Some of the on-line soundtrack scores, including Kritzerland and Quartet, are currently going on hiatus due to the global pandemic situation.
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week. For those not concerned about "spoilers," the title is identified in this Message Board thread.
Carter Burwell's music for the all-star Apple + series THE MORNING SHOW is yet another current score that is being released on vinyl (and not, for the time being, on CD). Other upcoming vinyl score releases include THE GENTLEMEN (Christopher Benstead) and TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG (Jed Kurzel)
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Le Dolci Signore - Armando Trovajoli - Digitmovies
Orchestra Rehearsal - Nino Rota - Music Box
Perversione/Stress - Carlo Savina - Quartet
Sbirro, La Tua Legge E Lenta...La Mia...No! - Stelvio Cipriani - Digitmovies
IN THEATERS TODAY
As of Sunday evening, March 15th, the mayor of Los Angeles has ordered all movie theaters to be closed for the time being, so this section of the Friday column will be temporarily discontinued.
The Witcher - Sonya Belousova, Giona Ostinelli - Sony [import]
Queen & Slim - Devonte Hynes - Domino
The Roads Not Taken - Sally Potter - Milan
Army of Darkness - Joseph LoDuca, Varese Sarabande CD Club
Hackers - Simon Boswell, songs - Varese Sarabande
Lo Chiamavano Bulldozer - Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis - Beat
Doctor Who: Series 12 - Segun Akinola - Silva
Doctor Who: The Sun Makers - Dudley Simpson - Silva
Doctor Who: The Visitation - Paddy Kingsland - Silva
Franco De Gemini Performs Ennio Morricone - Ennio Morricone - Beat
The Jack in the Box - Christoph Allerstorter - Howlin' Wolf
Supercar - Barry Gray - Silva
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
March 20 - Michel Magne born (1930)
March 20 - John Cameron born (1944)
March 20 - Miklos Rozsa wins his second Oscar, for A Double Life score (1948)
March 20 - Franz Waxman wins his second consecutive Best Score Oscar, for A Place in the Sun (1952)
March 20 - Elmer Bernstein
begins recording his score for The Tin Star
March 20 - Amit Poznansky born (1974)
March 20 - Stu Phillips records his score for the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “The Hand of Goral” (1981)
March 20 - Ray Cook died (1989)
March 20 - Georges Delerue died (1992)
March 20 - Johnny Pearson died (2011)
March 21 - Antony Hopkins born (1921)
March 21 - Gary Hughes born (1922)
March 21 - Mort Lindsey born (1923)
March 21 - Joseph S. DeBeasi born (1960)
March 21 - Alex North
begins recording his score for Spartacus
March 21 - Alexander Courage records his score for the Lost in Space episode "The Mechanical Men" (1967)
March 21 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score to The Green Berets (1968)
March 21 - John Williams
wins his fifth Oscar, for his Schindler's List
March 21 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Journey’s End “ (1994)
March 22 - Stephen Sondheim born (1930)
March 22 - Angelo Badalamenti born (1937)
March 22 - Andrew Lloyd Webber born (1948)
March 22 - Goran Bregovic born (1950)
March 22 - Wally Badarou born (1955)
March 22 - Max Richter born (1966)
March 22 - Zeltia Montes born (1979)
March 22 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score for Time After Time (1979)
March 22 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Time Squared” (1989)
March 22 - Bebo Valdes died (2013)
March 23 - Alan Blaikley born (1940)
March 23 - Michael Nyman born (1944)
March 23 - David Grisman born (1945)
March 23 - Trevor Jones born (1949)
March 23 - Aaron Copland wins his only Oscar, for The Heiress score (1950)
March 23 - Philip Judd born (1953)
March 23 - Richard Shores records his score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Burning Diamond” (1966)
March 23 - Damon Albarn born (1968)
March 23 - Lionel Newman re-records pre-existing Jerry Goldsmith cues for The Last Hard Men’s replacement score (1976)
March 23 - Hal Mooney died (1995)
March 23 - Michael Linn died (1995)
March 23 - James Horner
begins recording his score for Braveheart
March 23 - James Horner
wins his first and last Oscars, for Titanic
's score and song; Anne Dudley
wins the third Comedy or Musical Score Oscar, for The Full Monty
March 23 - Elliot Goldenthal
wins his first Oscar, for the Frida
March 24 - Michael Masser born (1941)
March 24 - Brian Easdale
wins his only Oscar, for The Red Shoes
