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Steven and John - forever linked together

Author: Chip_douglas from Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands
23 October 2008

Someday, hopefully not someday soon, there will have to come a time when Steven Spielberg can no longer rely on John Williams to provide his films with music. I'm afraid Steve will just have to hand up his director's hat at that point, for really, there are no two people working in Hollywood that compliment each other better than these two. Artificial Intelligence is not a film I feel the urge to watch over and over again, but I listening to the score is another thing completely. Also, just about every frame in the picture is good enough to hang on the wall - it's sitting through the entire two hours that daunts me.

It comes as no surprise that each DVD of a Spielberg film features a short segment on Steven's longest running collaborator, Johnny. A.I. has over two hours of score according to the big W, which varies from very tonal aspects in the beginning to the piano at the end (with all kinds of dissonant atonal stuff in between). J.W. used more electronics than usual here and some snippets of Tchaikovsky and Strauss as well. In fact, the waltz from Rosenkavalier was a piece of music Stanley Kubrick specifically asked to be put in the movie. John admits to having had great difficulty finding a spot for it, especially since he had no idea why Kubrick had made this request.

He then goes into the emotions of the often derided final 20 minutes of the film. You know, the sequence in the far future that a lot of people find completely redundant and both 'too much of a happy end' as well as 'the saddest ending ever' (check out the A.I. message board if you don't believe me). Williams does not shed any light on the whole are they aliens or robots debate (though other parts of the DVD reveal the answer to be the latter). However, he does use a lot of very big words, makes allusions to lullabies, mentions the spiritual aspects that the film examines, and by the end I'm afraid to say I was completely lost. His sublime score for that final scene and the accompanying shot of Teddy climbing onto that bed got me a bit choked up again though...

8 out of 10

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