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Monday, December 14, 2009

OST - Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)


Progressive and Unique


Kudos to Carter Burwell, who wrote the scores for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation (amongst others). An expert composer of weirdness. The score is freaky (reflecting Diane Arbus's photographic subjects). Although it stands alone as a great score, I would highly recommend the movie as well. The music is cunning, transformative, full of soul, mixture of classical and jazz. In a nutshell Carter Burwell has captured Diane Arbus in music, and Nicole Kidman does a fine acting representation of her in the movie.Recommended!





1. The Fur (03:13)
2. Tango de la Bete (01:25)
3. Scary Times (01:40)
4. Arbus Family Photo Studio (01:55)
5. My Arms Around Myself (01:56)
6. Exposure (00:59)
7. Seduction (01:11)
8. Pipes (01:38)
9. Ad Ultima Thule (03:32)
10. Call of the Wild (01:08)
11. The Tea Party (02:10)
12. Following (02:00)
13. The Run Back Home (01:18)
14. Water Dream (03:15)
15. Stepping Out (01:06)
16. Stepping Out (01:21)
17. Trap Door Party (01:15)
18. Drowning (01:38)
19. End It (01:24)
20. Transmission (02:30)
21. The Shave (05:24)
22. Into the Sea (05:05)
23. I Want to Meet Your Husband (00:53)


Carter Burwell - Biography


Nationality: American
Born: Nov 18 1955 (54 years old)

Probably one of a very few soundtrack composers to idolize Iggy Pop, Carter Burwell is best known for his work with the Coen Brothers, having scored every one of their films through the year 2009. By turns haunting and dark or quirky and experimental, Burwell's eclectic music has graced films in a wide variety of genres, and he's used the occasional big-studio project to finance his work on a number of groundbreaking independent films. Born November 18, 1955, in New York, Burwell took piano lessons as a child and learned to play blues guitar as a teenager. He studied architecture and fine arts at Harvard, but wasn't considering music as a career; upon graduating, he first worked in a biology lab, then as an animator, while playing in punk bands by night for fun.

A mutual friend referred him to the Coen Brothers, who were seeking a composer for their debut 1984 feature, Blood Simple. They all hit it off, and Burwell was employed for the Coens' next project, the kidnapping caper Raising Arizona (1987); Burwell blended samples with a variety of thematic source materials. The Coens' 1990 gangster film, Miller's Crossing, was Burwell's first fully orchestrated work, and he attracted more attention for 1991's groundbreaking Barton Fink; he composed only 20 bars of music, which were then treated with various sound effects and reshaped throughout the film by sound designer Skip Lievsay.

Burwell's workload increased steadily as the '90s progressed, and he began taking on more mainstream film projects: Doc Hollywood (1991), Wayne's World 2 (1993), and Airheads (1994), among others. He won wide acclaim for his work on 1995's Rob Roy, which kicked off the most prolific period of his career -- over 35 films in the next five years. Among the highlights were the thriller Conspiracy Theory (1997), The Jackal (1997), Gods and Monsters (1998), the fictionalized glam rock chronicle Velvet Goldmine (1998), the bizarre Being John Malkovich (1999), and the Gulf War epic Three Kings (1999). In addition to his film-scoring activities, Burwell has also played accordion and synthesizer with eclectic new age artists like Gabrielle Roth and David Hykes' Harmonic Choir.
~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide
Content provided by All Music Guide Copyright © 2008 All Media Guide, LLC


More music form Carter Burwell: BT assistent

Niko - Lentäjän poika (2008) aka The Flight Before Christmas


Good Finnish animation ... for older kids and grown-ups

English spoken - The Flight Before Christmas
Dutch spoken - Niko en de Vliegende Brigade

When this popped up on CBS TV the other night, I started watching it, and the first thing I thought was "This is not an American-made film." For one thing, it's fairly densely plotted and has a much more complex and dark storyline than a U.S. cartoon would have. Sure enough, although CBS zipped through the ending credits almost too quickly to read them, I saw that it was made in Finland. That explains it! The night I watched, it followed on the heels of the awful 1996 "The Return of Frosty" cartoon, which made the Finnish production seem that much more intelligent.

As a grown-up viewer, I thoroughly enjoyed the story -- a young reindeer searching for his father, whom he believes to be one of Santa's heroic flying squadron. The youngster is helped along his way by a fatherly, protective flying squirrel and a female ermine/weasel (?) who warbles pop tunes like an American Idol contestant. There's also a pink French poodle who appears suddenly and disappears mysteriously once her plotline is over (what becomes of her??). Yes, there are implications of reindeer one-night stands (how very Scandinavian of them!), and Niko's real dad turns out to have, shall we say, commitment issues (many kids will relate, I'm afraid). And there are some scary wolf villains -- but really, no scarier than the hyenas in "The Lion King," which this production seems to channel (one could say "copy" if one were ungenerous) more often than not. The digital character animation looks a bit clunky, with giant grinning amorphous faces that too often really look computerized -- but the backgrounds and landscapes are quite lovely. There are shots of the Scandinavian forest with the aurora borealis overhead that are very memorable. The musical score recalls Howard Shore's "Lord of the Rings" and almost seems a bit too grand for the room. But this is an hour-long cartoon that is really trying to be quite epic in its story and scope, and I think it's the first Finnish production (that I can recall, anyway) to make it to the U.S. TV market in such a big way (major network broadcast).

As for the scare factor of the big bad wolves -- really, can ANYTHING be scarier than the classic 1939 "Wizard of Oz"?? "Oz" gave me tornado and flying-monkey nightmares for years as a kid, but I loved it and watched it whenever it was on. I think a few good TV scares never hurt any child! Classic Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales are chock-full of scary and often quite violent situations; even the best Disney films (like "Lion King") are full of scares and sadness. I give the Finns points for offering a little darkness and scare factor, and not serving up sugary holiday syrup like "Frosty Returns" (or even the original 1960s "Frosty the Snowman," which also preceded "Flight Before Christmas" the other night -- yup, it may be a beloved classic, but wow, it's so sweet it makes your teeth hurt!).

So, yes, I recommend "The Flight Before Christmas" -- a Finnish production that is a quite worthy and surprisingly intelligent entry into the annual holiday animation derby.
~ Review by Rowana

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