Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste won this year's Original Score Oscar for SOUL. It is Batiste's first Oscar and nomination, while Reznor and Ross previously won ten years earlier for The Social Network. The Oscar for Original Song went to "Fight for You" from JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, by by H.E.R. (aka Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson), Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas.
Howlin' Wolf is releasing a CD of the score to the 1981 slasher film THE PROWLER, directed by Joseph Zito (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Red Scorpion), co-starring Hollywood veterans Farley Granger and Lawrence Tierney, and composed by Richard Einhorn (Shock Waves, Sister Sister, Dead of Winter).
Varese Sarabande is expected to announce two new limited edition CD Club releases today.
IN THEATERS TODAY
Eat Wheaties! - Kevin Krouglow
Four Good Days - Edward Shearmur
Golden Arm - Hannah Parrott
Limbo - Hutch Demouilpied
Percy vs. Goliath - Steve MacKinnon
Separation - Brett Detar
Walking with Herb - Ariel Marx
The Midnight Sky - Alexandre Desplat - Abkco
The Prowler - Richard Einhorn - Howlin' Wolf
Swallow - Nathan Halpern - Ship to Shore
The Proposal - T. Griffin - Constellation
The Alan Howarth Collection Vol. 2 - Alan Howarth - Dragon's Domain
Belli e brutti ridono tutti - Giacomo Dell'Orso - Beat
Chronicle - Ernst Reijseger - Caldera
Escape from New York [re-release] - John Carpenter, Alan Howarth - Silva
Fuga Dal Bronx - Francesco De Masi - Beat
Ghoulies IV - Chuck Cirino - Dragon's Domain
Inseminoid - John Scott - Dragon's Domain
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
April 30 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Host” (1991)
April 30 - David Bell
records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager
episode “Homestead” (2001)
April 30 - Velton Ray Bunch
records his score for the Enterprise
episode “Desert Crossing” (2002)
May 1 - Heinz Roemheld born (1901)
May 1 - Bill Byers born (1927)
May 1 - Citizen Kane premieres in New York (1941)
May 1 - Paul Sawtell records his score for the Land of the Giants episode “The Flight Plan” (1968)
May 1 - Gordon Jenkins died (1984)
May 1 - James Horner
begins recording orchestral cues for his Apollo 13
May 1 - Bill Byers died (1996)
May 2 - Alan Rawsthorne born (1905)
May 2 - Van Alexander born (1915)
May 2 - Satyajit Ray born (1921)
May 2 - Svatopluk Havelka born (1925)
May 2 - Paul Ferris born (1941)
May 2 - Ondrej Soukup born (1951)
May 2 - Elliot Goldenthal born (1954)
May 2 - Justin Caine Burnett born (1973)
May 2 - Aram Khachaturian died (1978)
May 2 - Recording sessions begin for Danny Elfman
's score for Batman Returns
May 2 - Recording sessions begin for James Newton Howard
’s score for Wyatt Earp
May 2 - Jay Chattaway
records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager
episode “Scorpion, Part I” (1997)
May 2 - Paul Baillargeon
begins recording his score for the Star Trek: Voyager
episode “Message in a Bottle” (1997)
May 2 - Recording sessions begin for John Ottman's score for Orphan (2009)
May 3 - Hugo Friedhofer born (1901)
May 3 - James Brown born (1933)
May 3 - Stephen Warbeck born (1953)
May 3 - David Raksin begins recording his score for Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)
May 3 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for Cahill United States Marshal (1973)
May 3 - Bruce Broughton
begins recording his score for Baby’s Day Out
May 3 - Alden Shuman died (2002)
May 3 - Recording sessions begin for David Arnold’s score for The Stepford Wives (2004)
May 3 - Recording sessions begin for Michael Giacchino’s score for Sky High (2005)
May 4 - Beatrice Thiriet born (1960)
May 4 - John Barry
begins recording his score for Body Heat
May 4 - James Horner begins recording his score for Batteries Not Included (1987)
May 4 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Sarek” (1990)
May 4 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “I, Borg.” (1992)
May 4 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Crossover” (1994)
May 4 - Albert Glasser died (1998)
May 5 - Gene Forrell born (1915)
May 5 - Patrick Gowers born (1936)
May 5 - Delia Derbyshire born (1937)
May 5 - Andre Previn begins recording his score for House of Numbers (1957)
May 5 - Jerome Moross begins recording his score for The Jayhawkers (1959)
May 5 - David Shire
begins recording his score for The Big Bus
May 5 - Recording sessions begin for Pino Donaggio’s score for Dressed to Kill (1980)
May 5 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Congo (1995)
May 5 - Recording sessions begin for Christopher Young's score for Species (1995)
May 5 - Isao Tomita died (2016)
May 6 - Recording sessions begin for Bronislau Kaper's score to The Glass Slipper (1954)
May 6 - Recording begins on Alfred Newman
and Hugo Friedhofer
's score to The Bravados
in Munich, Germany (1958)
May 6 - Tom Chase born (1965)
May 6 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
May 6 - Michel Legrand begins recording his score to Ice Station Zebra (1968)
May 6 - Morton Stevens begins recording his score for Parts 3 & 4 of Masada (1980)
May 6 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Neutral Zone" (1988)
May 6 - Dennis McCarthy
records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager
episode “Hope and Fear” (1998)
May 6 - Leonard Salzedo died (2000)
May 6 - Jay Chattaway
records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager
episode “The Haunting of Deck Twelve” (2000)
May 6 - William Olvis died (2014)
May 6 - Antony Hopkins died (2014)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
THE AFFAIR - Antoni Lazarkiewicz, Rupert Vokmann
"Sevcik and his cinematographer, Martin Strba, are so busy with the film’s look that they give short shrift to what little the actors are given to play. They’re too busy caressing that damn house or whatever space the camera happens to be in at the moment. When the actors aren’t competing with the sets or trying to find ways to mention the house, they’re getting shellacked by the obnoxious, wall-to-wall score by Antoni Lazarkiewicz and Rupert Vokmann. Sometimes, a film relies on its music to do the emotional heavy-lifting, but not here. The emotions don’t even match what we’re hearing."
Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com
"Yet the longer 'The Affair' trudges on, the harder it becomes to gauge what, if anything, it’s really about. The novel’s clean narrative lines and clear political symbolism crumble in an adaptation that removes multiple load-bearing subplots and secondary characters to center a relatively mild domestic soap opera, and even the telling of that is garbled. Andrew Shaw’s screenplay introduces characters haphazardly, and drops apparently significant plot points with blunt abandon. Viewers are left with the sense of a reassembled script that lost several pages in a strong breeze, with only Antoni Komasa-Lazarkiewicz and Rupert Vokmann’s overworked, string-heavy score to fill in the gaps."
Guy Lodge, Variety
COME TRUE - Anthony Scott Burns
"The film’s angst-ridden protagonist, Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone), has a virtually nonexistent relationship with her parents and atrocious sleep hygiene, having developed the habit of sneaking out at night to bed down on a playground slide. Her recurring dreams feature a shadowy silhouette, the sight of which awakens her, and Burns takes advantage of her broken circadian rhythm to soak much of the film in the liminal half-light of predawn or dusk. Burns, a musician in addition to a director, makes contributions to the film’s mostly ambient score, which, like an ant, pulls many times its own weight in evoking an otherworldly atmosphere, while at the same time providing continuity between the fragments of Sarah’s waking life."
William Repass, Slant Magazine
"'Come True' is bathed in slick, sleepy lighting, saturated with the calming essence of blues, greys, and purples. Its languid cinematography matches its leisurely pace, with vibrating synths enhancing the trippy vibes Burns desires his audience to be engulfed in. It’s all very tired: a collection of indie sci-fi tools that have been timeworn. Flickering monitors, shadowed masculine figures, clean Apple-sleek tech: nothing about Burns’ film is aesthetically authentic."
Jenny Nulf, The Austin Chronicle
JAKOB'S WIFE - Tara Busch
"The concept of these fearsome pitch-black figures lurking towards you while you sleep, approaching you as you crack your eyes open in tongue-tied dread, will be intensely familiar to those who had the misfortunate of experiencing sleep paralysis before, as well as those who have seen Rodney Ascher’s mischievously spine-tingling docu-horror, 'The Nightmare.' He's not as effective in his scares as Ascher, but Burns still gives these hellish visions a frightening edge, enveloping them in the depths of Sarah’s abstract subconscious with ample visual punch. Her dreams crawl through dark tunnels and eerily opening doors, catch glimpses of sculpted limbs and stony bodies hanging from the ceiling, with the images of the sometimes still, sometimes creepily in-motion shadows perennially present. These are genuinely the most effective scenes of 'Come True,' with aggressive but memorable production design elements working overtime to disguise the film’s low budget and rough yet commendable VFX. The film’s icy cinematography and synth-centric score -- Burns shot, edited, wrote and co-scored the film, the latter under the pseudonym, Pilotpriest -- also feel a tad heavy-handed. Still, they collectively help him approach his Cronenbergian levels of paranoia-infused terror, even though he doesn’t quite get there."
