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The latest CD from Intrada is a re-mastered edition of Jerry Goldsmith's score for the 1965 WWII spy thriller MORITURI, starring Marlon Brando, Yul Brynner, Trevor Howard, and Janet Margolin, which received Oscar nominations for its black-and-white cinematography (Conrad Hall) and costume design.


Varese Sarabande is expected to announce two new CD Club releases today.


Dragon's Domain has announced three new upcoming CD releases: FRANZ WAXMAN: THE DOCUMENTARIES, featuring two scores by the two-time Oscar winner and film music legend composed for the TV documentary series The Twentieth Century, "The Mysterious Deep" (1960) and "Lenin and Trotsky" (1964); SANTA BARBARA: A MUSICAL POTRAIT, featuring music for the NBC daytime soap composed by Joe Harnell (V, The Incredible Hulk); and THE LOUIS FEBRE COLLECTION: VOL. ONE, featuring the composer's music for the documentary The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr. and the juvenile adventure Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter.


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Morituri - Jerry Goldsmith - Intrada Special Collection
Supercar
 - Barry Gray - Silva 


COMING SOON

April 10
Queen & Slim - Devonte Hynes - Domino
The Roads Not Taken
 - Sally Potter - Milan
The Witcher - Sonya Belousova, Giona Ostinelli - Sony [import]
April 17
Army of Darkness
 - Joseph LoDuca, Varese Sarabande CD Club
April 24
Lo Chiamavano Bulldozer
 - Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis - Beat
June 19
Hackers
 - Simon Boswell, songs - Varese Sarabande 
Date Unknown
Doctor Who: Series 12
 - Segun Akinola - Silva
Doctor Who: The Sun Makers
 - Dudley Simpson - Silva
Doctor Who: The Visitation
 - Paddy Kingsland - Silva
Franco De Gemini Performs Ennio Morricone
 - Ennio Morricone - Beat
Franz Waxman: The Documentaries
- Franz Waxman - Dragon's Domain
The Jack in the Box
 - Christoph Allerstorter - Howlin' Wolf 
The Louis Febre Collection: Vol. One
- Louis Febre - Dragon's Domain
Santa Barbara: A Musical Portrait
- Joe Harnell - Dragon's Domain


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

March 27 - Ferde Grofe born (1892)
March 27 - Dave Pollecutt born (1942)
March 27 - Tony Banks born (1950)
March 27 - Victor Young wins posthumous Best Score Oscar for Around the World in 80 Days (1957)
March 27 - Lalo Schifrin begins recording his score for Coogan’s Bluff (1968)
March 27 - Charlie Chaplin et al win score Oscar for Limelight (1973)
March 27 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to Winter Kill (1974)
March 27 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Gremlins (1984)
March 27 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
March 27 - Hans Zimmer wins his first Oscar, for The Lion King score (1995)
March 27 - Dudley Moore died (2002)
March 27 - Recording sessions begin for Nathan Barr's score to Hostel Part II (2007)
March 28 - Jay Livingston born (1915)
March 28 - Alf Clausen born (1941)
March 28 - Arthur Bliss died (1975)
March 28 - Waldo de los Rios died (1977)
March 28 - Carmen Dragon died (1984)
March 29 - William Walton born (1902)
March 29 - Tito Arevalo born (1911)
March 29 - Sam Spence born (1927)
March 29 - Richard Rodney Bennett born (1936)
March 29 - Vangelis born (1943)
March 29 - Franz Waxman wins his first of two consecutive score Oscars, for Sunset Blvd. (1951)
March 29 - John Williams wins his second Oscar and his first for Original Score, for Jaws (1976)
March 29 - Jerry Goldsmith wins his only Oscar, for The Omen score; the film music community presumably exclaims “Finally!”  (1977)
March 29 - John Williams wins his third Oscar, for the Star Wars score (1978)
March 29 - Vangelis wins his first Oscar, for the Chariots of Fire score (1981)
March 29 - Dave Grusin wins his first Oscar, for The Milagro Beanfield War score (1989)
March 29 - James Horner begins recording his score for In Country (1989)
March 29 - Alan Silvestri begins recording his score for Back to the Future Part III (1990)
March 29 - Alan Menken wins his fifth and sixth Oscars, for the Aladdin score and its song "A Whole New World" (1993)
March 29 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Strange Bedfellows” (1999)
March 29 - Ulpio Minucci died (2007)
March 29 - Maurice Jarre died (2009) 
March 30 - Kan Ishii born (1921)
March 30 - Eric Clapton born (1945)
March 30 - Dimitri Tiomkin wins his third Oscar, for The High and the Mighty score (1955)
March 30 - Georges Delerue begins recording his score for Rapture (1965)
March 30 - Ennio Morricone, inexplicably, doesn't win the Best Score Oscar for The Mission, which was pretty much the only score album anyone in Hollywood listened to during the late '80s; Herbie Hancock wins Oscar for Round Midnight score instead (1987)
March 30 - Alan Menken wins his third and fourth Oscars, for Beauty and the Beast's score and title song (1992)
March 30 - John Williams begins recording his score for Jurassic Park (1993)
March 30 - David Bell records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “In the Pale Moonlight” (1998)
March 30 - Dennis McCarthy and Kevin Kiner record their score for the two-part Star Trek: Enterprise episode “In a Mirror, Darkly” (2005)
March 31 - Arthur B. Rubinstein born (1938)
March 31 - Alejandro Amenabar born (1972)
March 31 - Michael Gore wins his first two Oscars for Fame's score and title song (1981)
March 31 - Cliff Eidelman begins recording his score for The Meteor Man (1993)
March 31 - Terry Plumeri died (2016)
April 1 - Winfried Zillig born (1905)
April 1 - Pete Carpenter born (1914)
April 1 - George Garvarentz born (1932)
April 1 - Matthew McCauley born (1954)
April 1 - David Raksin begins recording his score for Until They Sail (1957)
April 1 - Philip Lambro begins recording his unused score for Chinatown (1974)
April 1 - Marvin Gaye died (1984)
April 1 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
April 2 - Serge Gainsbourg born (1928)
April 2 - Marvin Gaye born (1939)
April 2 - Marvin Hamlisch wins Oscars in all three music categories, for adapting The Sting and for The Way We Were's score and title song, the first and only time this has happened in 92 years of Academy Awards (1974)
April 2 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Chase” (1993)
April 2 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for The Sum of All Fears (2002)
April 2 - Mark McKenzie records his score for the Enterprise episode “Horizon” (2003)
April 2 - Clifford "Bud" Shank died (2009)
April 2 - Gato Barbieri died (2016)

DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

AQUAMAN - Rupert Gregson-Williams

"Instead of trying to surf every wave, it’s better to let this one flow over you, like composer Rupert Gregson-Williams’s bloopy score, a lovable throwback to the 1970s work of synth wizard Jean-Michel Jarre. Some fleeting moments are inspired: a dark, plunging escape from the Creatures of the Trench, illuminated by a single red flare; a striding emergence from the sea scored to a dance cover of Toto’s 'Africa'; a Sicily-set sequence in which Arthur and his redheaded squeeze Mera (Amber Heard, committed to the crazy) come off like honeymooners -- until they start destroying priceless statuary like a pair of ugly Atlantean tourists. 'Aquaman' is more seawater than bongwater, unfortunately, but when it gets trippy, it floats within hailing distance of 'Doctor Strange.'"
 
Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

"So much of 'Aquaman' is bombastic and overwrought, especially its hilariously overstuffed third act battle which just rains down massively-sized spectacle on top of massive-sized spectacle with absolutely no restraint or end in sight. That said, it’s often still entertaining and audiences look for a pure thrill ride should love this movie the same way they loved 'Avatar' (I will not be surprised if this movie makes mega-money). James Cameron and Peter Jackson and their sense of grand visions seem to be Wan’s driving influence coupled with his 'Fast & Furious'-esque tendency to overdo absolutely every moment. 'Titanic' seems to be a big cue too including Celine Dion‘s overbearing, tacky, but soaring music (which the score borrows from while crashing musically into a madcap EDM ecstasy and Burning Man gathering; nothing about it is ever tasteful)."
 
Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist 
 
"As for Momoa himself, the actor simply lacks the material to turn the character into much more than a heavy metal punchline. Regularly gazing over his shoulder as his flowing hair makes room for his eyes, he looks as though he’s perpetually auditioning for an AXE Body Spray campaign targeting Navy SEALs. The 'Thor' movies eventually understood the opportunity to have fun with this kind of virile caricature, but Momoa never becomes much more than a muscular placeholder, and a distorted guitar riff that underscores closeups of his serious stare doesn’t do him any favors."
 
