IFMCA Award Nominations 2015

February 4, 2016 1 comment

ifmcasquareINTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED; OCTOGENARIAN VETERANS JOHN WILLIAMS AND ENNIO MORRICONE LEAD THE FIELD, MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS FOR MICHAEL GIACCHINO, LATE JAMES HORNER

FEBRUARY 4, 2016. The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2015, for the 12th annual IFMCA Awards. The most nominated composers are industry veterans John Williams and Ennio Morricone, as well as Michael Giacchino, and the late James Horner.

83-year old John Williams receives four nominations, all for his score for the smash hit sci-fi adventure “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” directed by J. J. Abrams, which is nominated for Score of the Year, Best Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror score, and Film Music Composition of the Year. Williams also receives a personal nomination as Composer of the Year. Williams has previously been nominated for 31 IFMCA Awards, winning on 12 occasions, including Score of the Year for “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005 and “War Horse” in 2011. Read more…

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Movie Music UK Awards 2015

January 29, 2016 5 comments

mmukawardsI feel like I say this every year, but narrowing down my choices for the best scores of 2015 has been harder than ever. It’s been a wonderful year for film music – I managed to experience well over 400 scores this year, both by watching movies and listening to their soundtracks independently, and the quality of music being written in all corners of the world just gets better and better.

This year, I have nominated works from France, Iran, Japan, Lebanon, Norway, Portugal, and Spain, as well the USA and the UK, proving once again that if you look outside the mainstream, you can still find a lot of outstanding music being written for smaller-scale projects all across the world.

My choices for the best of the year range from major Hollywood blockbusters and art house dramas, to broad comedies, classic fairytales, and science fiction adventures that take you beyond the stars – so, for your reading and listening pleasure, I present the 2015 Movie Music UK Awards! Read more…

Best Scores of 2015 – Asia

January 27, 2016 3 comments

The sixth and final installment in my series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films from Asia, although all of main ones this year are from the far eastern nation of Japan, with a couple of interlopers from Iran and the Lebanon. In this article, I’m taking a deeper look at several truly excellent works, which range in scope from anime movies and prestigious TV series to fantasy adventures, small-scale dramas, and religious epics. Read more…

TOM JONES – John Addison

January 25, 2016 1 comment

tomjonesMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer and director Tony Richardson drew inspiration from an 18th century English novel “A History of Tom Jones, a Foundling”, by Henry Fielding. He hired John Osborne to adapt it to the big screen and cast the film audaciously, selecting rising star Albert Finney for the titular role. Rounding out the cast was Susannah York (Sophie Western), Edith Evans (Miss Western), Joan Greenwood (Lady Ballaston), Hugh Griffith (Squire Western) and making his film debut, David Warner as the villain Blifil. The story offers a classic period piece full of drama, treachery, seduction and intrigue. Squire Allworthy discovers an infant on his bed and chooses to raise little Tom Jones as if he were his own son. Tom’s grows up to become an attractive, dashing, and very popular young man with the ladies, It comes to pass that he falls madly in love with Sophie, who returns his affections. Yet there is an insurmountable impediment – Tom is stigmatized as a bastard, and Sophie’s father forbids her to wed a man below her station. Blifil who seeks Allworthy’s estate engineers Tom’s dishonor and dismissal by Squire Allworthy. An irrepressible Tom however is not to be denied, and he travels far and wide, all the time enjoying a multiplicity of women, fine food and drink along the way! As fate would have it he ultimately triumphs, overcoming all obstacles set against him, and earns Sophie’s hand in marriage when his true identity as Bridget’s Allworthy’s illegitimate son and Allworthy’s nephew is finally revealed. The film was both a commercial and critical success, earning an amazing ten Academy Award nominations, winning four, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Score. Read more…

Best Scores of 2015 – Spain and Portugal, Part II

January 21, 2016 1 comment

The fifth installment in my series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world takes a look at another great bunch of music from films and TV shows from Spain and Portugal. As I mentioned before, I have been very vocal in the past about my admiration for the music coming out of the Iberian peninsula, and this year just reinforces my view that some of the best film music in the world right now is being written there. This final crop features scores by Oscar nominees and promising newcomers, spanning documentaries and dramas and animated films, including three of the scores nominated for the 2015 Goyas, the Spanish Academy Awards. Read more…

THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER – Bernard Herrmann

January 20, 2016 Leave a comment

devilanddanilwebsterMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Following the success of Citizen Kane in 1941, RKO Studios launched a new project based on a short story “The Devil and Daniel Webster” by Stephen Vincent Benét. This Faustian tale centered on a New Hampshire farmer who sold his soul to the Devil for several years of prosperity, but then recants. When the Devil insists on payment Stone goes to trial, defended by famous orator, statesman and attorney Daniel Webster. The film offers both a celebration of the indomitable spirit of American independence as well as the dangers inherent in unchecked power. For the film, William Dieterle was hired to direct, and he assembled a fine cast, which included; Walter Houston (Mr. Scratch), James Craig (Jabez Stone), Anne Shirley (Mary Stone), and John Qualen (Miser Stevens). I would advise the reader to note that the studio later changed the title to “All That Money Can Buy”. The film was not a commercial success but garnered critical success, earning two Academy Award nominations, winning one for Herrmann for Best Score. Read more…

Best Scores of 2015 – United Kingdom

January 18, 2016 Leave a comment

The fourth installment in my series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films and TV shows from the United Kingdom. The British Isles have always been a major center for excellent film music, and this year is no exception: as well as scores for projects like Peter and Wendy, Wolf Hall, Poldark, Suffragette, Spectre, Mr. Holmes, and Far From the Madding Crowd, which I have already reviewed, the rest of this year’s bumper crop includes the scores for a low-budget thriller, two wonderful TV documentaries, a witty comedy, and a swashbuckling TV adventure series! Read more…

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