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The Book Thief (2013) - New Williams film score!


scissorhands
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I'm sure they needed the product placement money from Apple to make the movie happen, but someone should have thought about the artistic integrity of including a modern tech company's logo in a Holocaust film.

I'm not sure I understand your exact point. If it had been product placement for, say, a pharmaceutical firm instead of a tech company, would that have been less objectionable?

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By the end of the film she'd be at an age where having the latest iMac computer in her apartment doesn't really make much sense, even if the character became a writer or something.

Was that even her apartment?

Death said she died (past tense), it could easily be one of her kids' places. Or the computer could have been a gift (see #6 of

this list).

I thought it served its purpose of bringing us into the present by showing us something so familiar. If the producers got a bit more money by having it be a Mac, that's fine with me. Who knows, maybe that's how they were able to afford John Williams.

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I liked the Apple computer. The rest of the movie feels like it's happening in another world, so it's interesting to see something so ordinary in the end. Makes you much more cognisant of time, history, etc.

Perhaps a more generic device could have accomplished the same effect without risking vulgarity.

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I liked the Apple computer. The rest of the movie feels like it's happening in another world, so it's interesting to see something so ordinary in the end. Makes you much more cognisant of time, history, etc.

Perhaps a more generic device could have accomplished the same effect without risking vulgarity.

I was thinking the same thing, but I can't think of anything else that would achieve the same effect without the "vulgarity" of commercialism. A movie poster? A smart phone? All of these would be accused of commercialism. To really seem familiar, it has to be a specific brand-name item, not a generic version. I guess you could have a picture of Obama or something, but that would just be weird.

You could have kids dressed in the latest clothing trends, but trends go in and out, and that's not as time-specific as a specific Apple computer.

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Well the latest Mac laptop is possible according to my calculations of the ages and dates mentioned in the film

Liesel was supposed to be about 16(?) in 1945, and 90 when she died. She dies 74 years after the war so that makes 2019! Maybe it was a Mac from the future they show

Usually they show a Sony TV in movies

Oh and another thing is that the main film takes place over several years and she still looks like 12 in the last scenes. That annoyed me a bit

K.M. Contributing to this pointless discussion

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The scene that accompanies The Visitor at Himmel Street track was my favorite scene. What Williams did there is simply gorgeous, and it's definitely my favorite cue of the year.

I thought the apple placement took me out of the movie for a moment. But I understand and accept its inclusion.

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I am disappointed by this score.

And I am disappointed in you for being disappointed by this score.

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I am disappointed by this score.

And I am disappointed in you for being disappointed by this score.

And I am disappointed in you for being disappointed in him for being disappointed by this score.

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This is all very disappointing, it seems.

A wicked circle.

I love it!

Karol

Well so do I but I am still disappointed in Chaac for not articulating his disappointed in more words. We want to hear the depths of his disappointment.

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So what's your favourite theme from this score then? I think the one that opens the albums is absolutely fantastic. Not necessarily the most hummable, sure, but it just gets me every time. Especially in The Visitor at Himmel Street.

Karol

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The Death theme is my favourite (the same one you're referring to). It's a lovely idea that receives great development. "The Visitor at Himmel Street" is great but so is the major key statement around the end.

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The Death theme is my favourite (the same one you're referring to). It's a lovely idea that receives great development. "The Visitor at Himmel Street" is great but so is the major key statement around the end.

Yeah Death (or Providence as Williams said in an interview) Theme is a favourite of mine along with the "main theme" if it can be called as such. I was just affected by that opening piano melody from the first listen. It seems to encapsulate an almost rueful sense of tender melancholy and sort of feeling of inevitability in those halting piano phrases that open it, perfect for the narrator of the story I would imagine.

Sorry for waxing poetic people but this is a score that I found very moving, meaningful and appealing ever since I heard the first clips.

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Your poetry is always most welcome Incanus. I agree with all you've said. I'd really like to hear the theme in context and watch the film. It's clear that Williams used a more point-blank approach to the melancholic concept over any sense of mysticism, which is probably most appropriate for the concept (I don't know much about the film). What I really like about the theme is how Williams plays without throughout the score. The main theme, as nice as it is, is more static in that regard.

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Your poetry is always most welcome Incanus. I agree with all you've said. I'd really like to hear the theme in context and watch the film. It's clear that Williams used a more point-blank approach to the melancholic concept over any sense of mysticism, which is probably most appropriate for the concept (I don't know much about the film). What I really like about the theme is how Williams plays without throughout the score. The main theme, as nice as it is, is more static in that regard.

