Monday, May 7, 2018

Bernard Herrmann

Bernard Herrmann (born Max Herman; June 29, 1911 – December 24, 1975) was an American composer best known for his work in composing for motion pictures. As a conductor, he championed the music of lesser-known composers.
An Academy Award-winner (for The Devil and Daniel Webster, 1941; later renamed All That Money Can Buy), Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo. He also composed scores for many other movies, including Citizen Kane, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Cape Fear, and Taxi Driver. He worked extensively in radio drama (composing for Orson Welles), composed the scores for several fantasy films by Ray Harryhausen, and many TV programs, including Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone and Have Gun–Will Travel.

Collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock

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Herrmann is closely associated with the director Alfred Hitchcock. He wrote the scores for seven Hitchcock films, from The Trouble with Harry (1955) to Marnie (1964), a period that included Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Psycho. He also was credited as sound consultant on The Birds (1963), as there was no actual music in the film as such, only electronically made bird sounds.
The film score for the remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) was composed by Herrmann, but two of the most significant pieces of music in the film — the song, "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)", and the Storm Clouds Cantata played in the Royal Albert Hall — are not by Herrmann (although he did re-orchestrate the cantata by Australian-born composer Arthur Benjamin written for the earlier Hitchcock film of the same name). However, this film did give Herrmann the opportunity for an on-screen appearance: he is the conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in the Albert Hall scene.
Herrmann's most recognizable music is from another Hitchcock film, Psycho. Unusual for a thriller at the time, the score uses only the string section of the orchestra. The screeching violin music heard during the famous shower scene (which Hitchcock originally suggested have no music at all) is one of the most famous moments in film score history. Hitchcock admitted at the time that Psycho heavily depended on the music for its tension and sense of pervading doom.
His score for Vertigo (1958) is seen as just as masterful. In many of the key scenes Hitchcock let Herrmann's score take center stage, a score whose melodies, echoing the "Liebestod" from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, dramatically convey the main character's obsessive love for the woman he tries to shape into a long-dead, past love.
A notable feature of the Vertigo score is the ominous two-note falling motif that opens the suite — it is a direct musical imitation of the two notes sounded by the fog horns located at either side of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (as heard from the San Francisco side of the bridge). This motif has direct relevance to the film, since the horns can be clearly heard sounding in just this manner at Fort Point, the spot where a key incident occurs involving the character played by Kim Novak.
However, according to Dan Auiler, author of Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic, Herrmann deeply regretted being unable to conduct his composition for Vertigo. A musician's strike in America meant that it was actually conducted in England by Muir Mathieson. Herrmann always personally conducted his own works and while he considered the composition among his best works, he regarded it as a missed opportunity.
In a question-and-answer session at George Eastman House in October 1973, Herrmann stated that, unlike most film composers who did not have any creative input into the style and tone of the score, he insisted on creative control as a condition of accepting a scoring assignment:
I have the final say, or I don’t do the music. The reason for insisting on this is simply, compared to Orson Welles, a man of great musical culture, most other directors are just babes in the woods. If you were to follow their taste, the music would be awful. There are exceptions. I once did a film The Devil and Daniel Webster with a wonderful director William Dieterle. He was also a man of great musical culture. And Hitchcock, you know, is very sensitive; he leaves me alone. It depends on the person. But if I have to take what a director says, I’d rather not do the film. I find it’s impossible to work that way.
Herrmann stated that Hitchcock would invite him on to the production of a film and, depending on his decision about the length of the music, either expand or contract the scene. It was Hitchcock who asked Herrmann for the "recognition scene" near the end of Vertigo (the scene in which James Stewart's character suddenly realizes Kim Novak's identity) to be played with music.[citation needed]
In 1963 Herrmann began writing original music for the CBS-TV anthology series, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, which was in its eighth season. Hitchcock himself served only as advisor on the show, which he hosted, but Herrmann was again working with former Mercury Theatre actor Norman Lloyd, co-producer (with Joan Harrison) of the series. Herrmann scored 17 episodes (1963–1965) and, like much of his work for CBS, the music was frequently reused for other programs.
