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Entries in composers (42)

Tuesday
Aug252015

Random List-Mania: 40 Best Original Movie Songs of the 1980s

We did this once for the 1990s and you loved it, so here's round two. 

Young Oscar fanatics might not have tripped over this tidbit yet but in the 1980s they were still giving out an award for "Original Song Score" - an old vestige category of the decades when a dozen plus movie musicals arrived each year. Three of these Oscars were handed out in the 1980s for Victor / Victoria (1982), Yentl (1983) and Purple Rain (1984).  None have been handed out since even though it's technically still a category... just not one that they invoke anymore. Though it's a pity they didn't consider giving one to Moulin Rouge! or Hedwig and the Angry Inch for 2001 as the category can also be awarded to "Adaptation Score"

The presence of this category in the early 80s probably explains why Purple Rain and Victor/Victoria had no "Original Song" nominees in their years (why double dip?) but it does not explain why Yentl had nominations in both categories. Because of these films I only allowed myself 2 songs per movie so as not to let these five films hog this entire list.

BEST ORIGINAL MOVIE SONGS OF THE 1980s
Beautiful Song Craft and/or Cheesy Epic Ballads For the Wins
* Oscar nominee | ** Oscar winner 

  1. "Nine to Five"* -Nine to Five (Dolly Parton)
  2. "Le Jazz Hot" - Victor/Victoria (Henry Mancini)
  3. "Purple Rain" - Purple Rain (Prince)
  4. "Into the Groove" - Desperately Seeking Susan (Madonna)
  5. "Xanadu" - Xanadu (Jeff Lynne)
  6. "Fame"** - Fame (Michael Gore & Dean Pitchford)
  7. "When Doves Cry" - Purple Rain (Prince)
    33 more numbers after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul292015

Jane (Don't) Got a Link

Guardian has the Venice film festival lineup 
ICYMI here was Toronto's. They run concurrently so they share a few titles
Empire Nosferatu getting another remake -this time from the director of the Sundance hit The Witch. This is a terrible idea. It's one thing to top a classic. It's another thing to try and live up to memories of TWO classics simultaneously
Salon on "showrunner auteurs" and True Detective Season 2
Slant Magazine has a interesting 'noir' essay on a blu-ray restoration of the great Fabulous Baker Boys
The Wrap Relativity is going bankrupt which means their current most star driven films, Jane Got a Gun (Natalie Portman) and Collide (Felicity Jones & Nicolas Hoult) probably won't be opening as planned
The Wrap It's Chris Pine as Wonder Woman's Steve Trevor in 2017 though not everyone likes this idea


Yahoo Style "Madonna and the Fading Politics of Diva-dom" I normally groan my way through essays that are critical of Madonna in-the-now since they usually instantly show, nay even flaunt, their ageism and disrespect/misunderstanding of her legacy. But this one is smart and really interesting.
Empire Amy Schumer, who recently appropriated Star Wars for a photoshoot, has now done a Madonna-related photoshoot (Truth or Dare era specifically)

Bob the Musical?
Playbill Recent EGOTer Robert Lopez (Frozen) and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez have a new musical called Up Here at the La Jolla Playhouse. Will their lucky streak continue? This one takes place inside the lead character's head. That's going around - hi Inside Out!) They were previously reported to be working on the  long-gestating original film Bob the Musical
THR ... but then who hasn't been reported as working on that? Currently we're looking at Michel Hazanivicius directing, Michael Chabon writing, Bret McKenzie songwriting and Tom Cruise circling to star...
Pajiba doesn't want Tom Cruise to do it and I agree with every word of this. Also: he's just not good at comedy. He's too intense for comedy, particularly musical comedy which requires an effortless-looking lightness.

Showtune to Go from The Wiz
Remember when Margaret (I miss Margaret!) did such a fine job of dream-casting the forthcoming live television production of The Wiz? Well, the actual casting is starting now and sadly they haven't taken any of her suggestions to heart. The first announced members of the cast are Queen Latifah as the Wizard, Mary J Blige as Evilene (AKA the Wicked Witch), and the original Broadway production's Dorothy, Stephanie Mills, as her own Auntie 'Em. 

 

But who will sing this classic finale "Home"?

P.S. Incredibly and sadly, the legendary long-retired Diana Ross, who is only 71 years old, is the only principle cast member from the 1978 film who is still with us. (And she's too young for this list)

Sunday
Jul122015

SDCC Day 3: Multitudes of Peggy & Hateful 8 News

Anne Marie here with more from SDCC. Most of Saturday's buzz surrounded Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (about which Nathaniel already posted a YNMS), but if capes and cowls aren't your thing, here are 5 other entertaining bits of news from San Diego Comic Con.

5) EW's Women Who Kick Ass Panel assembled a great lineup: Kathy Bates on American Horror Story, Hayley Atwell on Agent Carter, Gwendoline Christie on Game of Thrones, Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who, and Wonder Woman herself, Gal Godot. Someone make this an actual superhero team please. 

4) The Sherlock Special sneak peek. Little explanation given for the Victorian setting, but it's fun to see Bendandsnap Cabbagepatch don the deerstalker.

3) Suicide Squad teaser is all anyone can talk about, but Warner Bros hasn't yet released it online. Fan consensus: Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn > Jared Leto's Joker. I just want to see Viola Davis eat that steak.

2) Hateful 8 Panel, interviews, and new poster. Notice that very important cinephile bait bit in the right bottom corner. Good tagline, too. Tarantino revealed that if he can't shoot on actual film, he won't make them anymore and TV might be a possibility. Best news: he convinced the legendary Ennio Morricone to compose his first western score in decades. The Original Score Oscar prediction chart already updated as a result!

1) Hayley Atwell's Dubsmash Videos. The Agent Carter star alleviated her boredom (and ours) with a Dubsmash challenge to her Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. buddies. She also posed with a huge group of Comic Con attendees doing Peggy Carter cosplay

 

Tuesday
Jun232015

Links

Good luck finding an actress today that looks like thisFilm School Rejects a biopic of Ingrid Bergman during the Notorious era might be coming from James Mangold. I'm always hoping they'll cast unknowns rather than stars for these things, so that they'll look more like their subjects
Decider really funny ranking of all of Meryl Streep's Oscar nominated work, judged by accents, struggles, co-stars, and random intangibles
Movies Now the box office wealth gap between blockbusters and everything else - interesting piece and worrisome, too
ArtsBeat Smash's "Bombshell" musical MIGHT (sigh) actually become a Broadway musical. Yes, they're still dangling that carrot since the one night only cast reunion of Smash went so well
MCU Exchange the deal is done and Ava DuVernay (Selma) will direct Marvel's Black Panther film 
/bent is thrilled that Inside Out passes the Bechdel Test so easily on all counts

A Must Read
"The Decline of the American Actor" is a really engaging piece about today's leading men, the "Chris"es and beyond and the struggles they face without challenging roles or all that much in the way of training like their foreign counterparts. It's really fascinating and the writer Terrence Rafferty only threw me out of it once when he makes a very strange rather off topic dig at Masters of Sex's second season which had me questioning his sanity (I couldn't disagree more on all counts of what he's saying in that section). It also has a nice little detour into current 20 and 30something actressing by clever way of Clouds of Sils Maria... that movie sure did get a lot of people talking so it's a mystery why it didn't break through in a more major way since actual stars were involved. 

RIP - Exit Music
The film composer James Horner died in a plane crash at age 61 yesterday. He was a favorite of James Cameron and Ron Howard, and moviegoers of course. He composed so many well liked movies that it's tough to name a favorite though I remember always liking the scores to Aliens, Avatar, Apollo 13 and Willow. We will be treated to his three final scores this year with  Southpaw, Wolf Totem and the Chilean Miners movie The 33. The Oscar favorite won both of his Oscars from the phenomenon that was Titanic (for score & original song) and was twice nominated for movie songs. So here's a little Celine at the Oscars and a little something from An American Tail, too.

