State of Wonder (1984)

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Cast overview:
Nigel Court ...
David Meyer ...
Captain Benson
Tony Meyer ...
James Telfer ...
Annie Chaplin ...
Martin Donovan ...
Father Daniel
Anja Schüte ...
Michael Halphie ...
David Capri ...
Constable Foster


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Some thoughts re.of State of Wonder
25 May 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I wonder if this film will ever be resurrected in any form. I loved the story and continue to find depth and insight in it. I wrote most of the soundtrack, very much as a relative novice in the world of film-scoring, although I'd previously written many television commercials and some TV drama. I have a copy of the finished version on video, but the dub is not of the best quality; there is a lot of distortion on the soundtrack. Although Alan Gill is credited with the original music he only wrote the opening piece "Katie's Theme". I also still have the "working copy" which although not a locked cut is pretty close to the final edit. I remember vividly the spotting session and in fact how powerful the film was without any music on it at all, and also the subsequent discussions with Martin Donovan and Tim Gee (editor) led me to discover the timbre for "Pitcherica" and the musical language for his character and the way he reacts to the world; he seems to have his feet planted at the nexus of many dichotomies, the spiritual and the profane, the sacred and the secular (in his world sacred and spiritual are two different concepts), the rule of law and the fight for freedom of expression. There is a resonance in the contemporary world where the idea of one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. Using the Meyer brothers to amplify this concept reinforces the director's idea that humans are all brothers, and there is a revealing piece of dialogue between Father Daniel (Donovan) and Pitcherica in church, which for me is the centre of the film (and which was unfortunately truncated in the final edit), where Pitcherica explains that he confesses to God personally, and the he feels that God is somehow about to "trip". Of course the trip-up he senses is his own demise, and the taking of innocence from the world, which results in the uniting of the opposing factions previously consumed by hate for each other. I still use this excellent film as a teaching aid for my composition students. Because there are so many strands to the story (and such a global human palette to draw from) many interesting discussions have been had referenced to various scenes in the film. I also get them to re-score a couple of scenes with reference to the discussions we have.

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