Corte Madera Chronicles

A group blog; a place to share photos, thoughts, stupid shit we find on the internet, whatever. Hopefully we'll get at least one post per day from someone, and not so many posts that it's too overwhelming. Have fun!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Best Sound Designer Ever

Though there are vocal dissenters, most film critics and 'Star Wars' buffs seem pleased with the last installment of the epic, 'Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.' George Lucas has received his highest praise since the first 'Star Wars' film in 1977. Some critics have even conceded significant improvement in the acting of the handsome Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. But the member of the creative team whose contributions are largely being taken for granted is the composer John Williams. Music plays almost throughout the entire movie, and much of the emotional resonance critics are finding is stoked by Mr. Williams's surprisingly subdued and murky score, especially during the scenes of intimate human drama, such as they are. If you get involved in the fretful exchanges between Anakin and his love-struck young wife, Padm%uFFFD (Natalie Portman), or if you are hooked by the dilemma of the Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), who yearns to believe in his disciple Anakin but senses the young warrior's rebellion, Mr. Williams deserves much of the credit. Although Mr. Williams became a household name for 'Star Wars' in the late 1970's, many critics poked fun at him for the comic-book excess of his scores. True, he was no Bernard Herrmann or Elmer Bernstein. But even in Mr. Williams's pre-'Jaws' days, when he was churning out disaster-flick music ('The Towering Inferno'), his work was thoroughly professional. At a time when synthesized film music was ascendant, he re-embraced the symphonic film score. Still, with all their bombastic blather, the early 'Star Wars' scores invited kidding.


At 5:53 PM, Blogger shakescene said...

That's pathetic. Particularly because Ben Burtt, the actual sound designer, is, simply, the single most unsung hero of the Star Wars saga.

The sound of light sabers. X-Wings. Ambient Dagobah. Blasters. They ring in your heart as much as Williams' lietmotif with Luke looking out across the fucking desert.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

I almost totally agree with you. The only part I disagree with is the opinion that Ben is unsung. How many other sound designers do you know by name? And how many other sound designers do you see interviewed as frequently? I think as far as sound designers go, Ben is fucking Elvis.


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