The latest in Caldera's series of first-ever score releases by Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Gerald Fried presents his music for a rarely seen cinematic milestone -- Stanley Kubrick's debut feature FEAR AND DESIRE. Kubrick himself tried to suppress later screenings of this microbudget war drama, which featured future writer-director Paul Mazursky among its stars, but in the last decade the film was finally made widely available on DVD and BluRay. Fried would go on to score Kubrick's next three features, including the classics The Killing and Paths of Glory, and along with his Fear and Desire score the Caldera CD features Fried's music for Kubrick's 1951 documentary short Day of the Fight and the 1964 World's Fair film To the Moon and Beyond.
Variety recently featured an article discussing which scores were declared ineligible for BAFTA's music awards and suggests the same scores will be ineligible for Oscar consideration. For those interested, go to this link.
Those who read this week's Did They Mention the Music column below may note that of the seven reviews that praised Ludovico Einaudi's score for the critically acclaimed Oscar contender Nomadland, only one mentioned that Einaudi's music for the film is actually taken from his albums, specifically his Seven Days Walking set.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Civilta Del Mediterraneo - Bruno Nicolai - Kronos
Cold Mountain - Gabriel Yared - Music Box
Gaza Mon Amour - Andre Matthias - Kronos
Le Choc/Les Seins De Glace - Philippe Sarde - Music Box
L'Uomo Europo - Francesco DeMasi - Kronos
The Shepherd - Arthur Valentin Grosz - Kronos
Sostiene Pereira - Ennio Morricone - Caldera
Viking Women and the Sea Serpent - Albert Glasser - Kronos
IN THEATERS TODAY
New films opening this week include The Little Things, a thriller from director John Lee Hancock and starring Oscar winners Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto, the third Hancock film scored by Thomas Newman; and the tearjerker drama Supernova, starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, scored by newcomer Keaton Henson.
Lost Themes III: Alive After Death - John Carpenter - Sacred Bones
Da Uomo a Uomo - Ennio Morricone - Beat
The Devil All the Time - Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans, various - ABKCO
Tutti Dentro - Piero Piccioni - Beat
Zappa - John Frizzell, songs - Zappa Records
His Dark Materials: Season Two - Lorne Balfe - Silva
The Tattooed Torah - Daniel Alcheh - Notefornote
Alex Hugo - Jerome Lemmonier - Music Box
Fear and Desire - Gerald Fried - Caldera
Fireball XL5 - Barry Gray - Silva
The Great Gatsby Ballet - Carl Davis - Carl Davis Collection
Symphonies No. 6 & 7/Night Voyage - Christopher Gunning - Signum
Ulysse 31 - Denny Crockett, Ike Egan, Shuki Levy, Haim Saban, Seji Suzuki - CSC
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
January 29 - Leslie Bricusse born (1931)
January 29 - Leith Stevens begins recording his score for The Atomic City (1952)
January 29 - Victor Young begins recording his score for Forever Female (1953)
January 29 - Alfred Newman begins recording his score to A Man Called Peter (1955)
January 29 - David Robbins born (1955)
January 29 - Joseph Mullendore records his score for the Lost in Space episode "Space Beauty" (1968)
January 29 - Georges Van Parys died (1971)
January 29 - Henry Mancini begins recording his score for Condorman (1981)
January 29 - Panu Aaltio born (1982)
January 29 - Rogier Van Otterloo died (1988)
January 29 - Don Davis records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Face of the Enemy” (1993)
January 29 - Berto Pisano died (2002)
January 29 - Rod McKuen died (2015)
January 30 - Morton Stevens born (1929)
January 30 - Franz Waxman records his score for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939)
January 30 - Recording sessions begin for Frederick Hollander’s score for The Affairs of Susan (1945)
January 30 - Phil Collins born (1951)
January 30 - Steve Bartek born (1952)
January 30 - Recording sessions begin for Lyn Murray’s score for On the Threshold of Space (1956)
January 30 - George Duning begins recording his score to Toys in the Attic (1963)
January 30 - George Duning begins recording his score for the pilot movie for Then Came Bronson (1969)
