Music Break: Five soundtracks from 2015 I’m currently obsessed with

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Most people who know me know I have an old school taste when it comes to music. I basically only listen to genres. One is classical music – my radio dial goes back and forth from MPR news to Classical MPR 99.5, and I’m not ashamed that I owned two Sarah Brightman CDs. The other is movie music [natch] My CD changers in my car (I’m dating myself aren’t I?) consist mostly of soundtracks (Moulin Rouge and Sense & Sensibility are on there right now). 2015 have produced some truly awesome soundtracks that I currently listen to a lot, and probably will for years to come. They’re quite an eclectic bunch, just like my taste in films, I like my period dramas to go with the high-octane action.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Composed by: Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL

I had never heard of Junkie XL before but man I LOVE this extremely energetic music that adds so much cool vibe to the movie. It perfectly complements all the crazy action that goes on in the movie and the music IS an integral part of the action as well w/ the guitar guy in red jumper on top of the convoy truck.

Brothers in Arms is one of my fave tracks from the album:

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Composed by: Joe Kramer

I LOVE Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, which was featured in the fantabulous Vienna Opera sequence early in the film. Well, three of the tracks managed to inject the famous area beautifully and mix it with the iconic Mission Impossible theme. I just LOVE it!!

I also love the music featured in the MI5 trailer by The Fugees from the mid 90s. It works brilliantly with the trailer cut and somehow sounds like it’s made just for this movie!

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Far From the Madding Crowd

Composed by: Craig Armstrong

I’ve already dedicated an entire Music Break post of this one last September and I’m still obsessed with it.

I especially love Carey Mulligan’s rendition of Let No Man Steal Your Thyme, but this opening sequence with the repetitive piano and violin melody has such a beautiful, swoon-inducing quality.

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Cinderella

Composed by: Patrick Doyle

Speaking of swoon-inducing, that’s the one essential ingredient when you’re composing a fairy tale film. Mr. Doyle’s done some of my favorite soundtracks ever, so he’s the perfect choice for this movie. I was just listening to it last night as I was working on my script, as a matter of fact. At times I’d stop and let myself be swept away by the lush & gorgeous music, just like Cinderella was by Prince Kit ;)

Sicario

Composed by: Jóhann Jóhannsson

I just watched this recently so it’s fresh in my mind. I remember vividly how the ominous score adds so much tension to already ultra-suspenseful scenes. One of the major reasons my nerve was stretched to its snapping point was because of this brilliant music. The Icelandic composer wrote such a perfect music with his minimalist electronic style, it’s as pulsating and heart-throbbing as the film itself. I can’t imagine this movie without THIS music, it’s made all the richer because of it.

 

HONORABLE MENTION:

Girlhood

I had to include this scene from one of my top 10 films of 2015. The song Diamonds is by Rihanna who I never listen to, but somehow it’s so perfect for this scene. The first time I saw it I actually rewound it as it moved me so much. It captured the sentiment the girls are feeling… every girl, no matter what background they come from, once to get all dolled up and be glamorous once in a while.

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Hope you enjoyed this week’s music break. Which of these are YOUR favorites?

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Everybody’s Chattin, Weekend Roundup + Music Break: The Eagles’ Hotel California

EverybodysChattin

Happy Tuesday everybody! It’s a short week with the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and thank God we got an extra day off in the coldest weekend of Minnesota Winter. Well I sure hope this is as cold as it gets, with temps reaching double digits BELOW ZERO. We barely made it to zero the past couple of days! But hey, it’s gonna be in the 20s tomorrow, heat wave! :P

Well, since I haven’t been doing a Weekend Roundup post in a while, I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been watching this weekend…


I’m not going to review Sicario as Ted has already done it here. But here’s my reaction:


I wish I had seen Sicario sooner, it’d surely make my top 10 list! Oh, and Benicio Del Toro was surely robbed of a Best Supporting Actor nomination!

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Stanley in French TV Movie ‘Figaro’ (2008)

Marie Antoinette was pretty interesting but it’s way too s-l-o-w and it felt so repetitive as for a while the film just didn’t go anywhere. It seems that Sofia Coppola is a hit and miss and this is certainly no Lost in Translation. I think I probably enjoyed it a bit more as I’m intrigued by French history but under a different director I think the film would’ve been a much better film.

