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The latest film-music CD from Kritzerland presents the soundtrack to the 1955 thriller DEMENTIA (later released in an altered version as Daughter of Horrror), with music composed by George Antheil, famous for "Ballet Mecanique," whose other film scores included Angels Over Broadway, Knock on Any Door, In a Lonely Place and The Pride and the Passion. As a bonus, the disc also features Ernest Gold's "Piano Concerto."


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Breath
- Harry Gregson-Williams - Rambling (import)
Ghost House - Rich Ragsdale - Howlin' Wolf
Good Omens - David Arnold - Silva
Le Lunghe Ombre
 - Egisto Macchi - Kronos
Les Miserables - John Murphy - Lakeshore
Occupation in 26 Pictures
 - Alfi Kabiljo - Kronos 
Ursus Y La Ragazza Tartara
 - Angelo Francesco Lavagnino - Kronos


IN THEATERS TODAY

Armstrong - Chris Roe
The Art of Self-Defense - Heather McIntosh
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable - Kris Bowers
Better than Love - Lee Sanders
Crawl - Max Aruj, Steffen Thum
Darlin' - Ali Helnwein
Desolate - Nima Fakhrara
The Farewell - Alex Weston
Lying and Stealing - Giona Ostinelli, Sonya Belousova
Saving Zoe - Sae Heum Han
Sea of Shadows - H. Scott Salinas
Stuber - Joseph Trapanese
Summer Night - Dan Krysa
Three Peaks - no original score
Trespassers - Jonathan Snipes

COMING SOON

July 19
Game of Thrones: Season 8 - Ramin Djawadi - WaterTower
The Great War of Archimedes
- Naoki Sato - Rambling (import)
The Lion King
 - Hans Zimmer - Disney
The Secret Life of Pets 2
 - Alexandre Desplat - Backlot
July 26
Always at the Carlyle
- Earl Rose - Rambling (import)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
- Antonio Pinto - Rambling (import)
Halston - Stanley Clarke - Node
Horus: Prince of the Sun
- Yoshio Mamia - Cinema-Kan (import)
August 9
Amundsen
- Johan Soderqvist - Perseverance
Yellowstone
- Bill Conti - Buysoundtrax
August 23
Chernobyl
- Hildur Guonadottir - Deutsche Grammophon
October 4
Stranger Things 3 - Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein - Lakeshore
Date Unknown
Alien Trespass
 - Louis Febre - Dragon's Domain
Asterix: Le Secret de la Potion Magique
- Philippe Rombi - Music Box
Child's Play - Bear McCreary - Sparks & Shadows
Evil Toons
- Chuck Cirino - Dragon's Domain
Dementia/Piano Concerto
- George Antheil, Ernest Gold - Kritzerland
La Ronde/La Chasse a L'Homme/A Coeur Joie
- Michel Magne - Music Box
The Scarlet Letter/The Electric Grandmother
 - John Morris - Dragon's Domain
Secret of the Titanic
- Craig Safan - Dragon's Domain
The Story of O
- Pierre Bachelet - Music Box
Unchained Melodies: Film Music of Alex North
 - Alex North - Kritzerland


