Next month, Intrada plans to release the score for THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, the new miniseries inspired by Henry James' classic ghost story The Turn of the Screw, which has previously been adapted into such diverse works as the 1961 classic The Innocents, this year's The Turning, a two-person play by Jeffrey Hatcher, a ballet, a chamber opera by Benjamin Britten, and Michael Winner's 1971 prequel The Nightcomers, starring Marlon Brando. Mike Flanagan, director of such acclaimed horror projects as The Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep, is the show's creator/executive producer but is apparently directing only one episode, while the score is provided by his usual composers, The Newton Brothers.
Quartet has announced four new film music CDs - SHORT CUTS 2019, featuring music for short films composed by an impressive variety of composers including Joe Kraemer, Bear McCreary, Rachel Portman, Frederik Wiedmann and Christopher Young; the Chinese science-fiction film THE SECRET OF IMMORTAL CODE, scored by Thai composer Pantawit Kiangsiri; Jerry Grant's score for the 1990 action movie HIRED TO KILL, featuring Oliver Reed, George Kennedy and Jose Ferrer; and the score for the Dominican family drama MALPASO, composed by Pascal Gaigne.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Angelica - Zbigniew Preisner - Caldera
Hired to Kill - Jerry Grant - Quartet
Lloyd - Conrad Pope - Dragon's Domain
Malpaso - Pascal Gaigne - Quartet
The Secret of Immortal Code - Pantawit Kiangsiri - Quartet
Short Cuts 2019 - various - Quartet
IN THEATERS TODAY
Coming to theaters this week in cities where films are actually allowed to screen is the thriller The Empty Man, starring James Badge Dale, Marin Ireland, Stephen Root and Joel Courtney, with a score by Christopher Young.
The Boys: Season One - Christopher Lennertz - La-La Land
The Boys: Season Two - Christopher Lennertz - La-La Land
Devs - Geoff Barrow, Ben Salibury - Invada (import)
Rawhead Rex - Colin Towns - Silva
The Secret Garden - Dario Marianelli - Decca (import)
World Soundtrack Awards Tribute to the Film Composer - various - Silva
Babylon Berlin Vol. II - Johnny Klimek, Tom Tykwer - BMG
Open 24 Hours - Holly Amber Church - Notefornote
Tenet - Ludwig Goransson - WaterTower
Interstellar: Expanded Edition - Hans Zimmer - WaterTower
No Time to Die - Hans Zimmer - Decca
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Daniel Pemberton - Varese Sarabande
Jay Sebring...Cutting to the Truth - Jeff Beal - Noteforenote
Film Music 1976-2020 - Brian Eno - Astralwerks
The Don Davis Collection, Vol. 1 - Don Davis - Dragon's Domain
The Haunting of Bly Manor - The Newton Brothers - Intrada
Howard Blake: Ghost Stories - Howard Blake - Dragon's Domain
John Williams in Vienna [CD/BluRay] - John Williams - Deutsche Grammophon
A Suitable Boy - Alex Heffes, Anoushka Shankar - Silva
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
October 23 - Manos Hadjidakis born (1925)
October 23 - Gary McFarland born (1933)
October 23 - Recording sessions begin for Dimitri Tiomkin’s score for Lost Horizon (1936)
October 23 - Graeme Revell born (1955)
October 23 - Jonathan Wolff born (1958)
October 23 - David Kitay born (1961)
October 23 - Duane Tatro’s score for The Invaders episode “The Prophet” is recorded (1967)
October 23 - Duane Tatro records his only Mission: Impossible score, for the episode “Ultimatum” (1972)
October 23 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Rejoined” (1995)
October 23 - David Bell records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Treachery, Faith and the Great River” (1998)
October 23 - Paul Baillargeon records his score for the Enterprise episode “The Andorian Incident” (2001)
October 23 - Ray Ellis died (2008)
October 24 - Bill Wyman born (1936)
October 24 - Ernest Irving died (1953)
October 24 - John Frizzell born (1966)
October 24 - David Bell records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Sacrifice of Angels” (1997)
October 24 - Merl Saunders died (2008)
October 25 - Konrad Elfers born (1919)
October 25 - Don Banks born (1923)
October 25 - Recording sessions begin for Alex North's score to I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)
October 25 - Bronislau Kaper begins recording his score to The Brothers Karamazov (1958)
October 25 - Alexander Courage's "Plato's Stepchildren," the last score composed for the original Star Trek series, is recorded (1968)
October 25 - Billy Goldenberg begins recording his score for Duel (1971)
October 25 - Benny Golson records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Blues” (1971)
October 25 - David Shire begins recording his score for Max Dugan Returns (1982)
October 25 - Richard Hazard begins recording his score for Airplane 2: The Sequel (1982)