March 24 - Alberto Colombo died (1954)
March 24 - Fred Steiner
's score for the Star Trek
episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" is recorded (1967)
March 24 - John Barry begins recording his score for The Deep (1977)
March 24 - Arthur B. Rubinstein begins recording his score for WarGames (1983)
March 24 - Alex North
wins an Honorary Oscar, "in recognition of his brilliant artistry in the creation of memorable music for a host of distinguished motion pictures; " John Barry
wins his fourth Oscar, for the Out of Africa
March 24 - Gabriel Yared
wins the Dramatic Score Oscar for The English Patient
; Rachel Portman
wins the second Comedy or Musical Score Oscar, for Emma
March 24 - John Barry
wins his fifth and final Oscar, for the Dances With Wolves
score; Stephen Sondheim
wins his first Oscar, for the song "Sooner or Later" from Dick Tracy
March 25 - Riz Ortolani born (1926)
March 25 - Recording sessions begin for Frederick Hollander’s score for The Great McGinty (1940)
March 25 - Elton John born (1947)
March 25 - Bronislau Kaper wins his only Oscar, for the Lili score (1954)
March 25 - John Massari born (1957)
March 25 - Ken Thorne
begins recording his score for Superman II
March 25 - Maurice Jarre
wins his third and final Oscar, for the A Passage to India
March 25 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Royale" (1989)
March 25 - Luis Bacalov
wins his only Oscar, for Il Postino
; Alan Menken
wins the first Comedy or Musical Score Oscar, as well as Best Song, for Pocahonatas
March 26 - Larry Morey born (1905)
March 26 - Leigh Harline born (1907)
March 26 - Charles Dumont born (1929)
March 26 - Recording sessions begin for Miklos Rozsa’s score for Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
March 26 - Alan Silvestri born (1950)
March 26 - Bernard Herrmann begins recording his score for White Witch Doctor (1953)
March 26 - Victor Young
begins recording his score for Little Boy Lost
March 26 - Louis Silvers died (1954)
March 26 - Malcolm Arnold wins his only Oscar, for The Bridge on the River Kwai score (1958)
March 26 - Noel Coward died (1973)
March 26 - John Williams begins recording his score for SpaceCamp (1986)
March 26 - Alan Menken
wins his first Oscars, for The Little Mermaid
score and its song "Under the Sea" (1990)
March 26 - John Corigliano
wins his first Oscar, for The Red Violin
March 26 - Fred Karlin died (2004)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
"As the movie tracks Heller through every step of her scheme, the story rolls along with a smooth jazz score and Brandon Trost’s bountiful New York City imagery, as Heller channels the dark urban milieu of vintage Woody Allen. Despite the audacious nature of Israel’s scheme and the eventual intrusion of the FBI, 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' maintains an intimacy with Israel’s story and keeps the cast to a minimum. While her rambunctious chemistry with Grant dominates some of the best scenes, Israel also develops intriguing relationships with the various literary dealers she swindles, including a seedy blackmailer (McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone), and would-be writer Anna (Dolly Wells), a good-natured woman whose interest in Israel opens up the possibility that she hasn’t lost the chance for longterm companionship for good."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN - Andy Hung
"The pileup of circumstances would quickly become grating if weren’t all taking place within the confines of Hosking’s skewed world. Everything about 'Beverly Luff Linn' feels slightly off, from scenes that continue far beyond their apparent punchlines to banter littered with wordplay and an ominous electronic score by Andy Hung. The finale isn’t nearly as satisfying as Hosking’s overall vision, but the path is strewn with endearing characters."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"A Hosking character doesn’t just walk into a room. They move like stop-motion figures covered in human skin. Nothing is natural. The film’s been edited to make audiences off-balance. Either characters appear as soon as they’ve been summoned, or the camera holds as a conversation gets interrupted by a coughing fit -- twice. And the eclectic musical backdrop veers from choral hymns to cold synths to retro ballads to thudding drums, each song fitting the exact scene they’re in without worrying if it matches the rest."
Amy Nicholson, Variety
HALLOWEEN - John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, Daniel A. Davies
"The best thing about the latest, 11th by a comprehensive count, and (let’s be honest here) probably not final 'Halloween' movie is John Carpenter’s new score. The director-composer has returned to the franchise to offer a fresh arrangement of the iconic tinkle of piano he laid down for his 1978 slasher masterpiece, and it kills -- distorting those same repeated notes into something familiar but still a little foreign, building out from the theme’s simple core with new instrumentation, amping up the dread with an otherworldly blare that occasionally reminded me of the menacing whale-songs passages of the 'Hereditary' score. Listening to the new music, I kept anticipating something comparable from the movie itself: a remix that held the soul of the original intact, in a way the other sequels, remakes, and reboots never really have, while still bending it into a new, ahem, shape. Sadly, for all the hype its built around itself over the past few months, 'Halloween' (Grade: C) is just another pale imitation, another bad 'Halloween' sequel watering down the fear factor of the original. And as for the much-ballyhooed final showdown it arranges between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers: We’ve been down that eerie suburban street before, too, haven’t we?"
A.A. Dowd, The Onion AV Club
"But Green gets the great stuff, too. He shows a deep appreciation for Carpenter’s imagery and tempo, for the way in which the camera glides alongside the latest crop of high-school girls making their way along the tidy sidewalks of Haddonfield, Illinois, to Carpenter’s metronomic score -- tracking-camera music that subtly evokes the hidden tracker. (Carpenter’s themes are back for the umpteenth time, spruced up by his son Cody and Daniel A. Davies.)"
David Edelstein, New York
"It’s hard to care much about a pair of pushy British podcasters or, more critically, Laurie’s resentful adult daughter (Judy Greer) and the mouthy millennials who essentially function as Michael-bait. (McBride lets his stonerish comic instincts get the better of the dialogue, making room for disquisitions about bánh mi sandwiches and other nonsense.) But how do you beat Carpenter’s iconic synth score? You don’t. Some of the new music, co-composed by Carpenter’s son Cody and Daniel A. Davies, fits in beautifully: seesawing anti-lullabies that would have been at home among the analog stingers of the original. And when Michael wreaks havoc on a brightly lit suburban street loaded with trick-or-treating kids and parents on cell phones, some kind of bedrock horror rule -- the one about evil lurking in the shadows-- is broken, deliciously."
Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
I AM NOT A WITCH - Mathew James Kelly
"Faced with monstrous expectations, director David Gordon Green - who co-wrote the screenplay with Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley -- doesn’t even attempt to revamp the appeal. Making his initial foray into the genre, the chameleonesque Green has made a slavish, sharply executed bit of fan service elevated by Jamie Lee Curtis’ transformation into a badass grandmother back to finish the job. Guarding three generations of women tarnished by the events of the original movie, Curtis’ Laurie Strode returns to ground this uneven tribute in purpose, with a revamped score (written by Carpenter, his son Cody, and Daniel Davies) adding an aura of authenticity to keep concerned fans at bay. Overloaded with callbacks, this 'Halloween' is eager to please at every turn."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"And speaking of scores, Carpenter’s original theme holds up nicely here (updated/remixed with son Cody and Daniel Davies), adding synthesizer chills to scenes in which Michael goes out stalking. That’s just one of the many hat-tips Green offers to the 1978 film, whose orange-on-black opening credits (in the earlier version’s instantly recognizable ITC Serif Gothic font) give nostalgia goosebumps, while a reverse-time-lapse jack-o’-lantern swelling back to life serves as an apt metaphor for a franchise that had gone rotten over the years."
Peter Debruge, Variety
"Nyoni’s title articulates her uncompromising, feminist stance, and her characterizations of Mr. Banda and the male villagers explain how patriarchy plays out in Zambia, but it is in her sublime direction -- lengthy close-ups, clever tableaux and skillful scoring -- that the writer-director accomplishes a social critique so cinematic as to defy description. In a brilliant magic-realist touch, Nyoni’s witches are tethered to ribbons that unravel from large spools designed to limit their movement. In an interview at the Cannes Film Festival, the filmmaker explained that she was influenced by a fairytale about a farmer’s beloved goat (memorialized in a book by French author Alphonse Daudet, 'Monsieur Seguin’s Goat'). It is tied to a tree to protect it from a wolf that roams the surrounding hills, but it yearns to be free."
Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
"Nyoni counterpoints the long, deep, sultry silences of the Zambian bush with bright splashes of music, including lusty choral chants, vivid bursts of Vivaldi, incongruous snatches of Europop and jazzy percussive flourishes that blur the line between score and sound design. A left-field gem in a mostly underwhelming Cannes program, 'I Am Not a Witch' feels like the birth of a significant new screen voice."
Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter
MID90S - Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
"Hill compliments the sturdy narrative with an impressive list of collaborators that give this well-trod genre exercise unusual polish. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ energizing score supports Stevie’s frantic soul-searching, while veteran cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt ('The Bling Ring,' 'Certain Women') gives each scene a grainy, washed-out quality that looks as though “Mid90s” were actually made in the period it takes place."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
SORRY WE MISSED YOU - George Fenton
"Round about the midpoint, Loach quietly begins cranking up the stakes as family crises collide with work mishaps of increasing magnitude, often forcing Ricky to choose between his duties as a father and incurring fines and sanctions from the unforgiving Maloney. The boss prides himself on having some of the best figures of any depot in the country, unapologetically owning the title of 'Patron Saint of Nasty Bastards' in his refusal to countenance any excuse for poor work performance. The merciless reality of becoming a cog in a machine that makes no allowances for the random difficulties life stirs up is shown will unblinking lucidity, allowing the pathos of the situations to surface without ever milking it. Indeed, the subtle use of George Fenton's score as the emotional temperature keeps being raised is a model of restraint."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
"Scripted by David Kajganich (who also did Guagadnino’s 'A Bigger Splash,' itself an adaptation of the 1969 French thriller 'La Piscine'), today’s 'Suspiria' is a spectacularly strange affair, thrumming with wild blood and weird powers. It’s easily the classiest horror movie made in years, maybe ever, decked out in muted pinks and green marble, and scored, gorgeously, by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, whose arpeggiating piano lines, rumbling synths and cooing vocals create a Can-like propulsiveness. Traditional horror fans won’t be pleased: Almost transgressively, Guadagnino has deprioritized the shocks, even the fear. But in their place, he’s pumped up the exoticism and crafted a movie you can get lost in, which is the ultimate tribute."
Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"Those kind of standout, nightmarish moments are threaded throughout the film, with Guadagnino often deploying his horror show imagery in discordant jump cuts, or quick flashes that disorient the audience much as Susie is feeling increasingly off-balance. It’s a far cry from Argento’s blood-soaked, operatic approach -- Guadagnino’s film is dour and filled with browns and dark greens, a sharp contrast to Argento’s often garish color palette -- and the difference in approach manifests in the score as well. While Goblin’s work in the original film was relentless and full of creepy, chanted whispers, the 2018 film’s score, by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, is delicate and beautiful, stringing together gentle piano lines and fragile vocals."
Bryan Bishop, The Verge
"As for Thom Yorke’s score, it’s decidedly unobtrusive, which for some is the mark of good film music. Apart from a song under the opening credits and another under the closing credits, very little of it announces its presence. Given how little subtlety 'Suspiria' otherwise displays, that’s an admirable sign of restraint."
Alsonso Duralde, The Wrap
"But the relationship between shots is rarely meaningful or considered, and the editing perfunctory. And this sense of disarray and fallaciousness extends to the music. Thom Yorke’s score, eerie and more discordant than his previous solo efforts but laced with his usual malaise and paranoia, bears little resemblance to Goblin’s beloved theme music for the original film. ('Suspiria,' with its whispers of 'witch!' and infectious arpeggio motif, has become something of a theme for Argento himself.) Any attempt to emulate Goblin’s score would have been boring and lazy, and while Yorke uses a flotilla of digital notes and the occasional burst of curious drums to create the sound of sinister hypnosis, the vocal tracks have an odd, other-ly feeling, disconnected, like they don’t belong with the images they accompany."