 

Monday
Apr272015

April Foolish Predictions: Sound, Score, Make Up & FX

April is almost over and we MUST finish our April Foolish tradition - the first wave of Oscar nomination predictions before anyone knows anything. The film year is still only a toddler but they grow up so fast. The first third of the year always features the least amount of Oscar content but from movies already released we'll hope for miracles that Cinderella and Ex Machina could be remembered in the places they deserve to be. But the bulk of the heavy hitters are yet to come. Even in the more popcorn categories like Visual Effects.

NEW CHARTS --> ORIGINAL SCORE, ORIGINAL SONG, SOUND MIXING, SOUND EDITING
Which movies will have original songs? Will the composer Thomas Newman ever win an Oscar? Will Skyfall, atypically embraced by the Academy, have any sort of afterglow with AMPAS to help Spectre win nominations as well? And who will the composers be on a whole slew of Oscar Bait movies that haven't revealed their composer yet (since the score is one of the last things to happen)? These are the questions we're already asking so please do suggest answers in the comments once you've looked at the charts. 

NEW CHARTS ---> VISUAL EFFECTS, MAKEUP AND HAIR
Is Ex Machina too subtle for Oscar? Will Mad Max Fury Road be too outre for them? Will the visual effects category just be a quintet of franchise favorites they've honored before like Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron and so on? Will the makeup category be dominated by old age latex, fantastical character creations or a trans woman's journey? 

Care to make any predictions yourself? 

Sunday
Apr262015

Happy Birthday, Giorgio Moroder

Tim here. Today's the 75th birthday of Giorgio Moroder, pioneering electronic-dance-pop mastermind, and winner of four Grammys. But this being a film site, what we're interested in is his work in movie scoring, for which he won three Oscars. And what stellar work it is!

Moroder's soundtracks - and even more than that, his songs - are absolutely definitive. Any child of the '70s or '80s can't help but associate Moroder's compositions with a certain kind of glossy, high-concept spectacle. Moroder's sleek, borderline-campy music brought pop-art grandeur to everything from the political drama Midnight Express (his Best Score Oscar) to the smutty musical Flashdance and from the kitschy Superman III to the sparkling black fantasy The NeverEnding Story. His compositions for these films are the opposite of timeless; they are emphatically and proudly mired in a specific period of pop culture history.

But for the same reason, his scores and songs are the best imaginable fit for the giddy, playfully shallow cinema of that decade, bringing the energy and dazzle of the first years of the Blockbuster Era to life with style and flair whose period-specific artificiality is their greatest strength, not any kind of weakness. But let's allow the man's music to speak for itself. Here are my three personal favorite from his 80s soundscapes.

From Cat People (1982): "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)", later used to magnificent effect in Inglourious Basterds

From Flashdance (1983): "Flashdance... What a Feeling" (his second Oscar, the first for Best Song)

From Top Gun (1986): "Danger Zone" (he won his third Oscar for "Take My Breath Away" from the same movie)

What are your favorite Moroder film scores and songs?

Wednesday
Feb182015

Black History Month: Endless Love (1981)

I know what you're thinking. You're working out some variation of "how perverse to feature a lily white teenage romance for a Black History Month feature!"... and I get it. But let's travel back to 1981 together anyway and I'll explain.

The Italian auteur Franco Zeffirelli had found great success in America directing Romeo and Juliet (1968) which became both a populist hit and an Oscar magnet finishing in the year's top five at the box office and in the Best Picture shortlist. A dozen or so years later Zeffirelli took another stab (pun intended) at the zeitgeist with a similar if much cruder tale of an ill advised tempestuous and horny teenage affair. Endless Love was critically panned (multiple Razzie nominations) though it managed to be a hit if not quite a blockbuster. Its eponymous Best Original Song nominee "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie on the other hand was a monster...

Click to read more ...