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Hopefully you’ve got 90 minutes of free time in the next couple days, and assuming that you do, bookmark this long talk about the emotional effect of music when paired with image.

“Art Of The Score” was put together by the World Science Festival and the New York Philharmonic, and is hosted by Alec Baldwin. He’s joined by Ethan and Joel Coen, their frequent collaborator Carter Burwell, and neuroscientist Aniruddh Patel. The topic in general is music and film scores, and the ways in which they create an emotional response in the audience.

The talk begins with the example of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the fact that Alex North’s original score was shelved in favor of music that Kubrick had used as the temp track, including the well-known Richard Strauss composition ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra.’ But it goes a good bit deeper than that over the course of the hour-plus talk, from the neurological response to music, to the ways that musical influences can shape the direction or gestation of a film, and the ideas behind choosing music that conflicts with the image or scene, rather than directly complimenting it. Watch below. Read More »

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Thor Dark World battlefield

Briefly: As rumored in Monday’s edition of Superhero Bits, composer Carter Burwell has officially left the next Marvel movie, Thor: The Dark World. Scheduled for release November 8 from director Alan Taylor, insiders say it was an amicable creative split and that a replacement should be hired soon. Burwell would have been succeeding Patrick Doyle, who wrote the score for the franchise’s first film. [Deadline]

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Is there some behind the scenes controversy on Thor: The Dark World? Will The Amazing Spider-Man 2 be at San Diego Comic-Con? Where does Iron Man 3 now rank on the all-time box office list? Want to read the first full review of Man of Steel? How does Peter Dinklage look on the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past? Are there new images from Kick-Ass 2 out there? What’s revealed in the three latest Man of Steel TV spots? Who’s being chased on the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Should fans expect easter eggs in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

‘True Grit’ – What Did You Think?

Joel and Ethan Coen hit a small speedbump a few years ago, but the filmmaking brothers are really back on track now. Their latest is True Grit, a new film based on the same Charles Portis novel that spawned the 1969 film of the same name starring John Wayne. It’s the Coens’ first out and out Western, and their second time working with Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin. The film is also the feature debut of young Hailee Steinfeld. As Mattie Ross, who seeks to avenge the death of her father at the hands of lowlife Tom Chaney, she is the emotional and active center of the film. (Don’t let SAG’s minimizing Best Supporting Actress nomination fool you; the girl is the lead, end of story.)

True Grit is in theaters now, and we want to know what you thought of the film. As is the norm for posts of this type, spoilers follow after the break and are fully allowed in the comments. Read More »

The score of a film is its beating heart. Music subtly, or sometimes not so subtly, juxtaposed with visuals can do almost anything from create tension, elicit themes, set tone, link scenes or raise goosebumps. Without music, most films are a cold, dead fish. That’s why the Oscar for Best Original Score is such a big award. Many times, the film that wins Original Score will take home several other awards because great music can make a director, editor and even actors look better.

Now, four of the films expected to have strong showings on Oscar night have had their mute buttons pressed. The scores from The Fighter, Black Swan, True Grit and The Kids Are All Right were all deemed ineligible by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Read the reasons and implications after the jump. Read More »

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Joel and Ethan Coen are in New Mexico right now filming True Grit, their take on the Charles Portis novel that inspired the 1969 film of the same name. We know that this version will hew closer to the source novel than the original film did, and given the fact that the Coen Brothers are behind it, we can make certain guesses about the general tone of the film.

Carter Burwell will once again be writing the score for the Coens, and he has recently talked in brief detail about their ideas for the score.

Read More »

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