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 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 8:40 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)

I don't know if there is another thread about this film and its "music" and I did do a forum search for "Dunkirk" which came up with references to the previous 60s movie.

Okay...I know Zimmer's composing divides people here but I'm sorry, I've had enough of this style of composing. The film itself was overly loud. Everyone seemed to be shouting. The structure of the film left me cold. No one to care about because there was scant character development. The scale of the film was off. The real Dunkirk had at least 39 British destroyers within view of the beach, there was a multitude of various pleasure craft and fishing boats picking up survivors and the French played a much bigger role than is seen in this film. So from a "story" perspective I was very disappointed. I believe Nolan said that he didn't want to use CGI to reflect the scale of the situation, instead relying on a handful of boats and ships and a few warplanes. Sorry Mr. Nolan, but then your film is not about the real Dunkirk in that case. CGI is fine as long as it is top class, seamless and doesn't distract. You should have taken a leaf from Mr. Spielberg and how he made "Saving Private Ryan". He used CGI effectively and seamlessly.

Now, Mr. Zimmer's score... Where are the themes? Where is there anything to latch onto to remember as you walk out of the theatre? All I heard was repeated riffs to either underscore supposed tension or movement. It was like the old silent film MickeyMousing. It just left me cold. I felt nothing for it. Nothing to relate to. What would be the point of buying the soundtrack on CD? To me this new wave of composing is what is wrong with Hollywood productions these days and sadly the stable of composers who can write really emotional and effective themes seems to be dwindling. When dear John Williams passes that stable will have become even more sparse.

It seems, to me, that the Hollywood studio system...the film "factory" produced the finest film composers the world has ever known. For the most part the composers were mentored by other greats and their music was made all the better for the collaboration of studio music executives. Lionel Newman comes to mind at Fox. Now all of that is gone. I feel a great emptiness watching new tv shows with scant scoring and films which use this new "tonal soundscape" style. Perhaps I am too old hat. Perhaps I should give up and go with the flow.

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 8:54 AM   
 By:   SBD   (Member)

Now, Mr. Zimmer's score... Where are the themes? Where is there anything to latch onto to remember as you walk out of the theatre? All I heard was repeated riffs to either underscore supposed tension or movement. It was like the old silent film MickeyMousing. It just left me cold. I felt nothing for it. Nothing to relate to. What would be the point of buying the soundtrack on CD? To me this new wave of composing is what is wrong with Hollywood productions these days and sadly the stable of composers who can write really emotional and effective themes seems to be dwindling. When dear John Williams passes that stable will have become even more sparse.

It seems, to me, that the Hollywood studio system...the film "factory" produced the finest film composers the world has ever known. For the most part the composers were mentored by other greats and their music was made all the more better for the collaboration of studio music executives. Lionel Newman comes to mind at Fox. Now all of that is gone. I feel a great emptiness watching new tv shows with scant scoring and films which use this new "tonal soundscape" style. Perhaps I am too old hat. Perhaps I should give up and go with the flow.


Nicely put. Surprisingly, this score has its defenders. Beats me how that happened. And now, it's eligible for an Academy Award nomination, which is unfortunate on its own, but what if it wins?

Tone-Deaf Studio Executive: "I think what this animated movie needs is a score like the one for Dunkirk."
Talented Composer Renowned for Thematic Material: "Are you sure about that? I mean, with all these characters and situations, fully-orchestrated themes are what--"
T-DSE: "Let me stop you right there. The Dunkirk score won an Oscar."
TCRfTM: "But that score was--"
T-DSE: "They don't give Oscars to things that suck! I want Dunkirk!"

Rinse and repeat ad nauseam.

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:00 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)



Nicely put. Surprisingly, this score has its defenders. Beats me how that happened. And now, it's eligible for an Academy Award nomination, which is unfortunate on its own, but what if it wins?

Tone-Deaf Studio Executive: "I think what this animated movie needs is a score like the one for Dunkirk."
Talented Composer Renowned for Thematic Material: "Are you sure about that? I mean, with all these characters and situations, fully-orchestrated themes are what--"
T-DSE: "Let me stop you right there. The Dunkirk score won an Oscar."
TCRfTM: "But that score was--"
T-DSE: "They don't give Oscars to things that suck! I want Dunkirk!"

Rinse and repeat ad nauseam.


I love the "studio exec" discussion. It's just how I imagine Hollywood to be these days. Lots of sniffing noses due to overindulgence in that magic white powder which also seems to have paralysed a lot of their auditory processing! Some of Zimmer's output in the past was okay imho but "Dunkirk"? I just could not cotton to it. It did not connect with me at all.

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:04 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Where are the themes?

They are found on scores to films that require them. Not all films require them.

Where is there anything to latch onto to remember as you walk out of the theatre?

