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Aisle Seat 1-14: The 2020 Kickoff Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/13/2020 - 10:00 PM
There aren’t a lot of opportunities to talk about movies that push storytelling boundaries and employ technology in new and exciting ways, but Sam Mendes’ spectacular 1917 (****) is happily one of those instances. A unique war movie that works as – and was intended to be – an immersive cinematic experience, this is a truly breathtaking piece of filmmaking – a dazzling trip into the battlefields of WWI that’s unquestionably the best film of this year (or the last few, for that matter).
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Oscar Nominations 2019
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/13/2020 - 5:00 PM
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)

JOKER - Hildur Guonadottir
LITTLE WOMEN - Alexandre Desplat
MARRIAGE STORY - Randy Newman
1917 - Thomas Newman
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER - John Williams

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)

"I CAN'T LET YOU THROW YOURSELF AWAY" - Toy Story 4 - Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"(I'M GONNA) LOVE ME AGAIN" - Rocketman - Music by Elton John, Lyric by Bernie Taupin
"I'M STANDING WITH YOU" - Breakthrough - Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
"INTO THE UNKNOWN" - Frozen II - Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
"STAND UP" - Harriet - Music and Lyric by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo

The scores were a predictable group. Literally. I've been predicting Oscar nominations since 1985, and I think this is the first time I got all five correct in this category. Except for rising newcomer Guonadottir, all are double digit nominees. I'd thought this might finally be Thomas Newman's year, but I suspect the Icelandic cellist may have the edge.

Of the songs, "Into the Unknown" has a good shot, unless people find themselves saying "Well, it's no 'Let It Go.'" Since I make the effort to see every film in every category, in a theater no less, I now have to see Breakthrough. Damn. 
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Film Score Friday 1/10/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/9/2020 - 10:00 PM
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced their yearly award nominations, including for Original Score:

JOJO RABBIT - Michael Giacchino
JOKER - Hildur Gudnadóttir
LITTLE WOMEN - Alexandre Desplat
1917 - Thomas Newman

Hildur Gudnadóttir won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score -- Motion Picture for JOKER; ROCKETMAN's "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" by Elton John and Bernie Taupin won Original Song.

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January Issue of FSM ONLINE Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 1/8/2020 - 3:00 AM
Happy New Year! The January edition of FSM ONLINE is live. The first issue of 2020 features our annual YEAR IN REVIEW coverage (including contributions from Jon Kaplan & Al Kaplan, Cary Wong, Michelle Flowers, Erik Heine, Vikram Lakhanpal, Xinkai Sun, Sean Wilson and Chris Hadley) with some bonus DECADE IN REVIEW coverage as well. Also in this issue, we remember Kyle Renick, a brother and colleague gone too soon; an interview with CHRISTOPHER WILLIS about scoring the classic Dickens tale THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD; Dan Levy is the main man for Netflix's I LOST MY BODY; on the same platform, ALFONSO G. AGUILAR strikes a colorful chord in the animated KLAUS; LORNE BALFE scores HBO's/BBC One's stellar HIS DARK MATERIALS; a concert review of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL; lots of album reviews, including STAR WARS: EPISODE IX - THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, 1917 and LITTLE WOMEN; 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.

Sincerely,
Your Friends at FSM ONLINE

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Film Score Friday 1/3/20
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/2/2020 - 10:00 PM
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

La Verite - Alexei Aigui - Music Box


IN THEATERS TODAY

The Grudge - The Newton Brothers
Three Christs - Jeff Russo 

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Oscar Predictions and Other End-of-2019 Lists
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/31/2019 - 10:00 PM
Predictions are in boldface, followed by those which I personally would nominate in italics. As with previous years' lists, for several categories I have NOT provided my own nominations, since frankly I know jack about costumes, sound and so forth, though more and more I try to pay attention to sound in particular. Films that I have listed as my own personal nominations yet which will definitely not be nominated -- either because they are ultimately ineligible in those categories or simply not shortlisted -- are marked with an asterisk.

