Posts Tagged ‘Atli Örvarsson’


July 14, 2020 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

So, I have something of a confession to make. I love the Eurovision Song Contest. For those who don’t know what this is – most of whom will be American – it is an annual music contest/festival in which all the countries of Europe (plus a few occasional non-European guests) put forward a song to represent their nation, and then after a huge live TV music extravaganza lasting several hours, all the competing nations vote for a winner. This has happened every year since 1956, and it’s fantastic. It’s a celebration of music and culture, yes, but it’s also a celebration of kitsch, where the wild and the wacky and the downright bizarre compete on equal terms with genuine musical excellence in the service of pan-continental friendship. Lots of famous faces have competed in the competition – ABBA famously won for Sweden in 1974, beating Olivia Newton-John. Céline Dion won singing for Switzerland in 1988. And over the years several artists cut their teeth on the show as youngsters, many of whom may be famous to those outside the Euro-bubble, including Cliff Richard, Nana Mouskouri, Matt Monro, Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Dana, Julio Iglesias, Brotherhood of Man, Bucks Fizz, Ofra Haza, and Katrina and the Waves. Read more…

The World of Film Scores – 2018 First Quarter Round-Up

March 30, 2018 5 comments

In a break with my usual convention, I have decided that instead of doing a series of geographical articles at the end of the calendar year highlighting the best under-the-radar film scores, I am instead going to write four quarterly articles which spotlight the same types of scores – unheralded works from outside the Hollywood film music mainstream – but which are spaced throughout the year so that they are more timely in terms of when the films are released. As such, here is the first – a look at ten outstanding scores from the first three months of 2018, encompassing a wide range of projects from all over the world, including works from Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Japan, Spain, China, Russia, and beyond! Read more…


August 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An unusual action-comedy buddy movie, The Hitman’s Bodyguard stars Ryan Reynolds as Michael Bryce, who was once one of the world’s most trusted and respected freelance bodyguards, but who fell into disgrace after one of his most high-profile clients was assassinated. Out of the blue Bryce is called back into action several years later; his job is to protect the key witness against the ruthless and bloodthirsty dictator of an east European country, who is about to be put on trial for crimes against humanity. The twist comes from the fact that the witness Bryce is assigned to protect is Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), formerly one of the world’s most notorious hitmen, and who was likely responsible for the death of Bryce’s previous client. The film, which was directed by Patrick Hughes and co-stars Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek, was met with generally positive reviews after it opened during the slow end-of-summer period in August 2017. Read more…

Best Scores of 2015 – Scandinavia

December 29, 2015 1 comment

The second installment in my series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films from Scandinavia. This year’s crop of outstanding scores from the far north of Europe features an animated film from Denmark, a wry comedy-drama from Iceland, a pair of historical dramas from Finland, and a wonderful children’s score from Norway written by one of that country’s most talented young composers! Read more…

COLETTE – Atli Örvarsson

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment

coletteOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Colette is a Czech film, directed by Milan Cieslar and based on the celebrated, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Girl from Antwerp” by Arnost Lustig. The film reveals the author’s personal experiences in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, his own recollections of several escape attempts from the hell that was Auschwitz, but most unexpectedly the romantic attraction and love he developed for a female fellow inmate. The film stars Jirí Mádl and Clémence Thioly, and opened in theaters in Europe in September 2013 to general acclaim.

It’s always interesting to me how different certain composers sound when they write music independently, away from the oversight of the Remote Control organization. Icelandic composer Atli Örvarsson, who has worked with Hans Zimmer for years, wrote the score for Colette, and it’s a beauty. Read more…


September 4, 2013 4 comments

themortalinstrumentscityofbonesOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Mortal Instruments is a series of “young adult” fantasy novels written by Cassandra Clare, following the adventures of teenager Clary Fray. After her mother mysteriously disappears, Clary discovers that she is part of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret force of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. Teaming up with a larger group of shadow hunters, all of whom are invisible to regular humans (“mundanes”), Clary heads into a dangerous alternate version of New York called Downworld, where she and her cohorts attempt to rescue her mother, and stop the demons from spilling over into the real world. Read more…

THE FOURTH KIND – Atli Örvarsson

November 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A terrifying supernatural horror film supposedly based on true events, The Fourth Kind stars Milla Jovovich, Will Patton and Elias Koteas, and is set in the isolated fishing community of Nome, Alaska, where over the course of the last 40 years there have been multiple reported cases of alleged possession, alien abduction, supposed murders, and government conspiracies to keep the story quiet. While the ‘factual basis’ of director Olatunde Osunsanmi’s film remains questionable, the film has frightened a good number of cinematic audiences across the world; contributing enormously to this is Icelandic composer Atli Örvarsson’s original score.

Written for a small orchestra judiciously augmented by various electronics, percussion items and unsettling vocal effects, The Fourth Kind is an effectively unnerving score that is often as cold as the Alaskan tundra in which the film is set. Read more…

BABYLON A.D. – Atli Örvarsson

August 29, 2008 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s funny how career trajectories change. Five years ago, Vin Diesel was a hot new action hero in Hollywood, off the back of smash hit films such as Pitch Black, The Fast and the Furious, and XXX. Recently, however, his star seems to be fading somewhat, and this downturn in popularity will not be helped by Babylon A.D. Based on the comic book by Maurice G. Dantec, the film stars Diesel as Toorop, a futuristic mercenary who takes the job of escorting a woman named Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) from Russia to New York. Initially, Toorop thinks this is just an ordinary mission, but he gradually finds out that his assignment is more dangerous than he realized – Aurora is intended to be the host for an organism that a cult wants to harvest in order to produce a genetically modified Messiah. Despite having an impressive supporting cast (Michelle Yeoh, Gérard Depardieu, Charlotte Rampling), director Mathieu Kassovitz allegedly disowned the film during post-production, stating that it had been “ruined” by the distributors, 20th Century Fox, his fellow producers and other partners, and that his film was now “like a bad episode of 24”. Read more…

VANTAGE POINT – Atli Örvarsson

February 22, 2008 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Vantage Point may be unique in that it represents the first time an Icelandic composer has written the music for a mainstream Hollywood film. Björk, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, and Sigur Ros have all contributed music to motion pictures in the past, but Atli Örvarsson may be the first to actually make a career out of it.

His film, Vantage Point, is a political action thriller directed by Pete Travis and starring Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver and William Hurt. The plot revolves around the attempted assassination of the United States president while addressing a rally in Salamanca, Spain, and the different perspectives of what happened by those who witness the event Read more…