Posts Tagged ‘Philip Glass’


April 25, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Watching Danny Elfman grow into a sophisticated and technically excellent film composer over the last few years has been one of the most satisfying parts of reviewing soundtracks. His score for Standard Operating Procedure – a devastating documentary by Errol Morris about the appalling events surrounding the Abu Ghraib prison torture abuse scandal in Iraq in 2004 – is probably the most mature and intellectual film score of his entire career.

Morris usually hires Philip Glass to score his films, so it perhaps comes as no surprise that a shorthand way of describing Standard Operating Procedure is ‘Elfman doing Glass’, but should in no way insinuate that Elfman is merely copying Glass Read more…

NO RESERVATIONS – Philip Glass and Conrad Pope

July 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A gastronomical romantic comedy starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart, No Reservations follows the fortunes of top New York chef Kate (Jones), and the way her life changes when she unexpectedly becomes the guardian of her young niece, Zoe (Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine). Director Scott Hicks’s cute romance was a comparative box-office success, but had a somewhat checkered musical history.

Originally Philip Glass – yes, Philip Glass! – was hired to write the music for his first Hollywood romantic comedy, and recorded a full score; however, during the film’s post-production the executives at Castle Rock decided that a warmer and more traditional romantic score was required in certain places Read more…


December 29, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

If you’d have told me five years ago that Philip Glass, by the end of 2006, would regularly be scoring fairly mainstream Hollywood studio pictures – pictures starring people like Nicole Kidman, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Edward Norton, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench – I would have scarcely believed it. If you had told me that each of these scores would receive generally positive critical acclaim from the film music community, and that he would pick up a myriad of Oscar, Golden Globe and other nominations for them, I would also have been skeptical. But yet, here we are, and this is exactly what has happened. The darling of the classical set, one of the pioneers of minimalism, one of the most respected composers of the 20th century has, finally, fully and wholeheartedly embraced film music. Read more…


August 18, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I make no secret of the fact that, for the most part, I’m not a huge fan of Philip Glass’s music. Over the years, scores such as Kundun, The Hours, and his ‘qatsi’ trilogy, which were all acclaimed by the mainstream music media, have generally left me cold and un-moved. His style of writing, the repeated rhythmic patterns, the micro-motifs, and the entrenched ‘minimalism’ just doesn’t appeal to my ear. As far as Philip Glass the composer is concerned, however, I gained a great deal of respect for him as a person when, several years ago, he began conducting a fascinating ‘experiment’ on himself by agreeing to score mainstream Hollywood studio movies – the Angelina Jolie thriller Taking Lives, the Stephen King adaptation Secret Window, and so on – simply to see whether he could do it or not. Whereas the contemporary classical music world tends to sneer at film music as being a lesser art form, Glass took the trouble to discover for himself just how difficult a job being a mainstream film composer can be, and in doing so endeared himself to many who have been arguing this very point for years – myself included. It perhaps comes as no surprise, therefore, to discover that his latest effort is a very high-profile, mainstream studio picture: the elegant magical romantic adventure, The Illusionist. Read more…

THE HOURS – Philip Glass

December 27, 2002 Leave a comment

thehoursOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In film music circles, Philip Glass is the victim of a certain degree of “reverse-snobbishness” that is rather unusual. As a classical composer, some of his film music work lacks the same depth of emotion as those by his contemporaries – not because he cannot write in this way but because, as he still maintains a high standing in the classical music world, he seems to embrace the “technique over emotion” standpoint favored by the classical glitterati. It is surprising, therefore, to discover that The Hours is by far his most emotional film score to date. Sadly, it sounds broadly like every other score he has written, and is repetitive to a point where you almost want to pull out your hair. Read more…