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A perfect moment in “The Departure” from ‘E.T.’


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Oh without a doubt, it's a career achievement.  And I love that it leads to the emotional insert suggested by Spielberg ("ouch")

 

I think, Craig Safan was inspired for a similar departure scene for Last Starfighter. The ascending intervals for a spaceship farewell.  Not as lovely or emotional, but similar.

 

 

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I've been studying this cue lately*, and when I saw your thread title, my gut reaction was, "But all the moments are perfect in this one!" But yes, that motif is used exclusively in this cue, and it blows my socks off every time. @Loert, I agree that the way he plays with the tempo in this particular moment really seals the deal.

 

* One thing that's struck me: While the harmonic language has all of JW's trademark jazzy complexities, the orchestration is so lean and efficient. Simple, even. It's as if the flow of musical ideas was so exquisite that it just didn't need much adornment.

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11 minutes ago, Bellosh said:

 

This is both "without revealing your age" and "you know when you're a film score fan" topics wrapped up into one

 

And sarcasm, right? Because I'm sure @Naïve Old Fart knows that "Adventures on Earth" is a published Signature Edition score for study and performance, while the singular "Adventure on Earth" is the OST track title. And that one is rendered inferior by the presence of the brass sweetener at 12:40.

 

EDIT: Beat me there, @blondheim.

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3 hours ago, SilverTrumpet said:

I can't even count the number of times I've listened to this cue, and every single time that passage makes my body tense up because of how emotionally manipulative (in a good way) it is. Every time. 

 

Wait until you listen to the Tristan und Isolde prelude :p

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2 minutes ago, Datameister said:

 

Your brain is lying to you

How did they ever think it was a good idea?

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The "I'll be right here" moment around 12:40 into the track has a horn overlay on the OST album (and LLL Disc 2 Alternate) that is not used in the film (and therefore not in the LLL main program) 

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Ah. Things like this make me want to hand in my Williams card. 

 

I can hear an argument for or against. Interesting that he included it on the LP but not on the concert arrangement. (At least not on Spielberg / Williams.) 

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12 hours ago, Tallguy said:

Interesting that he included it on the LP but not on the concert arrangement. (At least not on Spielberg / Williams.) 

 

To be fair, he didn't necessarily choose to include it on the LP, at least not initially.  The sheet music leak provides strong evidence that the Adventures On Earth concert version was scheduled to be recorded on the album recording day, so he very likely originally intended that to be on the album, probably along with another film cue or two to bring the album's run time up to 40 minutes. Who knows why that didn't happen - maybe Williams wasn't happy with the performance? Maybe they ran out of time? - but instead, they literally dubbed the music off the movie stem to make the concluding OST track. After the dub, Spielberg chose not to put thr brass overlay in the final mix of the film after all, but that's why that track exactly matches the final film edit in every other way, including the Steven's Fix insert, exactly. 

 

And yes, his concert version have always match his original intentions in terms of not using the Steven's Fix insert or the unused brass overlay. 

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On 19/9/2022 at 7:44 AM, Disco Stu said:

It's the greatest synthesis of images, story, and music yet created.  (ET's finale, not Last Starfighter)


Definitely.  E.T. has to be the greatest film score ever written, no question. It’s absolutely lightning in a bottle. Anytime I watch and listen I just throw my hands up and say, “nope, can’t get any better than this.” 

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