October 25 - Recording sessions begin for W.G. Snuffy Walden’s score for The Stand (1993)
October 25 - Recording sessions begin for Danny Elfman’s score for Good Will Hunting (1997)
October 26 - Bob Cobert born (1924)
October 26 - Jacques Loussier born (1934)
October 26 - Victor Schertzinger died (1941)
October 26 - Recording sessions begin for Roy Webb's score to Fixed Bayonets (1951)
October 26 - Curt Sobel born (1953)
October 26 - Richard La Salle records his score for the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “Unchained Woman” (1979)
October 26 - Howard Shore begins recording his score for She-Devil (1989)
October 27 - Samuel Matlovsky born (1921)
October 27 - Recording sessions begin for Hugo Friedhofer's score for Ace in the Hole (1950)
October 27 - Recording sessions begin for Hugo Friedhofer’s score for The Rains of Ranchipur (1955)
October 27 - Richard Markowitz records his score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Green Terror” (1966)
October 27 - John Williams begins recording his score for Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972)
October 27 - Jerry Fielding begins recording his score for The Enforcer (1976)
October 27 - Frank DeVol died (1999)
October 27 - James Newton Howard begins recording his score to Peter Pan (2003)
October 27 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Cold Station 12” (2004)
October 27 - Hans Werner Henze died (2012)
October 28 - Gershon Kingsley born (1922)
October 28 - Carl Davis born (1936)
October 28 - Howard Blake born (1938)
October 28 - Lalo Schifrin records his score for the Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “Memo from Purgatory” (1964)
October 28 - Jerry Fielding records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Exchange” (1968)
October 28 - Lalo Schifrin records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Submarine” (1969)
October 28 - Oliver Nelson died (1975)
October 28 - Artie Kane records his score for The New Adventures of Wonder Woman episode “I Do, I Do” (1977)
October 28 - Recording sessions begin for James Newton Howard’s score for Eye for an Eye (1995)
October 28 - Gil Melle died (2004)
October 29 - Daniele Amfitheatrof born (1901)
October 29 - Neal Hefti born (1922)
October 29 - Pim Jacobs born (1934)
October 29 - George Bassman records his score to Mail Order Bride (1963)
October 29 - Leith Stevens records his score for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode “Monster from the Inferno” (1966)
October 29 - Michael Wandmacher born (1967)
October 29 - Alexander Courage records his score for the Land of the Giants episode “Comeback” (1969)
October 29 - Irving Szathmary died (1983)
October 29 - David Newman begins recording his score for Throw Momma from the Train (1987)
October 29 - Paul Misraki died (1998)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS - Casey Wayne McAllister
"Having used two cameras over the course of their 18-hour shoot, the Rosses are able to rely on montage editing to foster a sense of omniscience without losing the feeling of temporal continuity. The result is a film whose attention jumps sporadically to different bits of conversation and activity just as the beer-saturated brain of your average pub-dweller might. Part of this seamless integration of perspectives has to do with the film’s dynamic and precise use of music, which blends non-diegetic Rhodes-piano noodlings from composer Casey Wayne McAllister with popular songs heard within the bar both on the jukebox and in impromptu sing-alongs. Unconcerned with airs of documentary objectivity, the Ross brothers allow themselves to essentially play disc jockeys, and within this framework many of their choices for background needle drops land with a certain poetic gravitas, complementing, contradicting, or in some cases even guiding the emotional temperature of the room."
Carson Lund, Slant Magazine
FAMILY ROMANCE, LLC - Ernst Reijseger
"There’s a fascinating capitalist indictment lurking beneath these scenes: In today’s gig economy, everything can be reduced to commerce, even emotional attachments to human beings, but nobody’s immune from getting too attached. This may be the closest the typically dark, chaos-obsessed filmmaker has come to making a family-friendly movie, as he douses the story in melodrama and sentimental music cues clumsily inserted into several scenes."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"Apart from a timeout for a wild samurai fight game in the park among a group of boys, Yuichi keeps the conversation going with the girl, who clearly has a tough road ahead of her. Especially due to the soft, borderline treacly score, however, you’d never guess at this point that you were watching a Werner Herzog film."
