Filmic Radio Show – March 2019

Here is my latest Filmic Radio Show, including new and vintage soundtracks, some late 2018 releases and I take a look at a really cool 1963 Henry Mancini score.

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PLAYLIST

Valor Sarah Schachner Anthem
The Mirror Dance Rachel Zefirra Elizabeth Harvest
No Words Formed Rachel Zefirra Elizabeth Harvest
The New Kid Mark Mothersbaugh Holmes and Watson
Old Turkey Buzzard Quincy Jones/Freddie Douglas/Jose Feliciano McKenna’s Gold
Earth Out Of Control Roc Chen The Wandering Earth
The Loser Andre Previn Goodbye Charlie
A Rose and the End Andre Previn The Subterraneans
The Auction In Iron Curtain Dai Tai The Gutenberg Project
Somethin’ Like This Brian Tyler What Men Like
Captain Marvel Pinar Toprak Captain Marvel
Learning The Truth Pinar Toprak Captain Marvel
The Tango John Debney Isn’t It Romantic
Main-Title-Morgan’s Ride John Debney Cutthroat Island
Strange People Martin Phipps The Aftermath
The House Martin Phipps The Aftermath
Charade Opening Titles Henry Mancini Charade
Latin Snowfall Henry Mancini Charade
Bud’s Scam Stewart Copeland Wall Street
Main Title-Trinity Infinity Don Davis The Matrix
Bullet Time Don Davis The Matrix

ONE LAST DEAL (Tuntematon Mestari) by Matti Bye – Soundtrack Review

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Elderly art dealer Olavi is about to retire. This is a man who has always put business and art before everything. At an auction, an old painting catches his attention. Olavi suspects it is worth much more than its starting price, which is low because its authenticity hasn’t been confirmed. He decides to make one last deal in order to earn some pension money. At the same time, Olavi’s estranged daughter Lea, whom he hasn’t seen for years, asks him to help her with his teenage grandson Otto (15). Together with Otto, Olavi starts to investigate the history of the painting.  Olavi buys the painting, but when the auction house realises that there has been a mistake with the original pricing, they turn on him.

The film is directed by Finnish director Klaus Haro who is one of his country’s most prolific contemporary filmmakers. The score is by Swedish composer Matti Bye who has scored for both tv and film.

It opens with a soft piano led cue full of wistfulness which gently rolls along into the second cue but at a faster pace, it’s an easy listen even with some scratchy strings underneath. A New Day has a lovely drum brush keeping tempo, something you don’t often hear. Olavi’s Tango continues the relaxed flow with piano and accordion plus double base leading the tango rhythm. It’s a short but pleasing cue.

This is a plaintive score telling of a gentle life suddenly thrust into chaos and emotional disruption at a time in the life of Olavi when he wants to retire. Father and Daughter has a different feel, the same small set of instruments are used but with a slight edge to it’s tone representing the distant relationship with his daughter. The slow tango reappears in The Empty Room in a more developed style. The closing track The Letter is neither sad nor jubilant, just very much in the same vein as the Opener. 

This is a gentle and subtle score with a small selection of instruments, which will most probably have few listens especially as there currently is no UK release date hence why I am highlighting it. It’s a lesson in restraint showing that complex emotional stories don’t have to be fully orchestrated. By using a small group of musicians Bye has created a sweet and expressive score.

PLAYLIST
1. One Last Deal
2. The Art Dealer
3. A New Day
4. The Library
5. Olavi’s Tango
6. The Museum
7. Father and Daughter
8. The Empty Room
9. The Letter
Total Album Time: 20:41

Available on Amazon.com
Streaming on Spotify

Filmic Radio Show February 2019

So I am a little late – there are soooooo many soundtracks out there to listen to! This months show features a UK classic score from 1969, a Jerry Goldsmith vinyl release, recent soundtrack releases and one of the last scores by the late Michel Legrand. Oh, and 3 listener requests!