Kirsten Dunst was surprisingly good in the title role though, and I did like the use of modern music in some of the scenes, but overall the movie is rather meh. Wish Stanley Weber had played Marie’s lover Count Axel Fersen instead of Jamie ‘Christian Grey’ Dornan. Stanley might still be in acting school back in 2006 but heck, I think he could still pull it off, I mean he IS French and quite a seductive one, I might add ;)

No doubt it was bittersweet watching Alan Rickman as Col. Brandon once again in Sense & Sensibility. I had to admit I teared up a bit when he showed up on screen for the first time… I wrote a tribute for him this weekend, I shall miss him dearly. As for 45 Years, it’s such a delicate and beautifully-told story that shows how delicate love truly is. Charlotte Rampling is wonderful, her Oscar nomination is well-deserved.

So about those links…

Keith reviewed 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. I was as surprised as he was that this wasn’t another crappy Bayhem, I think he did the story justice. (Check out my interview w/ the three soldiers who lived it)

I’ll be participating in Cindy’s Lucky 13 Film Club next month, woo hoo! Check out next month’s topic and hope you’ll participate!

Reviews galore… Steven and Ian reviewed The Revenant, Mike reviewed the indie sci-fi 400 Days, and Vinnie reviewed The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Speaking of 400 Days, check out my Q&A with the writer/director Matt Osterman)

A couple of awesome music-related lists! Chris picks his top 10 best albums of 2015 and Margaret lists her picks of 10 best film tracks of 2015.

Last but not least, Dan wrote about Tom Hardy winning Best British/Irish Actor of the Year at London Critics’ Circle Award. Woo hoo!! Definitely well-deserved, let’s hope he wins an Oscar too!


Music Break

RIPGlennFrey

This music break is dedicated to Glenn Frey, one of the founding members of The Eagles who just passed away. Yes, another rock royalty has left us… boy it hasn’t been a good start to the new year has it? :(

I love what the author of this CNN article (who wrote the biographic To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles) said… “The passing of Glenn Frey both recalls and closes the book on one of rock’s most celebrated rock ‘n’ roll songwriting teams, but for many of us it also signals something more personal: the passing of a time when the Eagles’ “Hotel California” was the anthem for the youth of America in the ’70s — the way Beatles music was for the children of the ’60s…[Hotel California] described both the band’s self-destruction by excess, its awareness of that self-destruction and its inability to stop it. (‘You can check out any time, but you can never leave. …’).” 


Hotel California is certainly my favorite from The Eagles, and also one of my favorite songs from the 70s. There’s something so eerie in the poetically-mesmerizing lyrics that always hypnotized me every time that song came on the radio. It also has a cinematic quality in that I somehow visualize the song every time I heard it.

Rest in peace, Mr. Frey.

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Hope you enjoyed today’s music break!

Everybody’s Chattin + Music Break: SPECTRE’s Instrumental Theme

EverybodysChattin

Happy Wednesday everybody! Can you believe it it’s almost mid December? It’s been quite a balmy Winter in Minnesota (thanks El Niño!), with lows in mid 30s which is warmer than the highs in a typical Winter. Hey, I ain’t complaining!

Well, I’m still working daily on my script. As they say, it’s 10% writing and 90% rewrites and so that’s pretty much what I’m working on now. But I’m never too busy to do some community blogging post, so this is my last LINKS post for 2015 ;)

Let’s get to those awesome blog posts…

Michael is on the lookout for books and movies parallel post and so take a minute to vote on his poll!

Josh took it upon himself to list 100 top performances of all time, surely you all have an opinion on the topic.

I always enjoy music-related posts, and one can count on Chris for those. He just posted a new Christmas song by Phoenix featuring Bill Murray!

Speaking of Christmas, Vinnie lists what he’ll be watching over the holidays

As some of us might be traveling over the holidays, surely you can relate to Jay‘s post about watching movies on an airplane

Margaret just did an awesome list of top 10 trailers of 2015.

Paula gave us a handy guide to follow the 2015/16 awards season

I have only seen the pilot of Jessica Jones but Eddie talks about how season 1 is off to a strong start.

Now here are some great reviews:

Keith reviewed Beasts of No Nation, Steven reviewed Room, Brittani reviewed Trumbo and last but not least, Zoë reviewed Spectre.