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
GREYHOUND - Blake Neely
"Mostly, we know who the captain is because Tom Hanks is playing him, and that means he’s imbued with decency and honor. Of the supporting characters, Stephen Graham has a face made for war movies as the second-in-command, and Rob Morgan speaks volumes with small glances as a Black man restricted to serving the captain’s food to him. But this is Hanks’ movie, so Krause is the one who picks up binoculars and looks out across a restless, menacing sea with its dangers lurking underneath while Blake Neely’s score -- low and doomy, but shot through with keening sounds like a distressed whale -- plays up the drama as if it’s part of a more emotional war movie."
Steve Pond, The Wrap
"The historical accuracy of 'Greyhound' makes it entertaining, but the filmmaking sometimes feels more like a lesson than entertainment. Schneider relies too heavily on his score to raise the stakes and the naval battles aren’t visually interesting enough given how much weight they have to carry. It’s refreshing of Hanks and Schneider to avoid jingoism, but the film's repetitive nature can make it feel distant. In a theater with the right sound system, 'Greyhound' might have been more immersive, but it’s a project that seems destined to suffer by being shuffled off to Apple TV+, even for those with the best home sound system. Much has been made in the last few years about Tom Hanks jokingly being America’s Dad. He doesn’t have the same stories of bad on-set behavior as some of his colleagues, knows more about American history than most teachers, and even yells at people to wear masks. He was Mr. Rogers! And 'Greyhound' certainly feels like a film tailor-made for dads of a certain generation -- people who don’t want anything overly complicated or nuanced in their stories of heroism. It’s a classic story of someone who would never call himself a hero, but most certainly was one to those he protected on his convoy."
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
"Hanks milks that familiar moment to a movie-ish excess slightly out of step with the economy of the rest of the film, accompanied by the requisite orchestral swell. But unimpeachable sincerity has long been a signature of the veteran actor's career, and that quality prevents 'Greyhound' from ever slipping into the vanity-project trap. This is one of Hanks' more subdued recent performances, unlike his galvanizing work in, say, 'Captain Phillips' or 'The Post.' But playing Captain Ernest Krause, he embodies the selfless, clenched-jaw purposefulness of the Greatest Generation with persuasive conviction and moving humility. The sense of navigating infested waters in near blindness is periodically underlined by communications between the Greyhound and the other Allied Forces boats, with each break in radio silence at risk of being picked up by the Germans. While it's doubtless true to military history, the one element that comes off a little hammy is the psychological-warfare transmissions of a German submarine commander identified as Grey Wolf (voiced by Thomas Kretschmann), gloating over the death count and snarling taunts like 'The Grey Wolf is so very hungry,' or 'The sea favors the Grey Wolf on the hunt, not the Hound on the run.' By contrast, the use of Blake Neely's ominous score shows admirable restraint for the most part, its subtle strains blending with the ping of sonar equipment and using drumming to inject urgency as the situation grows more perilous."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
GUEST OF HONOUR - Mychael Danna
"All of this is held together by Mychael Danna’s ominous score and the diegetic music that is played in the film. In the opening scene, a delicate melody is picked out on wine glasses, while the dark score rumbles underneath, suggesting a traumatic connection to music, which is such an important part of Veronica’s life, as is revealed later in the film. Similarly, as Jim travels around to different restaurants from a wide variety of ethnicities, the score shifts slightly, including instruments from the culture of the establishment he’s walked into to scrutinize."
Stephanie Watts, The Playlist
"Veronica is all Jim has, and -- twist! -- she’s in jail. What’s more: She wants to be in jail. Brace for a flashback within a flashback, because suddenly we’re joining Veronica as a high school conductor who’s chaperoning her band on a short tour around the country. Why is this innocent-looking trip layered under the most ominous strains of Mycheal Dyana’s erratic score (a nice suite of music that feels as though it were written by someone who, understandably, had no idea what tone Egoyan was going for)? It’s going to take some patience to find out, as 'Guest of Honour' is structured like an ensemble TV show that cuts away whenever it needs to leave you hanging for a commercial break. Even the meaning behind the movie’s title is saved for a gotcha moment in the third act."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
"In terms of craft, it’s at least proficient, with Paul Sarossy’s autumn-chill lensing and Mychael Danna’s overbearing but glassily ornate score even providing sporadic glimpses of Egoyan’s former frosty artfulness. Performances, meanwhile, range from capable to overwrought. You can forgive any of the actors for not knowing how to play things: At once overplotted and under-reasoned, hysterical and stiffly earnest, 'Guest of Honour' is finally one of those strenuously diagrammatic mysteries in which everything notionally connects, which isn’t quite the same as everything making even marginal emotional sense."
