World Soundtrack Awards showcase best film music

Nino Rota Concert image x650

By Ray Bennett

It’s a measure of the authority of the World Soundtrack Awards that while the Academy Awards last time nominated two of the best film scores from last year, the Gent event has nominated all four plus one that will be a contender at next year’s Oscars.

Steven Price, who won the Oscar for “Gravity” will compete on Saturday night for Best Original Film Score of the Year at the WSA with Alex Ebert for “All Is Lost”, Oscar-nominee Arcade Fire for “Her”, Alexandre Desplat for this year’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Hans Zimmer for “12 Years A Slave”.

Price, who also scored “The World’s End” and current release “Fury”, Desplat and Oscar-winner Zimmer (“The Lion King”) also are in the running for the award for Film Composer of the Year. Desplat, whose score for “Philomena” was a worthy Oscar contender in 2014, also is cited for “Godzilla”, “Marius”, “The Monuments Men”, “Venus In Fur” and “Zulu” (2013). Zimmer also is cited for Hans Zimmer “Man of Steel”, “Rush”, and “The Lone Ranger”.

WSA 2014 logo

Others nominated as Film Composer of the Year are Marco Beltrami for “A Good Day to Die Hard”, “Carrie”, “The Homesman”, “Snowpiercer”, “Warm Bodies”, “The Wolverine” and “World War Z” and Oscar-winner Gabriel Yared (“The English Patient”) for “A Promise”, “In Secret”, “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet” and “Tom à la ferme”.

A highlight on the international film music calendar, the World Soundtrack Awards take place in Belgium at the close of the Gent Film Festival. For 14 years, the festival has attracted the top composers and songwriters from Hollywood and elsewhere, and this edition is no different with many of the nominees expected to be on hand.

At the concert gala on Saturday night, 82-year-old French composer Francis Lai, who wrote the score for Claude Lelouch’s Best Foreign Language Oscar-winner  “A Man and a Woman” (1966) and had a massive hit with his Oscar-winning music for Arthur Hiller’s “Love Story” (1970), will receive the WSA Lifetime Achievement Award. Top-ranked film music conductor Dirk Brossé will conduct the Brussels Philharmonic in a selection of Lai’s scores from films such as “Live for Life” (1967), “Bilitis” (1977) and “Rider on the Rain” (1970).

The awards will be presented in the first half of the awards gala with the second half given over to performances of movie scores by former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez with a focus on his long-time collaboration with Steven Soderbergh on films such as “Sex, Lies and Videotape”, “Traffic”, “Kafka”, “Contagion”, “The Limey” and “Solaris”. Brossé will conduct of the guest of honour’s two cult scores for Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” and “Only God Forgives” plus Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers”.

WSA Discovery of the Year in 2013, Dan Romer will on hand for a performance of themes he wrote for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and jazz musician Jeff Neve’s score for Flemish drama series “In Vlaamse Velden” also will be featured.

Nino Rota concert x300The 41st Gent Film Festival continues today with Film Music Industry panels that feature conductor Brossé, who also writes film and TV music (“Parade’s End”), and composers Price, Martinez and Romer along with Iceland’s Jóhann Johannson (“Mystery”) and France’s Cyril Morin (“The Activist”, “Borgia”) and Valentin Hadjadj (“L’Infini”, “Hors Cadre”).

Tonight, there’s a concert at Gent’s De Bijloke Music Centre of Nino Rotas music for Federico Fellini films such as “La Dolce Vita” and “La Strada” performed by the Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Brossé. On Friday, the festival theme this year – Cinéma Français – also be the focus of an all-day film music seminar with French author, scriptwriter and critic Thierry Jousse and French composers Bruno Coulais (“Microcosmos”, “Les adieux a la Reine”, “Les Choristes”) and Philippe Sarde (“Tess”, “Les Choses de la Vie”.

For more information, go to World Soundtrack Awards

World Soundtrack Awards Nominees 2014

Sabam Award for the Most Original Composition by a Young European Composer

Hugo Lippens

Moritz Schmittat

Cyril Molesti

Spotify Public Choice Award 

‘Last Passenger’ by Liam Bates

‘Marina’ by Michelino Bisceglia

‘Metro Manila’ by Robin Foster

‘Prisoners’ by Johann Johannsson

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ by Howard Shore

Best Original Song Written For A Film

‘Amen’ (‘All Is Lost’), music & lyrics by Alex Ebert performed by Alex Ebert

‘Happy’ (‘Despicable Me 2’) music & lyrics by Pharrell Williams, performed by Pharrell Williams

‘Let It Go’ (‘Frozen’), music & lyrics by Kirsten Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez performed by Idina Menzel

‘Ordinary Love’ (‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’), music & lyrics by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., Brian Burton performed by U2

‘The Moon Song’ (‘Her’), music & lyrics by Karen O. and Spike Jonze, performed by Scarlett Johansson & Joaquin Phoenix

Discovery of the Year 2014 

Daniel Pemberton, ’Cuban Fury’, ‘The Counselor’

Denis Sanacore, ’The Young & Prodigious T.S. Spivet’

