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Comments about the soundtrack for A.I. (John Williams)

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Re: Williams had been overrated again.
• Posted by: J. S.   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2006, at 10:58 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Williams had been overrated again. (juju-bean)

Keep in mind that John Williams doesn't always write his own scores. I know someone in the business who has written at least one score for him, but he is under contract and is not allowed to say what scores he has actually done.

Williams is kinda like Thomas Edison. He basically pays people to do the work, then slaps his name on it.

> Hey,

> First off, IMO, I thought A.I. was a good score and probably should've
> been nominated. Harry Potter, on the other hand, maybe shouldn't have
> been. And I really doubt that Monsters Inc. was one of the 5 best scores
> of the year. I would've picked final fantasy over either of the 2
> previously mentioned filmscores. Of course, i do think FoTR was a great
> score and will probably win.

> Anyway, Your argument seemed to be that Williams is overated in general
> and you would like to see some of these other composers get nominated. I
> agree that the academy should maybe toss some other composers nominations,
> because i think perhaps some scores deserved it more than other scores
> that were nominated. I do however think that A.I. is a score that
> should've been nominated. It seems to fit the film quite well, and
> remember, regardless of how some ppl, perhaps including the academy, look
> at it, they should not be giving oscars out to scores that merely sound
> good on album. I think some of us tend to forget that we are listening to
> soundtracks to movies; they are not written to be listened to alone. If
> the score supports the film and helps it tell its story it is a good
> score. That is one of the reasons, i think, Williams is nominated so
> often, he is a good storyteller.

> Zimmer, in my opinion, doesn't always write the quality of music that
> Williams does. Of course he has written some gems, 'Gladiator' was a good
> score i think, and 'the thin red line' was very good, etc. I also think As
> Good As it Gets was a good score, in that it fit the film very well.

> Vangelis writes good music, but seems to sometimes disregard the film... I
> have to say, Chariots of Fire is a great, memorable, and beautiful theme,
> but does the score fit the film? Does it tell the story of the film, in
> any way? I don't feel it does.

> Just to explain how i look at scores...

> Some parts of scores, in relationship with the movie, are kind of
> homophonic, they accompany the the movie very precisely, and create a
> single texture, a blend of film and score. The Matrix, was written like
> this. In other movies many cues are written this way. I love that stuff :P
> To me it seems it would be very difficult to write and melds with the
> movie very well. However, other scores work more, i guess you could say:
> polyphonic, and these are fabulous too. The score works more independently
> of the film, and accents the mood, excitement. Of course this sort of
> score can shift from mood to mood with the movie, and can accent things
> very well. Not all scores need to hit off of things in the film to be
> good, they just have to support it... they can support ideas in the film,
> and ideas that are not present in the film. A simple example: Zimmer is
> scoring the scene to As Good As it Gets... Jack Nicholson, (I think Melvin
> in the movie, not sure) is sitting at his computer, writing a book. He is
> mumbling to himself about what he is writing... previously he has been
> interrupted by his gay neighbor who he seemingly hates. He is now sitting
> down at the computer to continue his writing. Its this romance novel, and
> he is mumbling about love, then as this look comes over his face (great
> acting by nicholson, btw) you hear the music express his thought... here,
> Zimmer's score captures the 'inspiration' that the character is feeling...
> it works perfectly. Of course the film continues on and just as the
> orchestra makes the statement there is a knock on the door... the music
> vanishes along with jack's expression. That is an instant, i think, where
> the score established a feeling in the film, that most viewers would
> probably have missed if there were no music.

> I just get pissed off when i hear ppl complaining about scores, on
> album... Not specifically any of you guys on this forum, just in general i
> think that sometimes we get confused and need a push back in the right
> direction. The score is part of the *FILM*. I think this is important
> especially when talking about who is better than who, and who deserves
> this award. Anyway, I seemed to have lost track so... let me get back...

> Now, you guys were also arguing about action music... Zimmer scores sooooo
> much of this stuff... he has gotten good at getting your heart pounding to
> the rhythm of rapid machine gun fire. Yes, Zimmer's music in most action
> cues supports the film, and hits off of things in the film. However, lots
> of this can be done differently, and instead of using complex, sometimes
> not, electronic rhythms john williams uses the entire orchestra to express
> excitement, in most of his scores. Think of jaws... now compare any of
> zimmer's action cues to the tense build up of jaws? And think of the cue
> from the 3rd Indiana Jones film: when they are on the speed boats and they
> are getting sucked every second closer to the spinning propeller... you
> can hear the orchestra imitating what is seen on the screen... the woosh,
> woosh of the propeller... i find that very creative, and it effectivly
> supported the film. I think williams can score suspense and action
> exceptionally well. But, even if he didn't score action (which he
> definately has), what is that? is that a sin? I, of course, don't have
> experience in any of this, but i would think that it would be more
> difficult to portray emotions that are present in a film like A.I. than
> any action cue.

> I'm not trying to insult zimmer, or vangelis... I think they are both
> great film composers... And maybe the academy unfairly favors williams,
> which i think they might. But, I conclude that williams has earned his
> title in full as the "caesar" of film music -as of the last 50
> years ... and i think belittling him, and stating that he is overrated
> is folly.

> --- Grrrr...

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