CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Army of Darkness - Joseph LoDuca, Varese Sarabande
Queen & Slim - Devonte Hynes - Domino
The Witcher - Sonya Belousova, Giona Ostinelli - Sony [import]
Wendy - Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin - Milan (import)
Lo Chiamavano Bulldozer - Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis - Beat
The Roads Not Taken - Sally Potter - Milan
Hackers - Simon Boswell, songs - Varese Sarabande
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
Franz Waxman: The Documentaries - Franz Waxman - Dragon's Domain
The Jack in the Box - Christoph Allerstorter - Howlin' Wolf
The Louis Febre Collection: Vol. One - Louis Febre - Dragon's Domain
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins - Craig Safan - Noteforenote
Santa Barbara: A Musical Portrait - Joe Harnell - Dragon's Domain
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
April 10 - Dusan Radic born (1929)
April 10 - Claude Bolling born (1930)
April 10 - Denny Zeitlin born (1938)
April 10 - Shirley Walker born (1945)
April 10 - Peter Bernstein born (1951)
April 10 - Mark Oliver Everett born (1965)
April 10 - John Barry
wins his first two Oscars, for the score and song Born Free
April 10 - Elmer Bernstein wins his only Oscar for, of all things, Thoroughly Modern Millie's score; Alfred Newman wins his final Oscar for Camelot's music adaptation (1968)
April 10 - Michel Legrand
wins his second Oscar, for the Summer of '42
score; John Williams
wins his first Oscar, for Fiddler on the Roof
's music adaptation; Isaac Hayes
wins his only Oscar for the song "Theme From 'Shaft
April 10 - Nino Rota died (1979)
April 10 - John Morris
begins recording his score for The In-Laws
April 10 - Toshiro Mayuzumi died (1997)
April 10 - Recording sessions begin for John Ottman’s score to Superman Returns (2006)
April 10 - Gianni Marchetti died (2012)
April 11 - Koichi Sugiyama born (1931)
April 11 - Herbert Stothart
begins recording his score to Dragon Seed
April 11 - Caleb Sampson born (1953)
April 11 - Edwin Wendler born (1975)
April 11 - John Williams
wins his fourth Oscar, for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
's score; Jack Nitzsche
wins his only Oscar, for An Officer and a Gentleman
's song "Up Where We Belong"; Henry Mancini
wins his fourth and final Oscar, for Victor/Victoria
's song score (1983)
April 11 - Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne, Cong Su win Oscars for their Last Emperor score (1988)
April 12 - Russell Garcia born (1916)
April 12 - Edwin Astley born (1922)
April 12 - Ronald Stein born (1930)
April 12 - Herbie Hancock born (1940)
April 12 - David Raksin
begins recording his score for Right Cross
April 12 - Herbert Gronemeyer born (1956)
April 12 - Andy Garcia born (1956)
April 12 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score to Lust For Life (1956)
April 12 - Lisa Gerrard born (1961)
April 12 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for Rampage (1963)
April 12 - Georg Haentzschel died (1992)
April 12 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Shattered Mirror” (1996)
April 12 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Changing Face of Evil” (1999)
April 12 - Richard Shores died (2001)
April 12 - Bruce Broughton begins recording his score to Eloise at the Plaza (2003)
April 13 - Vladimir Cosma born (1940)
April 13 - Bill Conti born (1942)
April 13 - John Addison wins his only Oscar, for Tom Jones's score (1964)
April 13 - Joel J. Richard born (1976)
April 13 - Teo Usuelli died (2009)
April 14 - Ali Akbar Khan born (1922)
April 14 - Shorty Rogers born (1924)
April 14 - A.C. Newman born (1968)
April 14 - John Barry wins his third Oscar, for The Lion in Winter score (1969)
April 14 - Win Butler born (1980)
April 14 - Georges Delerue
wins his only Oscar, for A Little Romance
's score; David Shire
wins song Oscar for Norma Rae
's "It Goes Like It Goes" (1980)
April 14 - Elisabeth Lutyens died (1983)
April 15 - Gert Wilden born (1917)
April 15 - Michael Kamen born (1948)
April 15 - Dick Maas born (1951)
April 15 - Carlo Crivelli born (1953)
April 15 - Bernard Herrmann begins recording his score for A Hatful of Rain (1957)
April 15 - Francis Lai
wins his only Oscar, for Love Story
’s score (1971)
April 15 - John Greenwood died (1975)
April 15 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Parts 1 & 2 of Masada (1980)
April 15 - John Williams records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Ghost Train" (1985)
April 15 - Tim McIntire died (1986)
April 15 - Arthur Morton died (2000)
April 15 - Dennis McCarthy
records his score for the Enterprise
episode “Cogenitor” (2003)
April 16 - Charles Chaplin born (1889)
April 16 - Warren Barker born (1923)
April 16 - Henry Mancini born (1924)
April 16 - Perry Botkin Jr. born (1933)
April 16 - Chaz Jankel born (1952)
April 16 - David Raksin
records his score for Pat and Mike
April 16 - Alex North begins recording his score for Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
April 16 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for The Detective (1968)
April 16 - Basil Poledouris begins recording his score to Quigley Down Under (1990)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
"Here, their adaptation of Western story modes goes directly against contemporary consciousness of Native American genocide and other issues. Because it’s a pastiche, it situates itself in an old-fashioned mode in which diversity is articulated only in terms of mutual antagonism. The only articulation of a Native American perspective comes in the form of a disdainful laugh one 'Indian' warrior throws in the direction of a character with a noose around his neck. For the purposes of this marvelous and disquieting movie, it’s enough. Its pleasures -- the endless succession of perfect shots of remarkable scenery, the gorgeous music by Carter Burwell and others that swells and dips like the landscapes themselves—are real, and acknowledged as such, but there’s something more real underneath it all. The book’s pages at the movie’s beginning are turned too quickly for a viewer without a freeze button to read its dedication and epigraph, but the latter might as well be a portion of the Russian grammar book sample Vladimir Nabokov used to open his 1952 novel 'The Gift,' to wit, 'An oak is a tree. A rose is a flower. A deer is an animal. A sparrow is a bird. Death is inevitable.'"
Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.com
"Redeeming the erratic material is the constant pleasure provided by the splendid team of Coen collaborators. Carter Burwell’s wonderfully resourceful score is abetted by no end of Western tunes that have been neatly worked into the flow of events. Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography, rapturously embraces the stunning locations found in Colorado, Nebraska and New Mexico, while Jess Gonchor’s production design and Mary Zophres’ costume creations are lovingly detailed to the nail and stitch."
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
DESTROYER - Theodore Shapiro
"Prior to a set of heavy emotional beats and startling twists in the third act, 'Destroyer' is surprisingly funny. (Bradley Whitford is a highlight in his brief scene as a sleazy criminal-defense lawyer.) An explosive bank robbery scene midway through is expertly staged and thrilling to watch, and the knife-on-bone score by Theodore Shapiro and ashen cinematography by Julie Kirkwood amp up the grittiness of the piece until you can practically taste the polluted LA air. At the center of it all is Kidman, the indisputable heart of the film, whose all-in performance elevates Destroyer above a well-made cop drama and into something special."
Katie Rife, The Onion AV Club
"'Destroyer' may position itself as a kind of redemption tale, but Kusama's film is definnitely not feel-good. The music by Theodore Shapiro is deliberately set to jangle one's nerves -- it is definitely trying too hard -- but like most of the film's elements, it is just effective enough to create an impression."
Gary M. Kramer, Salon.com
"The hovering ominousness, tough talk and sense of ever-present threat rumbling around in Theodore Shapiro’s score remind viewers at once of Mann’s towering 1995 crime classic, to the extent that you can’t get the comparison out of your mind, which is not a good thing for the imitator. But screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi ('crazy/beautiful,' Kusama’s 'Aeon Flux,' 'R.I.P.D.,' 'Ride Along') set things on a two-tier track that proves confusing at times but serves to clarify the perilous, self-destructive journey of Kidman’s LAPD detective Erin Bell…Finally, then, so deeply are they into the murk of their own making that both Erin and the film come to seem irretrievable. Aided in the effort by composer Theodore Shapiro, Kusama seems to want to leave her story in some sort of existential trauma ward, a place of detention you can never truly leave. For a genre effort like this, the grandiose approach feel pretentious, something to avoid unless you truly do have chops that Mann and very few others have exhibited in ambitious genre works."
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
DR. SUESS' THE GRINCH - Danny Elfman
"We see the Grinch wake up in the morning for his breakfast, which includes a latte with a frowny face in the foam, prepared by his ever-loyal dog, Max. He then selects one from a rack of outfits labeled according to mood: 'Wretched,' 'Miserable,' 'Very Miserable,' 'Nasty,' and 'Grumpy.' They are in fact all exactly alike and indistinguishable from his actual skin and fur. All the gadgets and equipment the Grinch creates are delightfully clever, the action scenes are energetic and funny, and the music, with a score by Danny Elfman and some standards and fresh and tuneful renditions of holiday classics, is superb, with a gorgeous Pentatonix rendition of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and Tyler the Creator’s brightly updated version of Thurl Ravenscroft’s classic 'You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.' The message that Christmas is not about presents and candy canes but about kindness and being together is always welcome. And when the Grinch gets invited to dinner with Cindy Lou’s family, you may find your heart growing a couple of sizes, too."
Neil Minow, RogerEbert.com
"If that, along with Danny Elfman’s fanciful score and Tyler the Creator’s spin on 'You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch' fail to do the trick in these spiritually trying times, then maybe the green dude's not the one whose heart is full of unwashed socks."
Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
NEVER LOOK AWAY - Max Richter
"Von Donnersmarck (who already has an Oscar for the much better 'The Lives of Others') makes clear that there is a heaven, although not the one you’ll hear about in church. It’s the sudden awareness of the oneness of all things, brought on by making or merely observing (I mean hard observation) works of art. The hero, Kurt Barnert, experiences that oneness from an early age under circumstances both exhilarating and tragic. We meet him as a boy being led by his beauteous-free-spirt aunt Elisabeth (Saskia Rosendahl) into the Third Reich’s infamous Degenerate Art exhibit -- a collection of works deemed criminal for not 'elevating the soul' according to National Socialist ideals. Elisabeth has a different response. 'Don’t tell anyone, but I like it,' she whispers naughtily into her nephew’s ear -- 'it' being a Kandinsky that would now go for $8 billion. (She has good taste.) She loves these works for their messy impudence, their boundary-flouting. She’s so enraptured that she later asks a group of bus drivers to shine their headlights on her and honk their horns simultaneously while she holds up her arms and experiences transcendent oneness. I didn’t understand that either but it provides an occasion for the Oscar-nominated cinematographer Caleb Deschanel to move the camera in an arc and the composer Max Richter to do his familiar sawing-string shtick with less than his usual melodic invention. Forty-five minutes into 'Never Look Away,' we meet the grown Kurt (Tom Schilling), now living under Soviet rule in Dresden and forced to apply his talent in the service of Socialist Realism. The 'degenerate' artists are still the bogeymen ('Obscene formalism … "Me me me" leads to misery… Art should be in interest of the working man …'), but now the paragons are men and women holding hammers aloft, eyes shining in anticipation of a glorious future. The weird thing about 'Never Look Away' is that as much as Kurt chafes against Soviet aesthetics, damned if he doesn’t look and act like one of those paragons himself. He and he woman he instantly falls for, Ellie (Paula Beer), are so absurdly good-looking that they could be one of those poster couples, 'building a Glorious Future, Comrades!' The actors are good, but their lovemaking has no raw edges, no messiness. Deschanel lights them like sculptures -- art objects -- while Richter saws away to serenade their transcendent oneness. It’s Middlebrow Realism, comrades. (I did like the pink angora sweater Ellie wears in one scene -- it would have made Ed Wood scream with pleasure.)"
David Edesltein, New York
"Indeed, with Caleb Deschanel’s honeyed, warm-toned photography taking a romantic view of production designer Silke Buhr’s immaculately authentic, decades-spanning world-building, and the attractive cast who people it, the film -- further smoothed and polished by Max Richter’s stirringly heartfelt score -- is a mite too comfortable to really embody the chaos and mess of a turbulent era. In narrative terms too, having one man be personally responsible for so much of Kurt’s psychological scarring feels a little neat. Does it partially downplay the insidious, pollutant effect of Nazism if we can decide that this man would have been a monster no matter whose doctrine was on his lips? Seeband is simply a villain, though Koch works hard to give him dimension and excels during a moment of partial comeuppance, when those haughty, complacent features of his suddenly taken on the mien of a cornered rat."
Jessica Kiang, Variety
"Technically, this is a marvel, with Caleb Deschanel’s classy and always luminous cinematography and Silke Buhr’s grandiose sets both giving the impression that the real story is always larger than just what’s happening to the characters. Max Richter’s score is lustrous and warm, and helps to compensate for the occasional lack of emotional characterization."
Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter
ON THE BASIS OF SEX - Mychael Danna
"'On the Basis of Sex' is too often busy revering Ginsburg for her confidence and brilliance to bother with presenting her as a living, breathing human being. Even when the real RBG shows up ascending the stairs into a courthouse, the slow-motion, glossy visuals and soaring strings ensure she remains more myth than woman."
Derek Smith, Slant Magazine
"So it goes for much of ‘On the Basis of Sex,’ which presents a series of moments in Ginsburg’s legal career built around the foregone conclusion that she’ll triumph against oppression. The music swells as Ginsburg gives up on Harvard to follow Marty to New York, completing her career at Columbia and finding her footing as a teacher after the male-dominated law firms reject the idea of working alongside a woman. As the story hits the 1970s, Ginsburg’s enlightened daughter Jane (newcomer Caile Spaeny, an energetic presence with real potential) delivers her mom a reality check about her efforts to effect change in the classroom: ‘It’s not a movement. It’s a support group.’"
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"Such choices are early clues to the intensely hagiographic tone of a film that begins and ends with scenes of Ruth climbing steps to the sound of Mychael Danna’s change-is-coming score. At first, it’s the stairs to Harvard Law School, where she was one of just nine women admitted in 1956 (Marty was in the class ahead of her), and where dean Erwin Griswold ('Law & Order' vet Sam Waterston) humiliated each of those ladies over dinner by asking why she was 'occupying a place that could have gone to a man.' She is treated no better in class by Prof. Brown (Stephen Root), which makes it all the more satisfying in the final act to see these two chauvinists seated with opposing counsel when the Ginsburgs finally head to court (Chris Mulkey plays their client Moritz)."
Peter Debruge, Variety
"Potter, who is also a composer, wrote her own score for the rich musical accompaniment that is generally a notch or two more cheerful than the events onscreen. DP Robbie Ryan ('The Favourite') creates very different feelings in the film's varied locations. There's a striking shot of Manhattan twinkling with illumination against a brightly lit Brooklyn Bridge that is almost a counterpoint to the small Mexican cemetery which glows by candlelight on the Day of the Dead."
Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
SHOPLIFTERS - Hosono Haruomi
"The Shibatas -- Osamu and Nobuyo (Lily Franky and Sakura Ando), daughter Aki (Mayu Matsuoka), son Shota (Kairi Jo), and grandma Hatsue (Kirin Kiri) -- live in tight quarters together, their flat crowded and disheveled. Space is at a premium, and money’s tight. Osamu and Shota solve the latter problem by palming food from the local market, a delicately choreographed dance we see them perform in the film’s opening sequence: They walk from aisle to aisle, communicating to each other through hand gestures while running interference on market employees, a piano and percussion soundtrack painting a scene out of 'Ocean’s 11.' It’s a heist of humble purpose."
Andy Crump, Paste Magazine
"Working for the first time with cinematographer Kondo Ryuto, Kore-eda creates a much warmer and often frankly messy look than the stiff formality of his previous feature, 'The Third Murder.' Everything is a contrast, of course, like the neat and tidy streets lined with whitewashed buildings versus the lush vegetation overtaking the family garden. Composer Hosono Haruomi’s score gives scenes a bubbling, almost childlike feeling."
Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
WELCOME TO MARWEN - Alan Silvestri
"While the movie features big, expensive effects likely difficult to pull off, nothing hides the fact that 'Marwen' looks impossibly silly, ridiculous and it’s hard to empathize with something you can’t take seriously. Zemeckis does (sometimes awkwardly) acknowledge Hogancamp’s kinks and fetishes -- he was assaulted in the first place for admitting to enjoying wearing women’s shoes -- and at the same time, the underlying sexual nature of his fantasy world (made more explicit in the documentary) is glossed over. And yet, this is at the end of the day, the least of the tonally calamitous movie’s worries (also, find a moment to pity Alan Silvestri melodramatic score which always sounds foolish in this context)."
Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist
"The 'Marwencol' documentary saved the reveal of Mark’s cross-dressing as a third-act twist, possibly to its detriment. The least that can be said for Zemeckis’s adaptation is its willingness to embrace that queerness from the get-go. The bar attack, Hogancamp learned after the fact, was in response to him discussing his love of women’s clothing at a bar, and getting the perpetrators tried for a hate crime comprises much of the driving drama of 'Marwen.' But if this is all starting to sound like … a lot, then I’m conveying it accurately: 'Welcome to Marwen' is a totally confounding movie. None of this is because of Hogancamp’s actual story, which remains rich and wild and full of pathos, nor Carell’s performance, which is subtle and wounded and resists all mawkish special-man tics it could have lapsed into. But the frame of a Robert Zemeckis–directed Inspirational True Story and the syrupy Alan Silvestri score that blankets it are just too many layers of abstraction over a story that already contains multitudes."
