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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 8:12 am 
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This is something I've been wanting feedback about for a long time.

Some selections DVD producers assign for musical accompaniment on silent films just baffle me. The reason I'd love hearing feedback is I'm attempting to discover if I'm just being stodgy or other people feel the way I do on certain titles. Do you like purchasing films from a classic era, with very modern music laid over, or do you feel this is a mismatch in atmosphere?

For example, the music which Kino assigned to NOSFERATU, one via Shepard (by Silent Orchestra) for the pre-Murnau Foundation issue, then the subsequent 2 choices for the restored disc by Art Zoyd, or the alternate track by Donald Sosin... but especially the Zoyd track (the Sosin track is just a bunch of blank, quasi-classical noodling going mostly nowhere... though the use of his wife gasping & squealing "Hutterrrrrr!" when she awakes to intercept Orloks attack is a bit silly, as well is Sosin going "OWW!" when Wangenheim cuts his finger slicing bread)... does anyone else but me (and the guy at the Silent Era siet) sit there amazed that the folks at Murnau-Stiftung/Kino listened to this stale Minstry-type track by Zoyd (or Floyd, if you go by what the site says these days) and said to themselves "YES!!! That's the track that works best with the film... buy that one."

Other awful tracks for me are Kino's "DIARY OF A LOST GIRL," "BROKEN BLOSSOMS," the track for the PENALTY starts out decently then when Chaney first appears segues into this endlessly repeated electro-funk figure which sounds like Sanford & Son dipped in neon atomic waste (whatever that means).

I'm very interested in hearing what folks think about the choral score for the CC PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC... sometimes it works for me, sometimes I find it an interference.

I tend to really like the work of Timothy Brock, i e LAST LAUGH, FAUST, LOVE OF JEANNE NEY... my favorite score by him is BERLIN-- absolutely fantastic. His scores work for me because he is clearly paying attention to the action going on onscreen, composing figures which correspond, and not trying to cater to the few 17 yr olds who might buy the DVD by playing frigging Neubauten or Kraftwerk. Carl Davis is another at the top of his game (Chess Player, Chaplin, LLoyd, etc, excellent). Mont Alto is actually quite nice, a la DESTINY & Thief Of Bahgdad.

I have mixed feelings about Robert Israel-- his MABUSE & LES VAMPIRES ARE always gushed over, but I find him repetitive with his quotations & figures. I think his JUDEX is his best work with a crew beyond a 5 piece band. I think he did better solo piano i e ISN'T LIFE WONDERFUL, & NOMADS OF THE NORTH. Speaking of solo work, of course we have to mention the great Gaylord Carter. I love his THE SPIDERS (not sure if it's on the DVD but I have it on the old VHS)

My winner for all time best original soundtrack assigned to a silent film is Roland De Cande for All Day Entertainment's LA CHUTE DE LA MAISON USHER. The music chosen melds so well with the music onscreen (except for the ending synth during the fall of the house... which actually doesn't bug me as much as the scenes with with the scratching of the piano wire during Ushers nervous fatigue after burying his wife), that I actually cannot conceive of watching this film without this music. As for Aumont's spoken voice-over to the title cards I have mixed emotions. I watch the thing so much that I'm used to it.

Another source of aggravation is ALLOY ORCHESTRA. Should STRIKE, UNKNOWN & Image's MAN W MOVIE CAMERA (though still better than Kino's Nyman edition) really have heavy rock drum solos with constant leaning on a swish cymbal (technical name for the cymbal he always hits which sounds like a garbage lid)? The music itself is nothing terrible in and of itself-- I'm not asking whether or not you like that style of music or the actual performance. I want to know if it's placement over legendary classic silent masterpieces (whether you agree with that or not) is incongruous.

Who has Kino's NOSFERATU? What do you think of the half-ass White Zombie (the band)/Al Jourgensen-style musical accompaniment?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:51 am 
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Who has Kino's NOSFERATU? What do you think of the half-ass White Zombie (the band)/Al Jourgensen-style musical accompaniment?