Tomris Laffly, RogerEbert.com
COSMIC SIN - Scott Glasgow
"After a brief ethical debate, they determine that they must obliterate the zombie aliens with a generic-sounding device called a Q-bomb (which, for some reason, features an old-fashioned, red digital countdown display). Ford and his team quantum leap to the woodsy planet of Ellora (which looks a lot like the forest moon of Endor from the 'Star Wars' universe) to take out these creatures before they can come to Earth and kill all of humanity. So 'Cosmic Sin' may also be a parable about … genocide? It’s all so half-baked, it’s hard to know. Interminable gunfire and a droning score take the place of actual suspense. Also lacking in substance are the helmets and body armor the space travelers wear to hop from one planet to another. They look more like spray-painted slabs of Styrofoam, strapped together with Velcro, with a few lights and reflective pads stuck onto them."
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com
HAPPILY - Joseph Trapanese
"For his feature debut, wrirer/director BenDavid Grabinski revels in misdirection and ambiguity. Something is definitely awry, but is it Tom and Janet, or is it the universe? Or is the natural order of things wrong, if their happiness can cause so much misery? And misery it causes, as Happily drifts into the same kind of sci fi-tinged bourgeois relationship drama territory as Elizabeth Moss/Mark Duplass four-hander 'The One I Love,' or the dimension-hopping dinner party of indie fave 'Coherence.' Snide, sleek, and effortlessly biting, Happily is wittier and meaner than either, but also curiously romantic, like an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' with a score by the Mountain Goats. Speaking of scores, the unnerving, percussive work by Joseph Trapanese sets the tone, but it's the additional songs that give a twisted insight into these 40-somethings and their jealous, dysfunctional, normal friends. It takes some real guts to even risk using 'Tonight is What it Means to be Young' from 'Streets of Fire', or 'The Lost Boys'' sax banger 'I Still Believe,' but Grabinski pulls it off."
Richard Whittaker, The Austin Chronicle
"Grabinski and cinematographer Adam Bricker shoot 'Happily' as if it were a glossy J.J. Abrams thriller, full of sleek surfaces and lens flares that strive to create an air of impending danger. Amplifying that mood are recurring snippets of a Janet dream in which she walks through a misty forest toward a circle of red chairs -- a scenario that’s only explicated at film’s conclusion -- and a Joseph Trapanese score that’s heavy on ’80s and ’90s tunes (including more than one by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark). The atmosphere is pitched somewhere between erotic and alarming, with wannabe-witty conversations thrown awkwardly into the mix, which leaves the material operating in an uneven middle-ground where it’s hard to know when, or whether, it should be taken seriously."
Nick Schager, Variety
"Annie’s transformation contributes to the tonally uneven script which makes this film feel like a piecemeal cinematic Frankenstein’s monster. In one moment, 'Jakob’s Wife' is a female empowerment fantasy; then it is a thriller about a husband’s jealousy; then it is a campy vampire movie; then it’s a husband helping his doomed monster wife a la 'Santa Clarita Diet.' Tense walks through dark hallways with an ominous droning score suddenly switch to decapitations and gallons of blood spurting towards the camera. While Stevens ultimately never loses sight of the themes of liberation from the domestic, these tonal shifts threaten to topple his fascinating reinterpretation of the vampire. The film can’t decide what it wants to be, so it’s everything at once -- something perhaps contributable to the few different writers tackling the script during its long development."
Mary Beth McAndrews, Paste Magazine
THE LAST CRUISE - Daniel Lopatin
"The film's kitschy score leaves much to be desired, taking a dystopian tone a la 'Blade Runner' as the enormity of the situation becomes clear, then enveloping a horror film mood as the onboard circumstances become dire. Still, Olson teases out the claustrophobic fears felt by the passengers and crew, and the bleakness that sprouts when facts are being hidden. The Diamond Princess’ captain might say the situation is 'under control,' but when the white hazmat suits do appear at the port, and the stream of suite doors denote the infected by simply saying 'COVID-19,' the officials’ opaqueness can only elicit worry for those on-camera."
Robert Daniels, RogerEbert.com
ROSE PLAYS JULIE - Stephen McKeon
"This potent modern tale is told in stark fashion, where familiar everyday interiors -- classrooms, dorm rooms, airports -- seem strange and 'other,' often dimly lit, with lots of windows showing no life beyond, almost like the interiors have no real substance. It's hard to imagine people just hanging out and talking and having fun in any of the interiors in the film. The sound is extremely controlled, with silence dominating. Tom Comerford's cinematography highlights the strangeness of these spaces, the barely inhabited college campus, the generic quality of Ellen's house, the shadowy expanse of Rose's dorm room. This is not a realistic world. Stephen McKeon’s very dramatic score, complete with creepy-sounding sopranos, is used sparingly, and to great effect."
Sheila O'Malley, RogerEbert.com
"Despite these physical violations, which echo back to the story’s original-sin violation as hauntingly as the ethereal voices of Stephen McKeon’s score echo its horror-tinged melodies, there’s also a strange kinship between these three blood-linked strangers. The house for sale, the dorm, the home that Peter overtly states is his wife’s and not his own, a blandly plush hotel room, even the car interiors where most of the key conversations take place, are all explicitly temporary spaces, places without a permanent connection to their occupants. It’s as though all three are on some level rootless, sundered from their pasts, floating around in anticipation of an inevitable collision."