Eric Kohn, IndieWire 
 
"'Aquaman,' then, is the natural result of what 'Justice League' hath wrought, Justice League itself a natural result of what Snyder hath wrought before it. Where 'Man of Steel' and 'Batman v Superman' were humorless, 'Justice League' was 'funny'; 'Aquaman' is 'funnier.' Where Snyder’s DCEU was a sepia wasteland of shadows, 'Aquaman' is a neon wonderland, Aquaman’s Atlantean armor a shining bastion of bright gold and green. If 'Justice League' was a self-aware course correction, then 'Aquaman' is course correction as business model, a denial of much of what Snyder established, leaning hard into Momoa’s charm and Wan’s old-school fantasy proclivities. It would be ridiculous to assume that Wan wouldn’t introduce Aquaman through one-too-many cock-rocking electric guitar riffs, accompanied by Momoa mean-mugging the camera (which seems to be the DCEU’s sole through line); it would be ridiculous to expect a movie like this to denounce the corporate monoliths that both gave it $200M-plus to work with and gives our hero a reason to call them 'jerks.' But if there’s anything we can expect out of our blockbuster movies anymore, it’s unmitigated ridiculousness. In 2018, that’s all we can really count on. May Martha bless us, everyone."
 
Dom Sinacola, Paste Magazine 

"But now there’s the 'Aquaman' played by Jason Momoa in the live-action DC films. After a seconds-long cameo in 2016’s 'Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice,' he got a proper introduction in 'Justice League' (the franchise’s low point) as the surly foil of the superhero crew. But maybe that was just residual grouchiness; no one in that $300 million dud really seemed like they wanted to be there. The version we get in James Wan’s 'Aquaman' is more of a party dude. Nü-Aquaman is the hearty, exclaimed 'badass!'; he is AC/DC’s 'Thunderstruck'; he is all 96 seconds of the intro to the early-to mid-’90s Lorenzo Lamas TV series 'Renegade.' He zips around the oceans on a jet stream squirted from God-knows-where wearing a leather duster coat and steel-toed boots. A guitar lick plays every time he glares over his shoulder in his first big scene. He has a wallet chain. He is cheesy and fun. Unfortunately for Arthur (and for us, the landlubbers), his half-brother King Orm (Patrick Wilson) has set out to wage war against the surface in a bid to take over all of the undersea kingdoms and have himself declared 'Ocean Master.' The first utterance of these words, 'Ocean Master,' is accompanied by an honest-to-goodness dum-dum-dum. But then again, Aquaman is the sort of the movie that casts Dolph Lundgren as an undersea monarch who rides a giant seahorse. It is also the sort of movie that ends with a freeze frame, and includes dialogue along the lines of, “'You have our mother’s trident -- powerful, but flawed, like her.' It owns up to its cheese."
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The Onion AV Club

"There is scarcely a scene in 'Aquaman' that couldn't have benefited from the fun sense of wit and surprise that Momoa delivers more or less on his own. Kidman supplies short-lived warmth and gravitas as Aquaman's mum, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has a side role as a vengeance-minded fighter. Technically, the film is everything its fan base wants and expects, and the underwater setting imparts a sometimes enchanted feel that at least distinguishes it from most other superhero epics. Rupert Gregson-Williams' efficient score seems to almost never let up."
 
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter 
 
AT ETERNITY'S GATE - Tatiana Lisovskaya

"That approach also results in the film feeling a bit basic: Simplistically hazy shots and jumbled dialogue represent the artist’s deteriorating mental health. While several well-sketched secondary characters break the film’s monotony -- among them, Rupert Friend’s ever-supportive Theo (van Gogh’s brother) and Mathieu Amalric’s concerned doctor -- the material seems half-considered, especially the painter’s time spent in an asylum, a productive span for all its pain. An incomplete exercise that lacks crucial emotional brushstrokes despite a rich palette and a piano-heavy score, 'At Eternity’s Gate' still offers the thrill of being inside an artistic process, adoringly interpreted."
 
Tomris Laffly, Time Out New York 
 
"This is in many ways an abrasive, wildly uneven film -- raw and deliberately unvarnished in style, shot by Benoit Delhomme with a nervous handheld camera and lots of wide-angle lenses that mirror the darting restlessness and the uneasy perspective of a troubled mind. Even the score by Tatiana Lisovskaya favors dissonance and distortion, its plinking notes hammered out on what sounds like a beat-up old barroom piano in need of tuning. And the lurch from a few token establishing lines of French into English for the majority of the film is extremely clumsy. Better to have ignored the language factor altogether."
 
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter 
 
BALLOON - Ralf Wengenmayr, Marvin Miller
 
"In that respect, Herbig might have studied 'The Imitation Game,' a WWII-era spy picture that knew how to expertly navigate and amplify the procedural thrills leading up to its big payoff. Here, watching people shop for fabrics around town and then sew them together in secret alongside a race-against-the-clock assembly doesn’t quite wreck one’s nerves the way it sets out to. (But you’ve got to respect Ralf Wengenmayr and Marvin Miller’s bombastic score for at least trying to prescribe some unearned apprehension to the audience.)"
 
Tomris Laffly, Variety 

BURNING - Mowg

"Lee’s interest lies not in crime-solving but in exploring Jongsu’s emotional confusion. He takes against Ben partly out of sexual jealousy, partly because he inhabits a world the farmboy barely knew existed. Jong-soo’s increasing torment allows the filmmaker to touch subtly on the current social, economic and cultural divisions within Korea. Both a slow-burn suspense drama and an intriguing enigma, his film is beautifully executed throughout: the three lead performances are all spot on, while Mowg’s jazzy score and Hong Kyung-pyo’s immaculate camerawork fit the shifting moods to perfection."
 
Geoff Andrew, Time Out London
 
"While the three characters smoke pot on Jong-su’s family farm, Ben discloses one of his hobbies: burning down greenhouses. Later, Ben tells Jong-su that his pastime brings him ecstasy, like 'a bass sound that rips to the bone,' and that he’s scouting for a new greenhouse. And given how the film’s score is composed mainly of a bass sound, it’s as if we’re being clued into what Lee may be up to. Ben and Jong-su’s conversation happens at almost precisely the middle of 'Burning,' when the film undergoes an ecstatic metamorphosis. Emulating the 'great hunger' dance that she described earlier, Hae-mi removes her clothes and performs a ritual before the setting sun. And as the dwindling light transforms the colors in the sky, a dreamlike air blows through this sequence that would appear to usher Hae-mi toward oblivion."
 
Niles Schwartz, Slant Magazine 
 
"Intelligence and subtle storytelling smarts are in evidence throughout Burning, which gratifyingly pays off the viewer’s investment of time. The performances of the three principals are first-rate, although it cannot be denied that Jun is sorely missed during the lengthy stretches when she’s not onscreen. The fine craftsmanship is evident in every respect, from Hong Kyung-pyo’s outstanding cinematography to Mowg’s distinctive score."
 
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

CAPERNAUM - Khaled Mouzanar
 
"This section grows repetitive, but that was likely by design. More frustrating is that Zain remains stuck in place, and in more ways than one. Having already displayed the full range of his empathy and resentment in the film’s first section, he’s left little to do here besides grow more desperate. Which he does. Khaled Mouzanar’s propulsive score helps take the edge off (at times this feels like the 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' of impoverished Middle Eastern cinema), but Zain’s existence nevertheless becomes a carnival of horrors so inhumane that 'Capernaum' begins to make the neo-realist classics of Vittorio De Sica and the Dardenne brothers feel like fairy tales."
 
David Ehrlich, IndieWire 
 
"Visually, 'Capernaum' is notably more sophisticated than Labaki’s previous work, and certainly more gritty. Sequences where the camera hovers around Zain’s height allows for a sense of subjectivity without an easy reliance of p.o.v. shots, and rising cinematographer Christopher Aoun proves his mettle with a number of potent scenes, such as the moment when Zain tries to protect his parents from selling Sahar for a few chickens. Editing is also skilled, and Khaled Mouzanar’s low key music is in perfect harmony with the film’s emotional tenor, accompanying the action without manipulation for most of the way."
 
