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Film Score Friday 4/22/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 4/21/2016 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from La-La Land pairs two previously unreleased scores for Oscar-winning Paramount films composed by Marvin Hamlisch -- Robert Redford's directoral debut ORDINARY PEOPLE, the 1980 Best Picture winner which also won Oscars for Redford's direction, Alvin Sargent's screenplay and Timothy Hutton's "supporting" performance, for which Hamlisch based his score on Pachelbel's Canon in D; and the 1973 character study SAVE THE TIGER, directed by John G. Avildsen, for which Jack Lemmon won his second Oscar as a struggling Los Angeles businessman, also nominated for Jack Gilford's supporting performance and Steve Shagan's original screenplay. 

The latest release in Varese Sarabande's LP to CD limited edition subscription series is the soundtrack for director John Frankenheimer's first-rate 1986 film version of Elmore Leonard's 52 PICK-UP, with Roy Scheider as a businessman facing a blackmail attempt from a trio of criminals (memorably played by John Glover, Clarence Williams III and palindromic character actor Robert Trebor), co-starring Ann-Margret, Vanity and Kelly Preston. The score was composed by Gary Chang, who went on to score seven more projects for Frankenheimer, including five TV movies and the 1996 remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau.

The latest release from Kritzerland features one of Bernard Herrmann's most romantic scores, from the 1943 version of Charlotte Bronte's JANE EYRE, starring Joan Fontaine in the title role and Orson Welles as Rochester. (The disc features the same tracks as Varese's out-of-print Bernard Herrmann at 20th Century Fox boxed set).  

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The April Issue of FSM ONLINE Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 4/21/2016 - 3:00 AM

The April edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. In this month’s cover story, DANA LUND discusses her score to THE DARK HORSE. Also this issue, BRIAN TYLER talks about CRIMINAL and his upcoming concert in London; FRANK ILFMAN chases monsters with his score to ABULELE; RUY FOLGUERA gets jazzy with NINA and delves into virtual reality; an ALL-WOMEN edition of the Ear of the Month contest; an archival interview with conductor RICHARD KAUFMAN; a conversation with PETRI ALANKO about the video

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Film Score Friday 4/15/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 4/14/2016 - 9:00 PM

Despite the Falling Snow - Rachel Portman - Cube (import)
Eye in the Sky - Mark Kilian, Paul Hepker - Lakeshore
Green Room - Brooke Blair, Will Blair - Milan
In This World
- Dario Marianelli - MovieScore Media
The Jungle Book 
- John Debney - Disney
Lost Themes II - John Carpenter - Sacred Bones
Triple 9 - Atticus Ross, Claudia Sarne, Leopold Ross, Bobby Krlic - Filmtrax 
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Aisle Seat 4-12: Twilight Time Spring Fever
Posted By Andy Dursin 4/11/2016 - 9:00 PM
Exploitation fans have long coveted the weird 1977 Canadian/Italian production SHADOWS IN AN EMPTY ROOM (98 mins., R), a wacky blend of action-thriller and murder-mystery that’s not nearly as “arty” as its title would lead one to believe. In fact, this strange melding of seemingly disparate elements delivers trashy B-level thrills from start to finish.
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The "Last" Top Forty Countdown, Part Three
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 4/8/2016 - 9:00 PM
2011 RANKING: 19
AGE: 65
BIRTHPLACE: New York, New York
REPRESENTATION: Gorfaine/Schwartz
BACKGROUND: Berklee College of Music, pop arranger, TV composer (CHiPs)
FAN FAVORITES: Back to the Future, Predator
TYPECAST IN: Action adventure
1. Marvel’s The Avengers--623 (U.S. gross in millions)
2. Forrest Gump--329
3. Night at the Museum--250
4. Cast Away--233
5. Back to the Future--208
6. The Mummy Returns--202
7. The Croods--187   
8. The Polar Express--183 
9. What Women Want--182
10. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian--177
In 2012 Silvestri had his biggest box-office hit to date -- and currently the #5 U.S. box-office hit of all time - with the franchise-combining Marvel’s The Avengers, but despite this career milestone, he seems to be content working with his favorite filmmakers -- at least, one in particular. His most pivotal partnership, with director Robert Zemeckis, recently entered its fourth decade, and after three consecutive motion-capture animated films, the pair returned to live action with a change-of-pace project, the R-rated drama Flight, for which Silvestri provided a sparse and effective score with a sound quite different from his more famous Zemeckis collaborations. They reteamed last year for their 15th feature together, the charming docudrama The Walk, and this time Silvestri and his warm score had room to make a more much more notable contribution to the action (though the well-reviewed film, which reportedly cost a shockingly low $35 million, only managed to gross ten mil in the U.S.). Silvestri also finished off the Night at the Museum trilogy, scored the sequel to the action comedy RED, and had an unexpected smash hit with The Croods, one of 2013’s Oscar nominees for Animated Feature. He won two Emmys for his work on the 2014 revival of TV’s Cosmos, and on the horizon he has a Robert Zemeckis World War II romantic thriller (with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard) which just gained the title Five Seconds of Silence, and is likely to score the announced Croods sequel (UPDATE: it's just been announced that the Zemeckis/Pitt/Cotillard film will now be titled Allied).
WHAT’S NEXT: Allied 
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Film Score Friday 4/8/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 4/7/2016 - 9:00 PM
The latest CD from Kritzerland presents Johnny Mandel's score for the 1976 film version of Yukio Mishima's novel THE SAILOR WHO FELL FROM GRACE WITH THE SEA. The film marked the directing debut of screenwriter Lewis John Carlino (The Mechanic), who went on to make the popular The Great Santini, and starred Kris Kristofferson and Sarah Miles. The film's score was composed by Oscar winner Johnny Mandel (The Sandpiper, Point Blank, Being There), and had only been released previously on a hard-to-find Japanese LP; the Kritzerland CD features the same sequencing.

