Next week, Intrada will release an expanded, two-disc edition of a score that was one of the first-ever releases from the Film Score Monthly label. For those who want more information, such as the film's title and composer, go to this Message Board thread.
Music Box is reissuing two of their out-of-print, expanded score CDs - Philippe Sarde's score for director Jean-Jacques Annaud's animal adventure drama THE BEAR, and Ennio Morricone's score for the 1973 spy thriller THE SERPENT, starring Yul Brynner, Henry Fonda, Dirk Bogarde, Philippe Noiret and Virna Lisi.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
The Awakening (re-release) - Claude Bolling - Quartet
Fireball XL5 - Barry Gray - Silva
The Great Gatsby Ballet - Carl Davis - Carl Davis Collection
The Silence of the Lambs (re-release) - Howard Shore - Quartet
Symphonies No. 6 & 7/Night Voyage - Christopher Gunning - Signum
Zappa - John Frizzell, songs - Zappa Records
IN THEATERS TODAY
The major Oscar contender Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand and David Strathairn, is opening in theaters this week. Critics praised the film's score by Ludovic Einaudi, which was actually tracks from his multi-disc set Seven Days Walking.
Flesh Contagium - Daniele Marinelli, Luca Maria Burocchi, Riccardo Adamo - Digitmovies
I Cosacchi - Giovanni Fusco - Digitmovies
Tranquille donne di campagna - Nico Fidenco - Digitmovies
His Dark Materials: Season Two - Lorne Balfe - Silva
The Tattooed Torah - Daniel Alcheh - Notefornote
Alex Hugo - Jerome Lemmonier - Music Box
The Bear (re-issue) - Philippe Sarde - Music Box
I Malamondo - Ennio Morricone - Sugar/CAM
Mondo Cane - Riz Ortolani - Sugar/CAM
The Serpent (re-issue) - Ennio Morricone - Music Box
Ulysse 31 - Denny Crockett, Ike Egan, Shuki Levy, Haim Saban, Seji Suzuki - CSC
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
February 19 - Saul Chaplin born (1912)
February 19 - Shigeru Umebayashi born (1951)
February 19 - Donald Rubinstein born (1952)
February 19 - Claudio Simonetti born (1952)
February 19 - Charles Bernstein begins recording his score for Gator (1976)
February 19 - Marvin Hamlisch begins recording his score for I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982)
February 19 - David Bell records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “The Killing Game, Part 2” (1998)
February 19 - David Bell records his score for the Enterprise episode “Fusion” (2002)
February 19 - Teo Macero died (2008)
February 19 - Bob Cobert died (2020)
February 20 - Toshiro Mayuzumi born (1929)
February 20 - How the West Was Won opens in Los Angeles (1963)
February 20 - Michael A. Levine born (1964)
Feburary 20 - Robert Drasnin records his score for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode “The Wax Men” (1967)
February 20 - William Lava died (1971)
February 20 - Recording sessions begin on Jerry Goldsmith's score for Alien (1979)
February 20 - Toru Takemitsu died (1996)
February 21 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score for The Story of Three Loves (1952)
February 21 - Rupert Gregson-Williams born (1967)
February 21 - Ron Grainer died (1981)
February 21 - Laurence Rosenthal begins recording his score for Who'll Stop the Rain (1978)
February 21 - Basil Poledouris begins recording his score for Flesh + Blood (1985)
February 21 - Morton Gould died (1996)
February 21 - John Williams begins recording his score for Saving Private Ryan (1998)
February 22 - Angelo Francesco Lavagnino born (1909)
February 22 - Maurizio De Angelis born (1947)
February 22 - Gary Chang born (1953)
February 22 - Jerry Goldsmith records his score to Hawkins on Murder (1973)
February 22 - James Horner begins recording his replacement score for Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
February 22 - William Loose died (1991)
February 22 - A.R. Rahman wins the Original Score and Song Oscars for Slumdog Millionaire and its song "Jai Ho" (2009)
February 22 - Billy Strange died (2012)
February 22 - Alexandre Desplat wins his first Oscar, for The Grand Budapest Hotel score (2015)
February 23 - Allan Gray born (1904)
February 23 - Erich Wolfgang Korngold wins Original Score Oscar for The Adventures of Robin Hood, the first year the award goes to the composer instead of the head of the studio's music department; Alfred Newman wins Score Oscar for Alexander's Ragtime Band (1939)