January 30 - Robert Folk begins recording his score for Police Academy (1984)
January 30 - Jean Constantin died (1997)
January 30 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Rise” (1997)
January 30 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for U.S. Marshals (1998)
January 30 - Manuel Balboa died (2004)
January 30 - John Barry died (2011)
January 30 - William Motzing died (2014)
January 31 - Benjamin Frankel born (1906)
January 31 - Hans Posegga born (1917)
January 31 - Nicholas Carras born (1922)
January 31 - Al De Lory born (1930)
January 31 - Philip Glass born (1937)
January 31 - Andrew Lockington born (1974)
January 31 - Andy Garfield born (1974)
January 31 - John Cacavas begins recording his score for Airport ’77 (1977)
January 31 - Yasushi Akutagawa died (1989)
February 1 - Rick Wilkins born (1937)
February 1 - Herbert Stothart died (1949)
February 1 - Karl Hajos died (1950)
February 1 - Miklos Rozsa records his score for The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
February 1 - Lyn Murray begins recording his score for To Catch a Thief (1955)
February 1 - Alexander Courage records his score for the Lost in Space episode "The Cave of the Wizards" (1967)
February 1 - Barry Gray begins recording his score for Thunderbird 6 (1968)
February 1 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "A Matter of Perspective" (1990)
February 1 - Alan Silvestri begins recording his score for The Perez Family (1995)
February 1 - Bruce Broughton begins recording his score for Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996)
February 1 - Howard Shore begins recording his score for The Score (2001)
February 2 - Giuseppe Becce born (1877)
February 2 - Nikolai Kryukov born (1908)
February 2 - Mike Batt born (1950)
February 2 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score for Crisis (1950)
February 2 - Dimitri Tiomkin begins recording his score for Take the High Ground! (1953)
February 2 - David Buttolph begins recording his score for Secret of the Incas (1954)
February 2 - Gerald Fried records his score for Cast a Long Shadow (1959)
February 2 - Recording sessions begin for Bronislau Kaper's score to Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
February 2 - Richard LaSalle records his score for the Land of the Giants episode “A Small War” (1970)
February 2 - Richard Band begins recording his score for Parasite (1982)
February 2 - Recording sessions begin on James Newton Howard’s score for Outbreak (1995)
February 2 - David Bell records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Dark Frontier, Part I” (1999)
February 2 - Paul Baillargeon begins recording his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Q2” (1999)
February 2 - Dennis McCarthy and Kevin Kiner record their score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “The Aenar” (2005)
February 3 - Paul Sawtell born (1906)
February 3 - Derek Hilton born (1927)
February 3 - Daniele Amfitheatrof begins recording his score for Lassie Come Home (1943)
February 3 - Dave Davies born (1947)
February 3 - Toshiyuki Watanabe born (1955)
February 3 - Ray Heindorf died (1980)
February 3 - Lionel Newman died (1989)
February 3 - Basil Poledouris begins recording his score for RoboCop 3 (1992)
February 3 - Paul Baillargeon records his score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode ‘The Forgotten” (2004)
February 4 - Hal Mooney born (1911)
February 4 - David Raksin begins recording his score for The Girl in White (1952)
February 4 - Kitaro born (1953)
February 4 - Don Davis born (1957)
February 4 - Bronislau Kaper begins recording his and Heitor Villa-Lobos' score to Green Mansions (1959)
February 4 - Patton opens in New York City (1970)
February 4 - Joe Raposo died (1989)
February 4 - Von Dexter died (1996)
February 4 - J.J. Johnson died (2001)
February 4 - Jimmie Haskell died (2016)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
AMMONITE - Dustin O'Halloran, Volker Bertelmann
