- February 16, 2010 at 9:20 pm #65138
Sooo, that Herrmann video supposed to sound like The Flash?
You didn’t hear the quote?February 16, 2010 at 9:34 pm #65139
I don’t hear it either.
If you talk about the rhythmic of both cues, I would say it’s quite a weak resemblance…February 16, 2010 at 11:31 pm #65140
I think whenever Elfman is over-booked he tends to…not try as hard. Take 1990, for example. “Nightbreed,” “Dick Tracy,” “Darkman,” and the TV theme for “The Flash” have too much in common.
Do you think his scores in ‘96 have too much in common? He did like 6 that year, and all those scores were pretty diverse. (I’m counting Men in Black because he began the writing process at the end of that year.)February 17, 2010 at 4:12 am #65141
I don’t hear it either.
Then you’re not listening close enough or choosing not too. Elfman also quotes “Farenheit 451” in “Batman” and “Dick Tracy” as well.
I love Elfman as much as the next guy, but he ain’t no saint. And neither is John Williams, the God of American film music.February 17, 2010 at 6:02 am #65142
So, at what time on the Flash video does Elfman lift music from “Farenheit?” When you hear something played side by side, it should be fairly obvious when something is a rip-off. I hesitate to ask where the “Farenheit” quotations are in Batman and Dick Tracy, only because the examples you’d come up with might also be incredibly unsatisfying!February 17, 2010 at 8:25 am #65145
So, at what time on the Flash video does Elfman lift music from “Farenheit?”
All over. I don’t know how you’re missing it.
I hesitate to ask where the “Farenheit” quotations are in Batman and Dick Tracy,
In Batman it’s a bit more obscure, but in Dick Tracy, like in Flash, it’s pretty much in your face. Again, I don’t know how you and DannyBiker are missing it.February 17, 2010 at 11:21 am #65146
Well you should be more specific on where do you hear the connexion then…
The only thing I can put my finger on is the main rhythmic of both music. But as much as we know how Danny Elfman tend to quote his master, I still find this a rather doubtful rapprochement. It’s just a basic rhythmic that can be found in many film scores or 20th century pieces for orchestra.
Don’t get me wrong : it could be an Hermmann influence. What I say is that it could not be as well and that’s why it doesn’t sound obvious to me…February 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm #65147
> Hey! I can strum 2 bars of music on an acoustic
> guitar… give me an Oscar! The score is 13
> minutes long and the theme is still repetitive.
It’s like that old Columbus criticism, isn’t it? “Hey, anyone can discover America. Just give me a boat”. The point is not how simple or not the music is. First of all, musical quality isn’t decided by complexity alone or by how many instruments you use. Second, this is not the Grammys. It’s the Oscars. The question is only how it WORKED in context with the film, and in this case it became the soul and heart of it. It was exactly the simplicity AND repetitive nature that made it so good.
> Quite a short-lived phenomenon, I would say.
Not really. It popped up (and still do) in parodies, tributes, satires, anything about gay stuff in unusual surroundings. It’s a cornerstone soundtrack, whatever you personally feel about it.
As for BABEL, that was even more brilliant in its musical (and sound) use, but I can understand the criticism more here because much of the music was composed beforehand and consequently not as original as the award says it should be.February 17, 2010 at 8:40 pm #65152
It’s just a basic rhythmic that can be found in many film scores or 20th century pieces for orchestra.
I think that’s what he’s referring to. And like you said, it’s a basic rhythmic building block that could be used by anyone. Why Descent Into Mystery can’t post the video’s time codes where the music is the same is beyond me.February 17, 2010 at 8:52 pm #65153
It was exactly the simplicity AND repetitive nature that made it so good.
It’s like the old argument, isn’t it? “When a soundtrack is used in a good movie, all traditional film score negatives become positives!”
Not really. It popped up (and still do) in parodies, tributes, satires…
You might be right, but personally, I have never heard that music parodied anywhere. However, on Mad TV, I’ve heard Elfman’s music parodied with “Gay Hulk,” funny enough.February 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm #65154
> It’s like the old argument, isn’t it? “When a
> soundtrack is used in a good movie, all
> traditional film score negatives become
Uhm, what? I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean.
> You might be right, but personally, I have never
> heard that music parodied anywhere. However, on
> Mad TV, I’ve heard Elfman’s music parodied with
> “Gay Hulk,” funny enough.
Well, then you haven’t seen much TV – from talk shows to comedy shows, both in the US and internationally. Not to mention the occasional nod in film parodies. Do a search on youtube and look for yourself.February 18, 2010 at 12:01 am #65155
A score shouldn’t solely be effective. The music should also be good.
Well, then you haven’t seen much TV
I’ll take that as a compliment.
Do you really think that the music parodies are really a compliment to the music itself, or a comedic way to invoke the movie Brokeback Mountain?February 18, 2010 at 1:22 am #65156
0:24-0:30 and a bunch of times before and afterwards.
In “Dick Tracy” you hear it from 0:29 to 0:33 and afterwards as well.February 18, 2010 at 6:16 am #65157
What Benny and Danny are doing there is basic musical grammar — brass quintuplets, I believe the technique is called. And even if that wasn’t the case, yes, both of those music statements start off the same, but then the composers both do something completely different with it.February 18, 2010 at 9:07 pm #65158
the composers both do something completely different with it
Herrmann used it as a Main Title Theme. Elfman has used it as a bridge in various scores. Either way it’s the same composition.February 18, 2010 at 11:16 pm #65159
Still, I’m with TenderLumpling on this, it is just a common rhythm that got popular with Gustav Holst’s Mars, especially in the film music field.February 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm #65160
Common? I only hear it with Elfman. Wanna point out some examples?February 19, 2010 at 4:48 am #65161
Firstly, the main theme is this:
Secondly, both composers use five notes and go on to finish their phrases with something else. I don’t see how you’re so hung up on this.
Common? I only hear it with Elfman. Wanna point out some examples?
Here’s an example:
Listen at 8:57,
Led Zeppelin ripped off Bernard Herrmann!February 19, 2010 at 8:21 am #65162
I don’t see how you’re so hung up on this
I’m just saying that Elfman is no saint. And neither is John Williams, the God of American film music. So, no reason to badmouth John Ottman for doing the same. That’s how this whole argument started. And I got into this argument without going into full attack against Elfman. I chose the smallest example. I could have easily used the two Pee-Wee scores which are essentially Nino Rota music. Not even Elfman denies that. Yeah, one could say it’s a “homage” but the line is very thin.February 19, 2010 at 9:33 am #65163
I see your point Descent and agree with it. I don’t think we are making a saint out of Danny Elfman. I’m the first one to point out resemblances or rip-off’s. Our point is more about the music itself here : while there are many examples of Elfman quoting Herrmann, we just don’t estimate it is the case here…February 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm #65164
In this case, I agree with Lumpling. It’s just a common figure, not a COMPOSITION. It would be like saying one blues song is a copy of another simply because it uses the same blues scale as basis.February 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm #65165
> A score shouldn’t solely be effective. The music
> should also be good.
I don’t think there’s any set “rules” about that. Not all film music needs to get the approvement stamp of the music critics. Film music that is more sound design, for example, is no less music than other expressions. Full-blown orchestral music isn’t inherently better than solo guitar music just because it uses more intstruments. Besides, “good” is in the eye of the beholder anyway.
> Do you really think that the music parodies are
> really a compliment to the music itself, or a
> comedic way to invoke the movie Brokeback
The music is intriniscally tied to the film, and is obviously used in other settings to reference that film. Just as other kinds of film music used in other contexts are used to reference THOSE films. The Indiana Jones theme in FAMILY GUY, for example. But it says something about its place in popular culture when it has been referenced that often. Also, it was quite influential in terms of approaching serious drama with minimal musical expressions.February 19, 2010 at 8:59 pm #65168
I’m just saying that Elfman is no saint. And neither is John Williams, the God of American film music. So, no reason to badmouth John Ottman for doing the same.
Then why do the same with Elfman and Williams? And honestly, do you really believe Elfman and Williams are plagiarists? I mean… really?
My beef with Ottman is that instead of attempting to do something creative with all that great material he had on Superman, he just scored a temp track (no, not literally). Again, look at Mission Impossible. Elfman did such elegant variations of the old themes while interweaving them with his own. And panting Elfman as a guy who would knowingly rip someone off to save time is absurd. The fact that Elfman wouldn’t rip Christopher Young off during the Spider-Man 2 debacle just proves my point.
And I got into this argument without going into full attack against Elfman. I chose the smallest example.
And look how well that went, right?
I could have easily used the two Pee-Wee scores which are essentially Nino Rota music.
Ha, ha. Wow. How hyperbolic.
What Rota scores does Elfman pay homage too? Have you heard them? I have. The tone of the Pee-wee scores is very much Rota, however the writing itself is all Elfman, with all the integrity intact.February 19, 2010 at 10:44 pm #65172
Ottman is no Williams, or Elfman… Ottman can’t help that – bless his heart.February 23, 2010 at 7:09 am #65179
Film music that is more sound design, for example, is no less music than other expressions.
It’s that kind of attitude that has allowed film composition to deteriorate in some chases.
A score just serving a film, without any variety or variance, should not be enough to win an academy award. That isn’t the criteria for any other aspect of filmmaking — to just solely be effective and that’s it.
That theme playing over-and-over again, for me, is just tiring. (Simplicity is perfectly fine, but in moderation).
I mean, Taking Woodstock is a low-key, acoustic-based score, but just listen to all the variety.
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