February 23 - Rachel Elkind born (1939)
February 23 - Alfred Newman and Bernard Herrmann begin recording their score for The Egyptian (1954)
February 23 - David Buttolph begins recording his score for The Horse Soldiers (1959)
February 23 - Richard Markowitz records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Live Bait” (1969)
February 23 - Jerry Fielding begins recording his score for Hunters Are for Killing (1970)
February 23 - Lorne Balfe born (1976)
February 23 - Recording sessions begin for Danny Elfman’s score for Dick Tracy (1990)
February 23 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Offspring" (1990)
February 24 - Fred Steiner born (1923)
February 24 - Michel Legrand born (1932)
February 24 - Franz Waxman begins recording his score for Captains Courageous (1937)
February 24 - George Harrison born (1943)
February 24 - Rupert Holmes born (1947)
February 24 - Manuel De Sica born (1949)
February 24 - Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter record their score for It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)
February 24 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording score to The World of Henry Orient (1964)
February 24 - Franz Waxman died (1967)
February 24 - Jerry Goldsmith records his score for Crosscurrent (1971)
February 24 - Roy Budd begins recording his score to The Carey Treatment (1972)
February 24 - Walter Scharf died (2003)
February 24 - Svatopluk Havelka died (2009)
February 24 - Mychael Danna wins the Original Score Oscar for Life of Pi (2013)
February 24 - Ludwig Goransson wins his first Oscar, for the Black Panther score (2019)
February 25 - George Duning born (1908)
February 25 - Don Randi born (1937)
February 25 - Erich Wolfgang Korngold begins recording his score for The Sea Wolf (1941)
February 25 - Victor Reyes born (1962)
February 25 - Penka Kouneva born (1967)
February 25 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Outland (1981)
February 25 - Haim Mazar born (1983)
February 25 - Laurence Rosenthal records his score for To Heal a Nation (1988)
February 25 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Divergence” (2005)
February 25 - Ennio Morricone wins an Honorary Oscar, "for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music;" Gustavo Santaolalla wins his second consecutive Best Score Oscar, for Babel (2007)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
THE DARK AND THE WICKED - Tom Schrader
"It begins with the wind -- a reedy, high-pitched whistle cold enough to make your bones hurt. Then the music comes in, bows drawing over strings in a screeching echo of more natural harbingers of doom. Layer on the howling of faraway wolves, lay it on a thrumming base of electromagnetic static, and you’ve got a sonic palette designed to make your limbic system light up like a carnival midway. Not with pleasure, mind you, but with foreboding: Something unnatural and unholy is coming, and there is nothing we -- the viewer or the characters on screen -- can do to stop it."
Katie Rife, The Onion AV Club
"Bucking conventions of sepulchral Gothic mansions, Scott Colquitt’s production design emphasizes Straker home’s ordinary domesticity and rustic comfort, even as the prowling camera lingers too tellingly on a large animal skull hanging in the dining room, which could be handy for a gathering in honor of Azazel. Tom Schraeder’s low-key mournful score has just the right dose of uncanny, but his finest work is the closing theme song 'Darkness Stalls' -- an evocative country folksong with a Gothic streak which he composed and sung himself."
Maggie Lee, Variety
"Working on a far quieter level than the visceral frights he delivered in the 2008 home-invasion thriller 'The Strangers' and only sometimes resorting to standard jump scares, writer/director Bertino never lets the simmering tension dissipate. The ambient sound design, disturbing musical score, disorienting visuals and subtle special effects add immeasurably to the overall impact, but it's Ireland's shattering performance that truly gives the film its gripping power. One of New York City's best stage actors, Ireland (whose screen credits include Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' and Netflix's 'The Umbrella Academy') conveys a fascinating mixture of fragile vulnerability and steely toughness that fully draws us into her character's encroaching terror and lingering guilt."
