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MAGDALENE – Cliff Eidelman

September 6, 2018 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Do you remember what you were doing when you were 24? Maybe you were just starting out at your first proper job, maybe you just got your first apartment, maybe you were embarking on your first relationship. Maybe you were even still at university, dreaming of what your future life might bring once you leave academia and head out into the big wide world. Whatever you were doing, I’m pretty sure you weren’t doing what Cliff Eidelman was doing when he was 24 – which was conducting 120 musicians of the Munich Symphony Orchestra for his debut film score, Magdalene. To say that Eidelman’s rise was meteoric is an enormous understatement; just a year prior to scoring Magdalene he was still a student at the University of Southern California, but this all changed when German film director Monica Teuber somehow heard a performance recording of a ballet score Eidelman had written on commission for Santa Monica City College. On the strength of that music alone Teuber hired Eidelman to score her film; after it came out the score was so well received that it immediately led to other assignments, and within three years he was scoring major studio blockbusters like Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country – and a career was born. Read more…

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THE NUN – Abel Korzeniowski

September 4, 2018 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the constant battles I have as a film music reviewer is between music I like and music that is good. Sometimes it’s easy, because the two are the same thing. Often I listen to a score and there are great memorable themes and big sweeping orchestras and powerful lush arrangements; there is a gorgeous love theme, and sometimes bold and exciting action music. This is the stuff I like. Then you get into the meat of it and it’s filled with really cool compositional ideas and contrapuntal writing and rhythmic devices, interesting ways of using the instruments through the orchestrations and via extended performance techniques, clever thematic interplay, and so on. This is when you know it’s good in purely musical terms – and that’s before you even get into things like in-film effectiveness. The problem arises when there’s a conflict, when the music is undeniably superb from a technical and compositional point of view, but it’s something I don’t particularly like listening to, and for me that arises most often in music for horror films. The latest score to give me that problem is The Nun, which is by the outrageously talented Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski. Read more…

OUT OF AFRICA – John Barry

September 3, 2018 Leave a comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Notable directors such as Orson Welles, David Lean and Nicolas Roeg had long sought to bring to the big screen the 1937 novel Out of Africa by Isak Dinesan (Karen Blixen). None were successful in adapting the story into a cogent screenplay. Sydney Pollack however was determined to succeed, and after two years of struggle managed with the assistance of screenwriter Kurt Luedtke to fashion a screenplay drawing from Blixen’s “Out of Africa”, but also her novel “Shadows on the Grass” and Elsbeth Huxley’s novel, “The Flame Trees of Thika”. Mirage Enterprises agreed to fund the project, which would be produced by Kim Jurgensen and Sydney Pollack, who would also direct. A fine cast was assembled, which included the dashing Robert Redford as Denys Hatton, Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen, and Klaus Maria Brandauer as Baron Bror von Blixen. The story offers a sad testament to the life of a wealthy Danish woman Karen Blixen, and the love of her life, Denys Hatton. After she is spurned by her Swedish lover, Karen relocates to British East Africa and enters into a loveless marriage of convenience with his brother, Baron Bror Blixen. They plan to start a dairy cattle farm, but on the wedding day Bror informs her that he plans to instead start a coffee plantation. His infidelity leads to her contracting syphilis, which requires that she return to Denmark for treatment. She returns to find Bror more interested in Safaris than her and they separate. Read more…