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Comments about the soundtrack for The Dark Knight (Hans Zimmer/James Newton Howard)

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In re: Dark Knight (Zimmer/Howard)
• Posted by: G. Michaels   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at 3:16 p.m.
• IP Address:
• Now Playing: Bernard Herrmann- Main Titles- "Sinbad"

First of all, I can, to an extent, empathize with Christian & Co. as film score collectors and their desire that this score display more "thematic integrity" (if you will) and neo-romantic stylism, which, thanks to the formidable talents chiefly of Messrs. Williams, Elfman, and Ottman, has become the accepted sonic palette for a traditional superhero film, and for some (including myself on most days) the preferred approach for listeners on album.

However, as a composer (and hobby-level filmmaker) myself, writing indie and short film scores- in other words, speaking as someone who has attended the spotting session, erased the triplets, sat in the booth, and stood on the podium, I think perhaps Christian may be continuing to unintentionally "hide something in plain sight."
Namely, these are film scores, i.e., they are written for a film, and thus are subject to the dictates and guidance of the director and/or producers.
As evidenced by Christopher Nolan's previous films, it would seem that he prefers a hybrid stylism that one might describe as "quasi-orchestral ambient techno-minimalism" Just reference any of his extra-Batman canon to hear what I mean.
Couple this with the fact that Nolan, Thomas, Roven, et. al., have repeatedly said that "this is less of a comic-book movie, and more of an existential crime drama", and I think that as much as Christian and others may want another Elfmanesque set of cues, they may have to admit that in this instance, the composers are simply creating a score in line with the vision of the director, as they should.

I'll end by saying that had I been Nolan, I would have hired Goldenthal to score it (ala Heat, etc.)

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