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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    Contagion is a very bad score, both on and off film.

    The girl with the dragon tattoo is outstanding, elevates the film excellently, and creates a gripping atmosphere. Very captivating. Same goes for The woman in Black (Beltami) which was mesmerizing and gothically dark at the cinema but does nothing on CD.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  1. Can't agree about CONTAGION. Haven't heard it off film, but it was a very solid score in the film.
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    Really? I found it messy and disturbing.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  2. I think it was meant to be disturbing. wink (Super virus conquers the world...)
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    Of course but i think it could be done without being cacophonous.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  3. I think it's meant to introduce a sense of chaos into the film... as though something uncontrollable and unattractive has been sent loose. wink
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    So basically we should have that playing at the portal of any film music community?
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
    Yes, I know I'm in the minority when it comes to appreciating music that isn't only lush and symphonic (sarcasm, guys!), but I still like to hope that film music critics -- of all people -- would be able to have greater overview and better insight into all kinds of film music produced a given year, even those that move beyond the traditional styles. And to appreciate them on their own terms.

    Examples of scores I'd like to see mentioned in the list:

    THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO (Reznor/Ross)
    HANNA (Chemical Brothers)....strange that they were nominated as newcomers (sic) but not the score itself
    CONTAGION (Cliff Martinez)....but DRIVE was mentioned, thank God
    SOURCE CODE (Bacon)
    SANCTUM (Hirschfelder)
    BIUTIFUL (Santaolalla)
    MEEK'S CUTOFF (Danna)

    Although beside the point of original music, it would be great to have a category for films that had powerful marriages of existing music and film, like:

    THE TREE OF LIFE (various)
    MELANCHOLIA (Wagner)

    ...and maybe also a category for films that effectively used NO non-diegetic music, like:

    NADIR AND SIMIN
    LA QUATTRO VOLTE (technically a 2010 film, I guess)
    TOMBOY

    More picks from outside the US would also be nice.

    Finally, you see that even the 'unknown' films and composers mentioned still have a fairly traditional, orchestral style, so just because they're largely unknown, doesn't mean that they depart from the bias.

    Even the 'reissue' category contain the classical symphonics. No mention of the superb 80's scores like Colombier's THE GOLDEN CHILD (a long-desired and brilliant effort) or Zimmer's THELMA & LOUISE.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    We can't nominate everything, Thor. And we have more than enough categories as is.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
    Erik Woods wrote
    We can't nominate everything, Thor. And we have more than enough categories as is.

    -Erik-


    Maybe so, but a little more stylistic diversity within the categories you already have would be nice.
    I am extremely serious.
  4. Source Code is a pretty traditional thriller score though!
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
    Erik Woods wrote
    Thor - we pick the best of the best. Everything is considered and even disccussed through out the year. We have over 50 members who have over 50 different opinions and point of views. We enjoy a wide variety of film score styles from all around the world. If a more traditional score makes the cut over something more electronic or not so traditional its not because we have some sort agenda against electronic scores. If the five nominees for best score are all more traditional it is because those are the scores we consider to be the best. End of story.

    So you can continue to write your conspiracy theories but you have no clue about the inner workings of the group and what we do to make sure that we are celebrating nothing but the best.


    -Erik-



    Never once did I consider whether or not the score was electronic or not. I'm only sorry that I wasn't able to see more of the films as sometimes it could sway your vote for or against.
    Tom
    listen to more classical music!
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    PawelStroinski wrote
    Source Code is a pretty traditional thriller score though!


    In the way it is used, yes...but it is refreshing, sound-wise, in the sense that it combines some oldfashioned thriller elements a la JNH and Goldsmith with a very 70's, 'urban gritty' sound that kinda hits you in the face in its overtness. If we can applaud more pure pastiche like THE ARTIST, we should certainly applaud stuff like this too.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
    The issue I had with Source Code is that while the bookends are fantastic the majority of the score is rather weak and doesn't live up to what was presented in the main title or what Bacon creating during the fantastic climax. The Artist, on the other hand, is quality from start to finish with not one dull note written.

    Again, Thor, we can't nominate everything!

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    I just finished my voting. For a change I didn't wait until the last minute.
    Tom
    listen to more classical music!
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    Erik Woods wrote
    Again, Thor, we can't nominate everything!

    -Erik-


    And again, that wasn't my point.

    You can't nominate everything, but you should have everything as the basis for nomination.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    We do, Thor! We have access to more music then you know! Everything is considered!

