Spring 2018 – Music in the Movies Part 2

Foreground: Original Music in the Movies

A History, Part II  1970 to 2010 and Beyond

 Presented by Bob Bryden

Thursdays, April 5 to May 24, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

April 5      – 1970-1974

The film music decade begins with hawks and doves and proceeds through a series of wilderness films leading up to the flowering of “the new permissibility.”

April 12    – 1975-1979

The period adventure returns and likewise the western. John Williams takes command of the decade while Bernard Herrmann and Elmer Bernstein work in exile from the Hollywood elite.

The decade ends as it began – with war.

April 19    – 1980-1984

John Williams continues triumphant while the new kid on the block, James Horner, challenges. Basil Poledouris writes an astounding score for a bad film while Philip Glass and Police drummer Stewart Copeland push the envelope.

April 26    – 1985-1989

Goldsmith and Williams continue to do splendid work while Morricone and Delerue “go Hollywood.” World Music emerges on the soundstage; the animated musical is reborn while Hans Zimmer’s “new school” emerges. The Danny Elfman / Tim Burton partnership begins and James Horner ends the decade in glory.

May 3       – 1990-1994

The old guard holds its own while the new breed flourishes. A tremendously successful western emerges and beauty makes a comeback.

May 10     1995-1999

Quirky is “in.” Bollywood invades, as does the big beat, and World War II never sounded like this. The latter half of the decade belongs to James Horner.

May 17     2000-2004

The return of the Roman Epic and John Williams produces a series of wonderful sci-fi scores. Quirky continues and a new genre approach is inaugurated. Howard Shore presents his music for The Lord of the Rings and Alexandre Desplat gently but doggedly takes the podium.

 May 24     – 2005-2010 and Beyond…

Maestros John Powell and Michael Giacchino arrive in splendour while Quentin Tarantino’s films delight in anachronisms. In spite of and in reaction to Zimmer and company’s “anti-scores,” some composers still choose to go old school.


Scores and Films Featured

April 5       – 1970-1974

Hawks versus Doves – Patton (to Apocalypse Now); the Wilderness Period: Little Big Man to Deliverance; the dream is over: from Woodstock to Gimme Shelter (Altamont) – the concerts, their films and music; the Expanding Envelope of Permissibility – A Clockwork Orange, Last Tango in Paris and The Exorcist; John Williams and originality in the adapted musical – Fiddler on the Roof; Nino Rota and the Godfathers; Nino Rota and Fellini – Satyricon – not your father’s Roman Empire; Legrand’s The Three Musketeers; Goldsmith’s Chinatown; Scott Joplin in The Sting; John Williams continued – Jane Eyre and The Towering Inferno

April 12     – 1975-1979

The Return of Period Adventures (The Man Who Would Be King, The Wind and the Lion, Barry Lyndon); the Western – an attempted comeback: Bite the Bullet; Williams explodes: Jaws; Composers in Exile (Herrmann in horror, Bernstein in comedy); Rocky; The Synthesizer – Tangerine Dream and Sorcerer; Star Wars – Williams resurrects the grand symphonic score; the Science Fiction revival (Logan’s Run, Close Encounters, Star Trek – The Motion Picture, Alien); Malick and Morricone – Days of Heaven; Apocalypse Now – A perfect synthesis of rock, synthesizer, original and classical.

April 19     – 1980-1984

Williams continues triumphant (The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial); Dave Grusin: On Golden Pond; James Horner emerges – Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and Brainstorm; Bad Films, Brilliant Scores: Conan the Barbarian – Basil Poledouris’s masterpiece; Philip Glass and Koyaanisqatsi; Coppola and The Police Drummer, Rumble Fish; another busy Newman: Randy; Goldsmith’s Under Fire

April 26     – 1985-1989

Another attempted comeback for the Western: Silverado; Morricone’s The Mission; Goldsmith’s Hoosiers; Williams’s Empire of the Sun; Morricone’s The Untouchables and Cinema Paradiso; Wings of Desire; Georges Delerue – Sojourn in Hollywood; World Music emerges – Peter Gabriel’s Last Temptation of Christ; Danny Elfman emerges – the relationship between Elfman and Tim Burton begins (Beetlejuice and Batman; Hans Zimmer emerges (Driving Miss Daisy); the Rebirth of the Animated Disney Musical – Alan Menken emerges; James Horner ends the decade in triumph: Field of Dreams, In Country and Glory

May 3        – 1990-1994

Silver-Agers in their Prime (the continued scoring successes of John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Maurice Jarre, John Barry and Jerry Goldsmith); the successful comeback of the Western: John Barry’s Dances With Wolves; Elfman’s Edward Scissorhands; Ry Cooder’s Roots Scores; Patrick Doyle emerges; Last of the Mohicans (1992); Thomas Newman emerges; 1993 – a very good year (Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Geronimo, Age of Innocence, Tombstone, The Fugitive, Much Ado About Nothing, Benny and Joon); James Newton Howard emerges; Carter Burwell emerges; Beauty makes a comeback: T. Newman’s Little Women, Horner’s Legends of the Fall and Elfman’s Black Beauty

May 10      – 1995-1999

Quirky is In – Thomas Newman’s Unstrung Heroes; Bollywood or bust – A.R. Rahman; Elliott Goldenthal emerges – Michael Collins; Mychael Danna emerges – Ride with the Devil; World War II never sounded like this – The Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan; Euro-Pop and the Big Cinema Beat – Run, Lola, Run; new Impossible Missions – Schifrin and the Rush Hour series; Horner continues triumphant (Braveheart, Apollo 13, The Spitfire Grill, The Mark of Zorro); T. Newman’s Meet Joe Black; scoring by computer and committee – the Rise of Media Ventures and Remote Control.

May 17      – 2000-2004

Gladiator – a Maximus Opus; John Powell emerges; Genre Defining – The Bourne Identity; John Williams Sci-Fi Duo: A.I. and Minority Report; Howard Shore and The Lord of the Rings trilogy begins; Alexandre Desplat emerges – The Girl with the Pearl Earring; Quirky continues: Chocolat, The Royal Tennenbaums and Amélie; Elmer Bernstein’s swan song – Far From Heaven; Troy – the rejected score by Gabriel Yared;  Michael Giacchino emerges; The Pirates of the Caribbean scores.

May 24      – 2005-2010 and Beyond…

John Powell arrives (The Italian Job, United 93, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Stop-Loss, How To Train Your Dragon); the “Firefly”/”Serenity” phenomenon in music; no one expects the Spanish incursion: Volver, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Impossible; solid and reliable Alan Silvestri; return of the song score – Once; Isham and Beltrami; Disappointing Slumdog; Quentin Tarantino and anachronistic scoring – Inglourious Basterds, etc.; the ANTI-Score – Hans Zimmer and the Batman resurgence; Steven Price’s Gravity;  Beltrami’s The Homesman; the Old School Returneth: Monuments Men, 10 Cloverfield Lane; Michael Giacchino triumphs (Inside-Out, Tomorrowland, Jupiter Ascending and Jurassic World);  Paolo Sorrentino music sublime: This Must be the Place, La Grande Bellezza and Youth; Harry Potter scores overview; Elfman’s Girl on the Train; Wavemeisters of the future: Johann Johannsson, Max Richter, Bear McCreary, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.