California Typewriter is a story about people whose lives are connected by typewriters. The film is a meditation on creativity and technology featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, Sam Shepard, David McCullough and others.
For a predominately visual medium like cinema, its musical component plays a vital role as well, especially its score. In that essential musical accompaniment, the soul of the film is expressed whether it be sweepingly majestic fanfares or delicate lyrical pieces. This documentary explores the artistic role of this special musical discipline that completes the cinematic artistic creation process and the artists who have devoted their careers to this contribution. We explore the form's history and examine the masters who defined it with their own distinctive artistic vision. In doing so, the various components of this delicate creative process are revealed as they create a musical compositional work that has inspired a popular appreciation of music in all its forms, which gave some old musical ways their own new lease on life.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Fine, if you're only interested in film scores from 1960 to the present.
This well made documentary focuses on only half of the story, and the eras it celebrates are so hyper-reverential toward John Williams and a few others that it becomes one of those "Hollywood scratches its own back" movies. There's a staggering overabundance of minutiae on current methods and the middling films the composers are working on at the time of their interviews - and it gets boring.
Filmmaker Matt Schrader skips from silent films over the most important film composers and arrangers of the 1930's, 40's and 50's - the same composers that the current crop stand on the shoulders of often without knowing it.
Schrader's greatest sin is that he barely touches on Alfred Newman and Max Frickin' Steiner, only brushes on Bernard Herrmann and then TOTALLY forgets to illustrate the genius of the MGM sound (Johnny Green, Saul Chaplin, Miklos Rosa, Alexander Courage to name only a few.) Also, MGM nee Sony's Stage One recording stage - still one of the greatest ever.
Then there's Paramount, RKO, all of the Warner Bros. composers that go unmentioned and uncelebrated. This HUGE gap in the story of the film composers is evidence that Schrader was pandering to his heroes and showing his limited knowledge of the subject matter in the long view.
Without the inclusion of the heart of the story, this movie gets a 5.
Schrader - DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
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