A comeback for electronic film music?

Some of us remember the Eighties fondly, others, like myself, are too young and often look at them with a mixture of puzzlement and admiration. One of the distinguishing features of many films from that decade is the prevalence of electronic scores by the likes of Harold Faltermeyer (immortal through his “Axel F.”-Theme from Beverly Hills Cop and the score for Top Gun), Jan Hammer (“Miami Vice”) [, Vangelis (how could I forget him)] and director/composer John Carpenter. A lot of their scores are now classic pieces, but they also umistakably date the films to their period.

Last year, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross composed a haunting and very distinctive mostly electronic scpre for David Fincher’s The Social Network which won them a Golden Globe award. French electronic duo Daft Punk provided a hammering soundtrack for Tron: Legacy and even scored (pun intended) a cameo appearance as futuristic deejays. This year, british duo The Chemical Brothers are scoring Joe Wright’s next film Hanna. A. R. Rahman’s score for Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours also relies heavily on electronic sounds.

I am asking myself: Are we witnessing a return of synthesized music in film scores after a long time of only symphonic and pop soundtracks? I have no answer yet but would be thankful for more examples and ideas in the comments.

Stuff I learned this Week – #5/11

Stuff I learned this week (and last) – #1/11

Tron:Legacy – My favourite Quote (so far)

I am fascinated, if not obsessed with the idea that we live in the future now. Adam Rogers’s behind-the-scenes article on Tron: Legacy for “Wired” recently demonstrated this point in a way I never really thought about. But it’s true.

All those artists at Digital Domain know they’re creating Tron’s reality by creating it in reality. “We’ve achieved what the first film predicted,” [Director Joseph] Kosinski says. Jeff Bridges had to get a full-body laser scan during preproduction, an eerie hearkening to his digitization in the first movie. When he shot his scenes as Clu, the motion-capture rig he wore to translate his facial movements to Rev 4 included a visor that looked uncannily like the helmet he wore in the original. And the prospect of an unimpeachable, photorealistic avatar for Bridges ought to make the Screen Actors Guild freak out.
(read the whole Article)

It’s really a shame that the new Tron doesn’t arrive in German theaters until the end of January. It’s a film I will hopefully be blogging a lot more about soon.

Tron Night: Something to Feast Your Eyes On

Geek Buzz has really become important for movie marketing. Last year’s Avatar was the first film to actually preview around twenty minutes of footage for audiences several months before the film’s release in the hope of building up a positive word-of-mouth vibe for the film’s release (a strategy that seemed to have worked; even though audiences on the whole weren’t too thrilled about the preview footage). The maker’s of Tron Legacy, a late sequel to 1982′s Tron, tried the same tonight.

They did a good job. Even though the storyline for Legacy looks as preposterous as that of its predecessor, the preview footage shows that the new film will definitely be something to look forward to for lovers of excellent imagery. As could be glimpsed in the trailer, Tron Legacy stays true to Tron‘s original backlit, “black theatre” look while adding some more CGI-cool. This world of dark grey tones, nerved by fluorescent lights, is really something you haven’t seen for a while. It manages to conjure up 80s nostalgia while still looking pretty nifty by today’s standards.

In addition, director Joseph Kosinski and his team really seem to get 3D and use it in the narrative way Alice in Wonderland inexplicably didn’t. The non-computer-world is 2D, making the 3D world of the computer system (ironically, the “simulated” world, of course) exquisitely hyperreal. However, they go beyond that: The preview footage included the scene in which Sam (Garrett Hedlund) discovers the old lab of his father Flynn (Jeff Bridges) but left out the actual transition scene from Earth to Grid. However, when Sam discovers the secret door behind the “Tron” video game and descends into the lab, i.e. gets closer to the computer world, the image slowly but steadily gained depth while staying 2D, cleverly anticipating and foreshadowing what’s to come. The only other movie that used 3D in this psychological way so far, was the amazing Coraline.

The verdict: “Tron Night” worked for me. I am definitely looking forward to Tron Legacy, at least for a good two hours of fun in the cinema.