Search Results for : The Composer

Malickean Music: To the Wonder’s Hanan Townshend

Hanan Townshend, center

Terrence Malick is one of the most refreshingly original filmmakers of our time, a genuine auteur. He’s also an enigma: never giving interviews or appearing on camera (there’s a single photo of him that always gets used), disappearing for 20 years between 1978’s Days of Heaven and ’98’s The Thin Red Line, and making films that—with their preference for narration / internal dialogue and nonlinear structure—are themselves increasingly enigmatic. In my opinion he’s a genius, a poet in an industry full of technicians and hacks, who fills his frames with some of the most gorgeous visuals in cinematic history and grapples with the deepest questions and longings of the heart and soul. The New World and The Tree of Life are two of the best films of the new millenium, and I think he is forging a thrilling new art form.

Film Score Stratigraphy: Jack Reacher

There’s only so much you can learn and dissect about a film score without talking to its composer, and even then you can only go so deep in a 30–45-minute promotional interview. I’ve always wanted to peel back the layers of a score with its composer, and trace the music’s evolution from imagination to realization on the scoring stage. I’m obviously fascinated with this peculiar little art form, and I’ve always found the gems of insight from composers about their craft—their method of composing, the way they choose to respond to picture, their artistry, the often brilliant conceptual reasons for musical decisions, their collaboration process with directors—to be infinitely rewarding, digging beneath the visceral thrills and joys of the music and discovering the intelligence and clockwork inside.

Marvin

Marvin

I’m embarrassed to admit that, before I interviewed him in 2009, I had no idea who Marvin Hamlisch was. I did my homework, of course, and learned all about his Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe, and Pulitzer in anticipation of our phone conversation about the score he wrote for Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant!. The 65-year-old composer treated me like a pro, and gave me one of my earliest—and one of my best—interviews for Film Score Monthly Online.

Georges Delerue at 87

Georges Delerue at 87

87 years ago today, on March 12, 1925, Georges Delerue was born in Roubaix (in the northern tip of France). The son of factory workers, he overcame severe back problems, early resistance in the conservatory, and the cultural stigma of composing for film and television to become one of the most respected and accomplished film composers of the twentieth century…first in France, then America.

Good old Uncle Benny

Good old Uncle Benny

I just finished Steven C. Smith’s impressive biography on Bernard Herrmann, A Heart at Fire’s Center. I’ve given a lot of thought lately to the task of filling the vacuum of scholastic literature written on film music and film composers, and I hunted this tome down to see what little has been done to that end.

Smith’s book is exhaustive, authoritative, and a great read. It is an inspiring (and instructive) demonstration of what’s possible with such an endeavor. An interesting person who composes interesting music can easily, in the hands of a good writer, make for a very interesting book. More on that some other day.