"The swell of deep feeling in the film is enhanced by sparing use of a somber string and piano score by Dustin O'Halloran and Volker Bertelmann and by special attention to the elemental sounds of wind and waves and occasional birdsong. But the most powerful tool in this lovingly told story is the unimpeachably naturalistic ensemble work of a cast that simply couldn't be bettered, led with startling emotional transparency by Winslet and Ronan. In many ways it's a deceptively modest work, but 'Ammonite' just floored me; I can't think of a single aspect that could be improved upon."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
BELUSHI - Tree Adams
"The final passages of 'Belushi' unfold with a tragic wallop: Aykroyd and others share their regrets about letting their pal die alone, and the music swells, leaving the sense that Belushi’s fate was such an inevitability he probably should have been committed (Judith stops just short of admitting as much). 'Belushi' doesn’t question the industry that propelled its subject to fame, but it helps explain how the same system designed to support unique talent can incinerate it in plain sight. As Belushi wrangles his way across the stage, all wild eyes and sweaty gestures, the movie stops just short of suggesting he was willing to die for our entertainment. But listening to his peers recall the complexity of his struggles, it’s not hard to read between the lines."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
FATALE - Geoff Zanelli
"If only 'Fatale' were so blithely straightforward. In addition to the aforementioned one-night stand, there’s a lot going on in David Loughery’s overworked screenplay: A bitter child custody fight, a beach house love nest, a philandering spouse (another one!), a business partner anxious to sell, a cousin just out of prison, a succession of homicides. These plot elements stack one on top of the other, like so many wooden blocks. (The foghorn soundtrack by Geoff Zanelli threatens to topple them at any minute.) While 'Fatale' shamelessly cribs from Adrian Lyne’s 1987 film about an extra-marital fling gone wrong, Valerie is nothing like the emotionally unhinged Alex Forrest played by Glenn Close. Although she initially calls Derrick out for his dishonesty and seethes a little about it, Valerie has no illusions about continuing any kind of relationship with him. Even so, she’s still up for a spontaneous f*ck on the kitchen countertop in her warehouse loft, not unlike Alex’s erotic dip in her loft’s kitchen sink with Michael Douglas’s Dan. More pointedly, as improbable as Valerie’s endgame seems once revealed, it plainly demonstrates she’s nobody's chump. It’s not exactly a feminist reading, but one that gives Fatale a little backbone."
Steve Davis, The Austin Chronicle
GREENLAND - David Buckley
"'Hi Dad,' Allison manages through happy tears. 'Hey sunflower,' Dale says back. It’s such a natural exchange between Baccarin and Glenn that the choral soundtrack fades away, and it may help, too, that so many of us watching would give so much just to hug our own parents that the sentimentality is actually a feature rather than a bug. Look: There’s no ignoring 'Greenland''s pedigree. Disaster movies are rarely great cinema. They’re rarely even good junk food. But this one’s just good enough and hits so close to how we’ve lived for most of 2020 that appreciating the way Waugh layers spectacle beneath Sparling’s dim view of humanity takes little persuading. 'Greenland' isn’t some self-insistently timely movie and it probably isn’t the movie we 'need' right now. But it’s the movie we have, and its honest to goodness but unintended genre resonance makes it easy to embrace.
Andrew Crump, The Playlist
HUNTER HUNTER - Kevon Cronin
"There's a bait-and-switch quality to this, to be sure, with the film at first coming across like a fairly conventional and not particularly distinctive survival thriller before lurching into Grand Guignol-style horror. But it works, thanks to the filmmaker's exacting skill at providing his slow-burn setup, abetted by the unsettling sound effects and intense musical score. The performances are all fine, with Sawa and Stahl providing forceful presences. But Sullivan is particularly memorable, delivering the sort of galvanizing, physically and emotionally demanding turn that would be of the star-making variety if 'Hunter Hunter' were to be seen by a wide audience. That's unlikely, but it's safe to say that anyone who does see the film won't be forgetting it anytime soon."