It would be found on scores that are more suited to your tastes. Not every effective, professional, skilled -- and even enjoyable to many -- score will meet the requirements of every film score listener. It need not have to. It really doesn't have to please any film score listener, just service the film it supplements, but every score will still find fans. I love just about everything Zimmer has done. Dunkirk was a very interesting score to me.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:07 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

I thought the aim of a film score is to support and enhance the film for the audience watching the film rather than giving them something to whistle in the wash rooms or the parking lot or the tube train. Each film is different, some require strong themes others less so. Dunkirk falls into the latter category. Nolan's film shows the tension and fear of being on that beach or up in the air above it or on a small boat heading towards it. The music builds tension, a love theme or a march or a Matt Monro theme song weren't required. Nolan got what he asked for and imo it works brilliantly....

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:10 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)

Where are the themes?

They are found on scores to films that require them. Not all films require them.

Where is there anything to latch onto to remember as you walk out of the theatre?

It would be found on scores that are more suited to your tastes. Not every effective, professional, skilled -- and even enjoyable to many -- score will meet the requirements of every film score listener. It need not have to. It really doesn't have to please any film score listener, just service the film it supplements, but certain people will still enjoy every score. I love just about everything Zimmer has done. Dunkirk was a very interesting score to me.


I respect your opinion but I think you are wrong in one important point. A film, as a mass artform, SHOULD appeal to its intended audience on every level, including its music...especially its music. Nolan seems to have become very self-indulgent in his film making and I think this shows in "Dunkirk". Similarly, in my humble opinion, the lack of a thematic score DETRACTS from the screen action and emotion. The tonal landscape approach is annoying for many viewers in that it does not supplement the character development but simply apes the simplest part of the screenplay...the physical action.

I liked Zimmer's "Gladiator" score (but he had a lot of help on that one) and "Lion King" was okay as well but his more recent works do nothing for me at all and, interestingly, when I have asked friends what they thought of the music in "Interstellar" and "Dunkirk" a lot of them said..."There was music?"

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

The previous Dunkirk thread:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=113291&forumID=1&archive=0

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)

I thought the aim of a film score is to support and enhance the film for the audience watching the film rather than giving them something to whistle in the wash rooms or the parking lot or the tube train. Each film is different, some require strong themes others less so. Dunkirk falls into the latter category. Nolan's film shows the tension and fear of being on that beach or up in the air above it or on a small boat heading towards it. The music builds tension, a love theme or a march or a Matt Monro theme song weren't required. Nolan got what he asked for and imo it works brilliantly....

Thanks for over-simplifying my original points. You are entitled to your opinion, of course but "whistling a theme in a wash room" is a very derogatory way of addressing the very real impact a GOOD film score can have on a film-goer.

I did not hear "music" in the "Dunkirk" score. I heard a series of repeated notes played faster or slower to ape the screen action. It made no emotional connection with me because Nolan's film had no emotional connection to be made either in story or characterisation. And please...don't make trite comments about "love themes" and "Matt Monroe"...I would think that is beneath most film music connoisseurs.

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:19 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)

The previous Dunkirk thread:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=113291&forumID=1&archive=0


Just saw a comment in that thread by WilliamMcCrum. I think he sums up the problem with Zimmer's score concisely and precisely:

(quote)
"The recent 'drone and ostinato' style derives from time limitations, and quick editing ease digitally, and is NOT from artistic criteria. The cover story is that modern films need more organic, less intrusive music, and the excuse is that auteur directors demand this. The reality is more mundane ... technical not artistic. And because a certain generation has been brought up in a generally true 'new is progress' world, they assume that there must be some arcane reason why this new style is creatively 'better'. Brainwashing really."

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   cirithungol   (Member)

I thought it worked pretty well in the film.

Unlistenable in CD, though.

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:30 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)

I thought it worked pretty well in the film.

Unlistenable in CD, though.


Yes...it "worked" on one level, I suppose, but your comment about not being able to listen to it on CD says it all imho. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 10:06 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I thought the aim of a film score is to support and enhance the film for the audience watching the film rather than giving them something to whistle in the wash rooms or the parking lot or the tube train. Each film is different, some require strong themes others less so. Dunkirk falls into the latter category. Nolan's film shows the tension and fear of being on that beach or up in the air above it or on a small boat heading towards it. The music builds tension, a love theme or a march or a Matt Monro theme song weren't required. Nolan got what he asked for and imo it works brilliantly....

Thanks for over-simplifying my original points. You are entitled to your opinion, of course but "whistling a theme in a wash room" is a very derogatory way of addressing the very real impact a GOOD film score can have on a film-goer.

I did not hear "music" in the "Dunkirk" score. I heard a series of repeated notes played faster or slower to ape the screen action. It made no emotional connection with me because Nolan's film had no emotional connection to be made either in story or characterisation. And please...don't make trite comments about "love themes" and "Matt Monroe"...I would think that is beneath most film music connoisseurs.