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

July 12 - Yasushi Akutagawa born (1925)
July 12 - Fred Steiner's score for the Star Trek episode "Who Mourns For Adonais?" is recorded (1967)
July 12 - Fred Steiner's score for the Star Trek episode "Elaan of Troyius" is recorded (1968)
July 12 - Michael Small begins recording his score for Marathon Man (1976)
July 12 - James Bernard died (2001)
July 12 - Benny Carter died (2003)
July 13 - Ernest Gold born (1921)
July 13 - Per Norgaard born (1932)
July 13 - Richard Markowtiz’s score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of Jack O’Diamonds” is recorded (1967)
July 13 - You Only Live Twice opens in New York (1967)
July 13 - Roger Edens died (1970)
July 13 - Maurice Jarre begins recording his unused score for Jennifer 8 (1992)
July 14 - Michel Michelet born (1894)
July 14 - Elliot Kaplan born (1931)
July 14 - J.A.C. Redford born (1953)
July 14 - Nicholas Carras records his score for Missile to the Moon (1958)
July 14 - Benny Golson records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Blind” (1971)
July 14 - Joe Harnell died (2005)
July 15 - H.B. Barnum born (1936)
July 15 - Geoffrey Burgon born (1941)
July 15 - Walter Greene begins recording his scores for The Brain from Planet Arous and Teenage Monster (1957)
July 15 - Paul Sawtell begins recording his score for The Hunters (1958)
July 15 - Lalo Schifrin begins recording his score for The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
July 15 - Bill Justis died (1982)
July 15 - Dennis Wilson died (1989)
July 15 - Derek Hilton died (2005)
July 16 - Goffredo Petrassi born (1904)
July 16 - Fred Myrow born (1939)
July 16 - Stewart Copeland born (1952)
July 17 - Piero Umiliani born (1926)
July 17 - Wojciech Kilar born (1932)
July 17 - Peter Schickele born (1935)
July 17 - Kenyon Hopkins begins recording his score for The Hustler (1961)
July 17 - Stanley Wilson died (1970)
July 17 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to Babe (1975)
July 17 - Bruce Broughton begins recording his score to Eloise at Christmastime (2003)
July 18 - Barry Gray born (1908)
July 18 - James William Guercio born (1945)
July 18 - Nathan Van Cleave begins recording his score for The Lonely Man (1956)
July 18 - Richard Markowitz records his score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Golden Cobra” (1966)
July 18 - Abel Korzeniowski born (1972)
July 18 - David Shire records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Hell Toupee" (1985)

DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

ASK DR. RUTH - Blake Neely
 
"Indeed, White seems to think viewers won’t understand anything unless it’s shoved down their throats and accompanied by inspirational music. The documentary has a tendency to overbear and over-illustrate when it should be letting its fascinating subject do the talking. This is an issue that plagues many documentaries about Good, Important people, but it still doesn’t mean it’s necessary to include a scene where a reluctant Westheimer is convinced by her granddaughter that she’s a feminist, albeit a 'non-radical' one, or to cue the swooning music as she, having recounted surviving the Holocaust and nearly having her feet blown off, reminisces about seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time."
 
Peter Goldberg, Slant Magazine 

EL CHICANO - Mitch Lee
 
"The filmmaker got his start as a stuntman, and there’s an impressively propulsive -- and pulpy -- charge to one scene where Diego must drive his way out of a shootout as his partner (Jose Pablo Cantillo) bleeds profusely from the neck. But 'El Chicano' is otherwise stuck drearily hop-scotching between genre modes, at times suggesting a horror film on the soundtrack while on the screen El Chicano enacts his earnest and camp-free ultra-violence. It’s a spectacle so emotionally enervated that it’s hard to believe El Chicano’s mantle is one that anyone will ever be emboldened to take up once he decides to put his mask down."
 
Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
 
"The result is very much a B-movie, in the sense that it recycles familiar genre cliches sans frills on a budget; the 'superhero' selling point feels more opportunistic than earned. It’s not so much that 'El Chicano' lacks superpowers, it’s that his movie takes itself too seriously and prizes relative realism over fantasy, without making any aspect memorable. The performers are adequate, but no one stands out, nor do they seem to be having much fun. The script ladles out some well-meaning if heavy-handed messages of Latino pride and history (though some of its chest-thumping could be seen as providing fodder for Trumpian paranoia). The East L.A. shown here, plagued by gangs and violence, doesn’t feel like a tangible place, let alone a community -- perhaps partly because the film was actually shot in Canada. The fact that Mitch Lee’s original score underlines every tiny emotional cue only tends to expose how little emotion 'El Chicano' elicits."
 
Dennis Harvey, Variety
 
INSTANT DREAMS - THE LOST CHEMISTRY OF DR. LAND - Marc Lizier
 
"These meanings are often only implicit in 'Instant Dreams,' and it’s a pity that Herchen and Bonanos aren’t more overtly in tune with their yearnings. They tend to speak in platitudes, which Baptist attempts to render mystical with hallucinatory imagery and a retro synth-y score that’s reminiscent of Vangelis’s compositions for 'Blade Runner.' While Instant Dreams offers an appealingly nostalgic trance-out, it’s often short on detail, especially in terms of Herchen’s struggle to create the instant film technology, which Baptist reduces to exchanges of jargon in atmospheric laboratories. The film’s ruminations gradually grow repetitive and unfocused, especially when Baptist branches off into a fourth narrative, following a young woman who savors digital technology the way that the other subjects do Polaroids."
 
Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

THE LOVERS
- Mandy Hoffman
 
"Jacobs’ script does an excellent job of establishing his characters and how each one relates to the others. The evolution from Michael and Mary’s hiding of their affairs from each other to hiding their trysts from Lucy and Robert is perfect, with plenty of attention paid to the little details of their respective dishonesty. There’s precision in each moment on screen, with every furtively read text or casually told lie carrying weight. But for all that’s at stake here, the drama is remarkably funny. There’s genuinely great dialogue, but a lot of the humor resides in our knowledge of these characters and how our own relationships change, deteriorate and grow. The score from Jacobs’ frequent collaborator Mandy Hoffman is a sweeping orchestral one, full of strings and emotional builds. It emphasizes that what we’re watching is a blooming romance, even though it’s between people who have been married for decades."
 
Kimber Myers, The Playlist

"One of the unique stylistic choices that Jacobs makes with 'The Lovers' is the grand, sweeping orchestral score, composed by Mandy Hoffman. It's unexpected for a smaller romantic indie drama, but it gives the film a sense of a romantic epic while following the quotidian routine of this couple. It adds a layer of artifice to the film, signifying that this is a heightened reality, and infuses every frame with drama and romance."
 
Katie Walsh, Chicago Tribune

"Set to an ebullient score by Mandy Hoffman, 'The Lovers' has a storybook quality that allows the serendipity of its clever premise to work far better than it should. But that doesn’t make it entirely predictable. By generating a constant uncertainty around each couple -- and each couple’s other partner -- Jacobs’ screenplay makes it unclear just how much Michael and Mary truly believe that they’ve rediscovered their marriage, because they’re both so bad at explaining it themselves. They could hover in this limbo indefinitely, but the third-act arrival of the couple’s college-age son (Tyler Ross) bring an outside perspective into the situation that forces the long-delayed confrontation to come to a head. Even then, however, Jacobs sidesteps the obvious showdown for something far more enlightening and unorthodox."
 
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
 
"'The Lovers' needs Winger’s rawness: The dialogue holds her in check but doesn’t tame her. It also needs Tyler Ross as the couple’s son, Joel, who comes to dinner with his new girlfriend and the old chip on his shoulder over what he sees as the lie at the heart of his parents’ marriage. He talks himself into such a frenzy that he ends up smashing the furniture. With its waltz-like score and farcical symmetry, 'The Lovers' is about as full as a movie can be with a premise so thin."
 
David Edelstein, New York
 
"'The Lovers' is that rare thing: a serious romantic comedy with farcical elements that never puts a foot wrong. Writer-director Azazel Jacobs ('Terri') seems to know that there is no margin for error with this kind of project, and so he plans out his comedic scenes with both precision and sophistication. He takes a real chance by allowing musician Mandy Hoffman to create the kind of full-blown and near-constant score with violins that hasn’t been heard much since at least the early 1990s, and this music really buoys the scenes up and makes them sparkle...One night Mary sneaks in from seeing Robert, and Hoffman actually uses a harp on the soundtrack when Mary slowly creeps her way into bed. (When is the last time you heard a harp in a movie score?) Michael and Mary are facing each other in bed when morning breaks. They kiss each other before they are quite awake, and when they realize what they have done they both freak out a little. But this kiss causes a believable chain reaction of fond feelings that begin to re-emerge inside both of them."
 
Dan Callahan, The Wrap
 
"The first thing that really hits you about 'The Lovers' is not its muted color palette, ever-evocative of a smog-suffused Southern California dusk, but its musical score. A lush, romantic through line of melody, performed by a whole orchestra, with passages reminiscent of Ravel, Debussy, even Wagner. The score is by Mandy Hoffman, a longtime collaborator with this film’s director, Azazel Jacobs. (There is a bit of authentic Tchaikovsky in the movie as well, and, near the end an unexpected but perfect 1980s pop hit.) Majestic, romantic, searching strains seem at first peculiarly incongruous with the action on screen...But Jacobs’ movie does not judge them, and, in fact, its myriad elements, including the music, suggest that it somehow believes in them, not in spite of their flawed character, but because of it. This is a picture with stylization that some will find off-putting, but the actors are totally in sync with it, and its through line is remarkably consistent. The languid pacing is not an arbitrary stylistic tic; it conveys a listlessness that is likely not uncommon to suburban life in Southern California. The movie’s frankness about the physicality of adultery in late middle age will be much commented on, I suppose, but part of the point Jacobs seems to be making is that such things aren’t worth making a big deal over. The wisdom of this meticulously crafted film is in its genuine irony, which amplifies steadily throughout until culminating in a moment of real heartbreak that, ironically enough, only sets the stage for a cycle of deceit to begin again."
 
Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.com

"Azazel Jacobs’ 'The Lovers' is set in the sort of unremarkable, average, suburban America that is rarely depicted in American movies in anything but a negative light, usually as a place where dreams go to die. So one of the unexpected virtues of this small, thoughtful film is how it resists treating these surroundings as soul-crushing or as a symbol of the failure of middle-class mores, all while telling a story about disaffection and the yearning to escape—a ballet of ordinariness that uses a nostalgic, waltzing score (by longtime Jacobs collaborator Mandy Hoffman) to reveal the internal melodrama of middling lives and longings. Its central characters, Mary (Debra Winger) and Michael (Tracy Letts), are fiftysomethings whose dull marriage reached a dead end long ago. Both are carrying on affairs -- she with writer Robert (Aiden Gillen), he with dance teacher Lucy (Melora Walters). And just as they are about to finally leave one another for their respective paramours, they find themselves re-sparking their relationship. Jacobs -- who had an indie breakthrough with 'Momma’s Man,' but hasn’t directed a feature since 'Terri' -- gives the movie the classic structure of a comedy of remarriage, pulling off an apt ending that transcends irony without exactly transcending the film’s badly strained third act."
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The Onion AV Club
 
"The film’s opening act unfolds in arch, choreographed parallels, united by a ubiquitous orchestral score that labors mightily to elevate the script’s mild humor into a rarified romantic farce. Mary’s life, too, is consumed by stolen drinks and lunch breaks with an attractive aspiring writer, Robert (Aidan Gillen). Her phone’s glow radiates through her pillowcase every night, as Robert persistently and pathetically texts her to reaffirm their bond. She and Michael both independently promise their partners that they’ll divorce after they break their news to their college-aged son, Joel (Tyler Ross), but the couple can’t help but give off an ambivalence about their fate. Like Mandy Hoffman’s willfully obtrusive score, every fussed-over line, nuance of posture, and methodical camera movement in the film draws attention to its construction. Where the hermetic setting of Jacobs’s Momma’s Man gestured to the burden and -- with its stacks of books and film reels -- literal combustibility of familial relationships, the tidy and oddly configured confines of 'The Lovers' ignore history and turn marriage into a convention. This is, to a certain extent, part of the point. Every relationship is at least partially an act of performance, but Jacobs seems more interested in exploring ways of framing his characters in different rooms within the same shot than in recognizing Michael and Lucy’s most achingly human weakness: their impulse towards self-sabotage. The men in the film register as familiar commentaries on wounded masculinity, still burdened in middle age by the unrealized ambitions of their youth, while the women are frustratingly elusive and thinly drawn. There are stretches of 'The Lovers' where this scarcely matters. Letts and Winger are capable of suggesting depths Jacob’s script never gestures toward, and Michael and Mary’s renewed passion lifts the film to occasionally sublime heights, culminating in one shot that explicitly turns their home into a set where performance and reality collide. It’s an audacious and bracingly literal move, but the scene only partially justifies Jacobs’s self-conscious direction. 'The Lovers''s insistent score keeps suggesting that marriage is both a grand symphony and an inherent farce, but the film becomes cutesy and undercooked whenever it tries to have it both ways."
 
Christopher Gray, Slant Magazine
 
"Affection and attraction play by their own confounding rules in 'The Lovers,' Azazel Jacobs' mordant comedy about a married couple who can't remain faithful even to their infidelities. Smart, unpredictable performances by Debra Winger and Tracy Letts and an uncommonly crucial score by Mandy Hoffman ensure that the picture's odd nature won't be misconstrued as indecisiveness; though commercial appeal is limited, older moviegoers should respond particularly well at art houses."
 