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
IDENTIFYING FEATURES - Clarice Jensen
"Cinematographer Claudia Becerril Bulos paints the screen in muted colours, but chaos is created by music director Clarice Jensen, who uses eerie, erratic strings to unnerve. A scene where a bewildered Miguel crosses back into Mexico is a case in point: his walk is scored like a horror film, which is doubtless how it feels to Miguel as he crosses a bridge alongside rows of cars shifting back and forth across a border he can no longer access, fortunes travelling concurrently."
Kim Hughes, Original Cin
"Growing up as the child of immigrants, I was taught that coming to the States was always a good thing, even if it was tough. It wasn’t until I was older that I fully started to realize the emotional and mental toll it took on a lot of families, and that was if those who left home made it to the other side at all. I noticed the scars between families that were separated by borders, the haunting detachment from everyone you ever loved and everything you ever knew. It is a pain that does not go away easily, if it ever goes away at all. In the hands of Valadez, cinematographer Claudia Becerril Bulos, and the film’s sound team and composer Clarice Jensen, 'Identifying Features' peels back that feel-good façade of the 'coming to America' narrative for a much more painful reality, one that feels freshly steeped in tears, heartache, and headlines. It is a striking movie that boldly confronts both uncaring governments on either side of the border and the cartels that have warped these areas into the stuff of nightmares, while also mourning the human cost of losing a loved one to uncertainty and the ones who will never make it home again."
Monica Castilo, RogerEbert.com
"Implying more than it shows, Identifying Features is visceral without ever succumbing to the exploitative shock value of cartel stories of the big and small screen alike. It’s one of the best films to ever address this crisis, on par with documentary counterparts like Everardo Gonzalez’s 'Devil’s Freedom' or Tatiana Huezo’s 'Tempestad.' Valadez bypasses politics to get closer to an emotional truth about Mexico’s drug war, contemplating its horror as an all-affecting affair rather than pointing fingers. Eventually, the filmmaker heads in a more allegorical direction, with a nightmarish sequence of color and light. What could have been a facile equivalence, drawing a connection between the sadistic perpetrators and the devil himself (a figure important to a country as vastly Catholic as Mexico), is elevated by the overwhelming sensory experience of these climactic moments, all ghostly visions and otherworldly music. This is the rare movie with the power to leave one physically rattled."
Carlos Aguilar, The Onion AV Club
THE LITTLE THINGS - Thomas Newman
"Comparing the two movies won’t do 'The Little Things' any favors, although a third-act scene set in the desert might leave you wondering if Gwyneth Paltrow’s severed head is about to make an appearance. (On multiple occasions, Washington has said that passing on the Pitt role in 'Se7en' is one of his few career regrets.) 'The Little Things' is a quieter affair, though, and Hancock proves himself adept at establishing atmosphere, his seedy vision of early-’90s Los Angeles rarely punctured by anything that feels out of place. That immersiveness is aided by a leisurely but persistent rhythm to the movie’s pacing, with Hancock wisely giving center stage to Thomas Newman’s gorgeous piano score, allowing it to keep the mood consistent between scenes of characters delivering hard-boiled dialogue about guilt and mortality. (This is the type of movie where a practical conversation might suddenly veer off into a tangent on whether or not God has forsaken humanity.)"
Chris Stanton, Paste Magazine
"Movies like 'The Little Things' feel like a vanishing breed. In the wake of the success of 'The Silence of the Lambs,' there seemed to be a dark, brooding thriller adaptation every week with titles like 'Kiss the Girls' and 'The Bone Collector,' and it felt like half of them starred Denzel Washington. In recent years, this genre has largely become the product of television, as shows like 'True Detective' and 'Mindhunter' have taken on stories of men haunted by the crimes they investigate. That’s part of what makes 'The Little Things' feel dated, although the way it recalls better films with similar themes, particularly David Fincher’s 'Seven,' does it no favors too. It’s a movie that's constantly on the verge of developing into something as intense and haunting as writer/director John Lee Hancock wants it to be, but it never achieves its goals, especially in its final half-hour. Some of the major stuff here works, including a performance from Washington that’s better than the movie around it (yet again), some striking L.A. cinematography, and an effective score, but one could say that it’s the little things that hold it back. A few big things too."
Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
"The shift from a duo to trio transforms 'The Little Things' into an alluring ode to David Fincher’s 'Se7en.' Albert mirrors the Fincher villain John Doe by way of his intricate intelligence, and his love for manipulating Deke and Jimmy. He goads the former by reminding Deke of the murders he has failed to solve. And after a jogger with a red barrette goes missing, Albert leverages Jimmy’s dedication to victims as a way to tarnish the spirit of this boy wonder. The passive-aggressive Albert wants one of these guys to break -- to become like him -- to resort to violence. The pair shared an antagonistic relationship at the outset, but as mentor and student, with the counterbalance of Leto, the naturalistic Washington and the eager Malek finally work out a connection whereby their competing styles become complementary. The film’s bleakness not only propels the trio of actors, but also Thomas Newton’s anxious score; cinematographer John Schwartzman’s frank, chiaroscuro photography; and Hancock’s obsession with broken-down souls."
Robert Daniels, Polygon
"A prologue shows a female driver cruising along an empty freeway at night, bopping to the B-52s, when another car starts stalking and blocking her, the unseen driver pursuing her on foot at a closed gas station. Right from the outset, Thomas Newman's ominous score full of needling electronic elements and John Schwartzman's shadowy widescreen cinematography help create an unsettling mood, steeped in dread."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
THE NIGHT - Nima Fakhrara
"'The Night' is plenty disquieting even before Babak and Neda begin hearing noises on the roof and voices in the hall, with Hosseini ably channeling the weary and despairing frustration of chasing sleep on an endless night. Truly, some of the film’s most compelling scenes unfold against the actor’s prone face, eyes closed and struggling to ignore the sounds, both natural and unnatural, that fill his cramped hotel room. Sound, as it turns out, is 'The Night''s secret weapon, deployed via composer Nima Fakhrara’s violent atonal strings or Ahari’s nerve-shredding aural mix, which suggest horrors more ominous than anything we’re actually seeing."
Randall Colburn, The Onion AV Club
"Ahari and cowriter Milad Jarmooz balance the Kubrickian aspects that you'd expect from this setup and a behavior-based, at times theatrical component that invests all the story's tension in the lead performances and amplifies it with aural, visual and musical flourishes. Rooms, hallways, alleys, and streetscapes that would seem unremarkable in real life are shot (by Maz Makhani) and scored (by Nima Fakhrara, channeling quasi-experimental composers like Ludwig Göransson and Brian Reitzell) to suggest that something eerie or deadly could emerge at any time, from any part of the frame."
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
"Ahari and his talented technical team surround these scenes from a troubled marriage with elegantly executed horror and arresting excursions into the surreal. Cinematographer Maz Makhani’s lush imagery and meticulous arrangement of light and shadow create a deeply unsettling atmosphere. Visuals are complemented by top-notch sound design and a score by Nima Fakhrara full of lo-fi droning, rumbling and feedback. Much of Fakhara’s music becomes even more menacing when mixed so low as to become almost inaudible. Helen Kane’s famous rendition of 'I Want to Be Loved By You' is also used to haunting effect."
Richard Kuipers, Variety
"Lead actors Hosseini and Jafarian deliver performances of admirably sustained tension during the too stretched-out proceedings (the film would have benefited from a tighter running time). But it's the superbly orchestrated technical elements that truly stand out, from the vividly shadowy cinematography to the almost subliminally unnerving sound design and musical score. The expert cinematic stylization on display proves ample reason to forgive 'The Night' for any narrative shortcomings."