Greg Cwik, Slant Magazine
"I don’t mean to suggest that this approach is emptily imitative, 'all style and no substance.' The assured fluidity of Guadagnino’s camera (the cinematographer is Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, who also shot 'Call Me by Your Name') is a pleasure to behold, and the images it captures are never less than beautiful. And certainly no movie could be more easily accused of coasting on its style than the original 'Suspiria' (which, full disclosure, I adore). That version’s tale of dance mentorship gone very, very wrong (the script was written by Argento and his then-partner and frequent leading lady Daria Nicolodi, the mother of Asia Argento) provides the flimsiest of pretexts for a visual phantasmagoria of magenta arterial sprays and a relentlessly nerve-jangling prog-rock score by the Italian group Goblin. This 'Suspiria''s softer, more emo, but still plenty spooky score comes from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. And the color palette is no longer all lurid crimsons and purples, but instead more of a Cold War–era ash gray -- at least until the Argento-esque deep reds start to come gushing out in the gory final act."
Dana Stevens, Slate.com
"Guadagnino largely sidesteps those for most of the movie, rendering a muted Berlin in grays and browns, and when he finally slips into Argento’s visual style it’s all the more terrifying by contrast. Argento enlisted the Italian band Goblin for his film’s iconic soundtrack; Guadagnino brought in Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, who delivers an eerie score."
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox
"Luca Guadagnino’s 'Suspiria' isn’t so much a remake of the 1977 Dario Argento horror classic as it is a seriously insane (and seriously serious) expansion on the original. The two films share a setting, a few character names and a basic premise -- that a prestigious German dance academy is a front for a witches’ coven, because of course it is -- and that’s about it. So if you love Argento’s lush and lurid Giallo phantasmagoria, you might wonder what exactly is happening here -- or rather, when. Guadagnino creates an unsettling mood off the top, with a soaked and sallow young dancer dashing into her shrink’s office, spewing paranoid babble. And the score from Radiohead genius Thom Yorke creates an inescapable feeling of melancholy and mystery; his haunting, three-quarter time piano theme, titled 'Suspirium,' plays over images of a woman’s body being lovingly cleansed as she lies in her sickbed. But Guadagnino takes his time in exploring the cruel contours of this place, an Escher painting of stone stairways and dark halls where pained sighs linger and wicked laughter echoes. For a while, Dakota Johnson’s long, red braid is the film’s primary source of color. It will all explode into a blood-red orgy eventually, but for a long time, we are fully ensconced in the chilly discomfort of perpetually rainy 1977 Berlin."
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com
"David Kajganich’s script immediately departs from its source material. By the time we’re treated to the beguiling title sequence -- a dream-like mesh of morbid imagery scored to one of several haunting songs commissioned from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke -- it’s clear that we’re in for a very different 'Suspiria.'"
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
"Consistent with the visual shift from bright and big to muted and intimate, Thom Yorke’s score for the film is quiet, dreamy, and piano-based, a major departure from Goblin’s bombastic original. One of the few aesthetic touches to make the transition from original to remake is an eerie aural motif of sighs and whispers, which ricochet across the mix like ghosts flitting through a haunted house. The craft and attention to detail throughout the film are sublime, and the visual symbolism is dripping with occult significance, down to the patterns on the studio floor and the knotted-rope costumes for Susie’s big performance midway through the film."
Katie Rife, The Onion AV Club
"This sequence is, quite simply, incredible, deriving its visceral impact from editing and practical effects so that while it is stomach-churningly gory (oh the sound design of snapping bones and grinding gristle playing off the sighs and gasps and shucking fabric of the dancers above!), it’s also beautiful. Which is really Guadagnino’s approach overall: Though split focus diopters, crash zooms, color filters and a stuttering slo-mo that leaves an aurora of motion behind it, do all appear, these potentially tacky effects are used sparingly, perhaps in playful tribute to the excesses of the original. Mostly, the director’s instinct, complemented by Thom Yorke‘s plaintive, comparatively pared-back score, is to beautify and render elegant the freakshow he is creating in-camera. It makes 'Suspiria' oddly hilarious, as well as deliciously confusing to the eye: the images are gorgeous; what they are of is repellent, and one’s reaction is often off-balance, horrified, admiring laughter."
Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
"The Amazon release is bound to be polarizing, with some genre aficionados sure to respond to its respect for the source material while others will bemoan the relative meagerness of its fright factor. The movie, as expected, is exquisitely crafted and rich in atmosphere; it's graced by a distinctively woozy score from Radiohead's Thom Yorke that could hardly be more dissimilar to the cacophonous prog-rock of Goblin that was such an essential part of the original's sensory assault. The remake is never uninteresting. But it begets the question of whether the slender thread of story about a coven of witches operating out of a famed Berlin dance academy can withstand all the narrative detail, social context and cumbersome subplots heaped onto it."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
SWALLOW - Nathan Halpern
"What an apt challenge to put to audiences in a film committed to exploring the ugliness roiling beneath the surface -- of Western culture, of traditional gender roles, of the institution of marriage. Superficially, the movie looks elegant and almost catalog-perfect (for which DP Katelin Arizmendi deserves high credit), though Nathan Halpern’s discreetly cautionary score sends subliminal cues to the contrary. Meanwhile, a recoil-inducing cut from Hunter unpacking her cosmetics to a lamb having its throat slit for dinner puts audiences on edge within the film’s early getting-to-know-you stretch, as if to say, 'Don’t get too comfortable.'"
Peter Debruge, Variety
22 JULY - Sune Martin
"But it does start with the attack and, all prior reservations notwithstanding, this section is a profoundly affecting, assaultive experience. The camera swoops down on a farmhouse in the woods, where a small mixer is churning chemicals, and a man is methodically, with horrible deliberation, loading gaffer-taped sacks of homemade explosive into a truck. This is Breivik, played by Anders Danielsen Lie in a superb performance that negotiates a clever path between the towering man of destiny Breivik sees himself as, and the egomaniacally deluded creep he really is. Cross-cutting between him, the Prime Minister (a stiffer Ola G. Furuseth) in discussion about his impending visit to the Utøya youth camp, and the camp itself at which the teenage children of Norway’s best and brightest are hanging out around campfires and playing football, the film clicks along with the remorselessness of a countdown under the glimmering menace of Sune Martin‘s score."
Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
"After an opening scene where Breivik meticulously crafts numerous bombs and loads them, along with an arsenal of weapons, into an unmarked van, Greengrass cuts to a drone shot of Breivik driving on a road surrounded by a vast forest. As if the carnage to come is somehow in doubt, the ominous music that plays over this image primes us to buckle up for what’s sure to be a suspenseful series of sequences just around the bend. That a drop from John Williams’s 'Jaws' score wouldn’t be out of place on this film’s soundtrack goes to show how tactlessly Greengrass milks tragedy for titillation. When Breivik makes his way to Utøya and swiftly unloads clip after clip of ammo, he’s filmed in wide shots as he calmly prowls through the island’s forest and dozens of teens frantically scatter in terror. As the pulsating score drives the horrific action, Greengrass doubles down on loading this extended sequence with cheap suspense, crafting scenes that deliberately toy with the audience’s expectations of who will live and who will die."
Derek Smith, Slant Magazine
WILDLIFE - David Lang
"Stunningly shot by 'Cemetery of Splendor' cinematographer Diego García, the film doesn’t romanticize the past, and yet you understand that Joe will be nostalgic for this one day. A gas station’s neon signage glows in the night like the Esso station at the end of 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.' The big sky above Joe’s town is streaked with the exhaust of distant jets and saturated like the background of a Makoto Shinkai movie. David Lang’s unobtrusive score, a swirl of wind instruments and pianos, rustles the leaves like a dark thought. Two men in overalls smoke on the periphery of a wide shot, as though they’re keeping tabs on things, making sure that none of this gets too sentimental. The whole town seems to be standing in place, but they still need a photographer to try and make the moments last forever."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.
As noted above, as of Sunday evening, March 15th, the mayor of Los Angeles has ordered all movie theaters to be closed for the time being, so this section of the Friday column will be temporarily discontinued.