Frank Schenk, The Hollywood Reporter
MONSTER HUNTER - Paul Haslinger
"Paul W.S. Anderson, one half (with Milla Jovovich) of the power-couple-slash-brain-trust behind the often irresistible and reliably not-screened-for-critics 'Resident Evil' films, has found himself a literal sandbox: About half of his latest video game adaptation, 'Monster Hunter,' takes place in a desert. There’s a couple badass heroes with humongous swords, a few big scaly monstrosities, and frequently not much else. The minimalism is consistent with Anderson’s career-long devotion to delivering caloric content with an unlikely combo of classical unities and pounding, insta-dated electronic beats. The movie’s called 'Monster Hunter' -- what more could it reasonably need?"
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The Onion AV Club
NEWS OF THE WORLD - James Newton Howard
"Greengrass is a terrific filmmaker but a decidedly contemporary one, smart enough to know that he’s working in a more conventional genre, and he thus (mostly) eschews his signature flourishes for a more classical style. He doesn’t seem cramped by the demand; quite the contrary, in fact, as his frames pulse with affection for the wide vistas and sun-cracked skies. (James Newton Howard’s crackerjack score is also an asset.) Some of the digital effects are mighty dodgy (and, let’s be honest, unnecessary; if Ford and Hawks could do these things practically, so could Greengrass). But that’s nitpicking. Most importantly, he understands the political and emotional stakes of the setting, in a way that some Westerns don’t even acknowledge, nodding to the tensions of post-Civil War America, and how Kidd attempts, in some small way, to soothe them."
Jason Bailey, The Playlist
"Greengrass’ approach is more slack here -- certainly from his work on the Jason Bourne films -- but he manages to add tension to virtually every scene, often with just an actor scanning the horizon. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski frames things like a high-art photographer with careful use of light and dark. Many of the best scenes are silent, enhanced by a wonderfully wistful score by James Newton Howard."
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press
"There’s an old-fashioned aesthetic in 'News of the World' that might make it easy to dismiss as a 'dad movie,' something that plays on TNT in regular rotation for the next decade (which it almost certainly will), but this kind of finely-calibrated genre film is harder to pull off than it looks. There’s an attention to detail in every corner of this movie, including not just the period recreation but everything from James Newton Howard’s lovely score to Tom Hanks’ subtle performance. There’s something comforting about giving yourself over to an undeniably talented group of artists for two hours and just letting them tell you a story. That’s what this will be for many this holiday season. Yes, it’s relatively predictable and arguably a little thin in terms of ambition, but it’s also refined and nuanced in ways that these films often aren’t. Everyone here is at the top of their craft from the character actors who populate the ensemble to the two leads at its center to everyone behind the camera, and you can feel that from first frame to last."
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
"Greengrass and editor William Goldenberg establish an undulating rhythm that pulls you in, enhanced by James Newton Howard's boldly flavorful symphonic score, with its rootsy acoustic string elements. The action ambles along in leisurely character observation as the captain and Johanna overcome their mutual incomprehension and wariness in conversations with no common language. Her attachment to the Kiowa culture of her upbringing, elements of which are revealed casually at first and then voluntarily shared with the captain as a gift, provides several poignant interludes as he responds with fascination to her connectedness with the natural world."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
NOMADLAND - Ludovico Einaudi
"In Zhao’s steady, unwavering curiosity and intelligence (consolidating and extending qualities already on display in her wonderful 'The Rider'), McDormand’s perfect synthesis with her role, Richards’ simple and stunning image-making, and Ludovico Einaudi‘s lovely, light-and-shade piano melodies (the film is scored to extracts from his album 'Seven Days Walking' and it’s the only time I can remember a music credit getting a separate round of applause at a press screening), 'Nomadland,' like Fern, carries in its nomad heart all it needs. And so it moves lightly from place to place, never dawdling too long, never neglecting the journey for the destination, and finding in every departure a new homecoming."
Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
"Using a minimal and improvised-feeling screenplay that emphasizes interaction and happenstance over story, Zhao places Fern and the gorgeous landscapes she travels through at the forefront of her film. There are times when Joshua James Richards’s sweeping cinematography and Ludovico Einaudi’s gently emotive music point to a far more romantic vision than that suggested by Fern’s more hard-bitten attitude. But by juxtaposing beautiful vistas filled with promise, a rotted social safety net, and the scrappy itinerant workers navigating the space in between, Zhao generates a gradually swelling tension underneath her film’s somewhat placid surface. In the end, whether Fern roams the desert or returns to housed life, the unfulfilled promise of America will keep pushing her back to the horizon."
Chris Barsanti, Slant Magazine
"And Zhao matches what she’s getting from McDormand in 'Nomadland' with her stunning technical prowess. She reunites with Joshua James Richards, the cinematographer on 'The Rider,' and the pair again find beauty in the landscapes of the country. Fern’s journey takes her all across the United States and Zhao and Richards lean into the majesty of the world around her with long shots of the horizon, most of them seemingly shot at the magic hour. It’s a beautiful film just to experience, and it’s not just in 'beauty shots.' Everything about the visual language of 'Nomadland' is striking -- just the way Richards and Zhao slowly glide their camera with Fern through a community of van-dwellers can feel lyrical while somehow never losing the truth and grit of the moment either. It’s honestly hard to figure out how Zhao has made a film that’s this beautiful in its compositions and somehow still feels like it has dirt under its fingernails. A moving score by Ludovico Einaudi that’s easily my favorite of the year adds to the poetry of it all."
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
"What happens in 'Nomadland' is secondary to where it happens, and to the care with which Zhao creates the world of cluttered vans, open spaces and people trying to take their sense of home and make it a moveable feast. There’s grace and beauty in the film’s physical and emotional landscape, particularly when it’s linked to the evocative piano-based music of Ludovico Einaudi, but the director doesn’t let you sink too deeply into the reverie, which can end with a flat tire or an order to keep moving."
Steve Pond, The Wrap
"'Nomadland' juggles a complex tone: It celebrates the vast scenery of a forgotten America, while acknowledging the wistful undercurrents of the people wandering through it. Ludovico Einaudi’s plaintive score drifts in and out as cinematographer Joshua James Richards follows Fern through expansive outdoor scenery as the emptiness takes on poetic ramifications. It could sink into the hackneyed concept of life as a journey more than destination, but Zhao’s understated screenplay (which turns on the passing observations of the real nomads Fern meets) resists pressure for heavy-handed revelations."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"Beijing-born Zhao’s relationship with the American West is romantic, even spiritual, and she shoots in color -- sometimes overcast, sometimes luminous -- that lends a starkly beautiful cowboy poetry to the campgrounds and wilderness areas where Fern makes her home. The upside of this rootless lifestyle is the opportunity to spend unhurried time in nature, and Zhao and cinematographer Joshua James Richards ('God’s Own Country') capture the soft orange light of clouds at sunset and the inky green of conifers with a hushed reverence that suggests the healing strength Fern derives from being alone. She has friendships, and maybe something more with fellow traveler Dave (a wonderfully understated David Strathairn), if she wanted it. But the relationships among the nomads also drift with the seasons, much like the shifting light that inspired Ludovico Einaudi’s affecting piano score."
Katie Rife, The Onion AV Club
"The use of famed Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi's music is exemplary in guiding our access to Fern's inner life, starting with delicate piano melodies and steadily growing richer and more emotional as the movie progresses and her place in this new world becomes more certain."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
SMALL AXE: RED, WHITE AND BLUE - Mica Levi
"As with the two previous 'Small Axe' chapters, McQueen and his co-writer (in this case, Courttia Newland, who also shares script credit on 'Lovers Rock') create not only vivid lead characters but also place them within the larger context of their community. We come away with a strong sense of the people for whom Leroy wants to be an advocate, even if they remain dubious that he can do so within the framework of the London Police. Another throughline for 'Small Axe' is McQueen’s deft use of pop tunes to capture the era, and 'Red, White and Blue' weaves Al Green, Billy Joel and Marvin Gaye into another subtly haunting score by Mica Levi ('Jackie')."
