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Thread: Film Composers

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    Film Composers

    Since scores and soundtracks have been a recent trend of discussion here, with Trent's recent foray into this field, I thought it would be good to start a thread on other film music work.

    Cliff Martinez's score for Drive has been in heavy rotation on my iPod since I saw the movie. The scores I tend to listen to are usually very intense in a particular understated way, and this is a perfect example of just that. The film, despite being set in Los Angeles, feels very cold at times. The music channels that, almost a cold sweat given how tense some sequences are.

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    I've been a fan of Elliot Goldenthal for a long while now. He's more of an experimental composer, I guess, but I think he'd appeal to a lot of people on this board. He's done a few dud movies over the years, but managed to make the scores interesting nonetheless. My favorite of his is no doubt Alien 3, which still makes me uncomfortable to this day. Much of the score gives you the feeling of something crawling up and down your spine.

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    I'm a huge fan Thomas Newman and his scores. I'd say he's my favorite composer. His scores always have a certain personally that, while each still fits the individual film in my opinion, is totally him. I enjoy that about his work.

    Love his work in American Beauty, Wall-E and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events just to name a few. Sometimes I'll go watch a movie just because I know he's involved in the score. Other times I'll get halfway through a movie and think it sounds like him, stick around for the credits and discover it was indeed his work.

    I find it kind of funny that he's done so many stellar scores and never won an Oscar, and yet Trent goes one-for-one.

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    Cliff Martinez is among my favorites right now for his work in Drive, Contagion, and the 2002 version of Solaris. I also like the work of Hans Zimmer, Alexandre Desplat, and Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo as far as those who are still working quite often. My all-time favorite is still the Maestro. Ennio Morricone. His work with Sergio Leone alone makes a great case for the best director-music composer collaborators. I just love the operatic quality of Morricone's work which seems to fit with a lot of the dramatic and more intense moments of Leone's films. I would also cite the works of Nino Rota not just for his work in The Godfather but most notably the music he did for Federico Fellini.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    I've been a fan of Elliot Goldenthal for a long while now. He's more of an experimental composer, I guess, but I think he'd appeal to a lot of people on this board. He's done a few dud movies over the years, but managed to make the scores interesting nonetheless. My favorite of his is no doubt Alien 3, which still makes me uncomfortable to this day. Much of the score gives you the feeling of something crawling up and down your spine.
    I love his Interview with the Vampire score. Love, love love it.

    Also: Danny Elfman. Enough said.

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    Morricone is my favorite too, hands down. Especially his work with Leone, really starting for me with Once Upon A Time In The West. The Eastwood films have their moments, but I think by the time Leone moved on from that period, his collaboration with Ennio had blossomed into something more organic. The entire score for that film was in the can by the time filming started, and when it did the music would quite often be played in between takes to get certain actors in the right frame of mind Leone was after. This later inspired Stanley Kubrick into playing classical music on the set of Barry Lyndon, and apparently George Lucas was listening to the OUATITW score quite heavily when he was working post-production on The Empire Strikes Back.

    My second favorite is Michael Kamen, though I really count his work with Rock bands (namely Pink Floyd and Metallica) as well. He composed the score for Highlander in tandem with the songs Queen wrote for it. "Who Wants To Live Forever" is really half score/half song which is quite a feat in itself. And his scores for the Die Hard and Lethal Weapon franchises were a league apart from your average action scores and gave them some real orchestral weight. I was genuinely shocked and saddened when I heard he died, because his scores were always recognizable and enjoyable to my ears.
    Last edited by onthewall2983; 12-30-2011 at 01:42 PM.

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    Last edited by emptydesk; 12-31-2011 at 07:28 AM.

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    Alexandre Desplat and Cliff Martinez have been on heavy rotation on my iPod as well. Desplat's Tree of Life score is marvelous, and I truly hope Martinez gets a nod for Drive. We were watching the screener to Drive the other day (with completely different music, including some Social Network outtakes), and the movie doesn't feel the same without Martinez' score, which proves how hugely important music is to a film.

    Ennio Morricone is a master, and we musn't forget about Bernard Herrmann. His soundtracks to the Hitchcock movies and Taxi Driver are unforgettable.

    Another one of my most recent discoveries has been the work of Abel Korzeniowski. This track from A Single Man - one of my favorite movies - still puts shivers down my spine:


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    Angelo Badalamenti, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Trevor Jones, Nino Rota.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morad View Post
    I truly hope Martinez gets a nod for Drive. We were watching the screener to Drive the other day (with completely different music, including some Social Network outtakes), and the movie doesn't feel the same without Martinez' score, which proves how hugely important music is to a film.
    I'm really hoping Martinez gets an Oscar nod too, but if the Golden Globes are any indication, I'm not being optimistic. I know that Drive is incredibly divisive for some reason, but I know some people saw it for the first time with temp. music like you mentioned, and I'm not saying it would change people's minds, but the music during the Elevator scene and the climax with Albert Brooks is SO key. They're my 2 favorite scenes because of Cliff's music. "I Drive" and "Wrong Floor" (as they're titled on the soundtrack) represent one of my favorite pieces of music of the entire year, not just in the world of film composing. Go Cliff!

    I sampled a little bit of his Contagion score on Spotify as well and it sounded awesome.

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    Clint Mansell






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    Last edited by emptydesk; 12-31-2011 at 07:29 AM.

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    I love the aforementioned Clint Mansell. His soundtracks for The Foundtain and Black Swan are often on heavy rotation at my place. Other than that I'm not very into the whole soundtrack scene. I do however love the works of Susumu Hirasawa, the music he's done for some of Satoshi Kon's films are absolutely amazing. I'd advise you folks here to check out his soundtracks for Millenium Actress and Paprika. In terms of yer usual Hollywood composers I'm a big fan of James Newton Howard, my favorite being his soundtrack for The Village. It works incredibly well in the film and as a stand alone piece it provides so much more than just background music.