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
PENGUIN BLOOM - Marcelo Zarvos
"Ivin and composer Marcelo Zarvos push right up to the border of too-cute as the film watches Penguin rise from his sickbed and hop around the house, breaking pottery and getting underwear on his head. Soon he hops out the front door, forcing Sam to wheel out behind him and feel the sun on her skin."
John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
SAINT MAUD - Adam Bzowski
"It's exciting when newcomers like Glass arrive with a fully-fleshed-out and confidently executed vision, particularly when the vision is eccentric, difficult, and strange. This story has been told before. It's in a continuum of stories of religious mortification, obsession, and torment. But 'Saint Maud' comes with the stamp of its creator and shivers with fresh possibilities. By keeping the film a character study -- as opposed to a plot-driven story of an avenging angel/demon -- 'Saint Maud' is less about the religion, and more about Maud's existential loneliness (alone-ness, more like), her isolation, the dangers of being so cut off from humanity. The film has much in common with 'Taxi Driver,' 'Carrie,' and 'First Reformed,' and it has a similar mood of inevitability and dread. Newcomer Adam Bzowski's score -- aligned with Maud's subjective experience -- is deeply unnerving, as is the sound design by Paul Davies, which further traps us in Maud's point of view."
Sheila O'Malley, RogerEbert.com
"You have to stay engaged with this film until literally its final seconds to feel its full impact. But the journey itself is hardly unpleasant. Glass stages her scenes in striking tableaux, and filters a color palette dominated by rich mahogany, aquatic green, and blushing peach through sickly fluorescents and pale, dusty sunlight. The score from newcomer Adam Bzowski provides all the requisite deep thrums and bows across screeching strings, and while the digital effects don’t always live up to the practical makeup, that’s understandable -- this is a relatively low-budget independent film."
Katie Rife, The Onion AV Club
"By most reasonable standards, 'Saint Maud' is a good horror movie. It has a strong sense of character and mood. It’s convincingly acted, both by Morfydd Clark as Maud, a private nurse losing herself to religious fanaticism, and Jennifer Ehle, as Maud’s patient Amanda, an atheist grappling with her terminal cancer diagnosis. Its score roils with tension, then recedes into silence when necessary. In spite of these strengths, though, it’s sometimes eerily, unavoidably familiar."
Jesse Hassenger, Polygon
"'Saint Maud' is Rose Glass’ first feature, and it’s an astonishing debut -- the narrative force of her cuts and compositions is overwhelming, and she has a real gift for putting us into her protagonist’s head, via isolated sounds, industrial music, upsetting visuals. (The sound design, which is proving one of the most essential elements of cinematic dramatization of mental illness, is especially, exquisitely unsettling.) As Maud descends into madness and fervor, the camerawork gets wilder, the music gets darker, and the close-ups get closer (particularly as Maud goes to work on a grotesque scab – peeling it away, both literally and figuratively). As she 'prepares herself' for what she knows she must do, Glass seems to not only court 'Taxi Driver' comparisons but welcome them. (There’s also an echo or two of one of that film’s most effective successors, 'Ms. 45.') She is recognizing the lurid signifiers of those films but drawing upon them for more than mere quotation (unlike one recent film that shall go unnamed)."
Jason Bailey, The Playlist
THE SALT OF TEARS - Jean-Louis Aubert
"Veteran cinematographer Renato Berta’s crisp imagery enhances Luc’s tendency to view things in black-and-white himself: Each woman presents an opportunity until he sees another one elsewhere. However, Garrel often underplays his rich themes with an onslaught of lighthearted flourishes, from the grating piano score that drifts into various scenes to the dry voiceover that often intrudes on them. But there’s an undeniable allure to the way the movie hovers in an ambiguous space between Luc’s passions and their problematic connotations."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
"And yet, despite so much identification, and despite the fact that some of the best films ever made, from Bergman’s 'Scenes from a Marriage' to Rohmer’s 'A Summer’s Tale,' are precisely about masculine cowardliness and feminine despair, why is it that 'The Salt of Tears' makes no room for genuine emotion to emerge? Which is peculiar given that Garrel so recently, with 'In the Shadow of Women' and 'Lover for a Day,' documented the impossibility of monogamy with not only a no-nonsense sensibility but also profound gravitas. Maybe the failure of the film is in Garrel’s use of melodramatic music during transitional scenes, a device at odds with the detached style of the rest of the film. Maybe it’s in the overtly fable-like structure that reduces the characters to not just archetypes, but cutouts. Maybe it’s in the omniscient voiceover narration that punctuates the film with such disaffection and irregularity."
