Score (Dogwoof)

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If you’ve ever wondered about the process behind the creation of all the movie tunes you hum in the shower (obviously including the music from Psycho), then Score is easily the most enjoyable way you can find out how it works and everything you wanted to know about it.

Collecting together Hollywood’s best known composers and allowing us to put not only faces, but also personalities to names such as Marco Beltrami (Hellboy, Scream, 3:10 To Yuma), Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, Inception, The Dark Knight), Danny Elfman (Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Men In Black), Thomas Newman (American Beauty, You Were Never Really Here, Skyfall), and Elliot Goldenthal (Heat, A Time To Kill, Interview With The Vampire), along with countless others, this documentary delves deep into the creative process, the difficulties, the extraordinary talent, and the human science behind the movie score.

Despite the seriousness and seeming quite mystical subject matter, Score is anything but a flat inspection. Matt Schrader pulls in all the best elements of documentary, historical investigation, and live recording footage to create something really special for serious film buffs and casual viewers alike.

As well as interviewing the musicians and directors, Score discusses the historical trends of music in film from silent movies right up to present day technology and fashion, injecting valuable context for the layman, and with the broad range of creative minds involved, the whole thing is delivered complete with a mist of light hearted humour that has you wide-eyed and smiling all the way through. From Spielberg talking about his relationship with John Williams, to Mark Mothersbaugh talking about the cheapo kids piano he wrote the Rugrats theme song on, to seeing the LSO and London Voices recording Duel of the Fates at Abbey Road, Score has an angle for every kind of viewer. Even people who enjoy the Minions movies.

At different points in the film it’s explained that often the movie posters will be out before the music is even finished, and that any two hour film can require as much as ninety minutes of music. That music in the film is used to set mood, is used as a plot device to give the audience cues, to add emotional weight to the scenes of your all-time favourite movies, as well as a hundred other things you never think about when you’re watching a film. What’s the opening scene of Jaws without its theme? Well, it’s a lot of underwater footage of kids feet. How do we know Sauron is bad without his musical motif? How do we know a Bond film is even a Bond film if his weirdly sinister surf music theme song isn’t playing? We don’t. And honestly until I watched this documentary, I hadn’t considered that half as much as I ought to.

Thoroughly enjoyable and informative, Score is a 90 minute film that I am only able to criticize by saying I wish it was a 10 hour long series. Something for everyone, to be enjoyed more than once. Sophie Francois

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