Review: Score – A Film Music Documentary

DVD & VOD: Score – A Film Music Documentary (2016)

Music is well known for affecting your emotions, and none more so than in film scores where it accompanies and enhances the visual action playing out before you.

The themes from Rocky, Superman, and the The Good, The Bad and The Ugly are all ingrained into my psyche and elicit an emotional response every time I hear them. While the motifs from Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the James Bond films can make goosebumps appear with just a few short notes.

Score: A Film Music Documentary charts the evolution of music in cinema from its inception during the silent era, where a lone pianist would accompany the film in the cinema, either playing along to a pre-written score, or sometimes improvising and creating their own music.

With such a huge timespan to cover, and with so many fantastic scores and composers to cover, it is inevitable that there will be omissions. I for one would have loved to have seen Lalo Schifrin featured, but it would be wrong to criticise such a wonderful documentary for not focusing on each and every composer that has worked in cinema.

Most of the main people that would usually spring to mind when talking about film scores are shown here, and my list of Bernard Herrmann, John Williams, Danny Elfman, and Hans Zimmer (a mental chronological timeline that came to mind of my cinema history) are all featured, albeit in different degrees of thoroughness.

However, Score: A Film Music Documentary isn’t just about the composers, it is about the music. The ebb and flow of different instruments played by talented people worldwide, the end result of which can either have you punching the air in excitement (watch out for the person sat next to you!), exhaling a sigh of wonderment, or shedding tears as your heart strings are manipulated as professionally as those on the solitary violin now playing.

Despite the ‘flash, bang, wallop’ eye candy of current day CGI, it is still the music that sticks with you years later. Who has watched their irritating manager walk through the office and had the Star Wars Imperial March go through their head? Or run along a beach with the Chariots of Fire theme playing in their head? If not those specific ones (and I do encourage you to try both of them), then if you are a film fan, I can guarantee that some themes do automatically play in your head at certain times.

Score: A Film Music Documentary is not the definitive look at film scores, it would take a very long television series to even scratch the surface of the history and importance of music in film. It is however a truly inspiring look (and listen) at a crucial part of film that deserves to be celebrated by all of us.

I can’t comment on the special features as I reviewed this via on online screening link, but I can say that anything that adds to this fantastic documentary makes it even more of a ‘must buy’.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Director’s Commentary
  • An Interview with James Cameron
  • Sounds of NYC with J. Ralph
  • Inside the Hans Zimmer Mind
  • Bear McCreary Rocks the Hurdy Gurdy
  • Harry Gregson-Williams at the Piano
  • Tyler Bates GuitarViol
  • Theatrical Trailer

Score: A Film Music Documentary is released on 2nd April 2018 and you can buy it by clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes.

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from an online review link kindly supplied by Aim Publicity.