Intrada will not be releasing any soundtracks next week.

Composer Terry Plumeri died on March 31, possibly the victim of a burglary-murder. Plumeri studied at the Manhattan School of Music, and was a bassist at the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC while studying composition and conducting. He began scoring features in the late 1980s, most notably with the acclaimed indie noir One False Move, which proved to be a career breakthrough for director Carl Franklin and actor-writer Billy Bob Thornton, as well as Death Wish V: The Face of Death, the final film in the Charles Bronson vigilante franchise. While most of his features received only a limited theatrical release at best, his music became more widely available to film music fans thanks to Intrada releases of such soundtracks as Black Sea Raid, Mr. Atlas and Scarecrows.

Composer-musician Leandro "Gato" Barbieri died in New York City on April 2nd at the age of 83. Born in Rosario, Argentina into a family of musicians, the saxophonist gained notice playing in an orchestra led by Lalo Schifrin, and rose to fame in the music world in the 1960s. Along with his many albums he scored about a dozen films, including Michael Winner's 1979 thriller Firepower, but is best known in cinema for his music for Bernardo Bertolucci's acclaimed and controversial Last Tango in Paris (recently re-released in an expanded 2-CD set by Quartet), which earned him a Grammy in the Instrumental Composition category and a nomination for Original Score -- Motion Picture or a Television Special. He is survived by his son and his second wife, Laura.

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Aisle Seat 4-5: April Arrival Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 4/4/2016 - 9:00 PM
As any horror fan knows, John Carpenter’s career tailed off, fast, in the 1990s. After taking a four-year sabbatical following the conclusion of his Alive Films/Universal deal (that saw the mixed returns of “Prince of Darkness” and “They Live”), Carpenter returned to helm a major-studio project with one of the biggest budgets of his career. The result, alas, was “Memoirs of an Invisible Man,” the ill-fated – though watchable – Chevy Chase fantasy with a William Goldman script that was beset by problems and released to disappointing box-office in the winter of 1992.
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Film Score Friday 4/1/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/31/2016 - 9:00 PM
Even though today is April Fool's Day, this column will feature no April Fool's pranks, because I hate that crap.

This week Intrada has released a new CD of POWDER, the offbeat 1995 science-fiction fantasy-drama from writer-director Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers), starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Missy Crider, Mary Steenburgen and Jeff Goldblum. The original Hollywood Records soundtrack CD featured 35 minutes of Jerry Goldsmith's emotional score, but the Intrada CD adds 30 minutes for a complete score release (singer Sarah Brightman was such a fan of the main theme that she later commissioned lyrics by David Zippel and recorded it as "No One Like You" for her album Timeless.). This week the label also released a two-disc LP of Vince DiCola's score for the animated TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE

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Posted By Andy Dursin 3/30/2016 - 9:00 PM
Fueled by fan interest and the resurgence of sequels/prequels/remakes/reboots, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (***, 138 mins., 2015, PG-13; Lucasfilm/Disney) smashed records in theaters around the world, making Disney’s $4 billion purchase of George Lucas’ company and all of its properties look like a bargain – especially when you factor in the millions its sequels and spin-offs (apparently coming at us on an annual basis now) are sure to generate.
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Aisle Seat 3-29: Westerns, Sequels & Lambert's Sicilian
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/28/2016 - 9:00 PM
Making their first on-screen appearance together, Kiefer and Donald Sutherland provide a major boost to the low-key, entertaining western FORSAKEN (***, 89 mins., 2015, R; Momentum), a sturdy, if familiar, tale of a gunfighter trying to move away from his violent past, only to run into trouble once again.
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Film Score Monthly Online
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Today in Film Score History:
October 26
Bob Cobert born (1924)
Curt Sobel born (1953)
Howard Shore begins recording his score for She-Devil (1989)
Jacques Loussier born (1934)
Recording sessions begin for Roy Webb’s score to Fixed Bayonets (1951)
Richard La Salle records his score for the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “Unchained Woman” (1979)
Victor Schertzinger died (1941)
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