Music Break

Ok so I think most of you know I abhor Sam Smith’s voice and his SPECTRE‘s theme song The Writings on the Wall. But you know what, I listened to the instrumental version of the song lately and I actually LOVE the melody. It’s a rather melancholy tune but it has the mysterious and seductive vibe that one would expect from a Bond flick. The opening sequence is pretty cool, though not exactly my favorite amongst the 24 Bond movies over the years, I think the Casino Royale with the cards one is still one of my faves.


I still find the movie itself disappointing, but I remember liking this theme song as I was watching it. I really think the melody is so much better without Smith’s whiny voice. Thomas Newman is an awesome composer, I’ve enjoyed a lot of his work. I also enjoyed the end title track below:


Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s music break, folks!

Everybody’s Chattin + Music Break: Moulin Rouge’s YOUR SONG

EverybodysChattin

Happy Wednesday all! Boy I felt like I’ve worked five days already the way my life’s been going… SO. MUCH. TO. DO. I do enjoy all the Twin Cities Film Fest festivities though, I’ve talked to so many great filmmakers/talents, whether in person or via email, so hopefully y’all will stop by next week for the start of my TCFF 2015 coverage!

Well, I’m never too busy to do some community blogging post, hey that’s what makes the blogging world go around ;)

So about those links…

You might’ve read my thoughts on the latest Peter Pan adaptation, but hey, some people actually loved PAN, so check out Andrew‘s and Josh‘s take on it.

Meanwhile, I have yet to read a bad review of SICARIO and Mark is another blogger who loved it.

Since October is popular for horror fans, Chris posted mini reviews of a bunch of horror flicks.

My pal Cindy is hosting a discussion on the Shakespearean classic The Lion In Winter. I’m glad I got to see it in its entirety this past weekend.

On the TV front, Margaret reviewed the first episode of provocative series American Horror Story‘s fifth season and calls it a triumphant return. The Flash also just had a season premiere, its second, and Rodney has some fine praise for it.

Last but not least, Nostra reviewed another documentary on British street artist Banksy: Banksy Does New York. Boy this reminds me I still need to see Exit Through the Gift Shop!


Music Break/Scene Spotlight

I’ve been listening to Moulin Rouge!‘s soundtrack in my car lately. I used to listen to it constantly after I saw it more than a decade ago and I still loved it now. I was going to highlight Come What May but then I realize I had done that for a music break three years ago. There are SO MANY lovely scenes in this movie, but this is the first time I heard Ewan McGregor sing in the movie and I was immediately transfixed!

I love how romantic and whimsical this scene is, and Ewan has such an intoxicating earnestness whilst he’s singing it. The production design of Satine’s elephant room is so gorgeous and fun to look at. In fact, this whole sequence is perhaps my favorite romantic fantasy sequence ever put on screen. Moulin Rouge! shall remain my favorite Baz Luhrmann’s film, it never fails to put a smile on my face.


Hope you enjoyed today’s music break!

Music Break: The Martian’s DISCO Classics

Martian_Disco

One of the things I thoroughly enjoyed about The Martian was the lighthearted tone of the film, despite the obviously dire subject matter of someone being stuck in Mars. And one of the funniest bits in the film involve something totally unexpected… DISCO music!

Matt Damon‘s character Mark Watney initially hated it, but he’s not only stuck in Mars but he’s also stuck with his colleague Melissa Lewis’ (Jessica Chastain) disco collection. “My God, Commander Lewis… couldn’t you have packed anything from this century?”

Disco + Mars?? Who’d have thought?? When I left the theater I immediately turned to my hubby and said that it certainly has the Guardians of the Galaxy vibe with its 70s retro music compilation. Per Billboard mag, ‘…The ‘70s music theme is taken directly from Andy Weir’s best-seller upon which the movie is based. Screenwriter Drew Goddard wrote song choices into the script and Scalia says the majority were kept, although a few were switched for other tunes…’

I also enjoyed the score itself by composer Harry Gregson-Williams. He’s quoted on Billboard saying that “Scoring The Martian involved ducking and diving around some pretty neat classic disco songs that were woven in to the fabric of the film.” That’s just brilliant!

As The Atlantic article aptly puts it… “It’s hard to become too depressed by Watney’s situation when “Hot Stuff” is playing in the background.” Indeed. Depending how you feel about disco music though, beware that after watching this, you’d be humming (and even dancing) to them before you even realize it!

So here are five awesome disco classics featured in the movie:

Hot Stuff by Donna Summer

Turn the Beat Around by Vickie Sue Robinson

Love Train by O’jays

Waterloo by ABBA

This one plays in the end credits and of course it’s just perfect!