Jessica Kiang, Variety
STILL LIFE IN LODZ - Wojciech Lemanski
SIX MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT - Marc Streitenfeld
"The natural surroundings, with the coast of Wales standing in for Bexhill-on-Sea, come off the best in Chris Seager’s TV-like lensing. Marc Streitenfeld’s by-the-numbers thriller score does a lot of heavy lifting."
Alissa Simon, Variety
"After Lionsgate U.K.'s 2020 release plans were scuttled by lockdown, the film will go out there directly on cable and streaming services March 26, the same date IFC Films has scheduled a U.S. release. Admirers of old-fashioned British war drama should find this passably entertaining, and the dazzling green Welsh countryside and seafront locations that stand in for England's Southeast coast are certainly pleasing to the eye. But handsome production values can't disguise shaky storytelling that relies almost entirely on composer Marc Streitenfeld's agitated orchestral score to stoke suspense."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
"Unfortunately, many of the most compelling elements of 'Still Life in Lodz' are bogged down by distracting filmmaking flourishes. The vintage filters overlaid on images, videos, and even the animation add unnecessary movement and, in some cases, obscure images. The aggressively-applied Ken Burns belies the need for stillness and reflection. The jarring soundscape used on what seems to be silent archival footage feels out of balance with the images. The cloying romantic soundtrack too loud and unwelcome intimates a hollow emotional journey. These elements deflect from the loss at the center of the story."
Justine Smith, RogerEbert.com
TINA - Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans
"The onetime Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner is also the best-known abused wife in popular music. There’s no escaping the story, and directors Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin ('Undefeated') don’t try. In fact, they turn the early years of Ms. Turner’s career -- when she transitioned from Annie Mae Bullock of Nutbush, Tenn., to the leggy frontwoman and R&B shouter of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue -- into an expressionistic tour de force: Using various interview sources, the filmmakers impose Ms. Turner’s recollections atop a variety of visuals, some of it performance footage, some of it home movies, some of it old film clips that are actively disintegrating, like the fragments of a dream. A bad dream. The otherworldliness of 'Tina,' which exists for many minutes in a kind of vacuum created between the various silent images and the distanced voiceover, is transporting; the ambient score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans helps transform what might have been a series of mere tawdry recollections into a kind of prison memoir."
John Anderson, The Wall Street Journal
"The latest from T.J.Martin and Daniel Lindsay, directors of 'Undefeated' and 'LA 92,' 'TINA' looks like another documentary that came off of a factory line, complete with the usual panning shots of contact sheets, dramatic zooms into rolling tapes, cross-cutting between audio interviews and their published print versions, melodramatic score cues doing their best to emulate Philip Glass. But for the most part, the film still feels powerful despite those pedestrian stylistic leanings, purely because of its constant centering of Tina Turner’s voice in the telling of her story, always comes back to the story of the Queen of Rock n’ Roll, 'the woman who taught Mick Jagger to dance,' as told in her own words. At least Martin and Lindsay don’t do the star the disservice of stereotyping her nor sensationalizing the worst parts of her life in the same way so many have before."
Kambole Campbell, The Playlist
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: The Happy Prince (Yared), Hundra (Morricone), The Albert Glasser Collection Vol. 1 (Glasser), 9 (Lurie/Elfman), The Haunting of Bly Manor (Newton Brothers), Cabaret (Kander), Species II (Shearmur), Symphony No. 4/Tragic Overture (Brahms), ShortCuts 2019 (various), Beauty and the Beat (The Go-Gos), Tony (The The), The Last Run/Crosscurrent/The Scorpio Letters (Goldsmith/Grusin), The Horde (Lennertz), Die Nibelungen (Huppertz), Luz (Waskow), Le Marginal (Morricone), The Handmaiden (Young-Wuk), The Outer Space Suite (Herrmann), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Heap), Gaily, Gaily/The Night They Raided Minsky's (Mancini/Strouse)
Read: Devices and Desires, by P.D. James
Seen: By this time next week I hope to have seen at least a half dozen films in the theater. That will be nice. It's been thirteen and a half months, which probably seems even longer to the people who actually read this part of the column every week.
Watched: Penny Dreadful: City of Angels ("Dead Men Lie Down"); Law & Order: Criminal Intent ("Legion"); Murders at the Zoo; Star Trek ("The Devil in the Dark"); Looking ("Looking for Sanctuary"); The 93rd Oscars; The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues; Thunderball; Person of Interest ("Pilot"); Lost ("Deus Ex Machina"); I Love You Again