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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' 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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”