Jérôme Lemonnier, ’La Chair de ma Chair’, ‘Zum Geburtstag’

Patrick Cassidy, ’Calvary’

Steven Price, ‘Gravity’, ‘The World’s End’

Best Original Film Score of the Year 

‘All Is Lost’ by Alex Ebert

‘Gravity’ by Steven Price

‘Her’ by Arcade Fire

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ by Alexandre Desplat

‘12 Years A Slave’ by Hans Zimmer

Film Composer of the Year

Marco Beltrami, ’A Good Day to Die Hard’, ‘Carrie’, ‘The Homesman’, ‘Snowpiercer’, ‘Warm Bodies’, ‘The Wolverine’, ‘World War Z’

Alexandre Desplat, ’Godzilla’, ‘Marius’, ‘Philomena’, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, ‘The Monuments Men’, ‘Venus In Fur’, ‘Zulu’

Steven Price, ’Gravity’, ‘The World’s End’

Gabriel Yared, ’A Promise’, ‘In Secret’, ‘Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet’, ‘Tom à la ferme’

Hans Zimmer, ’12 Years A Slave’, ‘Man of Steel’, ‘Rush’, ‘The Lone Ranger’

Lifetime Achievement Award

Francis Lai

‘Un homme et une femme’, ‘Love Story’, ‘Le Passager de la pluie’, ‘Anima Persa’, ‘Les Ripoux’, ‘Oci Ciornie’ (‘Dark Eyes’).

Posted in Film, Music, Notes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM REVIEW: Brad Pitt in David Ayer’s ‘Fury’

Sony 'Fury' 1 x650

By Ray Bennett

The new Brad Pitt World War II film “Fury” is an old-fashioned combat picture with tough guys familiar from many platoon yarns but it is very modern in its fast and furious editing and taste for acres of gore. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lyric Hammersmith to re-open in April with ‘Bugsy Malone’

bugsy malone

By Ray Bennett

The Lyric Hammersmith in West London has announced that it will re-open next April with a production of the stage musical version of “Bugsy Malone” after a multi-million pound redevelopment. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Music, News, Theatre | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Matthew Bourne’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ a dance triumph

Lord of the Flies x2 x650

By Ray Bennett

When you are not well versed in an art form it’s a joy to feel suddenly that you get it. Matthew Bourne’s production of “Lord of the Flies”, choreographed by co-director Scott Ambler, is so vital, clear and full of zest that newcomers will be as delighted as dance aficionados. Continue reading

Posted in Music, Reviews, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

BMI London Awards honour Tim Rice

BMI Awards London 2014 Black, Davies, Morrison, Rice x650

By Ray Bennett

Oscar-, Tony- and Grammy-winning lyricist Tim Rice was named a BMI Icon at the BMI London Awards on Oct. 13 with Don Black, Ray Davies, and Van Morrison (pictured above) among the guests. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tears and laughter at ASCAP’s London Awards

ASCAP Awards 2014

By Ray Bennett

Songwriter Jim Duguid, who was named songwriter of the year along with Alex Clare for Clare’s double platinum hit “Too Close”, brought down the house at the 34th Annual ASCAP Awards London gala at Grosvenor House on Oct. 8. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Music, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM REVIEW: David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’

Fox 'Gone Girl' x650

By Ray Bennett

Gillian Flynn’s hit crime novel “Gone Girl” is great fun but it turns out the book’s huge plot twist is such a vital part of its enjoyment that many who enjoyed it will find the film a disappointment. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Synesthesia and the mystery of great film music

Paris-Texas x650

By Ray Bennett

“Give me music,” says Shakespeare’s Cleopatra. “Music, moody food for us that trade in love.”

Moody food, too, for those who trade in movies. Whether it’s Rupert Everett leading a rousing chorus of “I Say a Little Prayer” in “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, Henry Mancini’s feline tiptoe accompaniment to “The Pink Panther” or Maurice Jarre’s haunting “Lara’s Theme” from “Doctor Zhivago”, music in films has the power to move us as much as, and sometimes more than, the words and pictures. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Music | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sara Andon wafts away with the Krakow film music fest

Sara Andon performs ASCAP 100th Krakow FMF 2014

By Ray Bennett

One of the delights of the Krakow Film Music Festival this week has been that guests at the Holiday Inn in the city centre were treated daily to the gorgeous sound of a flute that wafted up from the room of Sara Andon as she practised.

On Sunday night, she showed the fruits of all that practise in the performance of three film music cues at the ASCAP 100th anniversary gala, which closed the festival. They were among the highlights of the night. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Krakow Film Music Festival, Music, News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Elliot Goldenthal’s gothic suite rules at ASCAP gala

Elliot Goldenthal standing ovation Krakow FMF 2014By Ray Bennett

Robin Williams once told me that there are movie stars, “and then there’s Jack”, as in Nicholson. The Krakow Film Music Festival Sunday night showed that there are film composers, and then there’s Elliot, as in Goldenthal.

The Oscar-winning composer created for the festival a stupendous 20-minute piece titled “Grand Gothic Suite” with cues from “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin” to be performed during the ASCAP 100th Anniversary closing gala. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Krakow Film Music Festival, Music, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment