Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Goody and Ouch...

I had to renew my subscription to Video Watchdog, and I realized that I could order back issues, including replacements for my long-lost copies which had the articles about the David Lynch films. When it comes to Lynch, VW is the most satisfying publication out there, and the pieces they did comparing the scripts of Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me as well as the script and the different versions of Dune are essential reading for any Lynch fan (don't worry, suitboyskin, I'll be sending you photocopies of these articles along with your CDs.

David Lynch

The two-part "Building the Perfect Dune" is a bit frustrating because it really gives an insight as to what Lynch really meant the film to be. Both Blue Velvet and Fire Walk With Me are interesting because while the released versions of the films are indeed Lynch's final cuts, but the different drafts contained different approaches to the material. Some of this stuff would have made the films even more extreme. In particular, a scene at the beginning of Blue Velvet would have introduced Jeffrey at college catching sight of a date rape, and hesitating before intervening. Fire Walk With Me also originally included scenes with other characters from the television series, but unless the film had been around Lynch's original five and a half hour cut, this material would have been too distracting from the central story, which involves the first true introduction to Laura Palmer.

These essays are not only interesting for the facts that they present to the reader, but also because of the insight that they give into how Lynch gets a film onto the screen. Film is both a technological and a collaborative medium, so while cinema often attempts to present a façade of surrealism as a tool, Lynch is one of the few filmmakers whose work consistently forces the viewer to confront events on an ever-changing canvas. The experience of watching his films often feels like one is dreaming up the narrative. His most non-linear works, the reality-bending Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive confounded so many, but make sense when viewed from this point of view. Narrative shifts follow a logic that seems eerily familiar because it so well mimics the dreamscape.

That is ultimately what I like most about David Lynch's films. They take the concept of "unpredictable" to the most illogical extreme. One can't even be sure if character's identities will be the same at the end of the film than at the beginning.

Howard Shore

And the big news that rocked the film music community today was that Howard Shore is no longer working on King Kong. Peter Jackson and he apparently didn't agree on how the score should sound, and so James Newton Howard is being brought in to compose two hours worth of music in only a few weeks to get the film in theaters by December 14th. Jackson's statement made the parting sound very amiable.

The thing about this isn't so much about my disappointment that I won't be getting to hear another epic Howard Shore score. The Aviator and A History of Violence are fantastic, and I was looking forward to King Kong, don't get me wrong, but I think the real message here is that King Kong itself is in trouble. Replacing a score usually means a film is not coming together well in post-production, so regardless of whose decision it was (on the message boards, most people were blaming meddling studio execs, but Jackson took responsibility for the choice), it doesn't sound good when a composer is replaced.

I like James Newton Howard (his score for Snow Falling On Cedars is a classic), but he doesn't really have a lot of time to write this score. I don't know how good it could possibly be.

Hopefully it will be a Chinatown situation (Goldsmith wrote the score in a week and it redefined what that genre sounded like, and the film is a tour de force), but it's pretty doubtful.

It may be possible that Peter Jackson has blown his load. We'll see...
Tags: cinema, david lynch, film music, howard shore, james newton howard

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