Herrmann's relationship with Hitchcock came to an abrupt end when they disagreed over the score for Torn Curtain. Reportedly pressured by Universal executives, Hitchcock wanted a score that was more jazz- and pop-influenced. Hitchcock's biographer, Patrick McGilligan, stated that Hitchcock was worried about becoming old-fashioned and felt that Herrmann's music had to change with the times as well. Herrmann initially accepted the offer, but then decided to score the film according to his own ideas.[15]
Hitchcock listened to only the prelude of the score before confronting Herrmann about the pop score. Herrmann, equally incensed, bellowed, "Look, Hitch, you can't outjump your own shadow. And you don't make pop pictures. What do you want with me? I don't write pop music." Hitchcock unrelentingly insisted that Herrmann change the score, violating Herrmann's general claim to the creative control he had always maintained in their previous work together. Herrmann then said, "Hitch, what's the use of my doing more with you? I had a career before you, and I will afterwards."[16] The score was rejected and replaced with one by John Addison.
According to McGilligan, Herrmann later tried to reconcile with Hitchcock, but Hitchcock refused to see him. Herrmann's widow Norma Herrmann disputed this in a conversation with Günther Kögebehn for the Bernard Herrmann Society in 2004:
I met Hitchcock very briefly. Everybody says they never spoke again. I met him, it was cool, it was not a warm meeting. It was in Universal Studios, this must be 69, 70, 71ish. And we were in Universal for some other reason and Herrmann said: "See that tiny little office over there, that’s Hitch. And that stupid little parking place. Hitch used to have an empire with big offices and a big staff. Then they made it down to half that size, then they made it to half that size … We are going over to say hello." Actually [Herrmann] got a record; he was always intending to give him a record he just made. But it wasn’t a film thing. It was either Moby Dick or something of his concert pieces to take it and give to Hitch. Peggy, Hitchcock’s secretary was there. Hitch came out, Benny said: "I thought you’d like a copy of this." "How are you?" etc. and he introduced me. And Hitchcock was cool, but they did meet. They met, I was there. And when Herrmann came out again he said: “What a great reduction in Hitch’s status."
In 2009, Norma Herrmann began to auction off her husband's personal collection on Bonhams.com, adding more interesting details to the two men's relationship. While Herrmann had brought Hitchcock a copy of his classical work after the break-up, Hitchcock had given Herrmann a copy of his 1967 interview book with François Truffaut, which he inscribed "To Benny with my fondest wishes, Hitch."
"This is rather interesting, because it comes a year after Hitchcock had abruptly fired Herrmann from his work scoring Torn Curtain and indicates Hitchcock may have hoped to mend fences with Herrmann and have him score his next film, Topaz," reported Wellesnet, the Orson Welles website, in April 2009:
Of course, once Herrmann felt he had been wronged, he was not going to say "yes" to Hitchcock unless he was courted and it seems unlikely that Hitchcock would be willing to do that, although apparently Hitchcock did ask Herrmann back to score his last film Family Plot right before Herrmann died. Herrmann, who had a full schedule of films planned for 1976, including DePalma’s Carrie, The Seven Per Cent Solution and Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To, was reportedly happy to be in a position to ignore Hitchcock’s reunion offer.[18]
Herrmann's unused score for Torn Curtain was commercially recorded after his death, initially by Elmer Bernstein for his Film Music Collection subscription record label (reissued by Warner Bros. Records), then in a fuller realisation of the original score by Joel McNeely and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and later, in a concert suite adapted by Christopher Palmer, by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Sony. Some of Herrmann's cues for Torn Curtain were later post-synched to the final cut, where they showed how remarkably attuned the composer was to the action, and how, arguably, more effective his score could have been.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

The Terror Season 1

The Terror is an American horror drama television series that premiered on AMC on March 25, 2018. The series is based on the 2007 best-selling novel of the same name by Dan Simmons.
 The crews aboard the Royal Navy's polar explorer ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror venture into uncharted territory seeking the Northwest Passage. The ships are soon stuck, frozen and isolated, and those aboard must survive the harsh weather conditions and each other, while being stalked by an elusive menace.
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                                     download season1 via torrent from here

 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is a 1976 cross-genre film directed by Nicolas Gessner and starring Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman, and Scott Jacoby. It was a co-production of Canada and France and written by Laird Koenig, based on his 1974 novel of the same title.
The plot focuses on 13-year-old Rynn Jacobs (Foster), a child whose absent poet father and secretive behaviours prod the suspicions of her conservative small-town Maine neighbours. The adaptation, originally intended as a play, was filmed in Quebec on a small budget. The production later became the subject of controversy over reports that Foster had conflicts with producers over the filming and inclusion of a nude scene, though a body double had been utilized. After a screening at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, a court challenge was launched regarding distribution, and a general release followed in 1977.
Initially released to mixed reviews, with some critics finding the murder mystery plot weak but Foster's performance more meritorious, the film won two Saturn Awards, including Best Horror Film. It later obtained cult status, with later critics positively reviewing Foster and the screenplay. Writers and academics have interpreted it as a statement on children's rights and variously placed it in the thriller, horror, mystery or other genres.
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Friday, February 23, 2018

Klaus Schulze & Pete Namlook

The Dark Side of the Moog series

The Dark Side of the Moog is a Klaus Schulze collaboration with Pete Namlook, (joined also by Bill Laswell on volumes 4 to 7). Each title is a distortion of Pink Floyd song and album titles.
Year Title Pink Floyd Title
1994 The Dark Side of the Moog: Wish You Were There "Wish You Were Here"
1994 The Dark Side of the Moog II: A Saucerful of Ambience "A Saucerful of Secrets"
1995 The Dark Side of the Moog III: Phantom Heart Brother "Atom Heart Mother"
1996 The Dark Side of the Moog IV: Three Pipers at the Gates of Dawn The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
1996 The Dark Side of the Moog V: Psychedelic Brunch "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast"
1997 The Dark Side of the Moog VI: The Final DAT "The Final Cut"
1998 The Dark Side of the Moog VII: Obscured by Klaus "Obscured by Clouds"
1999 The Dark Side of the Moog VIII: Careful With the AKS, Peter "Careful with That Axe, Eugene"
2002 The Dark Side of the Moog: The Evolution of the Dark Side of the Moog
2002 The Dark Side of the Moog IX: Set the Controls for the Heart of the Mother "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun"
"Atom Heart Mother"
2005 The Dark Side of the Moog X: Astro Know Me Domina "Astronomy Domine"
2008 The Dark Side of the Moog XI: The Heart of Our Nearest Star "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun"
The Evolution of the Dark Side of the Moog is a compilation album, containing excerpts from the first 8 volumes. The series was announced as officially concluded with volume 10 when on 21 March 2005 at 14:52 CET, Pete Namlook sold the Big Moog synthesizer that was the symbol of the series. However, a volume 11 appeared on Namlook's website on 15 April 2008.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

LAIBACH - BBC Storyville 'When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day '

To the surprise of a whole world, the ex-Yugoslavian now Slovenian cult band Laibach became the first rock group ever invited to perform in the dictatorially repressed state of North Korea. Under the firm guidance of an old fan turned director and cultural diplomat, Laibach must deal with strict ideology, cultural differences and many technological difficulties in order just to perform. Struggling to get their songs through rigorous censorship, they race against the clock so they can be unleashed on an audience never before exposed to alternative rock'n'roll.

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http://www.liberationday.film/
 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Kedi (2016 film)

Kedi is a 2016 Turkish documentary film directed by Ceyda Torun about the many stray cats that live in Istanbul. It premiered at the !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival on 21 February 2016 before being given a North American theatrical release on 10 February 2017. It debuted on the YouTube Red streaming service on 10 May 2017. It was released on DVD in the U.S. on 14 November 2017. The film received critical acclaim, and grossed over $4 million. Time magazine listed it as one of its top ten films of 2017.
 Thousands of street cats live in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, as they have for centuries. Some are wild and fend for themselves, while others are tamer and are cared for by people. Kedi depicts these cats, and includes many interviews of the people who interact with them. It focuses on seven of the cats, who are named Sari, Duman, Bengü, Aslan Parçasi, Gamsiz, Psikopat, and Deniz.

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