The Shape of Water Q&A

Earlier this week, I visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see a screening of The Shape of Water, the newest fantasy film from director Guillermo del Toro. The screening was part of Film Independent at LACMA’s ongoing film series and featured a Q&A afterward with del Toro, actors Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, and composer Alexandre Desplat.

Below, you’ll find some of the best stories and quotes from the conversation, including how a drunken del Toro originally pitched Hawkins on her part, how the music ties in with the film’s visual aesthetic, which scene caused someone to vomit on the set, and the odd relationship between the film and the FX vampire series The Strain.
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Score: A Film Music Documentary Trailer

“The score is the heartbeat of the film.” So says James Cameron, an Oscar-winning director who has worked with some of the greatest composers in film history, and he couldn’t be more right. A big part of why we remember the most iconic scenes in cinema is because of the score that plays along with the visuals. Some movies are even known without visuals simply because they have a theme that is so unforgettable.

A new film called Score: A Film Music Documentary from director Matt Schrader dives into what makes motion pictures scores so powerful by speaking to the best composers in the business. John Williams, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Jerry Goldsmith, Howard Shore, Alexandre Desplat and more all talk about motion picture scores, how important they are to the medium, and how much they love the work of their colleagues.

Watch the Score: A Film Music Documentary trailer below. Read More »

valerian composer

Feel free to insert your own conspiracy theory here: just days after Michael Giacchino replaced Alexandre Desplat as the composer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the latter has gone and attached himself to another science fiction movie. Director Luc Besson has revealed that Desplat, who won an Academy Award for his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel, will provide the score for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Learn more about the Valerian composer after the jump.

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rogue one bits

Last night it was revealed that Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino would be replacing Alexandre Desplat to score Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. When I heard the news after arriving at a press screening of The Magnificent Seven, I was met with two conflicting emotions: excitement and dread. Here’s why.

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Rogue One Michael Giacchino

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is making a last-minute switch. Michael Giacchino has just been set to score the movie, replacing the previously announced Alexandre Desplat. The reason for the change? Blame those much-talked-about reshoots.  Read More »

Star Wars Rogue One logo by Michael Cohen

As production prep gears on the first Star Wars spin-off film Rogue One, we are beginning to learn about new creative talent who will be part of the team. The latest bit of info tells us who to expect as the Star Wars Rogue One composer — and it isn’t Star Wars franchise composer John Williams. Details after the jump.

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Unbroken

Fairly or not, each year a handful of pictures are pegged as probable Academy Awards contenders sight-unseen. Angelina Jolie‘s Louis Zamperini biopic Unbroken was one of those for months, but now the picture has come into clearer focus as the first reviews have hit the web.

The general consensus so far is that Unbroken is good but not great. Critics praised the talent involved, including lead actor Jack O’Connell, cinematographer Roger Deakins, and composer Alexandre Desplat, and enjoyed the extraordinary fact-based plotline. However, they were less impressed by Jolie’s dutifully conventional, cripplingly respectful approach.

Whether the good outweighs the bad is something we’ll have to find out for ourselves when the film hits theaters December 25. But in the meantime, get the Unbroken early buzz after the jump.  Read More »

Godzilla header
The composer who worked on two recent Best Picture winners is taking a monstrous leap. Alexandre Desplat, the composer of scores for The King’s Speech and Argo, as well as for Moonrise Kingdom and both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows among others, will be writing the music for next year’s big budget remake of Godzilla. Read More »

Universal recently revealed that plans to open Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion early in IMAX theaters has been scuttled, but other plans for the movie are going forward at full speed. Anthony Gonzalez of the electronic/dance band M83 has been recording the score for the film with Joseph Trapanese, and the first track from that effort is now online. Check it out below, and you’ll find that the feeling conveyed by the track is just as big and sweeping as you’d hope.

In addition, we’ve got news of the composer Michael Giacchino working again with Andy and Lana Wachowski. This time he’ll be scoring their new film, Jupiter Ascending. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Wes Anderson sits on a short list of filmmakers who, no matter what they put in theaters, we’ll go see it. His latest, Moonrise Kingdom, is only his seventh feature film but with each and every movie, Anderson’s unique vision evolves and focuses telling original, beautiful stories that are wholly his own, even when they’re based on someone else’s work (The Fantastic Mr. Fox for example).

In my opinion Moonrise Kingdom, which is now playing in select cities and will continue to expand throughout June, marks a change for Anderson and speaking with the talented director, I asked him about it. He didn’t quite agree. We also spoke about how his next movie will “not be family friendly,” the genesis of Moonrise’s glorious end credits, if he looks back at his old movies, feels added pressure being so revered and the art galleries that have taken to commemmorateing his work.

Read it all below. Read More »