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In Dreams
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Co-Produced by:
Elliot Goldenthal

Conducted by:
Jonathan Sheffer
Edward Shearmur

Co-Orchestrated by:
Robert Elhai

Co-Produced by:
Teese Gohl

Varèse Sarabande

Release Date:
October 12th, 1999

Also See:
Interview with the Vampire
Michael Collins
Alien 3
Golden Gate

Audio Clips:
4. Appellatron (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

6. Rubber Room Stomp (0:28):
WMA (184K)  MP3 (226K)
Real Audio (140K)

10. Rebecca's Abduction (0:35):
WMA (227K)  MP3 (282K)
Real Audio (175K)

15. Elegy Ostinato (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (250K)
Real Audio (155K)

Regular U.S. release.


In Dreams

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Sales Rank: 410429

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Buy it... if you want to listen in on the kind of music that Elliot Goldenthal probably hears in his own nightmares.

Avoid it... if you consider Goldenthal's music for much brighter topics to be inaccessible, because this score takes that avant garde style down a formidable path to despair.

In Dreams: (Elliot Goldenthal) Performed by an impressive cast, the story of In Dreams is a chilling and desperate tale of a woman who is haunted by dream-like premonitions of a child's death at the hands of an abductor and serial killer, as well as the understandable hesitance of the police to believe her. Director Neil Jordan violated a few of the fundamental rules of effective thrillers, first relying too heavily on unoriginal concepts seen in other films and then presenting the characters in the story in such a fashion that few will actually care what happens to them. If Annette Bening's lead character's attempted suicide had been successful, the film might actually have been better. At any rate, the film is both unpleasant and surrealistic in its photography, and the project was unexpectedly assigned to the equally abrasive (on many occasions) Elliot Goldenthal. Representing the fourth collaboration between Goldenthal and Jordan, for whom the composer had written Interview with the Vampire, Michael Collins, and The Butcher Boy, In Dreams won't surprise anyone. It does beg questions about the kind of music that Goldenthal hears in his dreams. For listeners familiar with the unconventional film music that Goldenthal writes when he is awake, the consensus might be that In Dreams could be the score to his own dreams. For most other people, of course, this kind of music would only accompany nightmares, and a perpetual, living nightmare is exactly the plotline of In Dreams. As those nightmares of Bening's character are realized, Goldenthal's score becomes even more important is providing an excruciating sense of futility and realism. Even if he hadn't been the regular artistic partner of the director, In Dreams is a project meant for the twisted imagination of Goldenthal in every regard. Mainstream appreciation of Goldenthal's works, of course, had been somewhat sparse even as of 1998, due to the composer's inaccessible style that ignored the norms of both traditional classical and contemporary music in the process of merging some of their traits. As an assignment, In Dreams begged Goldenthal for an even more inaccessible work, and he succeeded in taking his dissonant, chaotic spirit to an all new level. Whereas many of Goldenthal's scores are obnoxious in their droning, meandering, and aimless style of obscurity, In Dreams presents a score that may be just as obnoxious, but in a completely different way.

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Dissonant and chaotic this score is, but this time Goldenthal has a definite start and finish to the journey, with plenty of intriguing moves in the middle. The creativity of the composer's music for films like this is balanced by a certain amount of frustration with the tumultuous result of that creativity. In portions of In Dreams, Goldenthal offers orchestral magnificence in the horror genre that would make Bernard Herrmann or Christopher Young proud, with tense string work highlighting often riveting cues. Unlike many of Goldenthal's other thriller scores, In Dreams also has significantly identifiable crescendos, slams, and knee-wobbling resolutions. The brutal "Rebecca's Abduction" cue is a remarkably powerful orchestral explosion among the best of his career, drawing from Interview with the Vampire and this time finishing the creative thought. He also provides two cues of strikingly bleak, but effective piano loneliness ("Claire's Nocturne" and "Andante"). On the other hand, Goldenthal also rips with a certain dose of that unhindered creative chaos that he likes to experiment with, especially when allowing for a new and abnormal use of an instrument. In this case, as in Golden Gate, the guinea pig is the saxophone player, who is combined with a few electric guitars to create a horrific new sonic representation of mental demise. Listening to cues such as "Appellatron" will confirm exactly why Goldenthal isn't a mainstream artist, with that cue (through "Rubber Room Stomp" a few cues later) thrusting a dissonant eruption of seemingly jumbled blasts of the sax across the stereo mix. The name of the guitars used for the project, "Deaf Elk," speaks for itself. The interesting aspect of these deafening and nearly intolerable cues of horror is that they are far more structurally complicated and fascinating in their astonishingly bizarre constructs than Goldenthal's other efforts. They are still inaccessible on album, of course, and that particular problem is accentuated by the insertion of the two completely out of place songs in the middle of the product. While "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison is a classic, its soft, romantic touch completely destroys whatever mood the Goldenthal listener was attempting to establish. Goldenthal's own, awkwardly choral song at the end is stricken by stylistic indecision, and its stark performance offers little to compliment the score other than a similarly mind-numbing personality. Overall, In Dreams is as difficult to digest as any Goldenthal thriller, but at least it is more intriguing to study as a purely nightmarish endeavor than many of his other works. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Elliot Goldenthal reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.13 (in 16 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.07 (in 15,601 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.04 Stars
Smart Average: 3.07 Stars*
***** 33 
**** 36 
*** 34 
** 26 
* 34 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Goldenthal is a genius!
  Fernando Giménez Moren... -- 9/3/04 (1:30 p.m.)
   Re: Non-Classical Score?
  Will -- 11/4/03 (2:09 p.m.)
   Dream Baby
  elmstreetkid -- 7/31/03 (1:05 p.m.)
   Great score
  Southall -- 7/30/03 (1:17 p.m.)
   Re: Non-Classical Score?
  Christian Clemmensen -- 7/30/03 (10:16 a.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings: Total Time: 49:46

• 1. Agitata Dolorosa (5:00)
• 2. Claire's Nocturne (2:38)
• 3. The Pull of Red (2:08)
• 4. Appellatron (3:32)
• 5. Wraith Loops (3:26)
• 6. Rubber Room Stomp (2:01)
• 7. Pulled by Red (1:11)
• 8. Scytheoplicity (3:25)
• 9. In Dreams - written and performed by Roy Orbison (2:49)
• 10. Rebecca's Abduction (4:31)
• 11. Premonition Lento (1:43)
• 12. While We Sleep (2:36)
• 13. Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree - written by Lew Brown, Sam Stept and Charles Tobias, performed by The Andrews Sisters (2:14)
• 14. Andante (3:36)
• 15. Elegy Ostinato (4:07)
• 16. Dream Baby - written by Elliot Goldenthal and Neil Jordan, performed by Elizabeth Fraser (4:30)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from In Dreams are Copyright © 1999, Varèse Sarabande. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/2/03 and last updated 3/27/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.