As the summer movie season winds down, “The Wolverine” has been a stand out, praised for its attention to details like character development, plot, and a focus on place and setting, despite its comic book action-movie pedigree. Fittingly, Marco Beltrami’s score for “The Wolverine” also escapes some of the trappings of typical action scores.
This year marks a special anniversary for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, as they celebrate their 85th year with their annual awards ceremony on Sunday, February 24. Oscars will be awarded in 24 categories, and after downplaying the role of music in films last year, producers have promised a renewed interest in music, song, and musicals. The telecast will include a tribute to musicals of the past decade, featuring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russell Crowe. Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Barbara Streisand, and Catherine Zeta-Jones have also been tapped to appear.
Leonard Bernstein wrote only one original film score in his career, for Elia Kazan’s classic film, “On the Waterfront,” starring Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy, a troubled longshoreman and one-time contender who’s gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd. Like Brando’s character, Bernstein’s score is a mixture of tenderness, violence, and nobility.
After five Academy Award nominations, composer Alexandre Desplat is one of the busiest musicians in Hollywood today. In 2012 alone, he scored six features and one short film, scoring another nomination this year for his work on Ben Affleck’s award-winning film, “Argo.”
With track titles as diverse as “Meeting Krishna” and “Thank You Vishnu For Introducing Me To Christ,” it’s appropriate that Mychael Danna’s score for “The Life of Pi” is an appealing mix of East Meets West, as strings, tablas, sitars, flutes, accordions and gamelans blend together for waltzes, Indian rhythms, and sweeping orchestral flourishes.
The Hollywood Reporter recently brought six top film composers together to discuss their craft. Alexandre Desplat noted: "I always thought [composers] could give master classes to directors. Not to teach them, but to help them communicate." Read the full interview with Danny Elfman, Desplat, Patrick Doyle, Mychael Danna, Marco Beltrami, and Fernando Velazquez after the jump.
Writing music often is a solitary pursuit, so it was no wonder that when six renowned composers -- Marco Beltrami, 46 ( The Sessions), Mychael Danna, 54 ( Life of Pi), Alexandre Desplat, 51 ( Argo, Moonrise Kingdom, Rise of the Guardians), Patrick Doyle, 59 ( Brave), Danny Elfman, 59 ( Frankenweenie, Hitchcock, Silver Linings Playbook), and Fernando Velazquez, 36 ( The Impossible) -- gathered in one room, they relished the chance to discuss the complexities of their trade.
Godfrey Reggio's groundbreaking trilogy of experimental films, "Koyaanisqatsi" (1983), "Powaaqatsi" (1988), and "Naqoyqatsi" (2002), were released for the first time on Blu-ray this month from the Criterion Collection. In this essay, former New York Times arts critic John Rockwell traces the evolution of Philip Glass's music, and how it works in these wordless films.
The Qatsi Trilogy: Counterpoint and Harmony By John Rockwell At this late date, with Glass having attained the patriarchal age of seventy-five, some of the polemics about minimalism have abated. He's still in some ways boyish, but he is also a father figure for generations of younger composers, some of whose music sounds in no way like his own.
Alfred Hitchock was one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century, but he also had a dark side. A deeper reading of his films reveals some of Hitch’s hidden obsessions, including: murder, sex, and love. Throughout his career, Hitchcock was aided by the unseen hand of his wife, Alma Reville, who often served as the director’s sounding board and sometime editor.
Leo Tolstoy’s novel “Anna Karenina” continues to be a source of inspiration for filmmakers, having been adapted over a dozen times in different forms by directors all over the world. Joe Wright’s feature film boldly breaks from tradition, confining most of the plot on a single soundstage.