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 - Daniel Pemberton
"By the end, Sorkin can’t help but fall into the Spielbergian trappings of the material, right down to the gooey sentimentality of its final moments. Of course, there were no cameras in the courtroom, which allows for plenty of room for embellishment. Morgen’s 'Chicago 10' documentary filled that gap with a rotoscoped cast (including an inspired Hank Azaria as Hoffman) and wielded more cinematic ambition when it came to representing the events at hand. Sorkin finds its built-in appeal: The earnest crescendo is almost quaint -- all cheering crowds and orchestral swells -- but it’s hard to dismiss in a movie so invested in celebrating the democratic ideals of 50 years ago that it makes them seem just as relevant today. That’s obviously the point this galvanizing agitprop aims to drive home however it can. 'We’re not guilty because of who we are,' Hoffman says. 'We’re guilty of what we believe.' Preach!"
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"In its opening act, 'Chicago 7' struggles to gain momentum. Composer Daniel Pemberton’s usual talent for assured compositions -- in 'Steve Jobs' and 'Molly’s Game' -- is bizarrely out of step, here. For example, an opening montage features footage recounting the Vietnam draft and Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy speaking just prior to their respective assassinations, yet the percussion and horns jump jocularly. The displacement isn’t solely due to Pemberton. A second quippy montage of the key players talking of their travel plans to Chicago follows the previous downtrodden images in quick succession, forcing Pemberton to choose between the two disparate moods. Weaving lighthearted humor with the story’s weighty events is a habitual struggle for 'Chicago 7' through its uptempo first acts. This is especially true whenever Sorkin cuts away to Abbie performing stand-up. Sure the sentiment of these scenes, which are set on college campuses, are meant to capture his importance to the youth movement, but the integration tonally grates."
Robert Daniels, The Playlist
"With those flaws in mind, the film seesaws between being a persuasive argument for standing up for what’s right and simply being an actor’s showcase. The sheer number of people in the cast -- granted, mostly men -- mean that, by virtue of being an ensemble piece, the butter on the metaphorical toast is spread a little thinner. When, in a final dramatic moment, the music swells, it feels comedic; that saccharine quality and the focus on Hayden bring out a sense of self-righteousness that isn’t uncommon in Sorkin’s writing, and now his directing."
Karen Han, Polygon
"There are strong moments from all the principals, but Redmayne gets the rousing final words. While Sorkin arguably pushes a tad hard in that scene with the soaring notes of Daniel Pemberton's score, the forceful emotional impact is undeniable, especially coming so soon after scenes filling in the final pieces of the night of the riots. DP Phedon Papamichael's gritty images of those volatile moments on the street and in the park, intercut with archival footage, pack a wallop."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: Little Women (Desplat), Mysterious Island (Herrmann), A Hidden Life (Howard), Maps to the Stars (Shore), 1917 (Newman), My Fair Lady (Loewe), Puzzle (O'Halloran), Double Concerto/Academic Festival Overture (Brahms), The Aeronauts (Price), A Christmas Present (Clooney), The Song of Names (Shore), Happy Feet (Powell), Arctic (Trapanese), Apology (Jarre), The Theme Scene (Mancini), La Dame aux Camelias (Morricone), The Greasy Strangler (Hung), Doctor Sleep (Newton Brothers), Looney Tunes: Back in Action (Goldsmith), The Chaperone (Zarvos), Tender Is the Night (Herrmann), Knife + Heart (M83), The Lost World: Jurassic Park [game] (Giacchino), The Dead Don't Die (Squrl), Kiss Me, Kate (Porter)
Read: The Best of Me, by David Sedaris
Seen: A year ago I was seeing a delightful triple-feature at the New Beverly -- Orca, Nightwing, and Prophecy. Prophecy didn't get out until nearly 1:30 in the morning but it was worth it. There are few "bad" movies that I enjoy more. I had forgotten that the New Beverly was closed for remodeling for the first eleven months of 2018. Man, I thought that seemed like a long time...
Watched: Black Sails ("I."); Spaceways; Band of Brothers ("Bastogne"); Mark of the Vampire; Star Trek: Discovery ("The Red Angel"); Westworld ("The Passenger"); Boardwalk Empire ("Boardwalk Empire")