John Williams tagged posts

“I’m going to call you BFG.” John Williams and Steven Spielberg revive the spirit of E.T. in Roald Dahl’s story.

John Williams and Steven Spielberg know what dreams are made of. The duo that for almost half a century brought us dozens of eternal classics, have teamed up once again to add their charm to Roald Dahl’s story. The magic of films like Close Encounters, E.T., and Hook, is present in The BFG, a film about a friendly giant who catches dreams to keep us (humans) dreaming. The film captures the innocence, excitement and love of Roald Dahl’s story with the help of one of my favorite John Williams’ soundtracks in recent years. What is it that makes the score sound this way? My analysis below.

Big Friendly Giant

The BFG tells us the story of Sophie (played by a remarkably talented newcomer called Ruby Barnhill), an orphan girl who lives in an orphanage in London...

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John Williams’ Score brings the Western genre back to Star Wars: The Force Awakens

At last! More Star Wars!!

I had waited for that moment for so long. Like most Star Wars fans who watched the original trilogy during childhood – well, in my case, the Special Editions – I always wondered what would happen after the destruction of the Death Star and the death of the emperor. Sure, good times celebrating with the Ewoks sounded fair enough for a child, but as I grew older (and hopefully wiser) I couldn’t help but to wonder how the galaxy would reorganize – outside, you know, the uninteresting stuff that Coruscant’s C-Span would cover…

Star Wars Senate

By the time The Phantom Menace was released, Industrial Light and Magic was allegedly still working on special effects good enough to make it seem like representatives showed up to congress sessions at least in a galaxy far away…

There w...

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Music Sets The Dramatic Pace: John Williams and Revenge of the Sith

Last year I had the privilege of being taught by the renowned composer and producer David Hentschel – yeah, the David Hentschel – when in one of his quizzes I answered that a music composer could in fact alter the pace of a film. Not to my surprise, my answer was marked to be incorrect, stating that while the director, film editor, and music editor – all of whom I had included in my answer – have this ability, the music composer does not. Most if not all technical literature reaffirms this, and the expected answer makes sense: The film composer can nurture the film with different emotions, but the pace is ultimately already there, as set by the director and editors.

Embarrassed that I had “missed” such a simple question, I decided to quickly put together a video to send Mr...

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Outer-Space Minimalism: Understanding Hans Zimmer’s Score for Interstellar

While Interstellar heavily draws inspiration from films like 2001: A Space Odyssey in most departments, its soundtrack takes a much different approach. The grandiose adapted score featured in Stanley Kubrick’s classic space opera – inspiring the sound of Star Wars, the film attributed with bringing the post-romantic orchestra back to its place in film music supremacy – is here replaced by a minimalist approach, one much closer to Phillip Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi than to Kubrick’s masterpiece. The majestic yet often heavy-handed brass chords, virtuosic woodwind slurs, and the heart-pounding timpani, all of which are often associated with space sci-fi films thanks to 2001 and Star Wars, are nowhere to be heard...

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