I miss the organ score from the Image DVD. The two tracks off the Kino disc are simply ridiculous. If there is one thing a score should never do, and I which I cannot stand, is add sound effects to a silent movie. It's distracting. The "Hutter!!!"s ect. from Nosferatu are kind of embarrassing, and sometimes elicit passing comments, such as "Well that was odd. I thought this was supposed to be silent." Or, "How come everyone else is mute? I think the disc is broken." I can't help but wonder that there is something conceited in thinking it's your duty to add things to the movie, as though a silent film cannot stand on its own without the help of sound effects. As though it's something inferior because it lacks sound. Otherwise, this score is pretty tolerable, unlike Art Zoyd's, which apart from sounding wretched is just the same thing over and over again. I had to turn it off.

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I'm very interested in hearing what folks think about the choral score for the CC PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC... sometimes it works for me, sometimes I find it an interference.


I adore this score. It makes Joan, one of my favourite movie I should add, even more thrilling to watch. I can't say I find it intrusive; and when the torture or burning scenes are at their height and the editing is hammering away like mad and the score is at its height, I get chills from it. It is one of the best silent scores I've ever heard.

To mention the Kino Murnau's again, the scores for Last Laugh and Faust, by Timothy Brock, are both very effective. Especially Faust, where the grand orchestral tone fits the operatic level of the images.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 12:29 pm 
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I really really dislike the score that Crterion used for Ozu's "Story of Floating Weeds" -- so unidiomatic that it is far worse than none at all.

The Kino Nosferatu scores are disappointing -- especially unfortunate because I like the transfer itself -- maybe I need to just play some music of my own choosing.

I've never developed much affection for "traditional" organ accompaniments -- however proficient.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:36 pm 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
The Kino Nosferatu scores are disappointing -- especially unfortunate because I like the transfer itself -- maybe I need to just play some music of my own choosing.


Yep, Kino's choices here are truly terrible. If you're interested in adding your own "found" soundtrack, I suggest you give Radiohead's Kid A and Amnesiac a try. I kid you not; they work reasonably well at times.

I also agree with Mr. Sausage. (Wow! That sentence sounds weird.) The score for Joan is brilliant. Perhaps it does draw a bit too much attention because of its brilliance, but it always adds such an appropriate emotional impact that I miss it when I try to watch the film completely silent.

Schreck, I prefer the musical score on Eureka's R2 edition of Mabuse. Can't remember the composer's name, but it's worth checking out. (There's even a short extra about the composer and his music.) Of course, it goes without saying that Eureka's release is more complete than Shepard's Image release.

As far as solo accompaniments go, I think I like Neil Kurtz's work best. His accompaniment to Dreyer's Parson's Widow is spot-on, IMO.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:38 pm 
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It's funny, Herr Schreck, I just watched the Kino DVD of Nosferatu for the first time a couple of weeks ago. (I had seen the film before and why it took me so long to finally borrow and watch the Kino DVD is another story.) For some reason, I can't explain why, I decided to listen to it with the sound off. I don't usually do this. I understand that silent films have almost always had musical accompaniment and I'm not like Leaud's character in Irma Vep who rushes to turn the music down when watching Les Vampires, saying "I like silence when watching a silent film." In cases where the musical score is badly done or badly chosen I will shut it off or put something else on if a selection comes to mind.
You may be dismayed to learn (if you didn't already know that Art Zoyd has made something of a career of scoring silent films: Murnau, Lang, Haxan etc. From what I've heard of their earlier work, their music remains far more interesting to me than Ministry, and I hope to give their '90s-era film music a chance someday, maybe by itself without the film as well.
Kino's choice seems to fit the picture of a company that doesn't know what it doing some of the time and doesn't care the rest of the time. In theory, I do like the idea of including not only a more traditional option with one that pushes the envelope. With Criterion's Haxan I'll sometimes choose whether to watch the main feature or Witchcraft Through the Ages based on whether the other people in the room and I want to hear the Czech Film Orchestra or are in the mood for the wonderful improvisational score by Hodeir, Ponty, et al. In every case it depends to a great extent on one's taste and ideas of where the boundaries of appropriateness are.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:31 pm 

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True, Gregory, The Art Zoyd soundtrack works well on its own. I got the CD.

