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John Powell interview: scoring Bourne, Hans Zimmer, Face/Off and more

Sean Wilson Jul 6, 2017

Composer John Powell chats to us about scoring Jason Bourne, working with John Woo, his upcoming work and more.

Few contemporary film composers have made an impact quite like John Powell. From animation to drama to his immediately influential, propulsive Bourne soundtracks, Powell's energetic, emotional and heartfelt blend of symphony orchestra, electronics and percussion make him a singular voice.

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Ahead of his BAFTA Screen Talks event at the Royal Albert Hall on 10th July, we were delighted to catch up with John to discuss his remarkable career and the secret to a truly great film score.

So 10 years after I saw The Bourne Ultimatum on the big screen and being electrified by your score I'm sat here talking to you, which is a real privilege. I wondered was there a particular film score that inspired you to become a film composer?
See full article at Den of Geek »

Musical Memes and Trading Coffee for Car Chases with Hans Zimmer

“Who doesn’t want to be inventive and weird?”

Hans Zimmer is one of the greatest, most prolific film composers alive with a plethora of scores so recognizable he’s taking them to Coachella. Anyone whose themes are so powerful they can be appreciated under a music festival’s haze has to be remarkable. He’s also willing to piss off his publicist by digging into goofy questions long after his schedule has told him to move on. And by God, I respect that. Zimmer sat down with me to discuss his new online MasterClass, trading coffee for car chases, and musical memes.

Hans Zimmer: I’m excited that you are Film School Rejects because I am definitely a music school reject.

Q: You’re doing the Diy thing and putting on your own school.

Hz: Something like that. I know so many people that wanted to make a movie — that needed to make a movie
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Exploring Disney's fascinating dark phase of the 70s and 80s

Ryan Lambie Dec 7, 2016

Space horror in The Black Hole. Animated death in The Black Cauldron. Ryan looks back at a unique period in Disney's filmmaking history...

When George Lucas started writing Star Wars in the early 70s, the space saga was intended to fill a void left behind by westerns, pirate movies and the sci-fi fantasy of old matinee serials. "Disney had abdicated its rein over the children's market," Lucas once said, according to Peter Biskind's book, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, "and nothing had replaced it."

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Indeed, Disney was one of many Hollywood studios that Lucas had approached with Star Wars and they, just like Universal, United Artists and everyone other than 20th Century Fox boss Alan Ladd Jr, had turned it down flat.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Eureka

Nicolas Roeg's bizarre blend of high drama, searing sex and over-the-top brutality waited a year, only to be given a tiny American release. It then dropped out of sight. We're now in a better position to appreciate the show's great actors - especially Theresa Russell, the boldest and bravest actress of the 1980s. Eureka Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition Small>1983 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 130 min. / Ship Date May 10, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Gene Hackman, Theresa Russell, Rutger Hauer, Jane Lapotaire, Mickey Rourke, Ed Lauter, Joe Pesci, Helena Kallianiotes, Corin Redgrave, Joe Spinell, Frank Pesce, Timothy Scott. Cinematography Alex Thomson Production Designer Michael Seymour Film Editor Tony Lawson Original Music Stanley Myers Written by Paul Mayersberg from a book by Marshall Houts Produced by Jeremy Thomas Directed by Nicolas Roeg

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

I remember Nicolas Roeg's Eureka as being one of the biggest busts of the 1980s.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

20 Billion-Dollar Composer: For Hans Zimmer, ‘The Real Risk Is Playing It Safe’

20 Billion-Dollar Composer: For Hans Zimmer, ‘The Real Risk Is Playing It Safe’
Composer Hans Zimmer — the first creative to raise Variety’s Billion-Dollar milestone 20-fold since the series was introduced in 1993 — likes to take chances.

Who else would have:

» Recorded a London brass section, electronically processed their sounds, then played them back through speakers placed in the studio’s stairwells for an even stranger soundscape in “Inception”?

» Solicited choral contributions from fans via the Internet to create a 100,000-voice chant that would eventually appear in “The Dark Knight Rises”?

» Traveled to Eastern Europe to record Roma gypsy violinists and accordionists to incorporate into his music for “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”?

» Defied comicbook, heroic-music tradition by creating “drum circles” of renowned percussionists creating grooves that he could then employ in his “Man of Steel” score?

» Recruited South African singer Lebo M. to create authentic-sounding choral chants for “The Lion King,” Australian singer Lisa Gerrard to compose and perform the haunting vocals of “Gladiator,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Notebook Soundtrack Mix #2: "Sleep Little Lush"

  • MUBI
Above: Image from Maurice Binder's title sequence for Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Sleep Little Lush

This follow-up to the previous soundtrack mix, Hyper Sleep, is very much the same animal: a chance gathering of mesmerizing music tracks, carefully arranged to focus on the interstitial character of film music—its ability to distill into hallucinatory moments, the most sensual or emotional qualities of a film’s nature, and amplify these sensations to increase their temporal impact. With this idea of music as intoxicant in mind, the passing this year of John Barry was a loss of one of the great “perfumers” of film composing (for more on music as perfume, see Daniel Kasman’s “Herrmann’s Perfume”). The beautiful themes that Barry scored for the world of 007 that open this collection set the spell for a kaleidoscopic (largely) 60s and 70s sample of some of the best film music written by Ennio Morricone,
See full article at MUBI »

Looking back at The Witches

Is it really 20 years since the Roald Dahl adaptation, The Witches, appeared? Yes. But it’s as worthy of your attention as ever, as Jeff explains…

"My orders are that every single child in this country shall be r-r-rubbed out, sqvashed, sqvirted, sqvittered and frrrittered," barks the Grand High Witch in Roald Dahl's The Witches, a controversial tale about 'real witches', that has pushed the fright envelope more than any other contemporary children's book or film.

It's been twenty years since one of the most unorthodox fusions of talent pooled together to scare kids silly, with Roald Dahl's source material played surprisingly close to the text, Jim Henson's muppets in full grotesque mode, and strangely enough, maverick director Nicolas Roeg at the helm of a 'children's movie'.

Dahl's spin on childhood is uniquely humorous and violent. His protagonists are often lone operators in which death is not only a fact,
See full article at Den of Geek »

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