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: Fellini's Casanova (Rota), City of Women (Bacalov), Ginger and Fred (Piovani), Intervista (Piovani), The Voice of the Moon (Piovani), Lucas (Grusin), Wonder Woman (Fox et al)
Read: Defending Billy Ryan, by George V. Higgins
Seen: The Banker; The Hunt ; Bloodshot; Saint Frances; First Cow; The Way Back ; Never Rarely Sometimes Always; Bacurau
Watched: The Avengers ("Legacy of Death"), The Wild Wild West ("The Night of the Glowing Corpse"), Battlestar Galactica ("The Hand of God"), Columbo ("Requiem for a Falling Star," "A Stitch in Crime"), Deadwood ("A Lie Agreed Upon: Part One"), Looking ("Looking for the Promised Land"), Hannibal ("Trou Normand"), Mosaic ("The Reckoning"), Party Down ("Nick DiCintio's Orgy Night")
REMEMBERING THE AGE OF ANTONOWSKY, PART ONE
A new, ongoing end-of-Friday-column segment, for those who bother to scroll all the way down.
My love of movie posters extends mostly to the imagery, especially the paintings of Richard Amsel (Murder on the Orient Express, Raiders of the Lost Ark, McCabe and Mrs. Miller), but a well-chosen ad-line has its own appeal. There are classic ones like "Garbo Laughs" (Ninotchka), "Gable's Back and Garson's Got Him" (Adventure) and "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." (Jaws 2). My favorite recent one was from the Lawrence Black adaptation A Walk Among the Tombstones: "People are afraid of all the wrong things." Some contemporary ad-lines are so raunchy that one has no idea how they got past the MPAA (which I've noticed on the latest trailers is now just the MPA), such as 21 Jump Street's "The only thing getting blown tonight is their cover."
I’m kind of a stickler about that obscure craft, as little things can make such a big difference (not to mention huge mistakes, as demonstrated by the poster for Dennis Hopper’s The Hot Spot, whose nonsensical ad-line I can only assume was the result of an accidental word switch: “Safe is never sex. It’s dangerous.”)
I remember being annoyed when the terrific teaser ad-line for Raw Deal…
The system gave Schwarzenegger a raw deal.
Nobody gives Schwarzenegger a raw deal.
…became a little lamer for the final poster:
The system gave him a raw deal.
Nobody gives him a raw deal.
The text of another Schwarzenegger poster, for Predator, always drove me a little crazy, as that repetition of the word “hunt” makes it fall flat to my ears:
Nothing like it has ever
been on Earth before.
It came for the thrill
of the hunt.
It picked the wrong
man to hunt.
This is all an incredibly roundabout way to introduce you to the oeuvre of the late Marvin Antonowsky (1929-2015), the rare film marketing exec who can be truly considered an auteur. Throughout the first half of the 1980s, first at Columbia and then at Universal, during his tenure at each studio nearly every movie poster had acres of text. Here is one especially verbose example, from Richard Brooks’ failed Strangelove
-esque dark comedy Wrong Is Right
, from 1982:
In a moment World War III…
but first a word from our sponsor.
He’s a superstar
And in the past
ten hours, he has
story of his career.
THE BAD NEWS IS:
Director of the CIA,
a trigger-happy general
an Arab terrorist,
a European arms dealer,
and the result may be
World War III.
THE GOOD NEWS IS:
his ratings are going
through the roof.
WRONG IS RIGHT
A very funny look at the world.
Every week for the foreseeable future, I plan to end each Friday column with yet more examples of those often remarkably wordy poster texts from the first part of the 1980s -- amazingly, they got even wordier at Universal -- all created under the supervision of Marvin Antonowsky, such as:
Science created him.
Now Chuck Norris
must destroy him.
He’s an indestructible
man fused with powers
An unstoppable terror who in
one final showdown will push
Chuck Norris to his limits.
[Silent Rage, 1982]
HE’S OUT THERE
Flying the most lethal weapon ever made…
The Blue Thunder Special
At his fingertips, an infrared camera that can see right
through your bedroom walls.
A microphone that can record your most
And a 20mm electric cannon with six barrels that can
turn your neighborhood into a raging inferno.
But he’s not headed for a war-torn country.
He’ll be cruising the skies of America.
And only one man can stop him from using it on you.
[Blue Thunder, 1983]
He’s a guy who’s taken a lot of
wrong turns. Now, he’s finally
found a woman he loves.
The mob is on his back.
They’ve killed his best friend.
They’re after his daughter.
For the first time in Stick’s life
he has something to lose.
And something to win.
BURT REYNOLDS IS
It’s his last chance. And he’s going to fight for it.