By the way, anyone, please advise me as to which edition of Nosferatu that looks the best. Herr Schreck?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 3:25 pm 
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Thanks for another interesting thread Mssr. Schrek. I like that you are asking about a discussion of the role of music to silent film rather than a list-like open forum on personal likes/dislikes of individual performances.

Ok, so here's some of my thoughts.

I think that the role of music to silent film is always subjective. On the production level, offering multiple scores seems to be a marketing strategy to satisfy as many buyers as possible (or perhaps to avoid potential of bad word of mouth that would shrink an already marginal audience). Even in those cases where an original score exists, decisions on the production side are interpretations of the place of music that can make or break the viewing experience. I'm thinking of the use of the use of electric synthesizers (mostly the works that Eric Beheim has been attached to - but others have used this too.) Even if the score is good (or passable) the sound of the synthesizer really takes me out of the film. So I think that both the choice of instrument(s) and the performers interpretation of the score all add to the subjectivity of a film's music on the level of production.

On the level of reception, I think a lot of what makes certain types of scores effective or not depends on the viewer/listeners own expectations toward the role of music in a silent film (By the way, have you read Rick Altman's newish book on this subject? It's very interesting! We're not related BTW). It seems that there are at least two schools of thought on what role music should play in the presentation of a silent film. What I would call the "old school" is represented by Gaylord Carter and those who were active during the silent era and remember what was required to play to that particular audience. Carter often told about his first boss telling him that "music should perfume the air" and I think many like Carter saw the image as the dominant element to which music was a vital but secondary supporting element. (I'm not saying he downplayed the role of music). This reminds me of what King Vidor said in an interview with Brownlow "(Music) accounted for roughly forty to fifty percent of the value of the person watching it."

The thinking behind the Photoplayer might be seen as an extreme end of this school. Even though its whrrrr's and bells produce a "jokey" atmosphere (that personally I find alienating) the Photoplayer, which was in use in the silent era, was ultimately a tool to enhance the filmgoing experience (like Sosin's Oww's etc.) I may just be a prejudice on my part that doesn't warm up to that sort of interpretation. The other camp would be the avant-gardists who saw music as part of the experience but not necessarily bound to the narrative (visual or otherwise).

So in terms of approach to silent film music, this is how I divide the camps. Regarding individual performers -- I agree with your assessment of Robert Israel. Throughout most of the 1990s, I found much of his work inconsistent and more than a few of his live performances even sloppy. But I think it was around the time he did Dr. Mabuse der Spieler and especially his work on the Harold Lloyd films that showed a deeper sensitivity to the interaction between film and music and now I enjoy most of his interpretations.

Dean Mora, a silent accompanist, once told me that he won't play any themes from songs that had not been composed during the silent era. This is a sort of historical approach to silent film accompaniment that I can understand but don't always share. Sometimes, new (or newer) music has a positive effect on a film. Some claim that Moroder's scoring of Metropolis gave it new life while at the same time reaching audiences it might never have reached otherwise.

Alloy Orchestra, Clubfoot Orchestra and several other similarly minded groups generally make the music (or rather the spectacle of performing music) the focal point which is something I generally don't respond to. The Mont Alto Orchestra on the other hand, are far more satisfying to me because they are really scholars as much as musicians. They know their
period (high and low styles) blend them effectively and sympathetically to the film in a way that contributes to the filmgoing experience without simply becoming invisible or actively competing with the film.

