Posts Tagged ‘Jóhann Jóhannsson’

MARY MAGDALENE – Hildur Guðnadóttir and Jóhann Jóhannsson

April 13, 2018 6 comments

Original Review by Anže Grčar

The unfortunate and unexpected passing of Jóhann Jóhannsson in early February, sent shockwaves through the film community, and lovers of modernist music at large. Not only was he flourishing and enjoying a fruitful career highlight since the indie world took his scores for mainly Denis Villeneuve-helmed films to the heart, but the death of any person at barely 48 years of age is a sad reminder of how fragile our existence can be. Jóhannsson is leaving behind a stunning body of work, ranging from independent studio albums in his native Iceland, that gained a loyal following due to their experimental sonic blends of traditional orchestration with contemporary electronic elements, to his recent film scores, which exposed so many traditional scoring aficionados to variety of post-modernist styles – all coming from an artist who always managed to encapsulate life from a different, more introverted angle that was singular only to him. Read more…

Jóhann Jóhannsson, 1969-2018

February 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson died on February 9, 2018, at his home in Berlin, Germany. The cause of death is still unknown. He was 48 years old.

Jóhann Jóhannsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in September 1969. After graduating from university he started his musical career in the mid-1990s as a guitarist playing in various Icelandic indie rock bands, before founding Kitchen Motors, an art organization that encouraged musical collaborations between artists from numerous different genres. He began scoring television projects and films in his native Iceland in 1999, beginning with the TV series Corpus Camera and the theatrical feature The Icelandic Dream [Íslenski Draumurinn] for director Robert Ingi Douglas, and went on to write several acclaimed scores for Icelandic directors over the next several years.

Jóhannsson scored his first English-language film, Personal Effects for director David Hollander, in 2009, first came to international prominence in 2013 when he was asked to score the dark thriller Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal by director Denis Villeneuve. He followed this with the score for the Steven Hawking bio-pic The Theory of Everything in 2014, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score, a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Read more…

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ARRIVAL – Jóhann Jóhannsson

November 15, 2016 2 comments

arrivalOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Serious science fiction, that eschews cheap thrills and pyrotechnics in favor of more thoughtful contemplation, is still comparatively rare in Hollywood these days, but it does seem that more and more filmmakers are willing to take the risk and explore deeper, more sophisticated philosophical topics against a fantastical background. Director Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is one of those films, exploring one possible way the world may react when confronted with the real ramifications of a first contact with an alien species. I’m not going to give away much of the plot, except to say that it stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner as a language expert and a theoretical physicist, respectively, who are approached by the US military to help them make contact with one of the dozen or so alien spacecraft which have appeared over Earth. The film explores a number of weighty topics, including death, loss, destiny, time, and language, and explores them with a profound seriousness and respect for the genre; it’s a slow film, which takes time to reveal its layers, but it’s worth the wait. It’s also a very beautiful film; Villeneuve’s visual composition and sense of space is as much responsible for the film’s sense of grandeur as the screenplay, dialogue, and performances. Similarly, the sound design is a very important aspect of the film, including the unusual ambient score by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Read more…

SICARIO – Jóhann Jóhannsson

September 22, 2015 1 comment

sicarioOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The rise to power of the Mexican drug cartels has caused immeasurable damage to the cities of northern Mexico over the last couple of decades, as rival groups battle to control the distribution of illegal narcotics across the border and into the United States. Murder, extortion, kidnapping, and corruption are all becoming increasingly commonplace, leaving the good people of border cities like Tijuana, Mexicali, Nogales, and Nuevo Laredo fearful for their lives in the face of the deadly violence all around them. Most dangerous of all is the city of Juárez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, which in the past decade has become the headquarters of the Sinaloa cartel, who notoriously leave the headless corpses of their dead enemies dangling from bridges in the city. The new movie Sicario, directed by Denis Villeneuve, is an uncensored journey into that world from the point of view of FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), who is asked to join a special team by mysterious government official Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), and his equally mysterious advisor Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), with a view to apprehending one of Juárez’s most powerful and notorious bosses. Read more…


November 18, 2014 1 comment

theoryofeverythingOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the annals of human history, it is likely that Professor Stephen Hawking will go down as one of our most important scientific figures, alongside Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. As a theoretical physicist, he is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology, general relativity and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes; however, to the public at large, he is also known for being disabled, having suffered from motor neuron disease since 1963, a condition which has rendered him almost entirely incapable of voluntary movement or speech, and which gets progressively more severe each passing year. However, these overwhelming health problems have not stopped Hawking from becoming a scientific celebrity, working non-stop on his ideas and theories, making many public appearances, writing books, and even appearing in TV shows like The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, complete with his instantly recognizable American-accented speech generating computer. Read more…

PRISONERS – Jóhann Jóhannsson

October 9, 2013 1 comment

prisonersOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Prisoners is a dark, difficult, compelling film about the lengths to which one will go to find truth and justice. It’s the English-language film debut of French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve; set around Thanksgiving in a snowy Pennsylvania town, it follows two families: Keller and Grace Dover (Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello) and Franklin and Nancy Birch (Terrence Howard and Viola Davis), whose lives are thrown into chaos when both their pre-teen daughters go missing, presumed abducted. A suspect, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), is quickly arrested, but is just as quickly released when the lead detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) can find no evidence linking him to the crime. However, with the girls still missing, Keller Dover remains convinced that Alex is responsible, and will stop at nothing to prove his guilt. Read more…