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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Original Song (67)

Monday
Jul072014

Halfway Pt. 3: Sound, Songs, Score. What Did You Enjoy Listening To?

Having covered the most astounding visuals from the first half of 2014 let's move on to Sound. This is when I suddenly become shy, mutable, and tongue-tied as a critic. You may read this post at any decibel level but please know that I'm whispering it. A truth: sound is the aspect of filmmaking for which I feel least qualified to judge. I try to absorb what's happening in underscoring and with the mix and editing. I'm definitely more attuned that I once was. But the fact remains that my ears are neither as well trained nor as aggressive in consumption as my eyes. I love to hear other people talk sound and scoring (I recommend the book The Conversations by Walter Murch which is on film editing but it touches on sound as well) so please do share your favorites in the comments. I'll probably learn something if you do. At the very least I'll have more to consider. 

If I had to vote right now...

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Henry Jackman); Godzilla (Alexandre Desplat); The Grand Budapest Hotel (Alexandre Desplat); Noah (Clint Mansell); Snowpiercer (Marco Beltrami)... though I'd be hard-pressed to tell you why in all five cases other than that I responded to the music and thought it a fine match for the material tonally

BEST SOUND MIXING & EDITING: In these categories I'd undoubtedly go with some mix of the otherwordly bestial movies like Godzilla, Noah and How To Train Your Dragon 2 and I'd most definitely opt for Under the Skin and not just because my BFF and I leaned toward each other and whispered Yaz's "I Before E Except After C" lyrics during the enormously creepy vocalizations in the first minute of the film. But other than that I'm open to suggestions...

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: And now we can raise our voices again after the jump because I have five I LOVE already and we're only half finished with 2014. Guess what they are...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May072014

First Round Oscar Predix Continue: Sound & Visual FX

The Oscar chart construction must continue. Maleficent was asking and you don't want to keep her waiting. 

Visuals Chart - In Progress. More Categories To Come
You'll find early predictions for Visual F/X and the always confounding Makeup & Hair category. For Visual F/X I'd love to push Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes higher up the charts but I'm still trying to wrap my head around Oscar's complete disinterest in a) superhero movies that don't feature a man in a batsuit -- and that wouldn't confound me at all if they didn't have such deep abiding love for the Transformers franchise of all things which is surely less reputable than Marvel movies --  and b) Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) which won hugely favorable reviews and surprised virtually everyone in its year and seemed like a likely finalist in several Oscar categories but only ended up a VFX nominee. Will Oscar turn its nose up at those damn dirty apes and their stinking paws on round two (which is really round eight)?

Sound Chart - In Progress. More Categories To Come.
I'm very willing, nay, desperate to hear your thoughts on which films might have Original Songs. I'm super curious about Sound Mixing this year as well in that it's a category that loves blockbusters, musicals, potential Best Picture nominees, and films involving lots of water and there are quite a few films that fit at least one of those categories this year. Regarding music movies or traditional musicals: by my count it's quite a robust year iin that there are at least five on the way from obvious contenders like Into the Woods and Get On Up to less prestigious or smaller players like Annie, Begin Again, and The Last Five Years

As for Best Song, also added to the chart, Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for his last go round with The Muppets (we interviewed him). I think he's less likely to get nominated this year now that the novelty has worn off but if he is the Celine Dion/Miss Piggy ballad "Something So Right" seems most likely but my favorite song in the movie is the delightful nonsense of  "I'll Get You Want You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)"

If the new song doesn't sound out of place within its classic song score, it seems unlikely sight unseen sound unheard that any song other than the new Stephen Sondheim / Meryl Streep Into the Woods collaboration (previously squealed over) need show up on the big night. 

Previously
Supporting Actress | Animated Film | Lead Actor | Movies To Watch For 

Wednesday
Mar122014

Linksy

IndieWire the winners at SXSW Fort Tilden (narrative) and The Great Invisible (doc). You may recall that Short Term 12 was the big discovery last year so let's hope Fort Tilden hits theaters soon. But mostly I'm leading with this because the still released has kittens in it. Kittens!

But mostly I led with that because the first still released has kittens in it. Three. Kittens. Kittens, I say.

