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DIVERGENT – Tom Holkenborg

April 6, 2014 Leave a comment

divergentOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Divergent is the latest “young adult” fantasy-action novel to be translated to the big screen, hoping to follow in the financially successful footsteps of The Hunger Games, and avoid the relative disaster that befell The Mortal Instruments. Directed by Neil Burger from the novel by Veronica Roth, it stars Shailene Woodley Tris, a young girl born into a post-apocalyptic society that defines and controls its citizens by their social and personality-related affiliation with five different factions representing selflessness, peacefulness, honesty, bravery and intelligence. When she comes of age, Tris discovers that she is a ‘divergent’ whose personality does not fit in with any one of the pre-determined factions, and is therefore a threat to the established order. Hiding her secret, Tris chooses to join the Dauntless faction associated with bravery, which is charged with the security of the city, but while she undergoes her training and initiation, Tris discovers a troubling plot which threatens to destabilize the world. The film co-stars Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz and Kate Winslet, and has a score by Dutch composer Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL. Read more…

NOAH – Clint Mansell

April 2, 2014 1 comment

noahOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The story of Noah, in terms of the Christian bible, is a fairly simple one: having become displeased with the corruption and cruelty of mankind, God makes the decision to essentially ‘wipe the slate clean’ and destroy humanity by way of a great flood. In order to preserve some semblance of life, God tasks Noah with building an enormous wooden ark into which he can fit a male and female specimen of every animal and bird on the planet – every creeping thing that creeps – so that life may begin again once the flood subsides. According to the story, which originally appears in the book of Genesis, it rains for forty days and forty nights, all of the evil of the world of washed away, and humanity began again anew. Darren Aronofsky’s visually staggering, theologically progressive film builds on the original biblical story and adds more action and fantasy elements, including a vicious antagonist who rebels against God and wants to take the ark for himself, and featuring a race of beings known as The Watchers, fallen angels cursed to be bound in a stony prison. Russell Crowe headlines the cast as Noah himself, with support from Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone and Emma Watson. Read more…

MAX STEINER – Fathers of Film Music, Part 1

April 1, 2014 5 comments

Max SteinerArticle by Craig Lysy

Born: 10 May 1888, Vienna, Austria.
Died: 28 December 1971

Maximilian Raoul Walter Steiner stands as one of the greatest film score composers of all time, and has earned the great honor of being referred to as “the father of film music”. He was born in the late 19th century in Vienna, capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Steiner was the only child of a wealthy Jewish theatrical family whose upbringing nurtured his nascent talent for music. It suffices to say that his innate musical gifts were nothing short of remarkable and he quickly gained renown as a child prodigy, conducting his first operetta at twelve years of age. As such, his parents wisely sent him to the venerable Imperial Academy of Music in Vienna where he was privately tutored by Robert Fuchs and Gustav Mahler with courses in composition, orchestral instruments, counterpoint and harmony. Most remarkable was his completion of a four-year course in only one year, an achievement for which he was awarded a gold medal by the academy. Read more…