Film Music Review
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Volume 13

Number 1

Winter 2011

 

Managing Editor:

+Roger L. Hall


Contributing Writers:

Steven A. Kennedy

+Steve Vertlieb


+Member

IFMCA: the International Film Music Critics Association

 

 


 

 

Main Titles

Latest News

Film Music Awards: IFMCA and The Sammys

Oscar Music 2010: The Good, The Bad and The Shameful

The Best Film Music CD Releases

Ratings and List of FMR Online Issues

Film Focus

Editor's Choice CDs

Soundtrack and Compilation CD Reviews

Recommended DVDs and Books

Film Music Links

 

 

Your comments or questions are welcome.

Write to:

Film Music Review

 


 


Informative resource guide now on DVD
with bonus music and video files.
Read more at

Film Composers and Soundtracks

 


 

Please Help Support

Film Music Review

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Latest News

 

Index to Film Music Review
Volumes 1 - 12
(1998 - 2010)


click here

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to John Williams!

75th Birthday Tribute and Web Poll of Favorite Scores

The Music of America - John Williams

Read contributing writer Steve Vertlieb's meeting with John Williams at the

John Williams Fan Network

 



Film Composers Remembered

John Barry (1933-2011)

 

 

Bernard Herrmann: A Centennial Tribute

 

 

 


 

Film Music Awards

 

IFMCA: the International Film Music Critics Association

 

 

John Powell's HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
is named
International Film Music Critics' 2010 FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR




FEBRUARY 24, 2011 -

The International Film Music Critics Association announces the winners of its seventh annual awards for excellence in musical scoring in 2010 with John Powell’s score for the animated film HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON topping the list, winning both Film Score of the Year and Best Score for an Animated Film. Alexandre Desplat receives three awards: Best Score for a Drama Film (THE KING’S SPEECH), Best Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film (THE GHOST WRITER) and Composer of the Year.

Continuing their tradition to highlight lesser known but vital world talents, the Association awards the Breakout Composer of the Year to Portuguese composer Nuno Malo for AMÁLIA. Turkish composer Pinar Toprak wins Best Score for a Comedy Film for her score to the THE LIGHTKEEPERS. Rounding out the film categories are Best Score to a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film which goes to TRON: LEGACY by the French duo Daft Punk, Best Score for a Documentary Film winner is French composer Bruno Coulais for OCÉANS and American Danny Elfman’s “Alice Theme” from ALICE IN WONDERLAND wins Best Individual Composition.

In the non-film category, Bear McCreary wins his second award in a row in the Best Score for a Television Series, this year for Fox’s drama HUMAN TARGET (McCreary won last year for BATTLESTAR: GALACTICA). Kojima Productions’ CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW, with music by Óscar Araujo, wins Best Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media.

The Best Archival Release goes to the six-disc box set release of Alex North’s score to Stanley Kubrick’s SPARTACUS, which was Varèse Sarabande’s executive producer Robert Townson’s 1,000th release for the label. Best Record Label of the Year goes to La-La Land Records, their first win in this category, for such notable 2010 expanded release soundtracks as BATMAN RETURNS, DRAGONSLAYER, PANIC IN THE YEAR ZERO and HOME ALONE.


The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is proud to announce the winners for 2010:

 

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, music by John Powell

 

FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT

BREAKOUT COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

NUNO MALO

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

THE KING’S SPEECH, music by Alexandre Desplat

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

THE LIGHTKEEPERS, music by Pinar Toprak

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ ADVENTURE/ THRILLER FILM

THE GHOST WRITER, music by Alexandre Desplat

 

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

TRON: LEGACY, music by Daft Punk

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FEATURE

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, music by John Powell

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

OCÉANS, music by Bruno Coulais

 

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR


ALICE IN WONDERLAND – “Alice’s Theme” (Danny Elfman)

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR TELEVISION

HUMAN TARGET, music by Bear McCreary

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW, music by Óscar Araujo

 

BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE OF AN EXISTING SCORE

SPARTACUS, music by Alex North (Varèse Sarabande) – Album Producer: Robert Townson; Liner Notes: Robert Townson; Album Art Direction: Robert Townson, Matthew Joseph Peak, Bill Pitzonka

 

FILM MUSIC RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR

LA-LA LAND RECORDS

 

The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing about original film and television music.

The IFMCA was originally formed in the late 1990s as the now-defunct “Film Music Critics Jury” by editor and journalist Mikael Carlsson, a former contributor to filmmusicradio.com and filmmusicmag.com, and currently the owner of the Swedish independent film music label MovieScore Media.

Since its inception, the IFMCA has grown to comprise over 50 members from countries as diverse as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to 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’ MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA in 2005 and Michael Giacchino’s THE INCREDIBLES in 2004.

For more information about the International Film Music Critics Association, its members and the list of past awards, please visit http://www.filmmusiccritics.org or contact press@filmmusiccritics.org.

 

 

Sammy Film Music Awards

The longest-running awards exclusively for recordings
have been announced at this link:


23rd Annual Sammy Film Music Awards
For 2010

 

 

Oscar Film Music 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Shameful

by Roger Hall

First, the Good.

Toy Story 3 [+Digital Booklet]

 

 

Congratulations to Randy Newman for his 2nd Oscar for his song in TOY STORY 3. Though "We Belong Together" isn't as good a song as "When She Loved Me" from TOY STORY 2 , he still deserved an Oscar for Best Song. I look forward to some future year when Randy Newman will receive an Oscar for one of his film scores. Among his excellent scores from the past are these Oscar nominees: AVALON (1990) and THE NATURAL (1984). His wonderful score fofor SEABISCUIT received a Sammy Award in 2003.

* = Oscar winner

Nominations for Best Original Song:

"Coming Home" by Bob DiPiero, Tom Douglas, Hillary Lindsey and Troy Verges from COUNTRY STRONG

"I See The Light" by Alan Menken Glenn Slater from TANGLED

"If I Rise" by A.R. Rahman, Dido and Rollo Armstrong from 127 HOURS

*"We Belong Together" by Randy Newman from TOY STORY 3

 

    Now, for the Bad.

    The Social Network

     

    This year was another poor choice for Best Score of 2010. The music for THE SOCIAL NETWORK played no part in furthering the story, reflecting the emotions of the characters, or much else. It was just a few notes used as background music and not very good background music either. It reminds me of another nothing score for MYSTIC RIVER by director Clint Eastwood which luckily didn't get an Oscar for its feeble score.

    THE SOCIAL NETWORK is another case of the score with the most "buzz," especially from film critics and Hollywood people who know little about what music is supposed to do for a film. Just imagine this reaction --wow, it's that Nine Inch Nails guy and one of his buddies and neither of them knows anything about writing a film score -- let's pick them! Does that make any sense? Not to me.

    The best scores for 2010 were by Alexandre Desplat (Sammy Award) and John Powell (IFMCA Award).

    Oscar nominations for Best Original Score:

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON -- music by John Powell

    INCEPTION -- music by Hans Zimmer

    THE KING'S SPEECH -- music by Alexandre Desplat

    127 HOURS -- music by A.R. Rahman

    *THE SOCIAL NETWORK -- music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross


    And finally, the Shameful.

    There have been many complaints about the Oscar music committee's unfairness in its nomination process. It is felt that changes need to be made in both the Best Song and Best Score categories. While it is true that many of the songs in films today are not of the highest quality, there still should be 5 of them chosen in the nomination process as was the custom in the past.

    Some have suggested that this category be deleted altogether which seems unfair when the other technical categories also get little attention. Why not get rid of all technical categories and just have the Oscars for the "celebrity" actors and directors and producers? Then those people who make the most money can have the Oscars all to themselves. I hope that never happens but anything is possible.

    True GritBlack Swan

    A few of the scores (BLACK SWAN and TRUE GRIT) were disqualified because there was too much source or borrowed music. To accomodate such scores there needs to a separate category brought back for Best Adaptation Score or whatever they want to call it. Then these scores can compete on a more equal level and their composers or arrangers can have a chance to get an Oscar.

    As for the Oscar music winners, it will probably remain a case of whatever gets the most attention, especially from the media who go into overhype mode every year. They choose to buy into this idea:

    Let's promote those guys who can't write a decent film score but had some hit songs.

    That's just nonsense!

     

     

    What do you think of the Oscar music choices over the past decade?

    Send your comments to:

    Oscar Music

 


 

IFMCA: the International Film Music Critics Association

 

IFMCA Legends

The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is proud to announce the formation of the IFMCA Legends archive, celebrating the life and work of some of film music’s greatest historical artists.

Although the primary focus of the IFMCA is the celebration of the best in modern contemporary film music, it is also fully aware of the amazing legacy of groundbreaking music left by the classic Golden Age and Silver Age composers of decades past. To that end, the IFMCA has established the IFMCA Legends archive, which celebrates the work of these cinematic pioneers. Other than their musical contribution, the only other criteria necessary to become a member of the IFMCA Legends archive is to be deceased.

Each year, starting this year, IFMCA members will vote on new inductees who, in their opinion, have left an indelible mark on the world of film music through their groundbreaking scores, and who are deserving of recognition for their work. Each inductee will be the subject of an in-depth essay written by one of the IFMCA’s members, highlighting their life and most important scores, and which will be featured in a special new section on the IFMCA website.

For this inaugural year, IFMCA members chose five initial inductees. In future years, two new inductees will be chosen. The initial five inductees are:

 

 

The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing about original film and television music.

The IFMCA was originally formed in the late 1990s as the now-defunct “Film Music Critics Jury” by editor and journalist Mikael Carlsson, a regular contributor to Music from the Movies, and the owner of the Swedish independent film music label MovieScore Media. Since its inception, the IFMCA has grown to comprise over 40 members from countries as diverse as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The group’s main focus is the IFMCA Awards, which it presents annually to the best original scores from motion pictures, television and video games from the preceding calendar year. Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to 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’ MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA in 2005 and Michael Giacchino’s THE INCREDIBLES in 2004.

For more information about the International Film Music Critics Association, its members and the list of past awards, please visit

http://www.filmmusiccritics.org

 

 
 

 

The Best Film Music CD Releases

 

 

 

 


 

Film Music Guide

A GUIDE TO FILM MUSIC
(PineTree Press)

The revised and expanded 4th edition of this resource guide is available on a DVD. It includes the complete film music guide. Also bonus audio clips with interviews with Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson and music from vintage film scores and songs. Plus it contains an extensive image gallery, past reviews from Film Music Review. In addition, and a cable television program with the film music historian and FMR editor, Roger Hall, speaking about vintage film music.

Read how to order this informative reference guide on DVD at this link:


Film Composers and Soundtracks

 


 

 

 

 

FMR rating system for CDs and DVDs:

**** = Superlative (Highest Recommendation)

***1/2 = Very Good

*** = Good

**1/2 = Okay

** = Barely Passable

* = Poor

The Special Merit CDs are chosen at any time during a month for outstanding overall production of a soundtrack or compilation.

The Editor's Choice - Best of the Month designation is for those CDs that are singled out for their excellence. They are chosen anytime within a given month and may not be chosen every month.