 

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL Vinyl Release REVIEW – Jerry Goldsmith

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In January of this year Varese Sarabande released Jerry Goldsmith’s score to L.A.Confidential on vinyl. This detective film noir set in 1950’s Loss Angeles was released in 1997 and firmly etched itself onto all the relevant Top 10 ‘must see’ lists.
Director Curtis Hanson used music from the period so it was left to Goldsmith to fill in the drama which he most certainly did! Not perhaps a soundtrack you would play that often but this should be in your collection if you call yourself a movie-music fan.

I read that it’s a soundtrack which suites vinyl which at first I couldn’t really grasp but after listening several times I get it. Short at just over 30 minutes, it allows you to take your time and really listen. It opens with Bloody Christmas, a fast, punching beat with brass that pierces the senses and puts your brain on alert it then dissolves into the mellow use of trumpet which Goldsmith used to perfection in his score for Chinatown.

The deepest of piano keys introduce The Photo’s, a cue which builds into a superb Goldsmith percussive cacophony which strikes right through the ever building tension. This score is taught and unforgiving in its high strung violins, tremulous piano notes and piercing use of trumpet. It never lets up especially in Shoot Out, the longest track at 04:09 which pulls all the previous track elements in and pushes itself to the extreme. This score never settles and to get such intensity into quite a short score is genius.

PRESS RELEASE
“Goldsmith’s score is now considered a masterpiece nearly on the level of his landmark ‘Chinatown’. Jerry Goldsmith would have turned 90 in 2019. His music continues to be revered, celebrated and performed all over the world. I am thrilled to see this score, which was absolutely ideal for vinyl from the very beginning, finally, debut on the classic LP format. A priceless slice of vintage Los Angeles!”
Robert Townson, Vice President of A & R

Label: Varese Sarabande

Side A
1. Bloody Christmas (02:50)
2. The Cafe (02:20)
3. Questions (02:20)
4. Susan Lefferts (02:54)
5. Out of the Rain (02:47)
6. Rollo Tomasi (03:08)

Side B
1. The Photos (02:28)
2. The Keys (01:52)
3. Shootout (04:09)
4. Good Lad (02:19)
5. The Victor (02:32)

 

FILMIC SOUNDTRACK AWARDS 2018

With the awards season nearing the end it’s time to declare my favourite soundtracks of last year. 2018 was a mixed year of highs and lows, for some reason I didn’t get to listen to a lot of non-UK & USA scores so I’m making this a priority for 2019 as best I can. What was a delight was the return of the synth score [see Best Comedy Score below], a fun throwback to the scores of the ’70s and early ’80s!

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FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR
VICE – Nicholas Britell

BEST DRAMA SCORE
VICE – Nicholas Britell

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BEST COMEDY SCORE
VIDEOMAN – Waveshaper/Robert Parker

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BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER SCORE
KING OF THIEVES – Benjamin Wallfisch

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BEST FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR SCORE
THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS – James Newton Howard

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BEST ANIMATION SCORE
MAX AND ME – Mark McKenzie

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BEST DOCUMENTARY SCORE
DYNASTIES – Benji Merrison& Will Slater

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BEST TV SCORE
PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK – Cezary Skubiszewski

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BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE
THE BRIDE WORE BLACK – Bernard Herrmann/Producer Jose M.Benitez

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BEST CUE OF THE YEAR

THE LANDING  from first Man – Justin Hurwitz

The International Film Music Critics Association 2018 Awards

INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 2018 IFMCA AWARDS; “SOLO” TAKES SCORE OF THE YEAR, MULTIPLE WINS FOR JOHN POWELL, JAMES NEWTON HOWARD

FEBRUARY 21, 2018 — The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of winners for excellence in musical scoring in 2018, in the 2018 IFMCA Awards.

The award for Score of the Year goes to British composer John Powell for his score for the Star Wars spin-off story “Solo,” which looked at the early life of the legendary rogue and intergalactic smuggler Han Solo. The film was directed by Ron Howard, and starred Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, and Donald Glover. In describing the score, IFMCA members Asier Senarriaga and Óscar Giménez called Solo “a spectacular score that combines the classic ideas of Williams with the talent of Powell,” and proclaimed it “the score of the year,” while IFMCA member Jon Broxton – speaking about the score’s multitude of recurring character themes – said that the way Powell “incorporates all the thematic complexity into his score is masterful, but best of all is the way he allows them to develop organically; this is not just a rigid leitmotif score where mathematics trumps emotion. Instead, Powell engages in sensible and appropriate development, meaning that when the emotional outbursts do come, they pack a real wallop, and satisfy both the heart and the brain in equal measure.”

The score is also named Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film, while John Williams’s contribution to the score, the standalone piece “The Adventures of Han,” is named Film Music Composition of the Year. These are the seventh and eighth IFMCA Award wins of Powell’s career; he previously won the Score of the Year award for “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2010.

James Newton Howard is named Composer of the Year, and takes home the award for Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film for his work on the controversial Jennifer Lawrence Cold War spy thriller “Red Sparrow,” for which he wrote an astonishingly powerful classical overture for the film’s opening ballet sequence, as well as some intense action and suspense music. IFMCA member Mihnea Manduteanu described Red Sparrow as “beautiful and passionate” and “melodic and furious”.

Howard’s other work in 2018 was just as outstanding, and included the second Harry Potter spinoff film “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” and the lavish fantasy “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” which was inspired by Tchaikovsky’s seminal ballet. IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen called Fantastic Beasts an “accomplished and mature fantasy score” which “sits comfortably with Howard’s accomplished genre works and competes favorably for a place amongst 2018’s best scores.” These are the ninth and tenth IFMCA Awards of Howard’s career. He previously received IFMCA Score of the Year honors in 2006 for “The Lady in the Water”.

British composer Amelia Warner is named Breakthrough Composer of the Year for her enormously impressive mainstream debut work scoring the literary drama based on the life of the groundbreaking horror author “Mary Shelley”. IFMCA member Peter Simons said that Mary Shelley was “a wonderful score … mesmerizing … unlike anything I’ve heard in a long time, if ever. The use of synth and vocals over strings and piano is just exquisite. There is always something interesting going on, either melodically or aurally … it’s one of the most exciting scores of the year”.

The various other genre awards are won by Max Richter for his classically-inspired music for the historical drama “Mary Queen of Scots”; Marc Shaiman for his loving, nostalgic homage to Walt Disney and the Sherman Brothers on the comedy musical sequel “Mary Poppins Returns”; Mark McKenzie for his spectacularly beautiful, reverent score for the Mexican animated film “Max and Me”; and Pinar Toprak for her broad, adventurous, expansive orchestral score for the yacht-racing documentary “Tides of Fate”. With this win Toprak is now the only person with more than two IFMCA Award nominations to win every time she has been nominated – her previous wins were for “The Lightkeepers” (Comedy, 2010) and “The Wind Gods” (Documentary, 2011).

In the non-film categories, composer Christopher Lennertz wins the award for Best Original Score for a Television Series for his bold, exciting score for the rebooted version of the classic sci-fi series “Lost in Space,” while composer Bear McCreary wins the award for Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media for his thrilling score for the action adventure game “God of War”.

Burbank, California-based La-La Land Records is named Film Music Record Label of the Year in recognition of their ongoing excellence in restoring and releasing the most beloved film scores of the past. Acclaimed album producer Mike Matessino receives both Archival Awards: one for his work restoring and releasing John Williams’s classic score for the 1979 Frank Langella version of “Dracula” on the Varèse Sarabande label, and one for his work in putting together the lavish box set of John Williams’s three Harry Potter scores – “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” – for La-La Land Records. Producer Robert Townson shares the award for Dracula, and album artist Jim Titus worked on both releases.

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COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

  • SOLO, music by John Powell

FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • JAMES NEWTON HOWARD

BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • AMELIA WARNER

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

  • “The Adventures of Han” from SOLO, written by John Williams

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

  • MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, music by Max Richter

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

  • MARY POPPINS RETURNS, music by Marc Shaiman

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

  • RED SPARROW, music by James Newton Howard

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM

  • SOLO, music by John Powell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FILM

  • MAX AND ME, music by Mark McKenzie

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

  • TIDES OF FATE, music by Pinar Toprak

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A TELEVISION SERIES

  • LOST IN SPACE, music by Christopher Lennertz

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

  • GOD OF WAR, music by Bear McCreary

BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE – NEW RELEASE OR NEW RECORDING OF AN EXISTING SCORE

  • DRACULA, music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino and Robert Townson; liner notes by Mike Matessino; art direction by Jim Titus (Varèse Sarabande)

BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE – COMPILATION

  • HARRY POTTER: THE JOHN WILLIAMS SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION; music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino; liner notes by Mike Matessino; art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)

FILM MUSIC LABEL OF THE YEAR

  • LA-LA LAND, MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys
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The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing and broadcasting about original film, television and game music.

Since its inception the IFMCA has grown to comprise over 65 members from countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to Jonny Greenwood’s “Phantom Thread” in 2017, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s “Arrival” in 2016, John Williams’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015, Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar” in 2014, Abel Korzeniowski’s “Romeo & Juliet” in 2013, Mychael Danna’s “Life of Pi” in 2012, John Williams’s “War Horse” in 2011, John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2010, Michael Giacchino’s “Up” in 2009, Alexandre Desplat’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008, Dario Marianelli’s “Atonement” in 2007, James Newton Howard’s “Lady in the Water” in 2006, John Williams’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005, and Michael Giacchino’s “The Incredibles” in 2004.

CLAIRE DARLING – by Olivier Daviaud Soundtrack Review

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Claire Darling, also listed as La Derniere Folie De Claire Darling, or Claire Darling’s Last Madness, is the latest film of acclaimed French actress and icon Catherine Deneuve. Aged 76 she also shares the screen with daughter Chiara Mastroianni [her father being the late Marcello Mastroianni]. Deneuve plays Claire living in a small village who wakes on the first day of summer convinced this is her last day. With this in mind she decides to empty her house and give away all her belongings. In doing this Claire finds freedom from the weight of the past which she is letting go of. However in doing this Marie, her daughter whom she has not seen for 20 years returns.

The elegant score is by Olivier Daviaud has composed for film and tv mainly in France. I have not heard of him before but am very taken with this score considering the flamboyant subject matter. The soundtrack’s cover is also superb showing Claire enjoying life riding a bumber car!
The opening title track grabbed me by it’s oddness, there’s is a childishness to it played on either on bells or even a child’s toy xylophone. The leitmotif in itself kind of  ‘skips’ and in the background is a percussive thunder. There is a lot going on and you receive mixed messages at the same time as being completely sucked in. Les Automates is almost classic in its structure and is simple but effective with plucked strings and exquisite piano.

The leitmotif returns in  La Fugue doing it’s part musically by intertwining and repeating, and cleverly representing a physical fugue representing Claire’s step away from her usual environment. The musical terms continue with the jaunty Farandole [meaning medley]. Le Deuil [Mourning] is piano and violin slowly paced and quite heartbreaking in it’s simplicity.
More musical word play with a cue called La Derniere Valse [The Last Waltz] followed by   the more robust end piece  – Claire Darling, this time with brass and accordion. 

And there it was gone, so lovely but not enough – quite short cues but so tightly cohesive never straying far from it’s simple form. A delight and I look forward to more by Monsieur Daviaud. 

***1/2/*****
Label: Le Films du Poisson
1. Générique Début Claire Darling 2:20
2. Le Premier Vide Grenier 1:43
3. Les Cartables 0:45
4. Les Automates 1:23
5. La Fugue 1:56
6. Les Visions De Marie 0:54
7. Les Vélos 1:28
8. Farandole 1:35
9. Le Curé 1:30
10. La Danse De Claire 1:19
11. Le Scarabee Bousier 1:19
12. Le Deuil 3:32
13. Marie Retrouve La Bague 0:56
14. Les Mariées 1:28
15. La Dernière Valse 4:04
16. Explosion 1:54
17. Générique Fin Claire Darling 3:14