Posts Tagged ‘Vangelis’


October 6, 2022 1 comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The year 1992 marked the 500th anniversary of the voyage of explorer Christopher Columbus, who set sail across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain, and on October 7th 1492 became the ‘first European’ to ‘discover’ the Americas – the historical veracity of this statement remains in question, though, despite the prevailing narrative. Several projects were commissioned in Hollywood to mark the event, with director Ridley Scott’s film 1492: Conquest of Paradise being the most high profile, although it was beaten into theaters by the competing project Christopher Columbus: The Discovery by several months. This may actually have ultimately harmed the viability of Scott’s project, as it grossed just $7 million at the US box office, and is now generally considered to be one of the biggest flops of Scott’s career. The film does have an excellent cast (Gérard Depardieu, Armand Assante, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Wincott, Fernando Rey, Tcheky Karyo, Frank Langella), and boasts grand and handsome production values, but ironically it is best remembered today for its score. Read more…

Vangelis, 1943-2022

May 19, 2022 Leave a comment

Composer Vangelis died on May 19, 2022, in hospital in Paris, where he was being treated for COVID-19. He was 79.

Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou was born in Agria, Greece, in March 1943, and in his youth was a self-taught musician, experimenting by combining pianos with traditional Greek folk music, jazz, and rock. After some early success in Greek pop music circles he co-founded the group Aphrodite’s Child with vocalist Demis Roussos, among others, and together they would enjoy great success in Europe, especially the single “Rain and Tears” in 1968. During this period Vangelis also dabbled in film music, writing music for several domestic films, before eventually making his international film music breakthrough in 1970 with the film Sex Power.

Throughout the 1970s Vangelis continued to have success both as a film composer and a recording artist; he scored popular documentary films such as L’Apocalypse des Animaux, La Fête Sauvage, and Opéra Sauvage, while simultaneously enjoying chart success, notably as one half of ‘Jon & Vangelis’ with Jon Anderson of Yes; their singles “I Hear You Now” and “I’ll Find My Way Home” were chart hits in the UK. His music was also notably used to score the groundbreaking 1980 PBS documentary series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage presented by Carl Sagan, which brought his music to American audiences for the first time. During this period Vangelis developed the iconic sound that would typify much of his career, combining lush and powerful orchestral forces with sometimes very experimental electronica. Read more…

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December 9, 2019 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Lauded English film producer David Puttnam was seeking a new film project, which offered sports heroism and dealt with matters of conscience. By chance he came upon the story of runner Eric Liddell, and found exactly the tale he wanted to tell. He hired screenwriter Colin Welland to adapt Liddell’s story, and he meticulous in his research of the 1924 Olympics. He crafted an Academy Award winning screenplay that provided the vehicle for Puttnam to realize his vision. Hugh Hudson was hired to direct and he decided early that he would cast young, unknown actors for the film’s major roles, with established actors in the supporting roles. He chose Ian Charleson to play Eric Liddell, Ben Cross as his rival Harold Abrahams, Nicholas Farrell as Aubrey Montague, and Nigel Havers as Lord Andrew Lindsay, while adding Sir John Gielgud, Nigel Davenport, Lindsay Anderson, Ian Holm, and Patrick Magee to the supporting cast. Read more…

ALEXANDER – Vangelis

November 26, 2004 Leave a comment

alexanderOriginal Review by Peter Simons

Since the unexpected success of Ridley Scott’s 2000 sword-and-sandals hit Gladiator, historical biopics are in fashion again; showing us glimpses of the lives of Attila, Helen of Troy, Hannibal and, in this instance, Alexander the Great. Oliver Stone’s film primarily focuses on the eight years of the Macedonian king’s life during which he conquered the vast majority of the then known world. By the age of 25, Alexander (played here by Colin Farrell) had led his armies from Macedonia to India and paved the way for Greek culture to spread its influence. Somewhat controversially, the film also emphasizes Alexander’s bisexual nature and his relationship with boyhood friend Hephaestion (Jared Leto). The spectacular supporting cast Stone gathered together includes Angelina Jolie as Alexander’s mother Olympas and Anthony Hopkins as Old Ptolemy, as well as Val Kilmer, Christopher Plummer and Rosario Dawson. Read more…