2010 (Volume 12)

Number 1 (Winter)

Number 2 (Spring)

Number 3 (Summer)

Number 4 (Fall)

2009 (Volume 11)

Index to All Reviews (January - December)

Number 1 (Winter)

Number 2 (Spring)

Number 3 (Summer)

Number 4 (Fall)


2008
(Volume 10)

Index to All Reviews (January - December)

Number 1 (Winter)

Number 2 (Spring)

Number 3 (Summer)

Number 4 (Fall)

2007 (Volume 9)

Index to All Reviews (January - December)

Number 1 (January - February)

Number 2 (March - April)

Number 3 (May - June)

Number 4 (July - August)

Number 5 (September - October)

Number 6 (November - December)

 

2006 (Volume 8)

Index to All Reviews (January - December)

Number 1 (January - February)

Number 2 (March - April)

Number 3 (May - June)

Number 4 (July - August)

Number 5 (September - October)

Number 6 (November - December)

 

Volumes 1 - 7
These reviews no longer available online.
Here is a link to the complete list of


CD Reviews (1999-2005)

Most of these reviews are included on
the DVD,
A Guide to Film Music (4th edition)

 

Index to Volumes 1 - 12

nInCDs, DVDs and Book Reviews)

 


 

 

Essential Film Scores of the 20th Century

 

See the list at

100 Essential Film Scores

 

 

 

 


 

Film Focus

The series devoted to a composer and one major film score

 

No. 1: Hugo Friedhofer and
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES

 

 

 

 

No. 2: Miklós Rózsa and
PLYMOUTH ADVENTURE

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 3: Max Steiner and
KING KONG

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 4: Elmer Bernstein and
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS


 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 5: Bernard Herrmann and
VERTIGO

 

 

 

 

No. 6: Dimitri Tiomkin and
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 7: Alfred Newman and
THE SONG OF BERNADETTE

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

No. 8: Bernard Herrmann
and 50th anniversary of PSYCHO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Editor's Choice for 2011


January

POLTERGEIST -- music by Jerry Goldsmith
(Film Score Monthly, 2 CDs with film score and original 1982 soundtrack)

 

February

HOME ALONE - music by John Williams
Expanded Original Score (34 tracks)

 

 

 

 

 

 


Soundtrack and Compilation Reviews - 2011


BLACK SWAN -- music by Clint Mansell (Sony Classical)

CONAN THE BARBARIAN (2 CDs, Prometheus) [Special Merit]

Francis Lai - The Essential Film Music Collection (Silva Screen)

RIVER OF NO RETURN and NIAGARA -- music by Lionel Newman, Leigh Harline,
Cyril J. Mockridge, Sol Kaplan (Intrada)

SPARTACUS -- music by Alex North (6 CD/1 DVD box set (Varese Sarbande) [Special Merit]

 

 


 

Recommended DVDs and Books


DVDs with outstanding soundtracks

CAPTAIN ABU RAED

 

 

 

 

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)
(Blu-ray Special Edition)
Music by Bernard Herrmann


Isolated score track and
commentary by film & music historians: John Morgan,
Nick Redman, Steven Smith, William Stromberg

 

 

THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
2 Disc Deluxe Edition --
music by Dimitri Tiomkin

 

 

 

GARDEN OF EVIL (1954)
(Included in Fox WESTERN CLASSICS box set)
Music by Bernard Herrmann



 

 

THE JOHNNY CARSON SHOW
(Guests: Dimitri Tiomkin & Dr. Samuel Hoffmann)

 

 


 

The Robe


THE ROBE (1953)
(Special Edition)
Music by Alfred Newman


Commentary by
film composer David Newman,
film historians Jon Burlingame, Julie Kirgo, and Nick Redman


 

 

 

RecoRRecommended Books

 

The Hollywood Film Music Reader
by Mervyn Cooke

 

 

Pick Yourself Up - Dorothy Fields and The American Musical
by Charlotte Greenspan

 

mmended Books

THE SONGS OF HOLLYWOOD
by Philip Furia and Laurie Patterson

 

 

 

 

A HISTORY OF FILM MUSIC
by Mervyn Cooke

 

 

 

 

 

Alex North's A Streetcar Named Desire: A Film Score Guide (Scarecrow Film Score Guides)

Alex North's A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE:
A Film Score Guide
by Annette Davison

 

 


End Titles

 

Links

See the list of recommended sites at

Film Music Links

 

 

 

 

Tune Week

Pick your favorite film themes and songs for the annual web survey

Carry A Tune Week

 


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Film Music Review

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