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
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      CommentAuthorplindboe
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    I think the bias is rather more obviously towards popular and especially american movies. It's a given that an obscure korean movie about hamsters would never get nominated on a list like that no matter how good the score was. That's not a criticism though. When people vote for their favourites, it's obvious that the top results will consist of movies most people have heard of.

    That said, I think the list has a nice variety of styles. Traditional or not, there are huge differences between Kung-fu panda 2, Hugo, Rango, Jig, Doctor Who, Tintin, Soul surfer and Jane Eyre. If that's how widely you define traditional scores, I think 95% of scores to popular movies today are of the traditional kind. Given this, 2 non-traditional nominations wouldn't reflect a bias of the IFMCA, but rather a bias for popular movies to have traditional scores.

    Peter smile
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
    plindboe wrote
    That said, I think the list has a nice variety of styles. Traditional or not, there are huge differences between Kung-fu panda 2, Hugo, Rango, Jig, Doctor Who, Tintin, Soul surfer and Jane Eyre. If that's how widely you define traditional scores, I think 95% of scores to popular movies today are of the traditional kind. Given this, 2 non-traditional nominations wouldn't reflect a bias of the IFMCA, but rather a bias for popular movies to have traditional scores.

    Peter smile


    Of those, JANE EYRE is really the only one that is truly 'different' in its more modern, minimalistic style, but even that is on the verge of the traditional category. The term refers to how the music is used, as well as a reliance on consonance, melodies, traditional neo-romantic classicism and so on.

    Nothing against those scores...most of them are absolutely fine, but they're really "variations over the same theme".

    One of my main missions in life is to attract attention towards non-Hollywood expressions; scores and films that try to do a little something different. I'm really passionate about that, as my interest in this thread shows. This doesn't have to be weird art films, but can even exist within a more mainstream format. My titles above are examples thereof.
    I am extremely serious.
  5. It's not even that people are voting for their favorites. We give specific guidelines to people to try to decide what is the *best* from a technical, dramatic and compositional standpoint. A score you don't actually *like* listening to can be excellent from a technical and compositional point of view, and can support the dramatic narrative perfectly - it's *that* aspect that we try to emphasize, not just ones we actually enjoy listening to.

    But what tends to happen, like in any group consensus, like Peter said, is that the scores which more people have heard stand more chance of being nominated than those who have only been heard by a few. We do make a lot of effort - real, focused effort - to try to bring smaller scores from smaller films to the attention of the membership, but at the end of the day the group is a democracy. Simple mathematics and statistics win out!
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
    Jon Broxton wrote
    It's not even that people are voting for their favorites. We give specific guidelines to people to try to decide what is the *best* from a technical, dramatic and compositional standpoint. A score you don't actually *like* listening to can be excellent from a technical and compositional point of view, and can support the dramatic narrative perfectly - it's *that* aspect that we try to emphasize, not just ones we actually enjoy listening to.

    But what tends to happen, like in any group consensus, like Peter said, is that the scores which more people have heard stand more chance of being nominated than those who have only been heard by a few. We do make a lot of effort - real, focused effort - to try to bring smaller scores from smaller films to the attention of the membership, but at the end of the day the group is a democracy. Simple mathematics and statistics win out!


    Rather than seek out smaller films for the 'small' sake (even the smallest film can have the most traditional score), I think it would be more fruitful to seek out scores that try to go alternative ways and that don't adhere strictly to convention. I'm not sure how much this is a criterion. From the list, it doesn't seem to be a big one.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    I'm not going to vote for something just because it's different.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    Erik Woods wrote
    I'm not going to vote for something just because it's different.

    -Erik-


    Not JUST because of that, of course....but if it's different and it heightens the experience of the film immeasurably, it should be a contender more than the umpteenth variation of the John Williams 'soundalike'.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
    I agree to a point. If the John Williams sound-a-like is a better score than the experimental-never-heard-before score then I'm going with the Williams sound-a-like... not because it's a Williams sound-a-like but because it's the better score. And if the experimental-never-before-heard-score is better than the Williams sound-a-like then I will vote for Reznor and... errr... the experimental score. Pretty simple.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
  6. I know from my point of view, the scores that believe are "best" are quite different from what are my favoirites.

    Hopefully this will be seen when I list my own personal favourites on my blog.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
  7. Jon Broxton wrote
    It's not even that people are voting for their favorites. We give specific guidelines to people to try to decide what is the *best* from a technical, dramatic and compositional standpoint. A score you don't actually *like* listening to can be excellent from a technical and compositional point of view, and can support the dramatic narrative perfectly - it's *that* aspect that we try to emphasize, not just ones we actually enjoy listening to.


