Wombatz wrote:I hugely enjoy the KTL edition of Phantom Carriage. Yes, it does overburden the film somewhen through the middle, but the beginning and end are so haunting.
I have to disagree â€“ I bought the KTL on the strength of the â€˜tasterâ€™ on the other edition, which was indeed very effective and chilling, focusing on the famously creepy soul-gathering sequences. The trouble is that Phantom Carriage, though indescribably eerie in those scenes, is not a horror film, and it feels like the KTL guys are not really in tune with what the film is trying to do.
I had a similar experience recently seeing Nosferatu accompanied live by a band who call themselves Mistyâ€™s Big Adventure (sounds like a Miyazaki film...) There were a few good ideas in there, but the whole thing was maddeningly repetitive. The first act of Nosferatu is not exactly thrilling to begin with; accompanied by an endlessly repeated phrase on the glockenspiel, itâ€™s like the Spanish Inquisition. There was one lovely bit when Hutter, about to be visited in his room by Orlock, takes out the book on vampire lore and stares at it in horror, and the creepy music suddenly flared up into a sort of hellish wail, as though the book itself were possessed by demons; a great uncanny moment, obviously drawing upon the techniques of recent â€˜J-horrorâ€™ films. But therein lies the problem: experimental accompanists like KTL and Misty seem to be trying to impose a more â€˜modernâ€™ flavour on these films, rather than interpreting them. Itâ€™s hard to see why they took on the projects, other than for the prestige value. The experimental approach can turn into navel-gazing; at some point, whether you sync absolutely or not, you have to be self-effacing enough to provide accompaniment
Matti Byeâ€™s score for Phantom Carriage was also disappointing. He seems much more comfortable with the epic sweep of Stillerâ€™s Gosta Berling and Sir Arne. Sjostromâ€™s subtler and (ironically in this instance) more down-to-earth style demanded something slower and more restrained, maybe a solo piano. I found myself thinking of Carl Davisâ€™s great â€˜bar-roomâ€™ music for Greed.
Speaking of Davis, Iâ€™ve seen him three times at Symphony Hall in Birmingham accompanying Keaton and Lloyd with his own full-orchestra scores, to a packed (Symphony Hall is enormous) and extremely responsive house. Like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, only more frequent.
Wombatz â€“ what sort of films have you accompanied? Are you solo, or in a band?