KITTENS

Ahem. Some links...
LA Review of Books Charles Taylor on Meryl Streep's recent string of gorgon roles and particularly August: Osage County. Really interesting article but Streep fanatics should steer clear since it is merciless. (Slightly confused about what this essay is doing at a 'Review of Books' since none are mentioned.) 
Golden Globe I hadn't seen this before - celebrities fav movies. Turns out Robin Wright loves Werner Herzog, Carey Mulligan loves Steven Spielberg, Emile Hirsch has very Oscar-bait taste, and Julia Roberts loves The Mexican most of her own ???
MNPP [NSFW] Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of Everest
The Playlist on Steven Soderbergh's King of the Hill Criterion release and his dissatisfaction with his post Sex, Lies and Videotape pre Out of Sight period 

Towleroad "Hodor" (Kristian Nairn) on Game of Thrones comes out in an interview 
Movie City News on "popcorn time" and piracy
The Wrap supposedly four actors fighting for the Doctor Doom role in The Fantastic Four: Eddie Redmayne, Sam Riley, Domnhall Gleeson, and Toby Kebbell. I'd say that wasn't a great get considering the face will be covered with a metal mask... but then origin stories, you know, they'll have some time before the face plate.
Variety uh-oh chest thumping Celine Dion could be back at the Oscars again in an Original Song performance. She gets a duet with Miss Piggy "Something So Right" in the new Muppets film 

Finally...
I don't normally post any fundraiser things beyond the site's own need for funding, detailed here. For instance, I had to make a ruling on no campaigns for indie movies simply because I get so many requests every week it'd be a part time job just putting up those posts with no added value for you the reader. But for movie theaters I'll make an exception. Brooklyn is home to so many cinephiles it'd be a pity if they lost another old theater. So if you want to help save the Brooklyn Heights Cinema -- which needs to update its equipment or be shut down -- here's the info!

Friday
Feb282014

Reading the Signs in the Stars for Best Original Song

Glenn here looking to the stars (and elsewhere) for hints on this year's higher profile than usual Original Song category. Ever since the fall out over Alone Yet Not Alone, Oscar's original song category has become far more competitive than I had originally imagined. I think we all figured "Let It Go" from Frozen would take it in a walk, no? But as more and more people come out of the woodwork in support of the other nominees, I'm wondering if that's quite the case anymore so I figure the best way to sort it out is to use arbitrary means of deduction.

What snow, Billboard charts, science, and Amy Poehler backrubs say about the race after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb252014

5 Days Til Oscar. When Will John Williams Win a Sixth?

John Williams, the cinema's most widely and wildly celebrated composer, is a nominee again this year for The Book Thief (you can download some sheet music from the score here). He is 82 years old but in a delightfully senior twist, he is only the third oldest nominee (after June Squibb and Patricia Norris). IMDb's database for composers is very confusing so I can't share "number of original scores" but his feature film career, starting with Daddy-O (1958) and continuing on through the The Book Thief (2013), is prolific and highly regarded with more presumably to come since the Indiana Jones and Star Wars franchises are still alive and so is he.

John Williams conducting "The Book of Thief" score in a recording session

His Oscar record is the closest anyone's ever come to total Academy infallibility (if you discount the people who only made one or two pictures). In the past 46 years, starting with the adaptation of the music in The Valley of Dolls (1967) and ending with his original compositions for The Book Thief  (2013) he has been nominated 49 times, winning 5 Oscars. 

with Catherine Deneuve when he won his last Golden Globe for Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)I don't know what kind of a percentage that is -- again, the films are hard to count and some won't have been eligible since he does a lot of franchises (and those are sometimes disqualified for lack of enough new material) but I'd wager that his record is something certifiably insane like 90% of his original compositions being named one of the year's five "Best". 

In other words, if he scores it, they're nominating it. Period.

Strangely, given their crazy-cuckoo devotion, he has only won the statue twice in the past 30 years. His most recent statues were for Schindler's List (1993), E.T. (1982), with his heyday being in the seventies when he won thrice for  Star Wars (1977), Jaws (1975) and Fiddler on the Roof (1972... in the Adaptation category which they no longer have).

 

 

 

Do you think he'll win a sixth Oscar or an honorary* soon?

Related:
Oscar Charts for the Sound and Music Categories
Nathaniel's Ballot of the Year's Best in Sound and Music

*in the unique star-subservient logic of the Academy, performers who've already been amply rewarded with gold are sometimes given an extra rather than honoring someone without trophies. See the recent baffling Honorary for 1961's Best Actress Sophia Loren's for her  "memorable performances", instead of taking the opportunity to honor one of numerous classic and respected actresses who've never won and are still living.