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Film Score Friday 1/15/21
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 1/14/2021 - 10:00 PM
The latest soundtrack from Intrada is the first CD release of a striking early score by one of current cinema's most respected composers.

The surprise success of 1983's Psycho II led Universal to plan a third film in the series, while star Anthony Perkins was only interested in continuing to play Norman Bates if the studio would let him make his directorial debut on PSYCHO III. Perkins was such a fan of the Coen Brothers' first film, Blood Simple, that not only did he show the film to his cast and crew for inspiration but sought the film's first-time composer, Carter Burwell, for his own film. Burwell had seen scoring Blood Simple as a one-off and had returned to his "day job," but his distinctly off-beat score for Perkins' film helped launch his full-time scoring career, which continues thirty five years and two Oscar nominations later. At the time of the film's release, MCA put out an LP of Burwell's music for the film (his first soundtrack release) with particular emphasis on the source cues. Intrada's Psycho III is a two-disc set featuring Burwell's full score plus alternates, as well as the LP sequencing; the lengthy booklet includes my liner notes on the film's production and its score as well as a new reminiscence from the composer himself on his experience on the project.

Varese Sarabande has announced two brand new limited Deluxe Edition CD Club releases.

Jerry Goldsmith's collaboration with director Joe Dante began with the "It's a Good Life" segment of 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie and continued for two decades, including the blockbuster hit Gremlins. Their final film together, the 2003 animation/live-action comedy hybrid LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, was Goldsmith's last work for the screen and released only eight months before the composer's passing, and Varese Sarabande originally released a CD featuring a generous selection of cues from his score. Their new two-disc set includes the full original score, including the additional cues composed by John Debney and Cameron Patrick, plus alternates and the original CD sequencing.

Goldsmith was actually the original composer hired for BABE, the 1995 George Miller production which proved to be not only a critical and box-office hit but also a major Oscar contender, but the final score was written by Australian composer Nigel Westlake, who also scored the film's 1998 sequel, Babe: Pig in the City. (The Academy's Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills features Goldsmith's original music sketches for his unused score in their Special Collections). The original Varese soundtrack for Babe was a child-friendly release featuring a generous amount of dialogue and narration, but Varese Club's new Deluxe Edition is a greatly expanded music-only release.

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January Issue of FSM ONLINE Is Live!
Posted By: Tim Curran 1/12/2021 - 3:00 AM
Happy New Year! The absolutely jam-packed January edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. This month's cover kicks off 2021 right with an interview with HOWARD SHORE about his newest scores for the Netflix productions PIECES OF A WOMAN and FUNNY BOY; we also take a look back at the dumpster-fire year of 2020 with our annual YEAR IN REVIEW coverage, with hot takes from Jon and Al Kaplan, Erik Heine, Cary Wong, Vikram Lakhanpal and the long-awaited return of Tim Burden. Also in this issue,TRENT REZNOR and ATTICUS ROSS tell us all about their big-time scores for David Fincher's MANK and Pixar's SOUL; BRANFORD MARSALIS gets in the swing with MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM; TREMORS director RON UNDERWOOD looks back on 30 years of his cult classic (VIDEO INTERVIEW); songwriters LYNN AHRENS and STEPHEN FLAHERTY discuss their work on the documentary NASRIN; a 2020 IN REVIEW Ear of the Month Contest; a Composer's Corner review of Cinesamples' Soundscapes; a record 32 ALBUM REVIEWS, including SOLO — A STAR WARS STORY: THE DELUXE EDITION, WONDER WOMAN 1984 and LET THEM ALL TALK; more embedded audio clips, and more. Enjoy!

Subscribers, you’ll get notification by email shortly. Or, just go here to log in. For those who want to join FSM ONLINE, go here, click on the “Subscribe” link and follow the instructions. And email us if you have any questions.

Your Friends at FSM ONLINE

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Aisle Seat 1-12: January Chiller Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/11/2021 - 10:00 PM
A disarming and unpredictable “coming of age” story set against the backdrop of a monster apocalypse that’s more Ray Harryhausen than “Walking Dead,” LOVE AND MONSTERS (108 mins., 2020, PG-13; Paramount) had all the ingredients to become a serious sleeper hit in any other year. Regrettably, the pandemic put an end to any hopes of this picture finding a theatrical audience, but the fact we’ve been mostly stuck inside for months on end only makes this warm and winning movie from writers Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson and second-time feature director Michael Matthews resonate more strongly than it may have otherwise.
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Film Score Friday 1/8/21
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 1/7/2021 - 10:00 PM
Intrada will announce a new release next week. For those who do not mind soundtrack "spoilers," go to this Message Board thread.

The week after next, La-La Land will be releasing score CDs for the second and third seasons (the latter a two-disc set) of the Karate Kid-spinoff Netflix series COBRA KAI, composed by Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson.

Varese Sarabande is expected to announce their latest CD Club releases today.


The Twentieth Century - George Antheil, Paul Creston, Gail Kubik, Darius Milhaud, Harold Shapero - Kritzerland


No major new releases are expected today but the films released at the end of 2020 are still playing where theaters are open, and some theaters are even still screening films from earlier in the year like Tenet and The War with Grandpa.

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Aisle Seat 1-5: Wonder Woman 1984
Posted By: Andy Dursin 1/4/2021 - 10:00 PM
The controversy over Warner Bros.’ decision to premiere their entire slate of 2021 theatrical features on the new HBO Max streaming service day-and-date with whatever theaters are actually open in the U.S. missed one central possibility – that even without a pandemic, duds like Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and WONDER WOMAN 1984 could’ve helped to ignite a “multiplex mass-extinction” event entirely on their own.
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Film Score Friday 1/1/21
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/31/2020 - 10:00 PM
Happy New Year! (It had better be)

Normally at this time of year I'd be listing my Oscar predictions for 2020, but due to the pandemic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has moved the 2021 Oscars to April 25, and extended the eligibility period of film releases through February 28. They currently plan to announce the shortlists on February 9 and the nominations on March 15. I plan to post a predictions column sometime between those two dates, though I still expect I will have seen few if any of the major contenders by then, so mentally I'll be putting an asterisk next to this year's list. A friend was asking my predictions for the score shortlist*, and at this point I have no idea what's even eligible. Is Soderbergh's Let Them All Talk (score by Thomas Newman) considered a 2020 feature? I've heard that Steve McQueen's critically acclaimed Small Axe movies are not being submitted for Oscar consideration.


ALIVE (Intrada)
THE SWARM (La-La Land)


Films currently screening in cities where are theaters are still open include The Croods: A New Age, Fatale, Monster Hunter, News of the World, Pinocchio, Promising Young Woman and Wonder Woman 1984.

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Film Score Monthly Online
2020 in Review: We'll Take It
2020 in Review: 20 Things About Film Music in 2020
2020 in Review: Reviews of Future Past
2020 in Review: Wong's Turn - Tales From a Pandemic Loop
2020 in Review: Burden's Best Creatures From TV
2020 in Review: Ear of the Month Contest
Pieces of Howard
Mank and Soul: The Big-Time Duo
Ma and Marsalis
An Underground Zoom With Ron Underwood: 30 Years of Tremors
The Heart of Nasrin
Today in Film Score History:
January 19
Bjorn Isfalt died (1997)
David Shire records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Moving Day" (1987)
Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Life Support” (1995)
Don Costa died (1983)
Gerard Schurmann born (1924)
Jerome Moross begins recording his score to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording electronic cues for Logan's Run (1976)
John Williams records his score for The Ghostbreaker (1965)
Michael Boddicker born (1953)
Recording sessions begin for Cyril Mockidge’s score to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Stu Phillips born (1929)
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