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

 


Did you enjoy the music in The Martian?

Music Break: Far From The Madding Crowd (2015)

FarMaddingCrowd1

I’m in the romantic period drama mood this week as I’ve been listening to the beautiful scores for Pride & Prejudice, Belle (one of my top 10 scores of 2014)… and this one. Though I wasn’t as enamored as I would have with Far From The Madding Crowd (due to the Tom Sturridge miscasting as Troy), I actually want to see this again. It’s too bad because all the promos of Bathsheba and him kissing in the woods are so breathtakingly gorgeous… I think he works better in a still shot :\

But one of the things I do LOVE about this film is the absolutely gorgeous music by Scottish composer Craig Armstrong. I’m going to have to do a separate tribute for him as I love his work, esp. for Moulin Rouge!, Love Actually and The Great Gatsby. But for now, I just want to highlight his work on this film.

I figure I include the full soundtrack here but one of my favorites is the Hollow in the Ferns track (20:07), which reminds me a bit of John Barry’s Somewhere in Time.

FarMaddingCrowd2

I adore Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba, she is lovely and believable as the strong yet vulnerable heroine. I’ve been a fan of her as an actress but I also love her voice! She sang in Inside Llewyn Davis but I really, really like her singing voice here. Let No Man Steal Your Thyme is featured in the trailer as well and it’s just beautiful! I definitely would include her on my list of actors who are surprisingly good singers.

FarMaddingCrowd3

Come all you fair and tender girls
That flourish in your prime
Beware, beware

Keep your garden fair
Let no man steal your thyme
Let no man steal your thyme.

For when your thyme it is past and gone
He’ll care no more for you
And every place where your thyme was waste
Will all spread o’er with rue
Will all spread o’er with rue.
The gardener’s son was standing by
Three flowers he gave to me

The pink, the blue, and the violet true
And the red, red rosy tree
And the red, red rosy tree.

But I refused the red rose bush
And gained the willow tree
That all the world may plainly see
How my love slighted me
How my love slighted me

 


Hope you enjoy today’s Music Break. What score(s) have you been listening to lately?

Throwback Thursday: A Funny Thing Happened On My Way Through The ’60s!

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Greetings all and sundry!

Having enjoyed a few recent get-togethers with family and friends before the murderous traffic of the Fourth of July weekend around the nation’s capitol. Topics of discussion have been many and varied. Given the age of the those included range around sixty, plus or minus five. Family wise, politics and religion are moot. Since we have been solidly ensconced from birth. And are of the same cloths. Though much louder and boisterous amongst friends.

Fashion and culture?… Really? Not many takers. Though the trends in films over the past ten years did take some Flak damage for its lack of original thought and dependence on comic books, CGI and the overall ease and enhanced elegance of falling into the “Sequel Trap”.

Music seemed to create the most varied and heart felt discussions. As name, lineages and styles were traced back to the early to late 1960s. To a time when four kids from Liverpool landed on US shores and changed music. If not “forever”, then for a few generations.

Creating some worthwhile grist for a good sized chunk of personal history. And the revelation of how…

A Funny Thing Happened On My Way Through The '60s!

Being born in late June of 1954 has its advantages. A Child of The Cold War. Wonderfully appealing American excess in engineering and technology. Huge, chrome laden cars and “Entertainment Systems that ranged from portable transistor radios. To enormous polish woof encased, furniture sized AM and just starting out FM radios, TV and “Cocktail bars”. Time saving appliances sleeks and futuristic looking… So Much Tech! All props perfectly meshed for the first steps into “The Decade That Changed America!”

Which is exactly where my head was in mid August, 1963. When a local Washington, DC Disk Jockey, Carroll James, of WWDC 1260 unleashed the first volley of ‘The British Invasion’. With the very first 45 RPM cut of The Beatles’ ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ in the US.


Now. For a precocious eight year old whose head was filled with Saturday adventures of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. George Pal big rocket ship and Space Station Science Fiction films. And who could, and still can do pretty decent freehand drawings of P-51 Mustang fighters and B-24 Liberator bombers. Courtesy of DC comic books.. I didn’t get it!

My sister, older by eighteen months did, As dis her female contemporary friends and cousins, Listening to them gasp and gush over George, John, Paul and Ringo was something strange. Yet oddly informative in later years. While I preferred an early and long standing contender from another British group, The Tornados. And their often covered, attempted, though never matched offering, ‘Telstar’.


With two guitars, drum and what may well have been either a Theremin. Or the very first steps into sound synthesis with a first generation of prototype of the Moog Synthesizer. Which left me wide open for the ballsier, grittier, raw and far less polished trappings of The Rolling Stones. Preparing the later, Second Wave with their cover of Bobby Troupe’s iconic, orchestral or Lounge Lizard, ‘Route 66’.


And young upstarts, Jeff Beck and future Guitar God, Eric Clapton‘s first baby steps with The Yardbirds. And their now very rare, but radiating future greatness to come with an early and unpolished shot across the bow. ‘I Ain’t Got You’.


The complete and noticeable lack of elegance, style and big budgeted studios reached out and grabbed another curious preteen male. Enhanced by the equally familiar “pop”s and “sizzle” that was part and parcel of vinyl. And lyrics which were roughly polar opposites of sweeter, cuter and lighter competition. Definitely aimed at guys.

Which created time explore domestic urban fare. Specifically, a young man from Duluth, Minnesota. Robert Zimmerman. A hard core acolyte of Woody Guthrie. Who was wise enough to change his last name to Dylan. Superb song writer and lyricist, Creating bodies of work infinitely adaptable to interpretation. And other imports from across the pond. To size up their takes on this youngster’s original works. Premiere amongst the imports. A five man group named Manfred Mann. Who got off the blocks early with ‘The Mighty Quinn’


For its fife introduction and lighthearted approach opposite Dylan’s near Calypso dirge. A trait that would return a few years later. With a left handed. freshly released from the 101st Airborne, African American acolyte of Dylan named Jimi Hendrix. And his guitar burning finale of The Trogs’ ‘Wild Thing’. His immortal, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’. And ‘All Along The Watch Tower’. That blew audiences in Germany and the UK away before reestablishing his Bona Fides and reputation in the US. At the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.


Allowing for some “Less Is More” time with a quartet from Australia known as The Seekers. Lead by Judith Dunham. Who still has the best pipes in the business, And backed up by a guitars, banjo and a stand up bass. Their ‘World Of Our Own’ and ‘Another You’ are fine examples of clean harmonies and rhythms. Followed closely by Cyrkle and their ‘Red Rubber Ball’. And The Left Banke‘s ‘Walk Away Renee’ for its melancholy vocals and flute interludes. While, closer to home, Simon and Garfunkel were back from coffee houses. A venue they never should have left. Since their voices and harmonies were made for close, intimate surroundings. My taste was in March, 1969. At The Birchmere in North West Washington, DC. And “busking” (Street playing for loose change) the streets of London. Making themselves knows with albums ‘Wednesday Morning: 3 AM’ and ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme’. With The Vogues’ Philly Street Corner Acapella influenced, ‘5 o’clock World’ close by to lighten the load.

To The Beach Boys for superb harmonies. With and without instruments. Having seemed to matured with their pre-MTV B&W video and promo for their ‘Sloop John B’.


A sterling example of “with and without’. Long before moving on to their marvelous, no frills Acapella multi album, ‘Pet Sounds’!

Keeping me well occupied until Woodstock rolled around. More out of happenstance and spontaneity than planning and scheduling. An event that will never happen again. Mostly due to those two factors than anything else. Though, for “A-List Talent”, former alums of Monterey and some new talent peeking out from under the stage. It’s very hard to beat!

JanisJoplinEspecially Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Canned Heat (Still think their ‘Going Up The Country’ is an unexpected masterpiece!), The Band, Blood, Sweat and Tears for their superior brass. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. And more than enough grist to keep me occupied from those who declined or couldn’t make the gig.

Specifically Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. For Frank’s minor Guitar God mastery, off the wall lyrics, Hendrix like innovation at sound creation and strange tales. Chicago, The Byrds, The Jeff Beck Group, or Cream. Take your pick. Because… Eric Clapton. And The Moody Blues.

Almost too much variety to pursue and fill time. Until i happened across Capitol Records’ press of The Beatles‘ ‘Rubber Soul’. Listened to and purchased earlier. Allowed to “age”. As I am apt to do with mail, paperback and hard cover book purchases, sauces, marinades, vegetables or specific cuts of meat for an experimental or specifically planned therapeutic time in the kitchen and meal.

The group that my sister and myriad others had gone “Ga Ga” over years before than grown up and were showing off their lineage and what they’d learned in years previous. Specifically, their pre-Quarrymen, “Skiffle” (Guitar, Washboard, Washtub or Tea Chest Bass) inspired ”I’ve Just Seen A Face” and “I’m Looking Through You’.


Along with ‘Michelle’ and ‘Norwegian Wood’. Diverse cuts and puzzle pieces that mesh to create what music aficionados long for… An album with no bad cuts! Primed and ready to join the ranks of Janis Joplin’s ‘Cheap Thrills’. Any of the early Simon & Garfunkel albums. ‘Monterey Pop’. ‘Woostock’ Frank Zappa and the Mother’s ‘Overnight Sensation’ and ‘Apostrophe’. The Band’s ‘Rock of Ages’. The Grateful Dead’s ‘American Beauty’. Eva Cassidy’s ‘Live At Blues Alley’, Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’, The Beach Boys ‘Pets Sounds’, And Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’.


Author’s Note: A Hat Tip and Shout out to Cindy Bruchman and her exquisite post on Janis Joplin and ‘Cheap Thrills’. Which diverted my thoughts away from Classic Films and supplying the impetus for this belated piece of personal history.

Additional: Nearly all of the artists and their works mentioned can be found on You Tube.

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Check out Kevin’s other posts and reviews


Wish to offer your own 60s music memories? The Floor Is Open For Discussion!

Music Break: Pride & Prejudice + fave scores from Dario Marianelli

I don’t normally do a Music Break post on the weekends but I’ve been listening to the 2005 Pride & Prejudice score lately so I figure it’s as good a time as any.

A little bit about the composer…

DarioMarianelliDario Marianelli was born on June 21, 1963 in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy. He studied piano from the age of six, and also sung in a boy’s choir from that age. In his mid twenties he moved to London, where he enrolled at the National Film and Television School.

He’s worked with director Joe Wright on four films, some of which have become my favorites. Apparently he’s introduced by one of the producers of Pride & Prejudice where he and Wright hit it off straight away. One of the producers, Paul Webster, remembered the work I had done for him on The Warrior, a few years earlier. He introduced me to Joe Wright, the director of Pride & Prejudice, and we hit it off straight away. Per M Online interview, in their very first conversation they ended up talking about Beethoven early piano sonatas which became a point of reference and starting point for the score.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

PP2005

The score for Joe Wright’s feature film debut has become one of my favorites ever, and so it’s about time I feature it here on Music Break. It’s as lush as the landscape in Derbyshire, England, as swoony-romantic as the classic love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. I’d think if Jane Austen were to listen to this score, a smile would form on her face.

I had to include the score used in the helicopter-shot scene when Lizzie standing on the precipice of a large cliff, the wind blowing her hair and the sun shining down… it’s an iconic scene made even more perfect by this score.

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And of course, the dawn scene… it’s the kind of scene that just never gets old for me. I’ve seen it countless times and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Lizzy and Darcy more ravishing than in this very scene. I LOVE how Wright filmed Darcy walking in his long, cape-like robe towards Lizzy… you could practically breathe the crisp morning air in this scene… the scenery & the music… it’s just absolutely luscious.

PridePrejudice


Pride & Prejudice remains my favorite of Marianelli’s work so far, followed by Atonement which he deservedly won an Oscar for, two years after his first nomination for Pride & Prejudice. In 2013 he’s nominated again for Anna Karenina. I remember seeing one comment somewhere, might’ve been on youtube, that says how an Italian guy could make the perfect Russian music. Well, according to that article above, Marianelli regarded it as his best work as he said he learned a lot from that experience.

So here are four more scores I love from Marianelli… so definitely made beautiful music in all of his collaboration with Wright. I thought they’d be working together in Wright’s next film PAN, but my other favorite John Powell is scoring that. Marianelli is working on a film where Keira Knightley appears once again, EVEREST.

V For Vendetta (2005)

Atonement (2007)

The Soloist (2009)

Anna Karenina (2012)


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Hope you enjoyed today’s music break. What’s YOUR favorite score(s) from Dario Marianelli?

Music Break: Top 5 Fave Soundtracks from Henry Jackman

I had been listening to X-Men: First Class during my workout lately, one of my favorite scores of the past few years. Henry Jackman was a protégé of one of my favorite composers, Hans Zimmer, and he’s been churning out great works himself.

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Born in Middlesex, UK, Jackman studied classical music at St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir School, Eton College and Oxford University. He had been building a successful career in the recording industry, even releasing 3 solo albums, when he garnered the attention of Zimmer and John Powell, also a favorite of mine. He went on to work on composing additional music on such films as The Dark Knight, Kung Fu Panda and the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Here are five of my favorites from his work:

X-Men: First Class (2011)

The music is one of the reasons I love this movie so much, and these two are my absolute faves. It actually made for a great workout music, but I also like listening to it when I need inspiration at work.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

I’m a huge fan of Alan Silvestri’s music work for the first Captain America movie, especially the end credits sequence. It was appropriately optimistic and patriotic. But Henry Jackman made an equally memorable score for the second one. It’s still got that positive, buoyant vibe, but somehow it feels more contemporary and slightly darker to go with the times and challenges Capt. has to face in modern times.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

One of the things I enjoyed about Kingsman is the fun, almost mischievous score that fits the movie perfectly. It’s got a bit of a James Bond-y vibe to it as well, which made me think he’d be a good fit to score a Bond flick in the future.

Captain Philips (2013)

This is such a beautiful, almost zen-like score but at the same time, it has a reflective, vigilant tone which is perfect given the ordeal the protagonist’s been through. It shows how versatile

Wreck-It-Ralph (2012)

I love that there’s a video game-y sound to this vibrant score. It sounds a bit similar to Big Hero 6 which Jackman also worked on that I quite like. It also sounds a bit retro which works for the story.

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I can’t wait to hear Jackman’s score for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and Amazon’s original story based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, The Man in the High Castle (I’ll be doing a spotlight on it soon). Interestingly both projects deal with a common enemy, the Third Reich.


Hope you enjoyed this week’s music break. What’s your favorite score from Henry Jackman?

Music Break: Top 10 Favorite Scores by James Horner

RIPJamesHorner

On Monday night I heard that Mr. James Horner was unaccounted for when a plane registered to him crashed in St. Barbara, CA, I prayed he’d turn out ok. I started listening to his music all night long and was amazed at how many of them I love. Before I went to bed, I already picked my top 10 list thinking that I would dedicate this week’s Music Break post to him as a tribute. When I turned on my iPad in the morning, I read the news came that the 61-year-old composer was the pilot of the plane and he was indeed killed.

It saddens me to hear about his tragic death. He’s one of my favorite composers of all time… so many of his scores resonated with me. He’s such a phenomenal and versatile composer. Looking at his filmography and listening to a bunch of his work, there are a variety of motifs that he used throughout his illustrious career. Even within the same year he could create two VERY different scores that somehow fit perfectly to its respective film (i.e. in 1994 and 1995, see below for the year next to the film title). He’s credited for over 150 projects as composer on IMDb, received seven Oscar nominations and won two for Titanic (for Best Original Song and Best Dramatic Score).

There’s such a beautiful, romantic and ethereal feel about some of his dramatic scores like Legends of the Fall and Braveheart, but I also love his more energetic and up-tempo scores, i.e. Rocketeer. He can convey the sentiment and tone of the film so perfectly. I think some of my favorite scores are the ones that are so evocative that it take you to another time and place. I’m always taken back to the glory of the doomed ship whenever I hear Take her to sea, Mr Murdock score.

JamesHorner_CameronHorner collaborated several times with James Cameron and he wrote a nice tribute to him posted on THR. He shared his experience working with him on composing for Titanic, “I asked if he could write some melodies. I believe that a great score really consists of something you can whistle. If that melody gets embedded in your mind, it takes the score to a different level. I drove over to his house and he sat at the piano and said, “I see this as the main theme for the ship.” He played it once through and I was crying. Then he played Rose’s theme and I was crying again. They were so bittersweet and emotionally resonant. He hadn’t orchestrated a thing, and I knew it was going to be one of cinema’s great scores. No matter how the movie turned out, and no one knew at that point — it could have been a dog — I knew it would be a great score.”

As my tribute to the late composer, here are 10 of my favorite scores from James Horner (in order of release):

The Land Before Time (1988)

The Rocketeer (1991)

Legends of the Fall (1994)

Clear and Present Danger (1994)

Braveheart (1995)

Apollo 13 (1995)

Titanic (1997)

The Mask of Zorro (1998)

The New World (2005)

Avatar (2009)

Thank you Mr. Horner for your amazing work…
your music shall live on…


So what’s your favorite James Horner score(s)?

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