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    Elliot Goldenthal, Mark Isham, Terence Blanchard, Jerry Goldsmith, Howard Shore, and Michael Kamen are among some of my favorites.
    Last edited by Ocean Blooms; 12-31-2011 at 08:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldschool View Post
    I'm a huge fan Thomas Newman and his scores. I'd say he's my favorite composer. His scores always have a certain personally that, while each still fits the individual film in my opinion, is totally him. I enjoy that about his work.

    Love his work in American Beauty, Wall-E and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events just to name a few. Sometimes I'll go watch a movie just because I know he's involved in the score. Other times I'll get halfway through a movie and think it sounds like him, stick around for the credits and discover it was indeed his work.

    I find it kind of funny that he's done so many stellar scores and never won an Oscar, and yet Trent goes one-for-one.
    I loved the score for WALL-E. It just clicked with me and I always remembered A Series of Unfortunate Events having a soundtrack that was good as well, probably one of my first notices of film music scoring to be good when I watched that when it came out long ago.

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    I know he's more of a collaborator than composer, but no love for Giorgio Moroder's score work?

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    My favorite soundtrack of all time is Brian Tyler's work on Children of Dune.


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    Listen to a lot of Zimmer and Mansell of course, in addition to TR and Atticus' work, but here are some gems I have recently enjoyed in years past;

    Two Andrew Niccol films;
    Lord of War by Antonio Pinto


    Gattaca by Michael Nyman


    The fabulous Nathan Johnson featuring the Cinematic Underground from Rian Johnson's Brothers Bloom


    Michael Giacchino did some great work on Lost however UP might be his best work


    I also generally like Trevor Rabin and Harry Greggson Williams' work, and course Zimmer's protege Klaus Badelt, with his best work being the film Equilibrium.

    Looking forward to checking out the film that Sigur Ros scored recently, heard that was pretty stellar.

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    Antonio Pinto also did the music for City Of God and contributed to the Collateral score, and more recently the score for the doc ​Senna.

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    Nobody mentioned Craig Armstrong? I LOVE his work! It's lyrical and romantic, and yes, sometimes a little over the top. But his score to Romeo + Juliet is one of my favourite works of music.



    And of course Dario Marianelli, especially his score for Pride & Prejudice.



    And Yann Tiersen's soundtrack for Amélie is also gorgeous, obviously.


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    Here's a few...



    The very under appreciated tomandandy. This one gets especially good at the 2:30 mark.



    Gotta put the excellent opening track to Alien 3 by Elliot Goldenthal.



    Also, the brilliant opening title of 25th Hour from Terence Blanchard.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elke View Post
    And Yann Tiersen's soundtrack for Amélie is also gorgeous, obviously.

    My wife actually walked down the isle at our wedding to this. Such a majestic piece of music.

    This thread is really awesome by the way. I'd like to think I'm a film score geek, but there's so much great stuff you guys have brought to my attention that I wasn't even aware of. Kudos to ontheway2983 for starting the thread.

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    ^ Agreed, nice post. Thanks to this thread I woke up this morning and played this beautiful and uplifting piece of music by Klaus Badelt and it started my day of perfectly. I stand corrected on my previous notion in regards to Equilibrium; The Time Machine is actually his greatest work in my opinion. Say what you want about the film, I know it has its problems, but I loved it anyway.




    Another amazing score that has yet to be mentioned is Christopher Young's 'Rounders'. It has this dingy jazz/blues vibe that fits the mood of the film so appropriately, while still being epic at times in it's own right.


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    Quote Originally Posted by oldschool View Post
    This thread is really awesome by the way. I'd like to think I'm a film score geek, but there's so much great stuff you guys have brought to my attention that I wasn't even aware of. Kudos to onthewall2983 for starting the thread.
    Thanks. It seemed like a no-brainer given recent discussion. I remember a thread like this on the old forum, but it was a bit jumbled because the OP named it the soundtrack thread or something to that degree. Hopefully this title leads to no similar confusion.

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    As for 2011 scores, in addition to Drive, I've been listening to Another Earth's score by Fall on Your Sword - an electronic duo who's score sounds like a cross between Vangelis and M83, with some occasional classical piano thrown in. Recommended, as is the movie itself.

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    is there a page somewhere which lists sales figures of soundtracks? i'd be interested in - of course - sales figures of "the social network" and "the girl with the dragon tattoo". also a comparison to soundtracks from martinez, mansell, ... would be nice...

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    I'm a huge fan of Zimmer and Vangelis but I also seem to like the work of Howard Shore on The Cell and Copland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beta View Post
    is there a page somewhere which lists sales figures of soundtracks? i'd be interested in - of course - sales figures of "the social network" and "the girl with the dragon tattoo". also a comparison to soundtracks from martinez, mansell, ... would be nice...
    This might be of help.

    I like Howard's stuff too. Mostly for The Departed and Crash and his work with Fincher (particularly Se7en and The Game​), but a recent one that caught my ears was his score for Edge Of Darkness.
    Last edited by onthewall2983; 01-10-2012 at 09:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onthewall2983 View Post
    This might be of help.
    thx but i wasnt talking about weekly charts.. i also found this link, but as i said.. not what i was looking for. i'd like to have concrete figures. and not just for 1 week. but thx though, of course!!

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    Someone mentioned Thomas Newman earlier. After Morricone, his work in particular turned me on to listening to the score in a movie more. Particularly The Shawshank Redemption, which is one of my all-time favorite movies.

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