John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter 
 
PARIS CAN WAIT - Laura Karpman
 
"Suffocating in the sort of jazz music people try to talk over in restaurants, the film opens at the Cannes Film Festival (shot on location last year), where Anne appears blasé in the face of all the pesky photographers, producers, and hangers-on vying for her husband’s attention -- but also in the face of her incredible surroundings: the sea, the Riviera, the restaurants. For sexy young singles, Cannes serves as an arena to leverage one’s beauty in seducing the rich and powerful, but Anne has already snagged her own provider, albeit one who quibbles over the room-service bill, chiding what he sees as her 'wasteful extravagance' ('What are you working for if your wife can’t order a cheeseburger when she wants one?' she retorts)."
 
Peter Debruge, Variety

THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.

Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPASAmerican Cinematheque: AeroAmerican Cinematheque: EgyptianArclightArena CineloungeLACMALaemmleNew Beverly, Nuart, UCLA and Vista

July 12
BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (David Newman) [Vista]
CAT BALLOU (Frank DeVol), THE CHASE (John Barry) [New Beverly]

DJANGO UNCHAINED [New Beverly]
DON'T PANIC (Jon Michael Bischof, Pedro Plascencia) [UCLA]
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (Brad Fiedel) [Nuart]
THE UNTAMEABLE [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
VERTIGO (Bernard Herrmann) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

July 13
THE BAD SLEEP WELL (Masaru Sato) [Vista]
BARBARELLA (Charles Fox, Bob Crewe) [New Beverly]
CAT BALLOU (Frank DeVol), THE CHASE (John Barry) [New Beverly]
GIDGET (Morris Stoloff) [Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts]
GIDGET GOES HAWAIIAN (George Duning), PARADISE, HAWAIIAN STYLE (Joseph J. Lilley) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (Ennio Morricone) [Vista]
HERBIE RIDES AGAIN (George Bruns) [New Beverly]

July 14
CHINATOWN (Jerry Goldsmith), THE TWO JAKES (Van Dyke Parks) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER (Riichiro Manabe) [Vista]
GREMLINS (Jerry Goldsmith) [Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts]
GUNMAN'S WALK (George Duning), THEY CAME TO CORDURA (Elie Siegmeister) [New Beverly]
HERBIE RIDES AGAIN (George Bruns) [New Beverly]
MIRACLE MILE (Tangerine Dream) [UCLA]

July 15
DIE HARD (Michael Kamen) [Arclight Hollywood]
GUNMAN'S WALK (George Duning), THEY CAME TO CORDURA (Elie Siegmeister) [New Beverly]
THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (Alan Silvestri) [New Beverly]

July 16
A BULLET FOR PRETTY BOY (Harley Hatcher), HORROR HOUSE (Reg Tilsley) [New Beverly]

July 17
SWEET KILL (Charles Bernstein), SOUL HUSTLER (Harley Hatcher), SWEET SAVIOR (Jeff Barry, Gilbert Slavin) [New Beverly]
THUNDERBALL (John Barry) [New Beverly]
WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Anthony Newley, Walter Scharf) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

July 18
FRIDAY THE 13TH (Harry Manfredini) [Laemmle NoHo]
KEY LARGO (Max Steiner), THE PALM BEACH STORY (Victor Young) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
SLEEPAWAY CAMP (Edward Bilous) [Laemmle NoHo]
SWEET KILL (Charles Bernstein), SOUL HUSTLER (Harley Hatcher), SWEET SAVIOR (Jeff Barry, Gilbert Slavin) [New Beverly]

July 19
CLIMAX [Nuart]
THE CRANES ARE FLYING (M. Vaynberg), I AM CUBA (Carlos Farinas) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
DJANGO UNCHAINED [New Beverly]
GYPSY (Jule Styne, Frank Perkins), THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (Kenyon Hopkins) [New Beverly]
JACKIE BROWN [Arclight Hollywood]
KILL BILL: VOL 1 (The RZA) [Arclight Hollywood]
PULP FICTION [Arclight Hollywood]
RESERVOIR DOGS [Arclight Hollywood]
ROMAN HOLIDAY (Georges Auric), THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (Victor Young) [UCLA]