This got a little long but I'm interested in what others have to say.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:40 pm 
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I also agree with Mr. Sausage. (Wow! That sentence sounds weird.)


Have we had a number of disagreements before, or is it just my forum handle?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:27 pm 
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Must be the sauce, sausage.

I LOATHE the Wurlitzer organ scores for Sternberg's Last Command and Docks of New York on the old Paramount VHSs. Forgive me but (even - especially - as a trained musician) the whiff of an organ makes me think of church! The player has typically cobbled together bits and pieces of "classics" to empahsizie the gravity of the situation (i.e. the viewing experience) and the whole thing is best watched silent. If ONLY Sternberg had been able to do his own superlative adaptations/orchestrations with a decent band!!!

More successful but still somewhat patchy is the score for the MoC Michael. I love Schumann but I find his music used too sentimentally and repetiviely, like lietmotifs here.

Far more succesul I think is the Neil Brand small jazz group for Dupont's Piccadilly. Some posters didn't care for it, but I found even the more contemporary (non period) sections agreeably whimsical and in tune with the movie. The killer silent score, still is the Huppertz/Heller Metropolis. And I am very fond of the Movietone track for Sunrise by Hugo Riesenfeld, but never listen to the new score by Brock and Newman


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:48 am 
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tryavna wrote:
Michael Kerpan wrote:
The Kino Nosferatu scores are disappointing -- especially unfortunate because I like the transfer itself -- maybe I need to just play some music of my own choosing.


Yep, Kino's choices here are truly terrible. If you're interested in adding your own "found" soundtrack, I suggest you give Radiohead's Kid A and Amnesiac a try. I kid you not; they work reasonably well at times.

I also agree with Mr. Sausage. (Wow! That sentence sounds weird.) The score for Joan is brilliant. Perhaps it does draw a bit too much attention because of its brilliance, but it always adds such an appropriate emotional impact that I miss it when I try to watch the film completely silent.

Schreck, I prefer the musical score on Eureka's R2 edition of Mabuse. Can't remember the composer's name, but it's worth checking out. (There's even a short extra about the composer and his music.) Of course, it goes without saying that Eureka's release is more complete than Shepard's Image release.

As far as solo accompaniments go, I think I like Neil Kurtz's work best. His accompaniment to Dreyer's Parson's Widow is spot-on, IMO.


I have a print of NOSFERATU on an ancient VHS where the Bram Stoker names are actually used on the old title-cards... i e Dracula for Orlok, Harker instead of Hutter, etc.. The opening titles have "Nighthawk Films" printed over the orginal title cards... but there is a full orchestral score that works so eerily well with the images of the film (made even gloomier owing to the print being a haunted-looking old b&w 16mm, the soundtrack being duped poorly & filled w crackles & pops) that I can't resist putting it on from time to time with the lights out & falling to sleep to it. Sometimes it's nice (and believe me, as you can tell from my screen name, I've multiple-dipped VHS's & DVDs on this title, Murnau being perhaps my favorite director), regardless of my needing the best restoration on the films that are most important to me, it's nice to see (and feel) an old film look old. And sound old. It's nice to feel the many many years between yourself the viewer and the images on the screen-- sometimes. Some restorations are so unbelievable they make the film look like it was made 3 or 4 hours ago. Which is a good thing, don't get me wrong. But I don't in every case automatically chuck out my gloomy old VHS's.

Dreyer's JOAN might be my favorite film of all time. I still watch that movie and scratch my head in bewilderment that people across the globe have not erected a religion where they chant oblations & make sacrifices to images of Carl Dreyer. It's one of those classic scenarios where when the movie ends you just wanna hit the streets & block the paths of oncoming pedestrians & shake the DVD case or theater programme in front of their faces & honk "But you don't understannnd mannnn," I watch the DVD of the film both ways. I notice when I watch it with the soundtrack off, my response to the film is that I go cold with genuine horror, as though I've witnessed a real murder take place, long & slow on a genuinely horrified human. It takes me about an hour to shake that physical feeling off. With the music on, my response is more of intense sadness, sometimes near tears. It's curious though in that it's more of that familiar movie-theater sort of sadness, and it begins to fade immediately as the film ends. The above of course being at all times blended with goo-goo ga-ga infantile awe for the most outrageously original mise-en-scene & camera movements in the history of the cinema.