BEST PICTURE

1. 1917
2. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
3. The Irishman
4. Marriage Story
5. Ford v Ferrari
6. Little Women
7. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
8. Joker
9. Parasite
10. The Farewell


1. Parasite
2. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
3. Marriage Story
4. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
5. Her Smell
6. I Lost My Body
7. Uncut Gems
8. Ash Is Purest White
9. Little Women
10. The Farewell

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Aisle Seat 12-31: New Year's Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 12/30/2019 - 10:00 PM
Brought back to salvage the concluding chapter in Disney’s so-called “Skywalker” series, director J.J. Abrams does something interesting with STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (142 mins., PG-13): he and co-writer Chris Terrio basically act as if its tepid, divisive Rian Johnson-helmed predecessor, “The Last Jedi,” never existed. Did that visit to the intergalactic casino ever happen? Where are the “Jedi Kids”? Are characters played by Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro even canon now?
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The 2019 Top Forty Composer Countdown (Abbreviated Version)
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/29/2019 - 10:00 PM
40. MATTHEW MARGESON

2018 RANKING: Not ranked
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Kingsman: The Secret Service--128 (U.S. box-office in millions)
2. Kingsman: The Golden Circle--100
3. Rocketman--96  
4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children--87
5. Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare--41  
6. Kick-Ass 2--28
7. Rings--27
8. Skyline--21
9. Eddie the Eagle--15
10. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse--3

Rocketman is his biggest hit as a solo composer, though most of the attention went to the music of a Mr. E. John. He moves into the first-composer position with the upcoming Kingsman prequel.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Buffaloed, The King’s Man  
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CD Checklist 2019
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/28/2019 - 10:00 PM
ABELS, MICHAEL
 
US (Backlot)

ADES, THOMAS
 
COLETTE (Lakeshore)

AKUTAGAWA, YASUSHI
 
HAKKODASAN (Cinema-Kan)
AMENABAR, ALEJANDRO

MIENTRAS DURE LA GUERRA (Quartet)
AMFITHEATROF, DANIELE

NEVADA SMITH: THE PARAMOUNT WESTERNS COLLECTION [COPPER CANYON] (La-La Land)
ANTHEIL, GEORGE

DEMENTIA/PIANO CONCERTO (Kritzerland)
ARMSTRONG, CRAIG

MRS. LOWRY AND SON (Verve - import)

ARNOLD, DAVID
 
GOOD OMENS (Silva)
STARGATE: 25TH ANNIVERSARY EXPANDED (La-La Land)

ARSON, OLIVIER
 
EL REINO (Quartet)
ARUJ, MAX

CRAWL (Intrada)
AUBRY, RENE

LA FAMEUSE INVASION DES OURS DE SICILE (Milan)

AUGUI, ALEXEI
 
TEST/WILD FIELD (Music Box)
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Film Score Friday 12/27/19
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/26/2019 - 10:00 PM

CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Adios
 - Zeltia Montes - Quartet 
Alien 2 Sulla Terra 
- Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis - Beat 
Cari Mostri del Mare
 - Carlo Savina - Kronos
Gege Bellavita
 - Riz Ortolani - Digitmovies 
I Fratelli Corsi
 - Angelo Francesco Lavagnino - Kronos 
I Ladri Della Notte 
- Ennio Morricone - Beat 
Il Disordine
 - Mario Nascimbene - Kronos 
Il Segno Del Coyote
 - Francesco DeMasi - Beat 
Jesus de Nazaret
 - Alejandro Karo - Kronos 
Legado en los Huesos
 - Fernando Velazquez - Quartet 
Lilly's Bewitched Christmas
 - Anne-Kathrin Dern - Kronos
Lucio Fulci's Gates of Hell Trilogy
 - Fabio Frizzi, Walter Rizzati - Beat 
Noah Land
 - Leon Gurvitch - Kronos 
Sette Contro La Morte
 - Carlo Rustichelli - Saimel
Seven Worlds, One Planet
 - Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea - Silva 
Un Dramma Borghese
 - Riz Ortolani - Digitmovies   
Ta La Land: City of Fear
 - Tomas Luchoro - Quartet
War in Space - Toshiaki Tsushima - Cinema-Kan (import) 


IN THEATERS TODAY

Just Mercy - Joel P. West - Score CD-R on WaterTower
Little Women - Alexandre Desplat - Score CD on Sony
1917 - Thomas Newman - Score CD on Sony
The Song of Names - Howard Shore - Score CD on Decca  
Spies in Disguise - Theodore Shapiro 

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Today in Film Score History:
February 27
Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for True Grit (1969)
George Duning died (2000)
Herbert Don Woods records his score for the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “The Crystals” (1981)
Leigh Harline, Ned Washington, Paul J. Smith win Best Score Oscar for Pinocchio (1941)
Mort Glickman died (1953)
Nathan Scott died (2010)
Recording sessions begin for Bronislau Kaper's score to A Life of Her Own (1950)
The first score Oscar is awarded, to Victor Schertzinger and Gus Kahn's score to One Night of Love; however, Academy policy at the time awards the Oscar to the head of the studio's music department, Louis Silvers (1935)
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross win the Original Score Oscar for The Social Network (2011)
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