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Archive for February, 2015

WITNESS – Maurice Jarre

February 12, 2015 2 comments

witnessTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Witness is a thriller set in Pennsylvania’s Amish community. The film stars Harrison Ford as John Book, an honest cop, who is forced to travel to rural Pennsylvania to protect a young Amish boy named Samuel, played by Lukas Haas, who unintentionally witnesses a murder while visiting the big city with his mother Rachel, played by Kelly McGillis. To keep his witness safe, Book tries to maintain a low profile within the community, which shuns modern conveniences and technology, but unexpectedly begins to develop romantic feelings for Rachel, causing friction among the elders, who view Book as an interloper and outsider. Worse still, the murder suspects have discovered the whereabouts of the one eyewitness to their crime, and are coming after the young boy. The film was directed by Peter Weir, and was one of the major cinematic successes of 1985, receiving critical acclaim and eight Oscar nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Best Actor for Ford, and Best Score for the film’s composer, Maurice Jarre. Read more…

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PAPER PLANES – Nigel Westlake

February 9, 2015 Leave a comment

paperplanesOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Paper Planes is an Australian family film, directed by Robert Connolly, about a young Australian boy named Dylan, whose passion for flight inspires him to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan, while simultaneously re-connecting with his father Jack, who is severely depressed following the death of his wife – Dylan’s mother – in a car accident. The film stars Ed Oxenbould as Dylan, Avatar’s Sam Worthington as Jack, has a supporting cast that includes David Wenham and Terry Norris, and has a score by one of Australia’s leading film composers, Nigel Westlake. Read more…

BAFTA Winners 2014

February 8, 2015 1 comment

desplat-bafta-2014The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) have announced the winners of the 68th British Academy Film Awards, honoring the best in film in 2014.

In the Best Original Score category composer Alexandre Desplat won the award for his score for director Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed quirky comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel. In his acceptance speech, Desplat said:

“Thank you. Merci beaucoup, I am very moved and honored to be here. It all goes back to Wes [Anderson]. Wes is unique. His world looks like nobody else’s. He is not here tonight but I am sure he is watching TV. I am not sure actually. But we will send him a video. There are many people involved, of course, the great musicians, Mark Graham, my agent Laura Engel, but I would like to share it with the best musician I have ever met, Solrey [Lemonnier], this is for you.

The other nominees were Jóhann Jóhannsson for The Theory of Everything, Mica Levi for Under the Skin, Antonio Sanchez for Birdman, and Hans Zimmer for Interstellar.

Categories: News and Announcements Tags: ,

CHAMPIONS – Carl Davis

February 6, 2015 Leave a comment

championsTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When I was a kid, Grand National day was one of my favorite days of the British sporting calendar. I had, and continue to have, a very personal connection with it, as it was something I shared with my late grandfather, who had a passion for the sport of kings, and my childhood memories of spending those Saturdays with him in the 1980s are some of my fondest. For those who don’t know what it is – which is probably every American reading this – the Grand National is a steeplechase horse race, in which 40 brave and gallant horses and their equally brave and gallant jockeys test themselves by negotiating 30 daunting fences over two 2-mile circuits of the challenging Aintree racecourse in Liverpool. The race has been run every year since 1839, and has grown to become a major television event in the UK, watched by millions across the country. The winning horses, winning jockeys, and the race’s controversies go down in history and become part of the nation’s sporting lexicon – speak to pretty much any Englishman of my generation, and he will know what you’re talking about if you mention Devon Loch or Red Rum, Ginger McCain or Jenny Pitman. However, by far the most famous Grand National in terms of human and equine drama was the race run in 1981. Read more…

IFMCA Award Nominations 2014

February 5, 2015 1 comment

ifmcasquareINTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED; COMPOSERS JAMES NEWTON HOWARD AND ALEXANDRE DESPLAT DOMINATE

The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2014, for the 11th annual IFMCA Awards. The most nominated composers are American James Newton Howard and Frenchman Alexandre Desplat.

Howard received seven nominations, including nods for Score of the Year, Composer of the Year, Best Action/Adventure/Thriller score, and Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror score, all of which were split between his two main works of 2014: the action adventure sequel “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I,” and Disney’s reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty story, “Maleficent”. Howard also received an unprecedented three nominations in the Film Music Composition of the Year category, including one for the song “The Hanging Tree,” which he co-wrote with Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers, and Hunger Games book series author Suzanne Collins, and which was performed by the film’s lead actress, Jennifer Lawrence. Howard has previously been nominated for a total of 23 IFMCA Awards, winning six of them, including Score of the Year in 2006 for “Lady in the Water”. Read more…

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VICTOR YOUNG – Fathers of Film Music, Part 8

February 1, 2015 5 comments

Victor YoungArticle by Craig Lysy

Born: 8 August 1899, Chicago, Illinois
Died: 10 November 1956

Victor Young’s early life was not an ordinary one by any measure. He was born of Jewish heritage into a family with musical talent; his father William being a successful tenor in Joseph Sheehan’s touring Opera Company. Sadly, following the untimely death of his mother in 1909, Young and his sister Helen were abandoned by their father. Undeterred, he and his sister embarked on a truly remarkable journey that would take them back to their family’s ancestral homeland of Poland, then a dominion of the Russian Empire, where their grandparents lived. Young’s grandparents were ecstatic at their return and lovingly raised them as their own. Victor’s musical gift was recognized quickly and his grandfather provided him with a violin, which he began playing in earnest at the age of ten. Young quickly mastered the instrument by the age of thirteen and gained acclaim as a prodigy. His grandfather fostered his education, enrolling him in the prestigious Warsaw Imperial Conservatory where he would study the violin under Isador Lotto, achieving the Diploma of Merit. Additional studies in Paris included study of the piano under the tutelage of Isidor Philipp. Read more…

Categories: Fathers of Film Music