Thought PARSON'S WIDOW was pretty good-- definitely better than Kino's TARTUFFE, as all-piano scores go. PW is just an all around nice disc, though I wish Hampton @ Cinepost didn't futz with the OAR in telecine (did the same on WAY DOWN EAST).

As for the MABUSE der SPIELER-- that's a must have. The difference between the Shepard print & the Eurkeka (as seen on the Beaver) were so enormous... again, Hampton & Shepard are fucking around with the gate in telecine. An automatic double-dip, as I had the Image set since it came out.

So what do you guys (& gals) think of this "Alloy Orchestra"-- anyone have the Image MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA, STRIKE (very nice print, actually... besides a tape-up in a flat-out tear in the orig nitrate print used I see this as the one Eisenstein silent that CC can't much improve upon imagewsie with THE SILENT YEARS box set, whenever it arrives), or THE UNKNOWN in the beautiful Warner/TCM Lon Chaney Collection?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:18 am 
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I can only watch Dreyer's Jeanne in silence.

as a (compltely firm) atheist, I hate the music (and I dont like it anyway, on its own) it totally reduces the movie to a segmented, sequenced "progressive" experience.

As a silent, the movie comes wildly alive to me, through Deryer's changes of direction and POV, to ultimately rest on Falconetti. I just cant imagine this film wih sound. Even Godard, plays the Karina movie theater scene in his great great Vivre sa Vie soundless (and then goes on to a recitation of classical thematic statements from Beethoven's 1st Razumovsky in Une Femme Mariee, which moves me almost equally, as his resolution/final statement of classically formal film-making.)

What I love probably most in Lang's first talkies (and Sternberg's) is the use of sound. Take Morocco and the military band and wild track, through to D and Coop in the last rendezvous (the greatest love scene in movies) in which a piano starts up after the beginning of the shot, and Sternberg still (with in immobile camerabox) does decoupage throughout from Coop pencilling "Amy Jolly" into the table to Dietrich disccovering this declaration!! And the sound - so brilliantly conceived and executed, ends up forgotten by the critics, but is left there for folks like us to rapture about.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:50 am 
I absolutely detest, hate and despise the use of music scores with silent movies. Aren't they supposed to be silent? If they have music, they are not silent. I wish the worst death possible for those responsible for this so-called modern device!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:57 am 
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Um, marty wake up. The reason Schreck opened this thread was because there is and was a tradition of silent music scoring.

Hon, please read the posts before your own.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:03 am 
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dmkb wrote:
Alloy Orchestra, Clubfoot Orchestra and several other similarly minded groups generally make the music (or rather the spectacle of performing music) the focal point which is something I generally don't respond to. The Mont Alto Orchestra on the other hand, are far more satisfying to me because they are really scholars as much as musicians. They know their
period (high and low styles) blend them effectively and sympathetically to the film in a way that contributes to the filmgoing experience without simply becoming invisible or actively competing with the film.

This got a little long but I'm interested in what others have to say.


I'd be the uh, last one :oops: to complain about long posts.

I basically agree with everything you said-- strenuously agree with the above paragraph.. but I will say I don't mind synthesizers as a rule-- Eric Behiem took a couple of watchings for me to get used to, but his playing the 1927 sheets for CAT AND THE CANARY, for example, was entertaining for me, because the film makes fun of itself & the horror is not "real" (aside from the actual murder of Mr. Crosby... wonderfully parodied by Tex Avery in WHO KILLED WHO with all the bodies falling one after the other from the closet-- "ahhh, there's quite a lot of us, aint we!?"), so for me it somehow worked. It's got a 'lite' edge to it which works for me in certain zones: THE BLACK PIRATE, ROBIN HOOD... and the Lon Chaney double feature from Image-- I thought it worked sort of okay for WICKED DARLING... it's got kind of a carnival-esque nostalgia to the sound, which blends with the age of the films & throw a fun sweetness back at me. Lite melodrama, and adventure pieces: a particular use of Beheim & his synth that doesn't bother me, perhaps because he's playing the actual music distributed for the accompanist (sp?), so at least the music is "right", though the "instrument" may be a bit off. The use of synth which really gets under my skin is the mindless noodling in carefully -constructed dramas and flat-out classics/masterpieces, for instance, that Sosin does from time to time-- see the alternate track of Kino's CALIGARI for example. There is just, for me, NO atmosphere, NO melody, virtually NO repeated figure to qualify as a melody or identifying-theme-per-character. This, and his track for NOSFERATU (those fucking new age glass pipes, for chrissakes)-- the guy is just wandering around in the dark with no seeming plan-- it's the most insipid stuff on the face of the earth, sounds like a numb mind walking into an important job with no plan or preparation whatsoever. (Which, to be honest, is doubly disappointing because I know he's capable of better; I've heard him live accompanying films (last time was Garbos Swedish silents followed by a superlong restoration of Pabsts JOYLESS STREET @ MoMA) and he is capable of doing the job "right" in a decent enough way. Evidenced also in his score for SPIONE for Kino, which, though not amazing, works I think. A film has ups & downs, themes which are revisited and touched upon with nuance... characters are sketched with iconographic emblems which blast at you-- so the problem is, as these images flow, music tells people how to feel from scene to scene... so if there are no peaks & valleys in the music and the musician is off in nowhereland zoning out, then the film has to push versus the musical flatness with it's visuals. It's like putting peanut butter in veal parmegian-- sure you'll get a maniac here & there who'll like it, but most will be nauseated. I think it's very important for the composer to know the overriding interest is for the film-- not the score... especially if it's an eighty four year old classic like NOSFERATU. And I've been meaning to say re Sosin and his wife putting their voices over the film-- "OW." and "Hut-terrrrrrrr!..."-- I always thought they stuck those in there because they could. Just the dumbest kind of indulgence. We are being asked to score these films becase we are thought of as people most capable of understanding Murnau and so we have the freedom to color these films as we see fit for all eternity... lets express our enjoyment of the freedom we've inherited as Murnau's peer and go ahead and make changes to his film by adding our voices to it.

I know there'll be many who think that's out to lunch, but there's a tendency to consciously expand ones role via a belief that One Has Arrived, no matter how small the role or how specific the work requested is (deodorant commercial directors pushing to shoot in widescreen with huge costume budgets & swordfights).

BTW-- viciousliar... by far the best version of Murnaus film is whatever disc in your region has the Transit-Film/F.W. Murnau Stiftung-authorized print which was restored in the 90's @ Cineteca di Bologna & printed in the L'Immagine Ritrovata labs. This is the print which is on the current Kino disc (not the David Shepard print with the Silent Orchestra score many think it is). Despite the english rewriting of the title cards the Kino by far has the superior image in R1 (it's fantastic, in fact, and is the first to NOT crop Orlok's head when he zaps straight up & out his coffin in the ship's hold... despite some cropping in other zones)... but is has ghosting as it is from a non-pre-converted PAL master tape. So if I were you, living where you are I'd hunt down an actual Transit=Film copy of NOS, or just buy the box: http://www.transitfilm.de/en/transit-classics/
I suspect the Zoyd cd is on all-region releases of this disc as the soundtrack. in this vein, to be fair, I'd suggest that Kino received the master-tape with the Zoyd sountrack as part of the licensing agreement (i e "Zo zorry guys, zat's ze zoundt-treck,"), and commisioned the Sosin track to provide some kind of pseudo-'normal' alternative.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:08 am 
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davidhare wrote:
Must be the sauce, sausage.

