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  Re: Laying the Zimmer-basher smackdown just like old times?  
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• Posted by Southall
• Date: Friday, July 21, 2006, at 4:57 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Laying the Zimmer-basher smackdown just like old times? (Nate U)

> I have a hard time disliking someone who is untraditional just for being
> untraditional. But you're right southall Zimmer can be a caricature of
> himself sometimes if he doesn't have a unique concept to work from. But it
> makes you wonder how the film music fans were reacting to someone like
> Bernard Herrmann's scores back in the day...doesn't the fact that Zimmer
> is controversial mean there is real substance to his contribution to film
> music? Or that he effects listeners in a certain way, be it positive or
> negative? I mean, Rite of Spring was booed off the stage, wasn't it?

Indeed - and I do sometimes wonder about this very point. But I don't think him being controversial means there is substance to his contribution to film music - I think he stirs passions because he works on such a large number of very big films, and his scores do not sit easily alongside the kind of thing that the majority of film music fans like to hear (though I accept that "majority" is becoming more of a questionable word, since more and more younger fans probably came into film music because of Zimmer).

I don't seriously think that in fifty years, people will be looking back at Pirates of the Caribbean 2 as being indicative of some sort of film music golden age, the way we look back on scores from fifty years ago as being exactly that. Zimmer is one of the few revolutionaries of film music - Steiner, Newman, North and Morricone certainly were, but I'm not sure about others. But I really don't think his revolution took film music in a positive direction, the way those others did. Perhaps it's just something that needs the benefit of time to appreciate, but I can't see that. All of those four gentlemen took film music to a higher intellectual plane than it was at before, whereas Zimmer is the first revolutionary to actually return it to a far less intellectual place. I don't see how that could possibly be a good thing.

Movie Wave

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