Guy Lodge, Variety
"Composer Mychael Danna's overused score gets a little cutesy on Jim's professional rounds, taking on ethnic flavors that reflect the specialty of each establishment being checked -- Chinese, Indian, Mexican. The longest and most narratively bogus interlude takes place in an Armenian restaurant (run by the director's wife and frequent muse, Arsinee Khanjian), where those crisped bunny ears are on the menu. It's at a private function there that Jim becomes the 'guest of honor,' giving the film its title. He also gets inexplicably invited up to the microphone to give a drunken speech in which he gets a tad too loose-lipped about extracting vengeance. For what, it's never exactly made clear, given that Veronica's transgressions are largely in her head. But that detail apparently is unimportant in this increasingly batty drama."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE - Tamar-kali
"There’s a defensiveness to such juxtapositions, as if a legacy as strong as Lewis’ couldn’t withstand a critical framework. The fawning approach indicates a general lack of trust in the audience. (This extends to the film’s other questionable formal choices, like the way Tamar-kali’s score crescendos over archival footage of cops rushing a mass of protestors, with hard cuts of police brutality edited to the soundtrack, as if this material required sonic emphasis to convey its power.) At the same time, it’s clear Lewis tightly controls his public and professional persona. This is the version of him he allows us to see."
Vikram Murthi, The Onion AV Club
"The sheer volume of archival footage and black and white stills in 'John Lewis: Good Trouble,' combined with interviews from some of Lewis’ past and present colleagues, has a powerful visual effect. And Tamar-Kali’s punchy yet reflective score imbues the pic with an upbeat modern tempo."
Beandrea July, The Hollywood Reporter
MUCHO MUCHO AMOR: THE LEGEND OF WALTER MERCADO - Jeff Morrow
"Costantini and Tabsch build their narrative around the Mercado myth with the technical elements at their disposal. They lean into their subjects’ passionate enthusiasm, setting their interviews with a driving yet playful score. Bright underlying instrumentals elevate the traditional talking head interviews, transforming each speaker into a kind of raconteur, weaving a legend passed down through generations."
Jude Dry, IndieWire
THE OLD GUARD - Volker Bertelmann, Dustin O'Halloran
"Yes, it goes on too long -- and yes, the movie eventually gets back to shooting and stabbing and fighting, just as you knew it would. But the odd mixture of tones, which is underscored by the music from Hauschka and Dustin O’Halloran, gives 'The Old Guard' more weight and resonance than you might expect. It’s an inclusive, female-centric comic-book action movie, sure -- but to its credit, it’s also sad, which turns out to work pretty well in a movie like this."
Steve Pond, The Wrap
"As always with Prince-Blythewood, the use of music provides sharp enhancement, with a subtle score by Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O'Halloran that incorporates driving techno and percussion elements. There's also an eclectic mix of vocals, encompassing ambient, electropop, rap, hip-hop and R&B, primarily in soft, slow cuts that combine to give the movie a spiritual, trance-like feel that deepens its thematic emphasis on the psychological toll of violence."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
RELIC - Brian Reitzell
"For a time she seems fine, irritated to be treated like an invalid. But soon she starts to deteriorate, and Kay is faced with tough decisions about her mother’s future while also being troubled by nightmares and noises that send her creeping through darkened hallways at night -- a motif that is a little overused, it should be said. DP Charlie Sarroff’s photography is largely terrific, with patient, observant frames accumulating mood steadily and making a bowl of rotting fruit look like a still life in oils. In his considered, hushed images, things that are cheerful become ominous, like the pulsing of colorful Christmas lights on a tree, and even twee flourishes, such as Edna working at her candle art, become inexplicably sinister. But there are times when peering into the dim, crepuscular lighting becomes a bit irritating, when you start to suspect that a lot of the women’s anxiety could be dissipated with a couple of 100-watt lightbulbs. Coupled with Brian Reitzell’s rattling, glimmering, unnerving score, which sometimes wells up unnecessarily and overflows, occasionally James overplays her horror-movie hand and we notice the contrivances."