I LOATHE the Wurlitzer organ scores for Sternberg's Last Command and Docks of New York on the old Paramount VHSs. Forgive me but (even - especially - as a trained musician) the whiff of an organ makes me think of church!


Just curious, D-- what do you think then of Carnival of Souls? I like the church-aura of organs... especially being raised as a Roman Catholic, with all of it's supernatural aspects, the sound of the organ always triggers a deep-down association with eternal powers, evil, god, etc, even if I tell myself I no longer believe in these things, my psychological DNA still responds beyond my control. This can tenbd to raise the stakes for even a ho hum horror flick.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:12 am 
davidhare wrote:
Um, marty wake up. The reason Schreck opened this thread was because there is and was a tradition of silent music scoring.

Hon, please read the posts before your own.



You're right. I quite liked Giorgio Moroder's score for Metropolis including the great Queen song just as Fritz Lang intended.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:14 am 
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marty wrote:
I absolutely detest, hate and despise the use of music scores with silent movies. Aren't they supposed to be silent? If they have music, they are not silent. I wish the worst death possible for those responsible for this so-called modern device!


Seriously-- are you genuinely interested in silent films?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:18 am 
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marty wrote:
davidhare wrote:
Um, marty wake up. The reason Schreck opened this thread was because there is and was a tradition of silent music scoring.

Hon, please read the posts before your own.



You're right. I quite liked Giorgio Moroder's score for Metropolis including the great Queen song just as Fritz Lang intended.


What did you think then of Gottfried Hupperz' brand new score that he wrote a couple of years ago for the new restoration. It was a nice serious piece of music that worked more with the images, don't you think? Lang would have liked it if he were alive today to hear it, dont you think?

Please don't say anything, anybody.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:19 am 
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Copain! When I hear organs I fall to my knees! 'Spesh in de church..

The greatest and most blasphemous use of churh/organ eccles. music is in Siodmak's totally brilliant Christmas Holiday, when Deanna, as the hooker, takes bimboy from the brothel to midnight mass and does a major public breakdown during the "mea Culpa" chorus!! Whoahh!!!

(Promise to get more serious tomorrow...)

More importantly, I was intrigued to read your Op. of the Nosferatu - the Kino looked great in screncaps to me, but am I stupid to be hanging out for something even better? (And Like Vicious I'd be taking a PAL master version.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:31 am 
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davidhare wrote:
Copain! When I hear organs I fall to my knees! 'Spesh in de church..

More importantly, I was intrigued to read your Op. of the Nosferatu - the Kino looked great in screncaps to me, but am I stupid to be hanging out for something even better? (And Like Vicious I'd be taking a PAL master version.)


So email Transit via the link and buy it from the source for the whole planet.

What did YOU think of Gottfried hupperz' new score for Metropolis, David? Gottfried was talking to Katie Couric at the TODAY SHOW here in NY last week, talking about the process of trying to conceive of a score which did justice to such a legendary film, especially when he knew everybody who saw it back in 27 saw it silent-- and competing with silence is almost an impossible uphill battle. It was a very big challenge, he said-- like climbing into bed with your wife after the Philadelphia Eagles just finished up with her....


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:40 am 
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Christ Marty! Do you really unequivacally hate the Moroder score? (indeed did you see the 35mm theatrical releases of this in Sydney 12 or 13 years ago?) For one thing Moroder et compagnie pulled together for the first time ever most (but not all) of the missing footage, including the "Gymnasium" sequence, which was lurking in a Screensound Oz print for 50 or 60 years.

