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Composed, Orchestrated, and Co-Produced by:
Philipp Noll

Conducted by:
Bernd Ruf

Additional Music by:
Peter Thomas Gromer

Co-Produced by:
Alex Huber
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Universal/Traumfabrik Music
(July 5th, 2019)
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Regular international release, available initially on CD for about $25 outside of Europe.
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Buy it... if heartwarming romance scores with touching themes highlighted by piano and choir are your ticket to happiness, this work an impressive breakthrough for young German composer Philipp Noll.

Avoid it... if you loathe unpredictable interludes of over-the-top parody music, for this film required a unique collection of source-like score cues to represent the movies being produced on screen.
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WRITTEN 11/14/20
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Traumfabrik (Dreamfactory): (Philipp Noll) In German cinema, Studio Babelsberg is legendary for its persistence throughout so much disruption in the country's recent history, creating some of the nation's most popular films dating back to the 1930's and surviving the existence of East Germany in its "DEFA" incarnation. Popular German film producer Tom Zickler sought to revive Babelsberg as a hub of home-grown cinematic prowess shortly before his death in 2019, and the result of those efforts is an initial movie that serves as a love letter to the studio's own history. Set in the early 1960s, Traumfabrik is a sappy, unrealistic, and silly love story set against the division of the nation. A young German man enamored with the film industry and a French dancer featured in a DEFA pirate movie fall in love but go their separate ways after the construction of the Berlin Wall. The man poses as a filmmaker at the studio and manages to get a production of Cleopatra underway to the extent that he can bring the French dancer back for the project, and complications arise when the woman's new beau returns with her. The film's romance is predictable, but the chemistry between the leads is sufficient, and a fair amount of interference from the political forces of the era proves an effective foil. After failing to generate much income in Germany to offset its modest $9 million budget, Traumfabrik was distributed internationally but ran into challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The music for Traumfabrik is largely comprised of a symphonic score by young German composer Philipp Noll, for whom this film represents his first major assignment after many years toiling with television series and documentaries in the country. The only exception in the film's mix is the awkward use of Ben E. King's original "Stand by Me" song for a montage of Cleopatra filming scenes that clearly attempts to resurrect fond memories of the budding romance scenes in Moulin Rouge. Otherwise, Noll's score is a prominent and fantastic addition to the film, even if its presence sounds overblown because of the occasional parody element.

The music for Traumfabrik functions as both accompaniment for the love story and the individual scenes being shot on screen, so expect some significant ethnic and genre variance in tone throughout. In this regard, the work serves as an impressive expression of talent for Noll and his co-writer for these sequences, Peter Thomas Gromer, as some of the large-scale parody sequences offer really great glimpses of diversity, especially considering that very few temp-track inspirations are to be heard. The closest cousin to this score is Philippe Rombi's 2007 romantic gem, Angel, through a touch of John Barry can be heard in the string renditions of the main love theme, too. The striking changes in ambience from cue to cue may turn off some listeners, but it's important to remember that the three main themes and their core instrumentation, mainly led by piano, do hold everything together in the end. The demeanor is almost always positive, too, the loving major-key tonality evident in almost every corner of the score, even cues with exotic or adventurous action as pseudo-source material. (Granted, two of the three darkest cues in the film were not included on the score album.) Some of the more challenging conversational scenes were left without music as well, including a significant number of those between the two leads. The score's three themes are otherwise omnipresent, and they represent those two leads individually and together as a love theme. Noll keeps the progressions of the dancer and filmmaker's themes similar enough to the love theme's own movements to convincingly intertwine them freely by the final scenes. The theme for Emil the filmmaker is arguably the best of the three, opening with a major-key version of James Horner's dreaded "danger motif" but offering many of the score's most redemptive moments, especially as his theme comes to represent the studio as well. Both Emil and the studio receive major renditions of this theme in "Willkommen in Babelsberg," the innocent exuberance of the character's view of the busy studio full of wonder. The idea quickly adapts into swashbuckling pirate mode for "Die Rache der Piratenbraut," a well-orchestrated cue of amusing parody humor. As Emil loses the girl and tanks roll into Berlin, "Emils Thema" offers the idea in tempered tones.

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Average: 3.46 Stars
***** 16 5 Stars
**** 19 4 Stars
*** 15 3 Stars
** 9 2 Stars
* 6 1 Stars
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Took me a while to recollect where this score's main theme is familiar
A. Rubinstein - November 24, 2020, at 2:46 a.m.
1 comment  (88 views)

Track Listings Icon
Total Time: 64:14
• 1. See You Again - performed by Helene Fischer (3:22)
• 2. Prolog (0:51)
• 3. Val de Loire (1:38)
• 4. Willkommen in Babelsberg (3:31)
• 5. Die Rache der Piratenbraut (2:04)
• 6. Mia Lorena (0:44)
• 7. Ein Halber Kuss (1:14)
• 8. Valse de Milou (1:25)
• 9. Der Gänsehirte (2:47)
• 10. Im Kostümfundus (2:05)
• 11. Ein Ganzer Kuss (1:44)
• 12. Emils Thema (2:40)
• 13. Milous Thema (1:40)
• 14. Büro Karl Boborkmann (3:23)
• 15. Das Filmteam (2:19)
• 16. Ein Drehbuch für Kleopatra (1:18)
• 17. Tränenpalast 1962 (2:09)
• 18. Kleopatra (1:59)
• 19. Peut-Être (1:07)
• 20. Die Krönung (3:45)
• 21. Emil der Regisseur (2:12)
• 22. Glühwürmchen (1:09)
• 23. Die Verhaftung (1:50)
• 24. Das Filmteam Streikt (3:05)
• 25. Emil und Milou (1:10)
• 26. Die Letzte Nacht (1:36)
• 27. Emil und Milou Reprise (1:52)
• 28. Milous Traum (4:25)
• 29. Traumfabrik (5:09)

Notes Icon
The insert includes a brief note about the score from the director.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Traumfabrik are Copyright © 2019, Universal/Traumfabrik Music and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/14/20 (and not updated significantly since).
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