Jessica Kiang, Variety
"The director has superb backup from her crafts team, especially DP Charlie Sarroff, whose camera stalks the shadowy corridors, corners, closets and stairs of the big old house like a prowling beast; and production designer Steven Jones-Evans, who builds secret rooms and passages within the walls that become a terrifying maze, echoing the disorienting chambers of an unraveling mind. Composer Brian Reitzell and sound designer Robert Mackenzie also make invaluable contributions, and there's brilliantly creepy prosthetics work in the latter half as family drama cedes the way with grim finality to horror."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
SOMETIMES ALWAYS NEVER - Edwyn Collins, Sean Read
"The archly indie art direction -- think of a slightly slovenly Wes Anderson or a slightly spruced-up Aki Kaurismaki -- is exaggerated by the saturated palette, canted angles and tilt-shifted toytown effects of Richard Stoddard’s photography, and by the quaintly plinky score from Edwyn Collins and Sean Read. And while it’s a bit obvious in its inference that these characters are trapped in the past, it’s not unpleasant, and has some nicely inventive flourishes. It’s just that it doesn’t really belong in the same movie as the nuances and subtle shadings of grief, loss and disruptions in qi (the Chinese word for life force) that the script and the performances so delicately deal in."
Jessica Kiang, Variety
"Deploying some fun retro effects like rear projection screens and animation, and a jaunty soundtrack from Edwyn Collins and Sean Read, rocker-turned-director Carl Hunter (from '90s beat combo The Farm) manages to bring cohesion to the amusing but herky-jerky script by Frank Cottrell Boyce (who also wrote Hunter's last feature, 'Grow Your Own'). Often, the whole shebang plays like a rattle bag of tropes, digressions and stray running gags. Then again, that randomness is perfectly apt given the centrality here of the board game Scrabble, which requires players to make meaning out of letters selected by chance."
Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter
THE SUNLIT NIGHT - Enis Rotthoff
"Lofoten is so far north that the sun never sets during summer (hence the title), creating an unusual kind of stir-craziness that is more commonly associated with horror movies than quirky indie dramedies, although the latter will take eccentricity wherever they can find it. That probably explains not only the casting of Slate but also the assignment Frances gets upon her arrival -- painting the interior of an old barn bright yellow -- and the fact that she’ll be spending her (bright) nights in a cutesy trailer with an adorable baby goat. The previous assistant has scrawled the words 'Welcome to hell' in lipstick across the cabinets, and if composer Enis Rotthoff’s score were any less upbeat, you’d swear you were in a slasher movie after all. But no, 'The Sunlit Night' more closely resembles the second half of Alexander Payne’s 'Downsizing,' which proved that a similarly end-of-the-earth locale doesn’t make dull characters any more exotic or exciting."
Peter Debruge, Variety
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: Ghost Town (Zanelli), Hangover Square (Herrmann), Dumbo (Elfman), The Valley of Gwangi (Moross), Die Spionin (Raine), Hello Again (LaChiusa), The Incredibles (Giacchino), Lean on Pete (Barker), Orchestral Suites (Bach), Baker's Holiday (Baker), Hunter Killer (Morris), A Simple Favor (Shapiro), The Bridge at Remagen/The Train (Bernstein/Jarre), Stay as You Are (Morricone), House of Cards: Season 6 (Beal), Darkman (Elfman), The Quinn Martin Collection Vol. 1 (various), Anna and the King of Siam (Herrmann), Love Thy Neighbor/Sin of Innocence (Delerue), Our Planet (Price), The Wild Party (LaChiusa), The Film Music of Geoffrey Burgon (Burgon), Symphonies No. 2 & 8 (Beethoven), Inferno (Conti), And Then...Along Comes the Association (The Association), Never Look Away (Richter), Renaissance (The Association), Another Stakeout (Rubinstein), Insight Out (The Association), The Nun (Korzeniowski), Birthday (The Association), The Man with Bogart's Face (Duning), The Association (The Association), Way of a Gaucho (Kaplan), Cuore Sacro (Guerra), The Reluctant Saint (Rota), The Big Gamble/Treasure of the Golden Condor (Jarre/Kaplan)
Read: Reign in Hell, by William Diehl
Seen: For many years my dream was to live in Manhattan, but the only drawback (besides the colossal expense) was that during my stays there, I always found the movie theaters greatly inferior to those of Los Angeles, my home of the last 38 years. I just read that movie theaters in New York state have been allowed to re-open, except for those in New York City, which for some reason reminds me of that old joke (popularized in Annie Hall): "The food here is terrible." "Yes, and such small portions."
Watched: The Scarlet Claw; Mystery Science Theater ("Killer Fish"); Seven Chances ; Mad Men ("For Those Who Think Young"); War of the Planets; Danger Man ("Find and Return"); Woman Against Woman; Mystery Science Theater 3000 ("Ator the Fighting Eagle"); Neighbors ; Manhattan ("Damnatio Memoriae")