Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, one of the avant-garde's most beloved film scorers, died Friday in Berlin, Germany. His death was confirmed by his manager, Tim Husom, but according to an official statement, the cause is unknown at this time. He was 48 years old.
From the moment he set spaceships waltzing to “The Blue Danube,” it was clear Stanley Kubrick knew how to use music—and specifically, classical music—in his films. Excepting “Full Metal Jacket,” the fastidious and exacting director would use classical music throughout the rest of his career, from switched-on versions of Beethoven in “A Clockwork Orange” to abstract and terrifying music by Gyorgy Ligeti and Krzysztof Penderecki in films like “Eyes Wide Shut” and “The Shining.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its shortlist of original scores for the 2018 Oscars — and it is not short. There are 141 works being considered for the final five spots, including many of Hollywood's usual suspects.
The best film scores walk a delicate line: They help propel the story, guide an audience's emotions and are also often a distinct character, with a role and voice as important as any actor's — but they also have to do all that without getting in the way, or drawing too much attention.