July 20
ALL THAT JAZZ (Ralph Burns) [Vista]
DECISION BEFORE DAWN (Franz Waxman), BERLIN EXPRESS (Frederick Hollander) [UCLA]
GIRLS ABOUT TOWN, JEWEL ROBBERY (Leo F. Forbstein) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
GRINDHOUSE: DEATH PROOF [Arclight Hollywood]
GYPSY (Jule Styne, Frank Perkins), THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (Kenyon Hopkins) [New Beverly]
HERBIE GOES TO MONTE CARLO (Frank DeVol) [New Beverly]
I LOVE YOU, ALICE B. TOKLAS (Elmer Bernstein) [New Beverly]
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS [Arclight Hollywood]
KILL BILL: VOL. 2 (The RZA, Robert Rodriguez) [Arclight Hollywood]
NETWORK (Elliot Lawrence) [Vista]
STALKER (Edward Artemyev) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

July 21
DJANGO UNCHAINED [Arclight Hollywood]
GLORY (James Horner) [Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts]
GODZILLA VS. GIGAN (Akira Ifukube) [Vista]
THE HATEFUL EIGHT (Ennio Morricone) [Arclight Hollywood]
HERBIE GOES TO MONTE CARLO (Frank DeVol) [New Beverly]
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS (Alex Wurman) [UCLA]
MARY JANE'S NOT A VIRGIN ANYMORE (Rama Kolesnikow) [UCLA]
RIDE THE WILD SURF (Stu Phillips), THUNDER ALLEY (Mike Curb) [New Beverly]


THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY

Heard: Passengers (Newman), The Film Scores and Orchestral Music of George Martin (Martin), Patriots Day (Reznor/Ross), The Man with One Red Shoe (Newman), The BFG (Williams), Kickboxer (Hertzog), The Red Pony/The Heiress (Copland), Nemo (Yared), Sky High (Giacchino), Making Love/Race with the Devil (Rosenman), The Basil Poledouris Collection Vol. 2 (Poledouris)

Read: From Potter's Field, by Patricia Cornwell

Seen: Diamantino, Ophelia, Midsommar, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Fantastic Voyage, 100 Rifles, Yesterday, The Love Bug, Any Gun Can Play, Wicked, Wicked

Watched: The Terror ("Punished, as a boy," "First Shot a Winner, Lads"), Law & Order: Criminal Intent ("Cuba Libre"), Westworld ("Chestnut"), Lost ("In Translation")

Last week at the New Beverly I saw 100 Rifles, which I'd only previously seen on home video. It's a pretty forgettable Western, among the earliest R-rated films (I assume largely due to some topless female nudity -- not by star Raquel Welch), but of course the main reason I went was to hear Jerry Goldsmith's score on the big (well, relatively big) screen, and it was worth the trip. Even though Rifles is a relatively minor effort from the composer, it served to remind me that, though he is far from the only composer I revere (others near the top of the list include Herrmann, Williams, Barry, Thomas Newman, Elmer Bernstein, Rozsa and Poledouris), there is no composer I find more consistently exciting -- melodically, orchestrally, emotionally, rhythmically or sonically. 

100 Rifles was playing with Fantastic Voyage, the third time I've seen that film at the New Beverly. It was a particularly memorable screening because, as our miniaturized explorers were making their way through a human lung, Southern California was hit by a 7.1 earthquake, its second quake of the holiday weekend. Like the previous day's quake, it was more of a continuous roll than a jolting shock, and the film kept going, with the majority of patrons staying in their seats and most of those who left returning shortly after. Quake or not, the film still holds up pretty well fifty three years after its release, and it has what is almost certainly my favorite Leonard Rosenman score. This week I finally listened to Intrada's CD of Rosenman's Making Love and Race with the Devil and enjoyed them both a lot. I remember when I saw Making Love in San Francisco back in the early 80s I thought its main theme sounded a bit like Herrmann's Marnie, but as it turns out both themes sound a bit like Rosenman's Rebel without a Cause.

That weekend I had a truly nostalgic movie experience, seeing The Love Bug. The only time I'm sure I'd seen it before was on a cross-country flight in the late 1960s, but I probably caught it again on TV during the "Wonderful World of Disney era." It was much more genuinely charming than I expected, and I especially enjoyed its particular visual aesthetic, the combination of impressive physical effects, copious matte paintings (a lengthy scene where Dean Jones hunts for Herbie through a foggy San Francisco night was especially lovely), exteriors scenes staged on interior sets, and, oddly enough, a colossal number of blue screen shots -- not just for driving scenes but for reaction shots and other inserts. It felt like there might have been more use of blue screen than even in Fantastic Voyage.

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