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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

The Year's Best Film Scores: 'Last King,' 'Breaking & Entering'

Jude Law in Breaking and Entering
In the Times of London Nov. 26, Rob Nash looks at some of the more intriguing film scores of 2006, nothing that “the widespread practice in the industry of hiring a composer just three months before a film is finished does not make things easy” to evoke time and place and mood.
Nash’s picks for the most successful movie music of fall?
Composer: Gabriel Yared, who worked with director Anthony Minghella on THE ENGLISH PATIENT, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY and COLD MOUNTAIN.
Director: Anthony Minghella
” A thoughtful, cohesive score that adeptly sets the mood of dissociation and disquiet as Debussian piano figures blend into Underworld-ian pulsating loops.”
Listen up: Yared scored Germany’s 2007 Academy Award submission, the Cold War drama THE LIVES OF OTHERS.
That music in your head and your bed? His theme from BETTY BLUE.
Composer: David Julyan
Christopher Nolan “didn’t want a score that reflected the period,” says Julyan “The mood we created was much more about the sense of anticipation of magic.
Credits: After working Nolan on his debut feature film FOLLOWING, Julyan did the music for MEMENTO and INSOMNIA.
Listen up: He also did the creepy subterranean undertones for THE DESCENT.
Composer: Alex Heffes (TOUCHING THE VOID)
Director Kevin McDonald “wanted to show the vision that Amin had,” says Heffes. “So rather than portray Africa as mud huts and tribal music, we wanted the soundtrack to be a bit funky, a bit groovy, a bit 1970s.”
The team tracked down Kampala recording artists from the era and had them record a country and western song, as it might have been covered in a hotel lounge. Because the story begins Scotland, and because Amin, a veteran of a Scots army division, had a strong affinity for all things Scottish, the music has High- and Lowland echoes. “The collision of East Africa and northern Europe sounds weird and encapsulates the fanatical love of Scotland of a dictator who sent Ugandans there to learn the bagpipes so that he could have a piping band.”

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One Response to “The Year's Best Film Scores: 'Last King,' 'Breaking & Entering'”

  1. prideray says:

    It’s funny he calls the BREAKING AND ENTERING score “Underworld-ian,” when in fact it’s an actual collaboration between Gabriel Yared and Underworld.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon