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Friday, June 09, 2017

Sean Kelly

Review: Score: A Film Music Documentary

The art of the music of films are examined in Score: A Film Music Documentary. Since the beginning, music has been an important part of cinema. Starting off with piano or organ accompaniment to silent films, film scores evolved to involve full orchestras. Many of the film composers working today, including Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, and Howard Shore give their thoughts on the art and importance of the music that accompanies films.

Not many people give a second thought to film scores, even though they tend to be the most important aspect of the film watching experience. Not only do scores establish the mood of the film, but they also feature repeating motifs that build up to a climatic crescendos.

Score: A Film Music Documentary gives a history of the evolution of film scores, while also featuring a number of the composers working today. The film features both Oscar-winning megastars, such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer, while also featuring other of today's composers, such as Marco Beltrami (Scream), Brian Tyler (Avengers: Age of Ultron), and Heitor Pereira (Despicable Me).

It is interesting to see the evolution of film scores, which began with a organist in cinemas playing a Wurlitzer and progressed over the years to full orchestras. In fact, if I had a criticism of Score: A Film Music Documentary is the film focuses a bit too much on orchestral film scores. While the film does mention how various composers use different instrumentation, such as Ennio Morricone's use of guitars in his spaghetti western scores, there is sadly only fleeting mention of synthesizer based film scores. While the film does feature Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' Oscar winning collaboration on The Social Network, there is no mention of Daft Punk's score for Tron: Legacy, despite a poster for the film being visible in the background of an interview with Disney's head of music. Also noticeably absent are the iconic horror film scores by the likes of John Carpenter and Goblin, though the film of course mentions Bernard Herrmann's score for Psycho.

Score: A Film Music Documentary is a film that will be enjoyed by both film fans and music lovers. In a way, not only do film scores set the mood for films, but they also help keep orchestras in operation. Also, make sure to keep watching during the credits, as James Cameron pays tribute to James Horner, who tragically died in a plane crash in 2015.

8 / 10 stars
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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).