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Here is what directors are saying about John Williams


Lewya
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You could say the same thing about Kubrick and Alex North's music for 2001: ASO. Even though I love what North wrote, it never would have been as genius as Kubrick's classical picks. 

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On 2/7/2018 at 10:33 AM, Lewya said:

David Lynch reportedly didn't want to direct Star Wars: Return of the Jedi because John Williams was involved according to producer Gary Kurtz. I am sure it wasn't the only reason why he didn't want to do it, but it was a part of the reason.

 

This is hilarious! David Lynch is my favorite director and John Williams is my favorite composer. I wonder what they really would be like together.

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10 minutes ago, Borodin said:

 

This is hilarious! David Lynch is my favorite director and John Williams is my favorite composer. I wonder what they really would be like together.

 

Why don't you edit some Harry Potter music over Mulholland Drive and find out?

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4 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

 

I'm not familiar with Goldsmith's original score but I understand that the problem was that he wrote typical old-fashioned big sounding monster music for the alien scenes and that this approach clashed with Ridley's vision. Sounds to me Ridley was wise not to go that route. 

 

The stuff Goldsmith wrote for the xenomorph could hardly be called old-fashioned or big sounding, its actually quite off-kilter with the "alien" sound of the serpent and the textures used. I think it works beautifully for the creature. In any case, the stuff Ridley replaced with Freud isn't really direct quotes of the xenomorph material. I just feel that the plonking in of music composed for an entirely different film, and a classical piece used for an end title is a bit odd for a sci-fi horror film. But then I am not a fan of classical music used as score replacement at all, I think it's a bit pretentious (yes, even in 2001*shock*).

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49 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

But then I am not a fan of classical music used as score replacement at all, I think it's a bit pretentious (yes, even in 2001*shock*).

 

I only care for the result. If you can achieve great effect by using classical pieces then I wish more movies were pretentious. BTW, I don't know if you are familiar with the score that Alex North wrote for 2001 but it sounded quite pretentious too.

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27 minutes ago, Alexcremers said:

 

I only care for the result. If you can achieve great effect by using classical pieces then I wish more movies were pretentious. BTW, I don't know if you are familiar with the score that Alex North wrote for 2001 but it sounded quite pretentious too.

 

The Hanson in Alien is ok, but that's a different discussion. You cannot fault the composer for not coming up with a totally unrelated piece that deliberately sounds like something out of the early century romantic repertoire. If you want that, license the Hanson. But then, we have the Goldsmith end title, so no big deal. 

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17 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

 

I only care for the result. If you can achieve great effect by using classical pieces then I wish more movies were pretentious. BTW, I don't know if you are familiar with the score that Alex North wrote for 2001 but it sounded quite pretentious too.

 

I am. I didn't mean that the music itself "sounds" pretentious, rather that the use of classical music as underscore is pretentious and jarring. 

 

Would you have preferred The Nutcracker instead of Holiday Flight in Home Alone (clearly a case of temp track adaptation)?

 

Or the use of classical music in Babe. Was Jerry's score really that bad?

 

What if Star Wars had been scored with classical music (as Lucas had originally intended)?

 

Would Holst in The Right Stuff and Star Trek VI have been better?

 

 

...

 

On the subject of director's comments about JW, didn't Philip Kaufman say the only two composers he didn't want to score the Right Stuff were John Williams and Bill Conti?

 

 

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31 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

 

I am. I didn't mean that the music itself "sounds" pretentious, rather that the use of classical music as underscore is pretentious and jarring. 

 

Would you have preferred The Nutcracker instead of Holiday Flight in Home Alone (clearly a case of temp track adaptation)?

 

Or the use of classical music in Babe. Was Jerry's score really that bad?

 

What if Star Wars had been scored with classical music (as Lucas had originally intended)?

 

Would Holst in The Right Stuff and Star Trek VI have been better?

 

 

 

Could it be that you just cannot stand classical music? I know of several instances where the use of classical music in film is simply marvelous. 'Pretentious and jarring' are the last things that come to my mind. 

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I guess the main problem is that there often is baggage attached. The Valkyrie music in 'Apocalypse Now' is a great example of ironic juxtaposition (as is the Blue Danube in '2001') but Terence Malick's vomit-inducing Lachrymosa's or similar examples of the 'look at me, how weighty i am!' variety just ring bullshit to me (adagios always reek of pretension).