More importantly, F Mercury aside, the Moroder score has come in for some revision. Isn't there a prepped version of Metropolis waiting for more intergenerational discovery? As I recall the Moroder version did six plus weeks at a now defunct cinema in Pitt Street, when Sydney still had cinemas. Can YOU remember when Metropolis last played a commercial season? Anywhere? (And you might be about to have that chance.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:44 am 
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Copain S

I wouldn't know what it was liKe to climb into bed with the wife, but I have a very rough idea of the Eagles!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:54 am 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
I don't mind synthesizers as a rule...It's got a 'lite' edge to it which works for me in certain zones: THE BLACK PIRATE, ROBIN HOOD... and the Lon Chaney double feature from Image-- I thought it worked sort of okay for WICKED DARLING... it's got kind of a carnival-esque nostalgia to the sound, which blends with the age of the films & throw a fun sweetness back at me. Lite melodrama, and adventure pieces: a particular use of Beheim & his synth that doesn't bother me, perhaps because he's playing the actual music distributed for the accompanist (sp?), so at least the music is "right", though the "instrument" may be a bit off.


For some reason, I'm reminded of a film prof of mine who once played Frank Sinatra over Eisenstein's October in a silent film class -- "Oh the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear...." (:shock:).

I do hear what you're saying about the music being "right," but isn't the sound (i.e. the instrument[s] chosen) part of that? Robin Hood is a good example. Even though Beheim is working from the original score, the synthesizer puts its themes over with a dull, metallic sound that reminds me of early videogame music or .wav clips created on synthesizers.

So I think even though the music itself may fit a given film, synthesizers generally (but not always) lack the emotion and/or depth of a piano or an ORGAN (emphasis added for David). What you said about the adventure films, reminds me of William Perry's piano accompaniments (surviving mostly on the Killiam collection films) which work far more effectively for me in creating a light, fond mood even though they weren't based on the original scores. (The Iron Mask for example).

What did you think of the score for Die Nibelugen This one hurts because I really like the score but the sound distortion (willing to bet this is the result of their chronically poor PAL-NTSC conversions) ruins it... I'm looking forward to MoC's new version so I can say goodbye to the Kino disc.


PS, the Shepard version of The Black Pirate wasn't accompanied by a synth but a small ensemble conducted by Robert Israel. I have fond memories of watching them record that session in 1996.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:51 pm 
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Mr_sausage wrote:
Quote:
I also agree with Mr. Sausage. (Wow! That sentence sounds weird.)


Have we had a number of disagreements before, or is it just my forum handle?


It's the forum handle all the way.

To paraphrase Marge Simpson ("How can an iron be a landlord?"), "How can a person agree with a sausage?" :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:10 pm 
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davidhare wrote:
Christ Marty! Do you really unequivacally hate the Moroder score? (indeed did you see the 35mm theatrical releases of this in Sydney 12 or 13 years ago?) For one thing Moroder et compagnie pulled together for the first time ever most (but not all) of the missing footage, including the "Gymnasium" sequence, which was lurking in a Screensound Oz print for 50 or 60 years. More importantly, F Mercury aside, the Moroder score has come in for some revision. Isn't there a prepped version of Metropolis waiting for more intergenerational discovery? As I recall the Moroder version did six plus weeks at a now defunct cinema in Pitt Street, when Sydney still had cinemas. Can YOU remember when Metropolis last played a commercial season? Anywhere? (And you might be about to have that chance.)

Some worthy points, but you shouldn't accept marty's example so easily. The Moroder score does not constitute the whole tradition of silent film scoring. There are many approaches to it, as anyone who's seen more than a handful of silent films on disc knows. And it's of course not a modern device, as he said. Silent films have always had music. They're called "silent" when the film crew didn't record a sound track, not because people would sit in silence in the theater. Most people don't like sitting in silence especially in a room full of strangers, and the presence of music has generally always been considered an enhancement. Filmmakers and distributors would suggest pieces to be played along with each film or even include with them sheets of musical cues to be performed by live musicians in the theater.
I could go on, but I'll leave it there. I just don't think we should be above laying out the rudiments when they're called for.


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