Diego Semerene, Slant Magazine
"Though set in the present, the grainy black-and-white images and Aubert's familiar-sounding, piano-led score again lend the story something timeless. This feeling is reinforced by the conspicuous absence of smartphones, with people writing each other postcards or asking others for directions in the street. It’s part of what makes Garrel’s films feel like they exist outside of time, contemplating issues that won't fundamentally change just because someone invented, say, a dating app."
Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter
SPELL - Ben Onono
"Still, Tonderai (who’s logged much TV work since his prior features, the excellent 2008 thriller 'Hush' and middling 2012 one 'House at the End of the Street' with Jennifer Lawrence), keeps things on a solidly diverting if unmemorable plane. Paula Loos’ rustic-time-warp production design and the hot lighting coloration of Jacques Jouffret’s cinematography contribute to an attractive overall aesthetic. Editor Sarah C. Reeves and Ben Onono’s original score add more conventionally propulsive but effective elements."
Dennis Harvey, Variety
SUPERNOVA - Keaton Henson
"Given its painful subject matter, this heartfelt slow-motion tragedy makes for an oddly flat viewing experience, constrained by a British sense of polite restraint, squeamishly evasive about sex and death. Much like its muted minor-key score, the dramatic tone opts for too much piano and not enough forte, with too few emotional crescendos."
Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter
THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF WOLFBOY - Nick Urata
"Thanks to the delicacy of Andrew Droz Palermo’s cinematography, and an entrancing score from 'Little Miss Sunshine' composer Nick Urata, the movie fuses its quirky twists into a fully realized world, while eccentric chapter headings unfolding against colorful paintings of key plot points enhance the storybook feel. From the Felliniesque exuberance of the carnival to the freewheeling nature of Paul’s evolving outcast entourage, 'The True Adventures of Wolfboy' pushes beyond the constraints of a typical YA adventure to reach for a darker, deeper look at how ostracized people forge communities through a mutual sense of dislocation."
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: Marnie (Herrmann), The Holiday (Zimmer), The Sun Is Also a Star (Stefansdottir), The Paul Chihara Collection Vol. 3 (Chihara), The River Wild (Goldsmith/Jarre), La disubbidienza (Morricone), The Last Metro/The Woman Next Door/Confidentially Yours (Delerue), Joy in the Morning (Herrmann), Ulzana's Raid (DeVol), The Life Before Her Eyes (Horner), Meantime/High Hopes/Naked/Secrets and Lies (Dickson), Take Her, She's Mine (Goldsmith), In the Heights (Miranda), Morituri (Goldsmith), Symphony No. 7/Pan and the Priest/Rhythmic Variations on Two Ancient Hymns/String Quartet/Extended Theme (Hanson), The Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions (Costello), Tango & Cash (Faltermeyer), Legends of the Fall (Horner), Orchestra Rehearsal (Rota), Enola Gay (Jarre)
Read: The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza, by Lawrence Block
Seen: A year ago I saw a great looking 35mm print of one of the most visually gorgeous horror films ever made, The Hunger.
Watched: Horse Feathers; Star Trek: Discovery ("Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2"); Westworld ("The Mother of Exiles"), Shock Treatment ; The Expanse ("The Big Empty"); From the Earth to the Moon ("Galileo Was Right"); Mad Love (1935); Star Trek: Picard ("Maps and Legends"); Westworld ("Genre")