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John Barry 1933-2011

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Some very sad news to report. Legendary film composer John Barry, the genius mind behind some of the greatest scores in film music history, has died of a heart attack at his home in Oyster Bay, NY, at the age of 77.

Apart from a concert I attended in Birmingham in England several years ago, I never had the good fortune to meet Barry, but his music has been a part of my film music experience for as long as I can remember. The James Bond theme will be his legacy, of course, but my favorites of his were the scores which showcased his unmatched talent for sublime orchestral beauty: Dances With Wolves, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa, Somewhere in Time, The Scarlet Letter, Hanover Street, Chaplin, My Life… the list of amazing scores is endless.

Five Oscars, two further nominations, various BAFTAs and Emmy, and other innumerabale awards go some way to illustrating the esteem in which he was held. He was a titan of the film music industry, and although he hadn’t written a score since Enigma in 2002, his legacy will surely endure.

RIP Maestro.

BATMAN RETURNS – Danny Elfman

January 30, 2011 2 comments

batmanreturnsMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Studios execs used a significant salary increase and offer of creative control to induce resistant Tim Burton to reprise his role and direct the next installment in the Batman franchise. Burton rejected a sequel, stating “I wanted to treat this like it was another Batman movie altogether.” So, a new Batman, new villains and a grim and darker Gotham City were introduced. The plot pits Batman against an evil tycoon Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), who seeks to enrich himself by monopolizing the city’s power supply, the pathetic deformed and inwardly mutated Penguin who harbors unresolved anger for being abandoned by his parents, and lastly the schizophrenic and mercurial Catwoman played by Michelle Pfeiffer. The film was not a critical success, however it was a commercial success and so spawned a third installment in the franchise. Read more…

John Barry, 1933-2011

January 30, 2011 Leave a comment

John BarryComposer John Barry died on January 30, 2011, at his home in Oyster Bay, New York, after suffering a heart attack. He was 77.

John Barry Prendergast was born in York, England in November 1933, where his father owned a chain of cinemas. He played the organ at York Minster and, after spending some time as a classical pianist, formed a jazz band, The John Barry Seven in 1957. The Seven had a number of popular instrumental hits in the UK, including a cover of “Walk Don’t Run” and the theme from the TV show Juke Box Jury, “Hit and Miss”, before moving into cinema.

Barry made his film music composing debut in 1960 writing music for the Adam Faith film Beat Girl at the age of 27, before establishing himself as a major force in the British film industry when he wrote the score for the second James Bond film, From Russia With Love, in 1963. Barry wrote music for 10 more Bond films, including Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever, while simultaneously establishing himself as one of the pre-eminent composers in American and British film from the 1960s through to the early 1980s through popular and successful films such as Zulu, Born Free. The Lion in Winter, Midnight Cowboy, Walkabout, King Kong, Robin and Marian, The Black Hole, Somewhere in Time and Out of Africa. Read more…

Academy Award Nominations 2010

January 25, 2011 1 comment

oscarstatuetteThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have announced the nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards, honoring the best in film in 2010.

In the Best Original Score category, the nominees are:

  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for The King’s Speech
  • JOHN POWELL for How to Train Your Dragon
  • A.R. RAHMAN for 127 Hours
  • TRENT REZNOR and ATTICUS ROSS for The Social Network
  • HANS ZIMMER for Inception

These are the first Oscar nominations Powell, Reznor and Ross, although Reznor and Ross picked up a Golden Globe nomination for The Social Network earlier in the season. This is the 4th Oscar nomination for Desplat, the 2nd Oscar nomination for Rahman, who won the Award in 2009 for Slumdog Millionaire, and the 9th Oscar nomination for Zimmer, who previously won in 1994 for The Lion King.

In the Best Original Song category, the nominees are:

  • TOM DOUGLAS, TROY VERGES and HILLARY LINDSEY for “Coming Home” from Country Strong
  • ALAN MENKEN and GLENN SLATER for “I See The Light” from Tangled
  • RANDY NEWMAN for “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3
  • A.R. RAHMAN, DIDO ARMSTRONG and ROLLO ARMSTRONG for “If I Rise” from 127 Hours

The winners of the 83rd Academy Awards will be announced on February 27, 2011.

 

STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER – Jerry Goldsmith

January 20, 2011 4 comments

startrek5expandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Star Trek V is at its heart a mystical quest film concerned with a question that has aroused humanity’s curiosity for millennia. It explores our search for that sacred omphalos from whence we arose – the Garden of Eden. In metaphysics Eden symbolizes primordial perfection, the source of all life and the state of perfect communion between humanity and God. It is from this inner longing, this yearning that the saga which is Star Trek V unfolds. William Shatner lobbied very hard to direct the film and although he managed to win the directorship, he regretfully would not enjoy critical success. Production and financing problems forced a dramatic scaling back of the movie’s climactic scene where he had planned a dramatic display of immense stone gollums and the earth opening up to reveal scenes of Dante’s ten levels of Hell. It suffices to say that the lack of resources served to mortally wound the story’s narrative and resulted in what many believe to be the weakest film in the Star Trek franchise. Read more…

BAFTA Nominations 2010

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

baftaThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the nominations for the 64th British Academy Film Awards, honoring the best in film in 2010.

In the Best Original Music category, which is named in memory of the film director Anthony Asquith, the nominees are:

  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for The King’s Speech
  • DANNY ELFMAN for Alice in Wonderland
  • JOHN POWELL for How to Train Your Dragon
  • A.R. RAHMAN for 127 Hours
  • HANS ZIMMER for Inception

This is the 5th BAFTA nomination for Desplat, the 2nd BAFTA nomination for Elfman, the 3rd BAFTA nomination for Powell, the 2nd BAFTA nomination for Rahman (who won the award in 2008 for Slumdog Millionaire), and the 5th BAFTA film nomination for Zimmer.

The winners of the 64th BAFTA Awards will be announced on February 13, 2011.

Categories: News and Announcements Tags: ,

Golden Globe Winners 2010

January 16, 2011 2 comments

reznor-ross-globesThe Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) have announced the winners of the 68th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and American television of 2010.

In the Best Original Score category composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross won the award for their score for David Fincher-directed Facebook movie The Social Network. In their acceptance speech, Reznor said:

“This is really flattering to be recognized in this field, thank you very much. A year ago I had no idea I’d be having the opportunity to score a film, and the idea of standing up here accepting this award is completely surreal. Thank you. We would like to collectively thank David Fincher, Aaron Sorkin, Scott Rudin, Amy Pascal, Lia Vollack, Ren Klyce, and everyone involved with this picture, as well as our wives and families. Thank you so much.”

The other nominees were Alexandre Desplat for The King’s Speech, Danny Elfman for Alice in Wonderland, A.R. Rahman for 127 Hours, and Hans Zimmer for Inception.

In the Best Original Song category, the winner was Diane Warren won for her song “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from the Christina Aguilera/Cher screen musical Burlesque. Warren dedicated her award to the late music publicist Ronni Chasen, who had been tragically murdered several weeks previously.

The other nominees were Christina Aguilera, Samuel Dixon and Sia Furler for “Bound to You” from Burlesque; Bob Di Piero, Tom Douglas, Hillary Lindsey and Troy Verges for “Coming Home” from Country Strong; Alan Menken and Glenn Slater for “I See the Light” from Tangled; and Carrie Underwood, David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey for “There’s a Place for Us” from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.