Jay Weissberg, Variety 

"The film detours away from Zain in order to follow Rahil and her travails for a while, only to swing back suddenly to Zain when Rahil inexplicably fails to return from work one day, forcing the prepubescent child into increasingly desperate measures to keep himself and Yonas from starving to death. But while the trajectory looks unrelentingly grim, Labaki punctuates the ordeal with moments of joy, warmth and humor, while her husband and producer Khaled Mouzanar's orchestral score offers sweet notes of optimistic promise among the often discordant strings and feedback."
 
Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter 

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
- Nicholas Britell
 
"But Jenkins also primes his audience for that whispery, hot-breath closeness. As he did in 'Moonlight,' Jenkins disarms with scenes of tenderness and bounty. His characters are eager to give themselves to one another. Jenkins has not hidden his adoration of Wong Kar-wai, and it’s hard not to feel that 'Beale Street' is his 'In the Mood for Love:' a masterful period romance told in lush colors (here mostly ’70s-appropriate mustard and jade) and dancing curlicues of cigarette smoke, a love language rooted in meaningful looks and wordless understandings, and with an extraordinary strings-based score (by Nicholas Britell) that conveys the couple’s tragic yearning and inner earthquakes."
 
Inkoo Kang, Slate.com 

"If nothing else, 'Beale Street' is one of the most impeccably crafted movies of the year, from the luster of its color palette (brilliant greens and yellows and blues, creating symmetry between clothes and environment) to the achingly gorgeous swell of Nicholas Britell’s music. Jenkins, an adoring cinephile himself, dabbles in his influences -- a little of the Technicolor glow of Douglas Sirk, a lot of the smoky glamour of the great Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai -- to bring the past to life. His 1970s Harlem is a place built from memory and melodrama, falling halfway between a meticulous recreation and a backlot world of Hollywood invention."
 
A.A. Dowd, The Onion AV Club

"Cinematographer James Laxton’s vivid palette merges with Nicholas Britell’s swooning musical compositions as the movie assembles its narrative out of small moments: When Tish tells her mother Sharon (Regina King) about the pregnancy, Jenkins only includes the beginning of the conversation, with the hesitation on Layne’s face expressing everything about the character’s fears for the future. Likewise, when Sharon tells her husband Joseph (Colman Domingo) and Sharon’s feisty older sister Ernestine (Teyronah Parris), their instant celebratory tone brings a fresh dose of levity to Jenkins’ growing filmography: Despite the social and economic hardships the family faces, their unity becomes a centerpiece to the story."
 
Eric Kohn, IndieWire 

"You’ll notice at once how old-fashioned the movie looks, its palette warm, its colors deepened by Nicholas Britell’s score, which ranges from a distant, forlorn trumpet to a string quartet in which the players dig in as if they’re having their own dialogue between hope and despair. The close-ups are immense, the emotions archetypal. And then, like a slap, come stark, black-and-white photographs of men, woman, and children surrounded by filth and handled brutally by white cops -- a sudden chiaroscuro montage in a film so rich in reds and golds and browns."
 
David Edelstein, New York 
 
"Thankfully, Fonny is not kept behind bars for the length of the film, as the retelling of his love story allows Jenkins to fiddle with the timeframe. We see the evolution of Fonny and Tish, first as rebellious, somewhat antagonistic children and later as devoted soulmates. In those latter scenes of burgeoning affection, Jenkins orchestrates a sense of pace and timing that, abetted by Nicholas Britell’s excellent score, makes the viewer swoon. There’s a woozy affectation to these moments -- as Alan Jay Lerner once wrote, it’s almost like being in love. So whenever the narrative shifts back to Fonny trapped behind that glass, the result has a shattering effect on us."
 
Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com

"Weaving together the past and the present, masterful interpretations of Baldwin’s incredible prose, gorgeous visuals, and a sweeping score, 'If Beale Street Could Talk' draws audiences into its overwhelming mix of emotions all at once. You fall deeply in love with Tish and Fonny’s swooning romance and their cautious optimism, and you fall into despair over Fonny’s crumbling resolve in prison and the thwarted efforts of his supporters to extract a modicum of justice from a system designed to brutalize black men. Lyrical reflections on love flow into piercing meditations on the sinister inhumanity of the prison system, and the crushing weight of white supremacy."
 
