beyond and Joel Goldsmith's Stargate Atlantis work too.

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The answer's already been given: Imaginative work yields imaginative music. There's just more to work with.

The same should be true of fantasy . . . but, oddly, that genre seems more hit-and-miss than sci-fi. Weird.

You also forgot the obvious: Harry Mancini's amazing score for Lifeforce. It has elements of sci-fi in it, as well as horror, so wouldn't that count too?

You beat me to that one. This goof-fest of a movie had no business with such a fine score . . . but I'm glad it got it.

And since your topic seems broad, wouldn't that include sci-fi shows too? I'd like to throw in Shirley Walker's Space: Above & Beyond and Joel Goldsmith's Stargate Atlantis work too.

Why not? I'd list Stu Phillips' score for Battlestar Galactica as one of the best sci-fi scores any T.V. show ever received.

- Uni

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I would second those above who say that imaginative and fanciful images inspire imaginative and fanciful music. I would add, though, that even though the trend for big original orchestral scores with fantasy movies really took off with Star Wars, it did exist much earlier, even as far back as the early sound films. In that light, I find it interesting that Max Steiner, one of the pioneers of film music, once said:

"Some pictures require a lot of music and some of them are so realistic that music would only hurt and interfere."

He seems to be saying that the films that require a lot of music are those that are less realistic, i.e. fantasy. It's no coincidence that Steiner's first lengthy orchestral score that became widely known was for King Kong (1933), a fantasy film that the producers were afraid was going to tank because the giant ape didn't seem scary enough. Steiner's music certainly helped and is IMO a high quality score even if it seems a bit dated now.

I think the Errol Flynn swashbucklers scored by Erich Korngold are other early examples of these high quality fantasy scores. And they are such a tremendous influence on Williams that they certainly deserve mention, scores like Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, and The Adventures of Robin Hood from the late '30s and early '40s.

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Don't be getting any ideas, he's just being dramatic!

I'd rather listen to Gladiator, Pirates, Hannibal than aotc
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Consider this list:

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial ****

Star Wars ****

Empire Strikes Back ***1/2

Return of the Jedi ***

The Phantom Menace ***1/2

Attack of the Clones 1/2

Revenge of the Sith 3/4

Star Trek The Motion Picture ****

Star Trek Wrath of Khan ****

Star Trek The Search for Spock ***1/2

Star Trek The Final Frontier **

Star Trek The Undiscovered Country **

Star Trek First Contact **1/2

Star Trek Insurrection **1/2

Close Encounters of the Third Kind ****

Total Recall **1/2

Back to the Future **1/2

Alien ***

Aliens ***1/2

Planet of the Apes ***

The Matrix **

Matrix Reloaded **

Matrix Revolutions **

Independence Day ***

Jurassic Park ****

The Lost World ****

Signs ****

Tron **

Tron: Legacy **

Superman ****

Minority Report **1/2

Super 8 **1/2

John Carter ***

The Day the Earth Stood Still ***(original)

The Thing ***1/2 (original) *** morricone

Robocop

Godzilla

Gattaca

Logan's Run **

Starship Troopers ***

Fahrenheit 451

Avatar ****

AI Artificial Intelligence ***

The Iron Giant

Krull

Battle Beyond the Stars

NOT ALL THE ABOVE LENDS ITSELF TO HIGH QUALITY MUSIC.

some of it was quite ordinary or bad. Some don't even get ranked because they did not break into my memory

Also one should consider the following:

- some films on this list might not qualify as sci fi accoridng to one's definition.

- one could make a similar list of any genre and come up with comparably long lists.

- the amount of movies made in a certain genre. Say if a certain genre is overrepresented within a total body of films, this would give a higher amount of corresponding scores.

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