    I'd suggest it's more a set of awards devoted to a group of albums than scores as they work in films. Most of the categories cover contemporary albums according to film genre (not music genre), and there's a category for specific repackagings of older scores. And that's fine, the roots of the group are in people who are very attracted to soundtrack albums. Of course some of the key films will be watched, but I remember as a member of the group I found it frustrating that it mostly seemed to be about whether people liked the music than whether it was a particularly novel choice for a film. Even the system of promos is geared more to assessing albums than film scores. It's a practical issue also --it's easier to listen to half a dozen new albums a day in theory, but unlikely there'd be a chance to cover an equivalent number of films. (Obviously the group can't say outright that this is the case, because to appear to be award season relevant, it's got to look like it's more about the films than the albums.) A way to address this would be to streamline categories and more clearly delineate 'most enjoyable music' and 'most interesting score', but in the end it's a hard thing to really rate with a numbers-based system. They'd end up looking the same, I think, with minor differences.
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
    That's a good point, franz.

    I love both of those aspects of film music with equal vigour, even though they have nothing to do with each other (in my case). Some sort of delineation there would be nice, but as you say -- I doubt it would change the outcome much.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorJon Broxton
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
    Thor wrote
    Rather than seek out smaller films for the 'small' sake (even the smallest film can have the most traditional score), I think it would be more fruitful to seek out scores that try to go alternative ways and that don't adhere strictly to convention. I'm not sure how much this is a criterion. From the list, it doesn't seem to be a big one.


    It's not a criterion at all. We don't steer members in one way or the other in terms of the stylistics of one score over another - we allow them to make their own value judgments based on nothing more than their taste, their experience in evaluating film music, and their critical analysis of the art. Seeking out scores which "try to go alternative ways and that don't adhere strictly to convention" would be dishonest, because then we would be trying to look all cool and arty for the sake of being different, rather than trying to come to a consensus of what is actually the best score, irrespective of genre or style.

    If enough people genuinely thought that Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or Hanna or Drive or Source Code or Meek's Cutoff was the best score of the year, then we would give it the Score of the Year award. But, not enough people did - hence they were not nominated for the main award.

    Also, your comment about "if it's different and it heightens the experience of the film immeasurably, it should be a contender more than the umpteenth variation of the John Williams 'soundalike'", exposes a bias on your part with an insinuation that John Williams 'soundalike' scores do not heighten the experience of the film immeasurably simply because of what they sound like. That's not what we're about.
  8. I tried to put the point of an anti-orchestral bias across, too.

    To be completely honest, while I appreciate good electronic works and I am aware that it is difficult to program decent sounds, I think writing appropriate orchestral colors and in general orchestral proficiency is harder to achieve than proficiency in building electronic soundscape.
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
    Jon Broxton wrote
    Thor wrote
    Rather than seek out smaller films for the 'small' sake (even the smallest film can have the most traditional score), I think it would be more fruitful to seek out scores that try to go alternative ways and that don't adhere strictly to convention. I'm not sure how much this is a criterion. From the list, it doesn't seem to be a big one.


    It's not a criterion at all. We don't steer members in one way or the other in terms of the stylistics of one score over another - we allow them to make their own value judgments based on nothing more than their taste, their experience in evaluating film music, and their critical analysis of the art. Seeking out scores which "try to go alternative ways and that don't adhere strictly to convention" would be dishonest, because then we would be trying to look all cool and arty for the sake of being different, rather than trying to come to a consensus of what is actually the best score, irrespective of genre or style.

    If enough people genuinely thought that Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or Hanna or Drive or Source Code or Meek's Cutoff was the best score of the year, then we would give it the Score of the Year award. But, not enough people did - hence they were not nominated for the main award.

    Also, your comment about "if it's different and it heightens the experience of the film immeasurably, it should be a contender more than the umpteenth variation of the John Williams 'soundalike'", exposes a bias on your part with an insinuation that John Williams 'soundalike' scores do not heighten the experience of the film immeasurably simply because of what they sound like. That's not what we're about.


    Well, that's the impression I get from reading your list.

    As I said, one shouldn't set out to nominate the different' scores just for their 'differentness', but one should have guidelines that allowed for a wider set of criteria, a more open attitude and an effort to avoid biases like this. It's really about widescale attitude change, and I realize that's a difficult thing to have overnight. But that's also why it is a lifelong project of mine. I think it limits the potential of what film music is and should be.
    I am extremely serious.