News / Arts & Entertainment

Nominated Movie Scores Feature Sophistication, Cultural Diversity

A worker stands next to the Oscar statues during a preparation work for the upcoming OSCARS, the 85th Academy Awards, at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, February 19, 2013.A worker stands next to the Oscar statues during a preparation work for the upcoming OSCARS, the 85th Academy Awards, at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, February 19, 2013.
x
A worker stands next to the Oscar statues during a preparation work for the upcoming OSCARS, the 85th Academy Awards, at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, February 19, 2013.
A worker stands next to the Oscar statues during a preparation work for the upcoming OSCARS, the 85th Academy Awards, at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, February 19, 2013.
Adam Phillips
First-rate film composers may lack the celebrity of A-list actors and directors, but their work is crucial to a film’s success. It’s a fact recognized by the Academy Awards in its Best Original Score category. This year’s contenders for that Oscar - Lincoln, Argo, Skyfall, Anna Karenina, and Life of Pi.

Movie music has come a long way since the early days of film, when all it did was set a mood for the story.  
 
Daniel Carlin chairs the Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television department at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He says this year’s nominees for Best Original Score are notable for their sophistication and their cultural diversity.
 
“The cultural influences range from contemporary India [to] Turkey [to] Iran and then the Far East and then you are back in 19th century Russia. All of those scores are extremely successful and worthy of consideration," explained Carlin.

Consider the score for Life of Pi, about an Indian boy and a tiger adrift on the ocean, directed by Ang Lee.
 
Nominated Movie Scores Feature Sophistication, Cultural Diversity
Nominated Movie Scores Feature Sophistication, Cultural Diversityi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Carlin admires the South Asian instrumentation that veteran composer Mychael Danna brought to the project.  

“But I also appreciated the way he incorporates Indian lead instruments into a more traditional film score model," said Carlin. "So we get the feeling of India, but we don’t have to leave our comfort zone in terms of how we usually feel U.S. film music in a movie."
 
Carlin says Eastern and Western motifs were also combined in Alexandre Desplat's score for Argo. The film is based on a true story and takes place in Iran during the hostage crisis in 1979.   
 
A blend of musical genres was also featured in Skyfall, scored by Thomas Newman. Carlin says Newman combined the feel of James Bond’s high tech world with the Bond character, who is more melancholy than in previous Bond films. “I think he gives us some additional humanity rather just this macho comic book figure [typical of Bond],” he noted.

Newman has been nominated for an Oscar 11 times, although he has yet to win. Some say that’s a reason he might win this time.        
 
Dario Marianelli’s score for Anna Karenina, based on Leo Tolstoy’s Russian masterpiece, was also nominated.

In Carlin’s view, Marianelli managed to seemlessly weave together different kinds of music according to the changing action in a scene. "It’s almost choreographed. And you can tell the thought that has gone on behind it," he said. "Marianelli is very good at doing this, and I really appreciate that professionalism and care."
 
Composer John Williams received his 48th Oscar nomination for Lincoln. Williams’s score features melodies in the style of 19th century American hymns and folk ballads.

A film’s score must never compete with the dialogue. Carlin notes that this posed a challenge for Williams because Lincoln is heavy on conversation.  “So the adept composer -- and John certainly is that -- support the drama and the emotion but how to use the correct instruments and sonority ranges so you don’t compete in the same frequency range as the dialogue. It’s very tricky stuff," Carlin added. "And he is just great at it. Given his stature and the score is magnificent, John is probably the odds on favorite.”   

The Academy Awards are on Sunday February 24. To find out who will win the Oscar for Best Original Score, just wait for “the envelope please.”

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.