Sarah Kurchak, Consequence of Sound
 
"Baldwin’s novel is a breathless, powerful read. It takes a painfully quotidian story -- two young black people fall in love, and then are unjustly ripped apart by a broken system of justice -- and makes a masterpiece from it, propelled along by Baldwin’s careful rendering of Tish’s thoughts and his beautifully crafted prose. That’s hard to replicate in a film, though Jenkins comes very close. As with the novel, the film’s strongest sequences come when Tish and Fonny are first discovering themselves in one another’s arms. Tish’s wistful voiceover narration seems drawn from the same luminous source as its images, shot by Moonlight cinematographer James Laxton. As in 'Moonlight,' sometimes Tish and Fonny look directly into the camera, into our eyes, daring us not to look away, letting us fall in love with them. Mixed with Nicholas Britell’s haunting score, the result is a blend of joy, compassion, and deep sadness."
 
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox 

"In terms of the almost blanket underscoring, Jenkins’ use of music recalls some of Spike Lee’s collaborations with Terence Blanchard. Combining Nicholas Britell’s caressing string compositions with deep cuts by artists like Miles Davis, Al Green, Nina Simone and John Coltrane, the sound is lush to the point of distraction at times, but it certainly adds to the intoxicating pleasure."
 
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter 
 
MORTAL ENGINES - Tom Holkenborg

"'Mortal Engines' might not be a particularly good movie, but it’s a BIG one, and sometimes that can be even more important. Adapted (on steroids) from Philip Reeves’ neo-Victorian steampunk fantasy of the same name, this $100 million holiday-season event starts off like a supersized remake of 'Fury Road,' as two mobile cities shoot massive harpoons at each other in a death race through the post-apocalyptic wastelands of Europe as Junkie XL’s bombastic score yowls in the background. Yes, mobile cities. One of them is London, and the other is a quaint mining colony that doesn’t have a name worth remembering; they travel on giant turrets, stretch a mile into the sky, and mulch each other for fuel."
 
DavidEhrlich,IndieWire
 
"There’s some steampunk design to like, plus a Frankenstein’s-monster zombie (Stephen Lang) and the gangster confidence of actress Jihae as a resistance fighter. But most of 'Mortal Engines' is a wearying blast of CGI and genre-cribbing (most egregiously, director Christian Rivers hired composer Junkie XL to seemingly lift, wholesale, his soundtrack from 'Mad Max: Fury Road')."
 
Sara Stewart, New York Post

"You certainly can’t accuse Rivers of undue subtlety, with every emotion dialed up to 11 at all times, matched for volume by Junkie XL’s maximalist, omnipresent score. But the film never captures the bonkers, go-for-broke energy that made the ill-fated likes of 'Cloud Atlas' or 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets' such enjoyable noble failures, too caught up in hitting the same old blockbuster beats to stop and wonder where the story’s weirder threads might have lead. It’s hard not to think back to that opening scene, as yet another interesting, funky property is gobbled up by a lumbering franchise filmmaking empire that doesn’t know quite what to do with it."
 
Andrew Barker, Variety

SUNSET - Laszlo Melis
 
"Composer Laszlo Melis racks up the tension with frantic violin strains that are most effective."
 
Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

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

Heard: Arrow: Season 4 (Neely), Henry May Long (Richter), Nosedive (Richter), J'Accuse (Desplat), Elle (Dudley), Unforgettable (Young), Star Trek: And the Children Shall Lead (Duning), Blade Runner 2049 (Wallfisch, Zimmer), Legally Blonde: The Musical (O'Keefe), Hidden Figures (Zimmer/Williams/Wallfisch), The Genius of Larry Adler (Adler), Home of the Brave (Endelman), Gypsy (Beal), DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Season One (Neely), The Putin Interviews (Beal), La Cosa Buffa (Morricone), Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (Burwell), Tolkien (Newman), Funeral Home (Fielding), Transformers: The Last Knight (Jablonsky), Darkest Hour (Marianelli), The Color Purple: A New Musical (Russell/Willis/Bray), Moonlight (Britell), The Best of Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride (Anderson), Despicable Me 3 (Pereira), Time Walker (Band), Babel (Santaolalla), Pierced (Lang), Blindspot: Season One (Neely), Lady Jane (Oliver), I Figli Chiedono Perche (Morricone), Mission: Impossible (Elfman), Black Mirror: Men Against Fire (Salisbury/Barrow), Man Hunt (Newman), Star Trek: The Animated Series (Blais/Michael), Music for Film and Television (Westheimer), Murder on the Orient Express (Doyle), Shrek The Musical (Tesori), Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Jackman/Margeson)

Read: All the Myriad Ways, by Larry Niven

Seen: I greatly look forward to the day when I can once more add titles to this section of the column, which will mean that the current crisis has passed and that L.A. area movie theaters are open again. I wish you all well wherever you are.

Watched: Penny Dreadful ("The Nightcomers"), Rome ("Triumph"), Star Trek ("The Squire of Gothos"), Star Trek: Discovery ("The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry"), The Terror ("A Mercy"), Westworld ("Dissonance Theory"), The Wire ("Backwash")


REMEMBERING THE AGE OF ANTONOWSKY, PART TWO

Continuing an on-going series looking back at the remarkably verbose movie poster texts from the early 1980s at Columbia and Universal under studio executive Marvin Antonowsky.

COLUMBIA PICTURES TAKES YOU BEYOND THE FUTURE
TO A UNIVERSE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE
 
A UNIVERSE OF MYSTERY.
A UNIVERSE OF MAGIC.
A UNIVERSE OF SEXUAL FANTASIES.
A UNIVERSE OF AWESOME GOOD.
A UNIVERSE OF TERRIFYING EVIL.
 
HEAVY METAL
 
A STEP BEYOND SCIENCE FICTION
 
[Heavy Metal, 1981]

Beyond our time, beyond our universe
there is a planet besieged by alien invaders,
where a young king must
rescue his love from the clutches of the Beast.
Or risk the death of his world.
 
KRULL
 
A world light-years beyond your imagination.

[Krull, 1983]

Wolff and Niki.
He’s an interstellar adventurer. She’s a young rebel.
Together they set out on a mission to rescue
three stranded women. 
From a planet no one has warned them about.
 
Because no one has ever returned.
 
SPACEHUNTER
ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE
IN 
3-D
 
The first movie that puts you in outerspace.
 
[Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, 1983]

He is from a future world. Trapped in prehistoric times.
Searching for his past.
 
A hunter of incredible power and strength.
 
In his quest for his origin, he and the woman
he loves must fight hostile tribes. Battle deadly beasts.
And try to survive the violent forces of a newly born Earth. 

[Yor, the Hunter from the Future, 1983]

THE MOST POWERFUL LEGEND OF ALL 
IS BACK IN A NEW ADVENTURE.
 
Somewhere, deep inside the
mysterious Phantom City lies the
fiery Temple of Jade. Concealed
within its ancient chambers
is the supreme instrument
of life and death…
 
The mystic Horn of Dagoth.
 
Only one man – Conan – 
has the power to recover it.
 
But first, Conan and his band
of warriors must battle
hostile armies, cross 
treacherous kingdoms,
and challenge the sorcery 
of an evil queen.
 
It is Conan’s greatest
challenge. For if he cannot
capture the Horn in time…
the world will be plunged
into eternal darkness.

[Conan the Destroyer, 1984]

A WORLD BEYOND YOUR EXPERIENCE,
BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION.
 
It is a world where sandworms 1,000 feet long
guard creation’s greatest treasure – 
the spice that prolongs life. And enables the mind
to fold space and slow time.
 
Where a prophecy will be fulfilled.
And a young leader with incredible powers
will emerge to command an army
of five million warriors in the final battle
for control of a universe
and its source of ultimate power.
 
The Planet called Dune. 

[Dune, 1984]

Alex Rogan is a small-town
teenager with big-time dreams.
Dreams of college…of success…
of marrying his girlfriend, Maggie.
 
He’s just like everyone else, except
Alex has a very special talent…
that no one on Earth can appreciate.
 
But, tonight, a mysterious stranger
has called on Alex. He’s come
from a galaxy that’s under attack
by an alien force. And Alex’s
unique ability is their last hope.
 
THE LAST STARFIGHTER
 
He’s got one extraordinary chance at the dream of a lifetime. 
 
[The Last Starfighter, 1984]
 
This is an example that really spotlights one of the oddites of the Antonowsky style. I would imagine that in the text of a movie poster, like a poem or a short story, every word would be important. Did audiences really need to know that the Last Starfighter's girlfriend's name was Maggie?
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The Copy to 'Heavy Metal' is the only one that still leaves something for the viewer to experience. All the rest of these posters kind of give it all away, esp DUNE.