The main theme and the Liesel's motif are more of a musical motor or trigger kind of scoring that has a specific function to underscore, repeated whenever it occurs, creating an anticipation and expectation, much like Hedwig's theme often presaged one magical effect or another occurring in HPPS.

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JW snubbed at the Critics Choice Awards.

Score
Steven Price -- "Gravity"
Arcade Fire -- "Her"
Thomas Newman -- "Saving Mr. Banks"
Hans Zimmer -- "12 Years a Slave"

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Critics! Only they could be so bold! I'll have their heads for this blasphemy! :stick:

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Do they need more emasculation than they already get from us?

And besides any award not won by Williams is redudant by default.

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Yeah, they should, at the very least, give him one Oscar a year.

Karol

Well at the very least. :pfft:

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Critics! Only they could be so bold! I'll have their heads for this blasphemy! :stick:

Then again, they did give him the award for Lincoln last year. Maybe a mild warning like a slap on the wrist or four-limb amputation wouldn't be out of line this time.

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After giving this a few more spins, it seems to me the track "The Book Thief" is mostly a patchwork of cues from the film. A few things may be slightly tweaked--like the oboe solo variation on the main theme around 3:50?--but for the most part there isn't much new stuff.

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JW snubbed at the Critics Choice Awards.

Score

Steven Price -- "Gravity"

Arcade Fire -- "Her"

Thomas Newman -- "Saving Mr. Banks"

Hans Zimmer -- "12 Years a Slave"

What's the point of all these different awarding bodies anyway?

And again, just a list of the most popular films of the year. Uninspiring.

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I thought it was just an edit of other cues and not a different recording

It's not an edit. It's a different recording.

Yup. Definitely a different recording. It is somewhat in the same vein as the theme from Angela's Ashes that incorporates the different thematic threads used in the film into a longer suite. To my ears the whole piece is a new recording even though it quotes the theme from The Visitor at Himmel Street in the ending half. The opening variation of the Death/Providence theme is developed in longer form by the whole orchestra and the main theme and Liesel's book motif expanded in new variations and Williams weaves the family theme into the piece as well (one of the elements that reminds me strongly of Angela's Ashes).

The ending with the Death and Providence Theme is a new recording as well but it comes in almost as a surprise but in a beautiful dramatic turn works as a bookend to the album opening track that begins with the same "narrator's" theme. This reminded me of the way Williams finishes the Lincoln end credit suite of The Peterson House and Finale with the "loss and remembrance" theme on piano as well and it too comes in almost like an afterthought.

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So is there anything critically, or commercially, unpopular that deserves those nominations?

I'm sure there are plenty of great scores from non-mainstream films. You're the one who's always preaching us to be more open-minded.

I've listened to some of the 12 Years promo, and nothing I heard warranted an oscar.

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I saw the movie again, just so I could take some notes on the score for an analysis I'm working on. A few random notes on the score:

- there are definitely bits available on the OST that aren't in the film (ie "Revealing the Secret" and the last part of "The Book Thief" (in the end credits, this track ends with the reprise of "Vistor on Himmel Street")

- Max's theme is barely in the film (I think it's on the OST at least one additional time)

The Train Station is another cue you notice in the film. It seemed more bombastic in the film...could it be an alternate?

Nope, the version in the film is the same as the one on the OST.

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I've been listening to this almost daily during the holidays

(even if it is more autumn music). It is very close to my top ten of

JW's scores and it is definitely difficult to make it trough to that holy list.

It is a lovely score indeed Pasi. It received a fair amount of play during the holidays from me as well. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got to see this film.

The score worked quite well, and its restraint is even more appreciated. As for the film itself, I can appreciate the concept, but the final product is ultimately overly-sentimental and fails to get me very involved in the characters. This is a Holocaust story for children, and the film shows that (disappointingly). Even the tragic ending to me, was marred by the fact that

Liesel miraculously survives. And so does Rudy, for a bit longer to say his farewells! Takes away all the potential for gravitas that kind of ending could have had.

The great cast is to be admired and its enjoyable to see them on screen. On top of that, this is a beautifully shot film. From the snow-covered rooftops, to the interiors of the SS officer's home, every shot is a treat on the eyes. A shame that the film couldn't offer much substance to back that up. It's a bit longer than it should be, and ultimately Death doesn't say much, nor does he make much of a point (that last line was pretty cheesy). This is nothing we haven't seen before.

Oh and I think Williams is rather deserving of his nominations for this film.

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