I don’t think you do yourself any favours by putting music in inverted commas, nor by misspelling Matt Monro’s name. Or by criticising Dunkirk for not being realistic and then complaining that everyone was shouting! I recommend that you watch the film with the sound turned down, subtitles on, and play your favourite war movie soundtracks in the background. Those of us who appreciate Nolan’s unique film will understand.

Happy Christmas!

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 10:42 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)

I thought the aim of a film score is to support and enhance the film for the audience watching the film rather than giving them something to whistle in the wash rooms or the parking lot or the tube train. Each film is different, some require strong themes others less so. Dunkirk falls into the latter category. Nolan's film shows the tension and fear of being on that beach or up in the air above it or on a small boat heading towards it. The music builds tension, a love theme or a march or a Matt Monro theme song weren't required. Nolan got what he asked for and imo it works brilliantly....

Thanks for over-simplifying my original points. You are entitled to your opinion, of course but "whistling a theme in a wash room" is a very derogatory way of addressing the very real impact a GOOD film score can have on a film-goer.

I did not hear "music" in the "Dunkirk" score. I heard a series of repeated notes played faster or slower to ape the screen action. It made no emotional connection with me because Nolan's film had no emotional connection to be made either in story or characterisation. And please...don't make trite comments about "love themes" and "Matt Monroe"...I would think that is beneath most film music connoisseurs.


I don’t think you do yourself any favours by putting music in inverted commas, nor by misspelling Matt Monro’s name. Or by criticising Dunkirk for not being realistic and then complaining that everyone was shouting! I recommend that you watch the film with the sound turned down, subtitles on, and play your favourite war movie soundtracks in the background. Those of us who appreciate Nolan’s unique film will understand.

Happy Christmas!


Well, not being a fan of "Monro" might be the issue there. As to the word "music" being used to describe Zimmer's exercise in creating a tonescape, there'd be a ton of people who would argue my point of view for precisely the same reasons I gave earlier in the thread.

I had to suppress a laugh at this line, "Those of us who appreciate Nolan’s unique film will understand." Please, enlighten us great unwashed about Nolan's sage point in "Dunkirk". What was the point of the film? Some men make it to the beach. They sneak on board a ship...the ship gets torpedoed and then they have to struggle in a beached ship wherein they argue about one of the guys being French and ducking pot shots being taken by the Germans at the ship's hull. Meanwhile an overdressed stiff upper-lip English gent is making his way over to Dunkirk in his stout little fishing boat. He picks up a totally lamentable survivor but ever the understanding Pom he allows him latitude for "shell shock". The shell-shocked soldier manhandles a young lad who dies as a result of a fall. In the meantime we see intercuts with a couple of air battles between three Spitfires, some Stukas and a Junker bomber. We see an English commander making a few "Carry On" comments on a pier and that's it. There is precious little characterisation, the film cheapens the gravity of the situation and the scale of war materiel involvement and all one is left with is that the film tried to portray impending doom, the rush to avoid it and how the English were either sullen (regular troops) or "pip-pip" ( officers ). The only redeeming part of the film, for me, was the final sacrifice of the Spitfire commander...that's it.

Have I missed anything? What great important concept exists in this film that I have missed because to me it comes across as a bit of a Nolan self-indulgent mess. I'm sure there are those in the avant-garde movements who will love it. But I think the movie-going public and more than a handful of critics are getting a bit tired of Mr. Nolan's films and his chief tonescape provider.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Those of us who appreciate Nolan’s unique film will understand if you decide to watch the film in your own way.

On another note, how did you decide on your user name? smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 11:17 AM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Use the search engine dummy!
B


HAve a nice day
smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)

Use the search engine dummy!
B


HAve a nice day
smile


I used it...the previous thread did not show up...smartarse. Have a nice day as well!

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Those of us who appreciate Nolan’s unique film will understand if you decide to watch the film in your own way.

On another note, how did you decide on your user name? smile


Its the one he uses when sexting teenagers

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Those of us who appreciate Nolan’s unique film will understand if you decide to watch the film in your own way.

On another note, how did you decide on your user name? smile


Its the one he uses when sexting teenagers

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 11:22 AM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Use the search engine dummy!
B


HAve a nice day
smile


I used it...the previous thread did not show up...smartarse. Have a nice day as well!


I apologize

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 11:24 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)

Those of us who appreciate Nolan’s unique film will understand if you decide to watch the film in your own way.

On another note, how did you decide on your user name? smile


Oh my...another "oh YOU could never understand it" type! "Stroppy" amply signifies how I feel about snooty types who are so up themselves that they can't see the bird droppings hitting their head. smile

 
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