Feb. 4th, 2005

ealgylden: (Serenity (wesleysgirl))
I keep forgetting to mention it, but Intrada's having a close-out sale on some of Bruce Broughton's lower profile scores. The sale officially ends on 2/15, but stock is apparently down to the last few boxes, so I wouldn't wait if you're interested. I already had Infinity and True Women, but I was able to pick up The Ballad of Lucy Whipple and O Pioneers! for less than the original price of just one of them, so that was pretty keen. It's too bad Infinity is going out of print, since it's one I recommend, score and movie both, with great pleasure. Matthew Broderick plays Richard Feynman (which makes me happy for a variety of reasons) as a young not-yet-giant of physics who's madly in love with his wife (Patricia Arquette). She, sadly, is not well. Sweet, charming, melancholy movie, and Broughton's score is thoroughly appealing. They (movie and score) make good comfort food for a rainy day. Anyway, sale. Yes. The end.

In this week's (this past week's, I suppose, by now) EW (the Oscar preview issue), there was an article on buddy movies. Pretty good article, mentions lots of movies I'm fond of, pretty much relies entirely on Thelma and Louise to represent the distaff side of the equation (but that's no surprise). But the author (Ty Burr) managed to hit one of my peeves in the paragraph on The Sting, when he said, "The movie's a lark-- a breezy con-man comedy with a ragtime score that makes no sense in the film's Depression setting-- but it was the stars who put it over the top with self-deprecating wit and sheer bijou charisma" (emphasis mine). Okay. I've seen that variations of that comment/complaint quite a few times over the years, and it bugs me. Yes, the use of ragtime is anachronistic for the Depression-era setting. It's also not a mistake or an oversight. It's not about the setting. Hooker looks very pretty with his striped suits and his pugnacious snappiness, but look at the rest of the cast- he's the baby (and Redford was a decade or more younger than the rest of the main cast, except Eileen Brennan, a year younger than him in real life but probably considered older by Hollywood [double-]standards). Everyone else, Henry Gondorff, Luther, Doyle Lonnegan, all the grifting cogs in the machine, are from the previous generation of conmen. Even the con itself is from a generation past- it's only effective because it's so out-of-date that no one would recognize it, or believe it if they did. Hooker is Gondorff's apprentice and heir, but that torch can't be passed until Harry and the rest have relieved their glory days... complete with the proper music, which wouldn't, couldn't, be Depression-era. I mean, imagine Grosse Point Blank if the soundtrack had been setting-accurate instead of theme-accurate. Instead of Violent Femmes, The Specials and bands that speak to the lost self Martin's trying to find, we get setting-appropriate groups like Hootie & The Blowfish and The Rembrandts. Doesn't really work so well, does it? No, whoever made the initial decision to score The Sting with Joplin, Marvin Hamlisch or George Roy Hill or whoever, knew what he was doing. Ragtime is an anachronism, but it isn't a mistake. It does make sense, Mr. Burr.

Speaking of movie scores, I haven't commented on Serenity yet, have I? Well, originally the film was to be scored by Carter Burwell. Slightly odd choice, I thought, and one that would seem to strongly emphasize the "science fiction" aspect of Firefly over the "western," but I generally like Burwell's work and occasionally even love it, so okay. Then, week before last, he and the production parted ways over creative differences. Possibly disappointing (it's hard to tell without hearing any of the score), but not unusual these days- heck, some composers seem to spend half their time bouncing from picture to picture (Alan Silvestri comes to mind). Burwell's replacement hasn't been announced yet, but he mentions rumors that the job might go to David Newman (sadly, not brother Thomas) or John Debney. I don't particularly care for either, so this rumor doesn't really thrill me. Greg Edmonson, who composed the music for the show, is apparently still not in the running. Pity. So we'll see, I guess.

But! The thing that caught my attention in Burwell's comments was this: "What made the job difficult was that the score needed to reflect whatever was happening on screen moment by moment." So if that's what Joss wanted, should we expect two hours of mickey mousing? That's not necessarily bad, of course (a lot will depend on the composer), but it does represent one more change from the small to big screens, since that wasn't really the show's style. Hm. I know my brain will adjust to all these things eventually, but the first time through watching this movie is going to be a killer.


ealgylden: (Default)

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