Emily Yoshida, New York
"Many times a scene plays out within the town of Marwen (all heightened crises and vertiginous visuals), until a shutter click freezes both the action and the extravagant score by frequent Zemeckis collaborator Alan Silvestri. The camera then pulls back through a still-picture viewfinder -- the first time in a fashion not so far removed from the stunning across-the-universe opening of Zemeckis' science-fiction parable 'Contact' (1997) -- to reveal Carell as the all-too-human Hogancamp. It quickly becomes clear that he's using this thundering land of make believe, and his photographs of it, to drown out a dreary and painful actuality."
Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: A Ghost Story (Hart), DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Season Two (Neely), Thor: Ragnarok (Mothersbaugh), Tully (Simonsen), Spogliati, Protesta, Uccidi! (Morricone), Victoria & Abdul (Newman), The Film Music of John Addison (Addison), Their Finest (Portman), Stranger Things Vol. 1 (Dixon/Stein), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Horner), Stranger Things Vol. 2 (Dixon/Stein), Wicked (Schwartz), A Cure for Wellness (Wallfisch), Violin Concertos (Berg, Stravinsky), Little Secret (Pinto), Paterson (Squrl), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Shore), Summer Stock/In the Good Old Summertime (Warren), Casino Royale (Bacharach), Supergirl: Season Two (Neely), The Russia House (Goldsmith), Colonel Redl (Tamassy), D'Amore Si Muore (Morricone), Q - The Winged Serpent (Ragland), La Dolce Vita (Rota), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Rosenman), The Orphanage (Velazquez), The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Burwell), The Exception (Eshkeri), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Tesori), Girlhood (Para One), The Haunting (Goldsmith), Symphonie Fantastique (Berlioz), Dreamcatcher (Howard), Days of Glory (Amar), Firestarter (Tangerine Dream), Riverdale: Season One (Neely), Stephen King's The Shining (Pike), Joyeuses Paques (Sarde), Anche Se Volessi Lavorare, Che Faccio? (Morricone), The Stand (Walden)
Read: Black Is the Color of My True Love's Heart, by Ellis Peters (aka Edith Pargeter)
Seen: Nothing, of course, though I did walk past the New Beverly a week ago and took a photo of its marquee, which reads STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY.
Watched: Columbo ("The Most Dangerous Match," "Double Shock"), Action ("Love Sucks"), A Day at the Races, Deadwood ("A Lie Agreed Upon, Part II"), Alfred Hitchcock Presents ("Santa Claus and the 10th Avenue Kid"), The Shop Around the Corner
REMEMBERING THE AGE OF ANTONOWSKY, PART FOUR
Continuing an on-going series looking back at the remarkably verbose movie poster texts from the early 1980s at Columbia and Universal under studio executive Marvin Antonowsky.
JOSH WILL NEVER EAT SHISH KEBAB AGAIN.
Steven will never ride
a motorcycle again.
Greg will never lift
Who’s killing Crawford
High’s snobbish top ten?
At the rate they’re going
there will be no one left
for Virginia’s birthday
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME
Six of the most bizarre
murders you will ever see.
[Happy Birthday to Me
HOW CAN YOU KILL SOMETHING
THAT CAN’T POSSIBLY BE ALIVE?
She was born bad.
Plain and simple.
Somewhere on a darkened assembly line.
Christine. A ’58 Plymouth Fury possessed by Hell.
She’s taken control of her teenage owner, Arnie.
Her previous owner is not alive to warn him.
And now she’s steering straight for
the one person in her way.
Arnie’s girlfriend, Leigh.
The other woman.
BRIAN DE PALMA
THE MODERN MASTER OF SUSPENSE,
INVITES YOU TO WITNESS
YOU CAN’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE.
[Body Double, 1984]
Charlie McGee is a happy, healthy
eight-year-old little girl.
Normal in every way but one.
She has the power to set objects afire
with just one glance.
It’s a power she does not want.
It’s a power she cannot control.
And, each night, Charlie prays
to be just like every child.
But there are those who will do
everything in their power
to find her, control her…
or destroy her.
Charlie McGee is Stephen King’s
Will she have the power…to survive?
is back to normal.
But Mother’s off her
The Most Shocking Of Them All.
[Psycho III, 1986]