Even back then it amazed me they thought people deciding if they wanted to see a movie were eager to do so much reading.

The attempts at humor are the most painful, but looking at them decades later they have a faint "dad joke" charm.

That's very exciting news about the two WAXMAN: DOCUMENTARIES, not only for the obvious joy in having two new, little-heard scores by the beloved Franz, but also because of -- dare I hope? -- the possibility it raises that there may eventually be releases of some of the outstanding TWENTIETH CENTURY scores by the great but under-appreciated George Kleinsinger, (TUBBY THE TUBA, SHINBONE ALLEY).

I love Tubby the Tuba (two very memorable melodies in that score), so I'd be game... but I don't think Kleinsinger is enough of a "name" to sell CDs on his own. (Waxman has enough trouble selling already). So I would suggest maybe a 2-4 CD set of music from the show, with scores by other more well known composers mixed in... even well known concert hall composers as mentioned in the official description of the album: "Over the course of nine seasons, such noted composers as George Antheil, Darius Milhaud, Alan Hovhaness, Paul Creston and Ulysses Kay contributed original music."

Ulysses Kay is the only one of those I'm unfamiliar with, and the others are pretty big names in the concert hall world. The Antheil in particular might appeal to folks here. But according to IMDb's credits for the series, apart from Antheil (six episode scores supposedly!), there are also a few other well-beloved film composers who BSX didn't mention: Laurence Rosenthal (three scores!), Georges Auric, Morton Gould, and Mario Nascimbene:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050072/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast

Seigmeister and Kubik too worked in film, although probably better known as concert hall composers. But I'd certainly be interested to hear their scores too. Seems like this could make a great set, and if the Waxman release sells well enough for BSX, I hope they'll consider releasing more of the series' original scoring.

Yavar

Hi, Yavar,

Hey, I said G. K. was under-appreciated! But seriously, I'm on board with everything you say. I thought there were a lot of other fabulous composers involved in that great golden age documentary series, but I hadn't seen a list and I didn't want to be talking out of my hat. The only thing with which I'd augment your concept would be if it were maybe 2 or 3 discs, budget permitting. That composer compendium is such an embarrassment of riches.

Ulysses Kay was a highly respected composer and teacher, and in his day much of his work was recorded on LP, some of which has made it onto CD. Most recently, one of his pieces was included on a very fine Sony Classical box set of "Black Composers." The "Twentieth Century" show was not Kay's first venture into film or documentary scoring. He composed music for "The Quiet One," a short film with narration by James Agee, about a boy living in Harlem. Kay subsequently recorded a suite from that film.

Would Kay then be considered the first black orchestral composer to work in film?

Yavar

Very good question, for which I wish I was scholarly enough to give you a definitive answer. Off the top of my head though, I think maybe that honor might go to this guy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall_Johnson

At least, he definitely had an impact as an arranger:

http://www.dimitritiomkin.com/319/march-2007-fascinating-rhythms-dimitri-tiomkin-african-american-music-and-early-jazz/

Yeah, I'm talking full on orchestral composer, not arranger. I know and appreciate many who have written for the concert hall (George Walker and Florence Price are favorites of mine), but unfortunately there are very few black composers who've been given the opportunity to write for film. That reminds me... I wish there were more Oliver Nelson releases (and I wish he'd had the chance to compose more for film than he did).

Yavar

Again I'm totally on board with you, especially about Oliver Nelson. Can I assume you're interested in other work of his beside the cinematic? If so, you probably already know there's a great limited edition box set of his jazz band stuff released by Mosaic, the outfit that specializes in such syncopated collectors' items.

Incidentally, if I'd known Anthiel was involved with "The Twentieth Century" I'd have mentioned him along with Kleinsinger because he's another not-very-heralded hero of mine. (Especially for THE JUGGLER.)

In thinking back on black film composers, not only is it only a handful of names that come to mind --
Ellington, Davis, Lewis, Carter, Jones, Blanchard -- but they all seem to have come from the world of jazz. I hope there are exceptions I'm not happening to recall at this moment. Definitely a topic worth looking into.

Incidentally, here is some of the Kleinsinger I love, sadly still not available on CD:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpdjVEDVvIE

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