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Of course it depends on how you use it. But talking of adagios, I thought Barber's Adagio For Strings in Lynch's The Elephant Man (when the camera zooms in on a painting or a photo of a sleeping child) was very moving, even though it wasn't used as irony.

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1 hour ago, JTWfan77 said:

...didn't Philip Kaufman say the only two composers he didn't want to score the Right Stuff were John Williams and Bill Conti?

 

Well, he struck-out there, didn't he?  :lol:

He should be grateful to Conti, for winning the film one of four Oscars.

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22 minutes ago, Alexcremers said:

 

Of course it depends on how you use it. But talking of adagios, I thought Barber's Adagio For Strings in Lynch's The Elephant Man (when the camera zooms in on a painting or a photo of a sleeping child) was very moving, even though it wasn't used as irony.

 

Of course, 'Platoon' was only half-risible, too. But i mean, blanket statements about classical music in films are always pig-headed for that very reason: you can fuck it up royally, and most of the time, that's wat happens. Especially when it's meant to be super-serious.

 

It happens with pop, too.

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5 hours ago, publicist said:

 

Of course, 'Platoon' was only half-risible, too. But i mean, blanket statements about classical music in films are always pig-headed for that very reason: you can fuck it up royally, and most of the time, that's wat happens. Especially when it's meant to be super-serious.

 

It happens with pop, too.

 

It does also happen with pop songs, but when it works, its stunning. I've never heard a pop song that fits a film so perfectly as BORN SLIPPY, in TRAINSPOTTING.

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It's an art. Sometimes when they are too obvious it hurts, sometimes it's a nice wink ('If i ruled the World' in WOTW), at best they transport a meaning beyond what's on screen - like a good score, eally.

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2 minutes ago, publicist said:

It's an art. Sometimes when they are too obvious it hurts, sometimes it's a nice wink ('If i ruled the World' in WOTW), at best they transport a meaning beyond what's on screen - like a good score, eally.

 

That's a great use of that song. I love the fact that, as a flamming train speeds by, absolutely no-one bats an eyelid. They just accept it.

Of course, the DIE HARD song is a brilliant use of light jazz - especially since it's not even snowing!

 

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Songs can be much more eclectic than the actual score, Die Hard is a good example. If Kamen would have tried for that kind of bland lightness he would probably have been tarred and feathered - think of 'Mr. Baseball' or 'I.Q.' which are good examples for the composer manfully struggling for a frivolous light pop tone and they are considered offenses by many listeners.

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1 hour ago, Alexcremers said:

 

 

Could it be that you just cannot stand classical music? I know of several instances where the use of classical music in film is simply marvelous. 'Pretentious and jarring' are the last things that come to my mind. 

 

No. I have no issue with classical music at all. It just does not belong in films as underscore, any more than one film's score belongs in another. The use thereof is akin to library music. 

 

Anyone care to comment on the examples I cited?

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36 minutes ago, Richard said:

 

Well, he struck-out there, didn't he?  :lol:

He should be grateful to Conti, for winning the film one of four Oscars.

 

Yes, if memory serves, he went so far as to say that the only composer he was more averse to scoring his film, other than JW, was Bill Conti.

 

3 minutes ago, publicist said:

That is just a bullshit limited understanding of the medium. 

 

No need to be so rude about it.

 

2 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Library music is what Zimmer does.

 

More like library sonic wallpaper. Musicality is often sadly lacking there.

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If you participate in such discussions you should be prepared to called out for what is essentially reactionary bs. Especially when there were great examples named in this very thread and also in light of the numerous examples beyond. 'Library' music is hardly a fitting term for 'Ride of the Valkyries', to name just one example. It makes that scene what it is. And you never could do that with a 'library' piece.

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4 minutes ago, publicist said:

If you participate in such discussions you should be prepared to called out for what is essentially reactionary bs. Especially when there were great examples named in this very thread and also in light of the numerous examples beyond. 'Library' music is hardly a fitting term for 'Ride of the Valkyries', to name just one example. It makes that scene what it is. And you never could do that with a 'library' piece.

 

If you're referring to Ride of the Valkyries use in Apocalypse, Now, then you're so wrong. That is source music, it's playing over the frikkin' loudspeaker on the chopper.

 

And you still don't have to be so rude about it.

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I am not wrong, the piece fits the criteria just as well. 

2 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

That entirely depends on how you define library music.

 

You mean like twisting the term beyond its semantic meaning?

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Library music is a general term, nothing exclusive to movies. Wikipedia states that it is 'Production music (also known as stock music or library music) is the name given to recorded music that can be licensed to customers for use in film, television, radio and other media. Oftentimes, the music is produced and owned by production music libraries.'

 

To label classical pieces 'library music' seems a bit ignorant.

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The distinction isn't that clear-cut. In the same Wikipedia article classical music is mentioned as an example as library music. It is library music when the production music library records classical music which is in the public domain, because then they will own 100% of the copyright of the recording.

 

Anyway, my point is that the other poster was comparing classical music to library music because it's not specifically written for the film.

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Yeah, I'm feeling the same thing now. The problem is that Pub doesn't always express himself as clearly as he thinks, but still he has to be pedantic towards others, and on top of that he just hates to admit being wrong.

 

:D

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Yeah well, unlike you who does exactly the same thing until being prodded by others. And chiding me for pedantry - on this board, which divests 80% for nitpicking the tiniest details down to cue sheet labelings, micro edits and Star Wars end title fonts - is your good right but jeez, you should be thankful that at least a few guys put in the time to make this a discussion board.

 

Rely on Qintus and all you get are Netflix series digests in the tv thread.

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4 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Well, there's a difference between pointing out a mistake in order to clarify matters, and to be an ass when it's clear what the other person was trying to say. That's all.

 

Sure there is. But again, when the self-righteous do not even bother to look up a vague term on Wiki and then, like JWT, use the term in a derogatory manner (ah, more brownie points by Zimmer bashing!) i see not much of a problem there. 

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19 minutes ago, publicist said:

 

Sure there is. But again, when the self-righteous do not even bother to look up a vague term on Wiki and then, like JWT, use the term in a derogatory manner (ah, more brownie points by Zimmer bashing!) i see not much of a problem there. 

 

Are you seriously citing Wikipedia as a scholarly source?

 

And there was nothing derogatory about my use of the term. Stop reading things into my statements.

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16 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

And there was nothing derogatory about my use of the term. Stop reading things into my statements.

 

It seems you're right, at least according to Warner Chappell's definition:

 

Library Music is one of the bread and butters of Production Music. Warner/Chappell Production Music have libraries containing over 198,000 tracks covering every style, genre and mood imaginable. Want classical music from the 1800’s? They’ve got it. Need swampy, delta blues? You can find it here. 

 

https://www.warnerchappellpm.com/production-music/

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4 hours ago, publicist said:

Songs can be much more eclectic than the actual score, Die Hard is a good example. If Kamen would have tried for that kind of bland lightness he would probably have been tarred and feathered - think of 'Mr. Baseball' or 'I.Q.' which are good examples for the composer manfully struggling for a frivolous light pop tone and they are considered offenses by many listeners.

 

And Elmer's axed bits from Ghostbusters.

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42 minutes ago, publicist said:

At least i provide a source. 

 

I take it that's the anonymous kind, chief :lol:

 

Personally, I have no objection at all  to classical music being used in film, it's all about how, when, and what is used. 

Taken on its own, THE RIDE OF THE VALKYRIE is one of the silliest, most preposterous, and overblown pieces of music ever, but boy oh boy, isn't it effective in that film?!

Similarly, it's doubtful that North's MAIN TITLE, would be as effective as ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA. In fairness, to all concerned, however, since the latter is so ingrained, not only in 2001, but in the public consciousness, we'll never know...

Classical music in film can lead to many people being introduced to composers that they would never normally listen to (FANTASIA/FANTASIA 2000), and I am eternally grateful to both Norman Jewison and André Previn, for introducing me to not only Bach, but more importantly, Shostakovich, in 1975. Thanks, guys.

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Another example of using classical music in film and that I think is beautiful is Gabriel Fauré's Pavane in Mr. Nobody, the scene when they arrive at Mars. It made me wonder why the combination of classical music and space work so well.

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