Music documentary

DVD Review – Score: A Documentary About Film Music (2016)

Score: A documentary on film music2016.

Directed by Matt Schrader.
With Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Williams, James Cameron, Trent Reznor, Quincy Jones and Howard Shore.


A documentary detailing the role of film music and the people who create it.


Rewatching a documentary can often be an exercise in futility, more often than not ending up preaching to converts on an unattractive subject outside of a small core of diehards. However, everyone has heard, been touched or even, nonchalantly and without realizing it, whistled the credits of a film, whether Rocky, james bond Where star wars. Hell, in the cases of Jaws Where psychology theme tunes have transcended being merely whistled or hummed and have taken on a life of their own in pop culture, resulting in descriptive hand actions or simply simply being a synonym for imitating terror.

And so we have Score: A documentary on film musicMatt Schrader’s feature debut, in which the sacred musical score is examined in depth by some of its creators and a few other notables among silent-era film organists (who, according to writer Jon Burlingame, don’t really exist like “The Movie Was Never Silent”), thanks to the innovative use of a full score in King Kong in 1933 and the sound of the big bands of the 1960s, and into the era of modern blockbusters with the likes of Jerry Goldsmith (the omen/Planet of the Apes) and John Williams (The Raiders of the Lost Ark/Superman) paving the way for Danny Elfman (Batman) and Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean/The black Knight). But rather than delving deeply into the various composers, their most famous works and the directors who guided them, the documentary takes the route of relaying the facts without ever really getting to a point other than the obvious notion of “the music adds that little something extra”, an example being replaying the shower scene in Psycho without Bernard Herrman’s iconic score. Yes, it totally changes the dynamic of the scene and makes it less urgent and emotional but we already knew that then what do the filmmakers tell us that we can’t decipher for ourselves after years of watching movies?

But whatever the film’s message, it doesn’t hurt to remember some of the classic theme tunes that have graced the silver screen and ultimately our living rooms since the dawn of cinema, and to see images of John Williams conducting his orchestra at Abbey Road studios during the recording of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is almost as exhilarating as the battle sequences the music accompanies during the film, proving that images can’t work without music, but music can still work without images. Again, nothing too revealing about that, but it does stir the senses to see it come together, although it would have been a little more interesting to hear Williams talk about the set-up process with George Lucas’ visuals. Williams is shown through archival footage, many of which discuss some of his themes with Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas is conspicuously absent and it highlights the other side of the film that could have been built upon – the contribution of directors whose work is augmented by these scores. James Cameron (aliens/The Terminator) is here to add some perspective and share some stories, mostly about Titanic, but considering the films that are screened during Score, there are very few directors or producers offering their experiences. And where was John Carpenter in all of this? No mention of Halloweenarguably the most iconic horror movie theme since psychologyand no sight of the man who scored most of his own films.

Nevertheless, Score: A documentary on film music still gives you a sufficient, albeit basic, idea of ​​how a memorable musical score can make all the difference and sometimes elevate a film that would otherwise have been forgotten – or at least not so memorable – in the public consciousness. For dedicated film buffs there is nothing groundbreaking or deeper here than the superficial questions of what a score adds to a film, but for a brief history of film scores and as an introductory piece to some faces behind the music, it does what it needs to do and that’s to make you listen a little louder to some of your favorite movies and maybe listen to the scores of the ones you’ll be watching to come up.

Scintillating Myth Rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★

Neighborhood Chris