Saturday, November 21, 2009

AUDIO: On The Score With Alexandre Desplat

ON THE SCORE, original source:

There’s a gift for rich, cinematic melody that seems to be a French birthright, one that such Gallic composers as Georges Delerue to Maurice Jarre have imparted to Hollywood with such scores as “Steel Magnolias” and “Ghost.” And there’s no doubt their successor at imparting American films with lush, magical themes is Alexandre Desplat. The Greek-born composer would have dozens of scores behind him before getting his first English-language outing with the chess drama “The Luzhin Defense,” the first of many art films that came calling for his inventive sense of old-school melody, as his acclaimed and inventively haunting scores for “Girl with the Pearl Earring” and “Birth” would lead Desplat to apply his unique approach to such stalwart American films genres as female-centric comedy (“The Upside of Anger”), political thrillers (“Syriana”), gritty crime drama (“Hostage”), period epics (“The Painted Veil”) and effects-filled fantasy (“The Golden Compass”).

But whatever the musical genre, Alexandre Desplat’s scores have always seemed to take place in another, lushly magical world where ethereal electronic textures and strings reign. It could be heard as he hauntingly regressed Brad Pitt in his Oscar-nominated score for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” or in the emotional romance of this summer’s trio of Gallic girl power movies “Cheri,” “Julie and Julia” and “Coco Before Chanel.” Now for the fall, Desplat finds one of his most eccentric and wondrous scores with his combination of Spaghetti western stylings and rustic barnyard magic for Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” But even the fandom of “Fox”’s original author Roald Dahl can’t compare to the teen legions who follow “The Twilight Saga,” an impossibly romantic world of love struck teens and ageless vampires whom Desplat meets fangs-on with a swooningly romantic score, one that bestows old-school Gothic eroticism to this young adult take on the bloodsucking mythos. It’s a series that Desplat bestows with stunning, dark beauty. And that’s just the tip of a scoring future that includes Terence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” and Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost.”

Now on a new edition of On the Score, Alexandre Desplat reveals what it’s like to be France’s next big import to the Hollywood scoring scene, and how his music has continued to find a universally affecting melodic language for both intimate films and the studio mainstream.

Click HERE to be transferred to the original source and listen to the interview.

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