14 items from 2014
By Anjelica Oswald
Of the 114 titles eligible for best original score at the 87th Academy Awards, five of French composer Alexandre Desplat’s scores have made the list: Godzilla, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Monuments Men and Unbroken. The final nominees will be announced Jan. 15.
Desplat has become one of the most prolific composers in Hollywood since his first Hollywood film score for 2003’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, and he has received six Oscar nominations in eight years. His first nomination came for 2006’s The Queen and was followed by 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2010’s The King’s Speech, 2012’s Argo and 2013’s Philomena. If he is nominated again this year — for one or more of his scores — he will have upwards of seven nominations in nine years, yet Desplat has never won. He joins five other »
- Anjelica Oswald
It's hard to imagine what Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey would be like without the iconic score that was composed by Richard Strauss. But before he came on board to give the film its unforgettable sound, it was originally supposed to include a score by Alex North. North actually composed a full score for the film, which Kubrick ultimately scrapped. I've never heard this score until recently, and now you can see what the opening of the sci-fi classic would have been like with this original score in place. It definitely gives the film a very different feel.
Kubrick had this to say about the original score during a past interview with Michael Ciment:
Although [North] and I went over the picture very carefully, and he listened to these temporary tracks and agreed that they worked fine and would serve as a guide to the musical objectives of each sequence he, »
- Joey Paur
The music of Richard Strauss and Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey are all but inseparable at this point, as the fanfare from Strauss’ composition ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ became the unforgettable sonic accompaniment to the opening of Kubrick’s film. But the movie was originally going to be scored by Alex North. In fact, North composed an […]
The post Watch the ’2001′ Opening With Alex North’s Original Score appeared first on /Film. »
- Russ Fischer
While we love to wonder what would have happened had Robert Zemeckis stuck with Eric Stoltz in “Back to the Future,” it’s equally fun for us to, say, imagine if the opening of “The Royal Tenenbaums” would be as great if Wes Anderson got the rights to the “Hey Jude” master. To that end, how different would the pop culture landscape, the sci-fi genre, and Stanley Kubrick’s career be if he hadn’t had used pieces of classical music in his landmark “2001: A Space Odyssey”? The number one piece of music identified with Kubrick’s iconic film has to be “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” and yet, despite being so linked, the film almost ended up with different music entirely, an original score composed by Alex North. Kubrick and North first worked together on 1960’s “Spartacus” and were all set to continue their collaboration with Kubrick using the classical »
- Cain Rodriguez
According to Open Culture, Stanley Kubrick commissioned a score from "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" composer Alex North, with whom he worked previously on his sword-and-sandals epic "Spartacus." But just as he would later do with Wendy Carlos' eerie "The Shining" score, Kubrick dropped it, saying in a interview with Michael Ciment, "Although [North] and I went over the picture very carefully, and he listened to these temporary tracks and agreed that they worked fine and would serve as a guide to the musical objectives of each sequence he, nevertheless, wrote and recorded a score which could not have been more alien to the music we had listened to, and much more serious than that, a score which, in my opinion, was completely inadequate for the film." Thus, Kubrick went for a now-iconic soundtrack featuring Strauss, Ligeti, Khatchaturian and more that mixes avant-garde and classical chamber music. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The gears in composer Alexandre Desplat’s head are always turning. They have to be; even with a packed scheduled — he’ll see five films hit American screens before the end of 2014 — his artistic process is still one of care and contemplation. With each new score, Desplat chisels out a sound that’s recognizably story-driven, interwoven with theme and individual from his other works. In his new film, "The Imitation Game," the composer translates Alan Turing’s life into a fractaling piano score that encompasses both the mathematician’s achievements — cracking the Nazi’s "Enigma Code" with a proto-computer known as the Turing Machine — and an emotional frustration bubbling underneath the surface. If Desplat’s espionage sounds click with Oscar voters, "The Imitation Game" would net him his seventh Academy Award nomination. He previously nabbed a spot in the top five with "The Queen," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, »
- Matt Patches
By Darren Allison
(Cinema Retro Soundtrack Editor)
I was recently fortunate enough to make an acquaintance with Jason Lee Lazell of Moochin’ About Records which is earning kudos for releasing some high profile film-related recordings. The latest box set in their Jazz on Film series – ‘Crime Jazz’- will be featured in our upcoming print edition of Cinema Retro. Another of their impressive releases, Film Noir, is a superb 5 CD box set featuring seven fantastic scores including Alex North’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Leith Stevens’s Private Hell 36 (1954), Elmer Bernstein’s The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), Elmer Bernstein and Chico Hamilton’s Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Henry Mancini’s Touch of Evil (1958), Duke Ellington’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and John Lewis’s Odds Against tomorrow (1959). I must admit, I initially thought these releases were just going to be another in a long line of reissues, but how wrong I was… »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
I took a break from Fantastic Fest on Sunday to visit MondoCon at the Marchesa Theater. The crowds had thinned out a bit from Saturday's opening day, but the impact of the overwhelming response to the first-ever MondoCon was evident from the sold-out Mondo Beer and food-truck menu items.
I was quite impressed with the use of space for the event: two rooms full of artists and dealers, a pleasantly diverse assortment of food trucks, a special tent with Mondo posters and vinyl available for purchase, and a Shaun of the Dead record-tossing game booth, as seen above. I gave it a try and won a beer-colored variant of the Shaun of the Dead score.
The theater auditorium itself held panels and screenings throughout the weekend. I was sorry to miss local film composer Brian Satterwhite's Saturday panel "2001: A Lost Score", which featured a live presentation of several »
- Debbie Cerda
Stanley Kubrick’s score for 2001: A Space Odyssey possesses some of the greatest classical works ever written, and with it his legendary direction are matched with some of the greatest visuals ever produced. The merging of the sounds by Strauss and Khachaturian with visual effects, which during the film’s release of 1968 were groundbreaking, have been imitated and spoofed ever since. You know all this already. But did you know that 2001 has an original score? At the inaugural MondoCon, taking place this past weekend in Austin at the same time as Fantastic Fest (read our coverage here), we stopped by a historic panel, “2001: A Lost Score,” which explored the score created by composer Alex North for the film. Presented by film composer and host of...
- Jason Guerrasio
Honorary Award: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth among dozens of women bypassed by the Academy (photo: Honorary Award non-winner Gloria Swanson in 'Sunset Blvd.') (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux Snubbed.") Part three of this four-part article about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Honorary Award bypassing women basically consists of a long, long — and for the most part quite prestigious — list of deceased women who, some way or other, left their mark on the film world. Some of the names found below are still well known; others were huge in their day, but are now all but forgotten. Yet, just because most people (and the media) suffer from long-term — and even medium-term — memory loss, that doesn't mean these women were any less deserving of an Honorary Oscar. So, among the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have passed away without »
- Andre Soares
In 1987, the late Lauren Bacall paid her last of five visits to The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She had two recently completed movies to talk up, but in the first interview segment above, the actress and host don’t get around to lesser-remembered titles Appointment with Death and Mr. North. Instead, they focused on Katharine Hepburn’s recently published memoir The Making of The African Queen: Or How I Went to Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind, with Bacall telling stories about her time on the set. The clip’s given new resonance today by an […] »
- Vadim Rizov
Here's another installment featuring Joe Dante's reviews from his stint as a critic for Film Bulletin circa 1969-1974. Our thanks to Video Watchdog and Tim Lucas for his editorial embellishments! Currently tearing up ballyhoo market boxoffice records, this generally ordinary horror film has a potent selling gimmick in its rat heavies. A big grosser for the broad range of markets thanks to unusually powerful promotion campaign. Rating: Gp.
Willard, the tender story of a boy and his killer rats, is already the surprise hit of the season, thanks largely to a shrewd ballyhoo campaign devised by the showmen at Cinerama releasing which makes the Bcp Production a virtually irresistible attraction for a broad range of thrill fans. Far better horror films have come and gone in recent years, but without Willard's main distinction‑its rat gimmick, which is bringing out the monster fans, the kids and anyone else »
- Joe Dante
2001: A Space Odyssey is a stunning, laconic view of space travel — which is why music plays such a critical role in the effectiveness of the picture. Director Stanley Kubrick used iconic classical music tracks to accompany his near-silent epic, but Johann Strauss II and the Vienna Philharmonic’s rendition of Richard Strauss tone poem weren’t Kubrick’s first choices for the picture. Early in the film’s production, Kubrick commissioned Dr. Strangelove collaborator Alex North to create the soundtrack for 2001. That composition is currently available online via Filmmaker Iq. The website advises: This theme music made its public debut in early 1993 as part of the Telarc compilation CD Hollywood’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, by Erich Kunzel and...
- Alison Nastasi
Today, FilmmakerIQ posted the following snippet of Alex North's original score for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The score was ultimately rejected and, in the case of the film's opening title sequence, the score was replaced by Richard Strauss's "Also sprach Zarathustra" composed in 1896. There are a couple ways to look and listen to this piece, but I think the best is to consider just how much we're all likely to prefer Kubrick's decision on which music to go with, especially once you you consider the following interview snippet from an interview in which Michel Ciment noted, "You have abandoned original film music in your last three films." Kubrick's response: Exclude a pop music score from what I am about to say. However good our best film composers may be, they are not a Beethoven, a Mozart or a Brahms. Why use music which is less »
- Brad Brevet
14 items from 2014
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