DIVISION CELL – The Audio Grill

Original Review by Alan RogersDivision Cell

Division Cell is a minimalist puzzle game for iOS and Android platforms from new Finnish game studio Hyperspace Yard. The basic idea of the game is to transform asymmetric polygons into symmetrical shapes. In order to do this, the player must tap designated shape borders causing the shapes to change, hopefully making them symmetrical. What makes the game particularly infuriating is that changing one shape can affect other shapes and potentially undoing any good work done already. The entire audio for the game – including the soundtrack – has been created by game soundtrack production company, The Audio Grill. [Read more…]

AMERICAN TINTYPE – Hanan Townshend

Original Review by Alan RogersAmerican Tintype

American Tintype is a short, 5-minute documentary film from 2012. Directed by filmmaker Matt Morris, the film focuses on the work of photographer Harry Taylor who discovered a passion for tintype photography after the loss of a close family member. Taylor is engaging film subject and over the course of the 5 minutes or so we hear how he became interested in this 150-year-old craft, are given a glimpse of the photographic process itself and also see a number beautiful and unique examples of his work. As far as who Morris could use to provide the score he was looking for, Hanan Townshend was the composer of choice. Hearing a particularly striking piece of music in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011), Morris became aware of the music of Hanan Townshend and thought that his style would suit the tone of his own film.  [Read more…]

NONAMES – Takeshi Furukawa

Original Review by Alan RogersNonames

NONAMES, a 2010 film written, directed and co-produced by American-born Kathy Lindboe, stars James Badge Dale as Kevin, a young man who, when his mother dies, decides to remain in his hometown rather than move to the big city with his father. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin mill town offers no opportunities and everyone tells Kevin that he will not amount to anything if he remains in the town. The film explores the consequences of trying to hold on to the past even with a lack of opportunities rather than letting the past go and starting afresh elsewhere. The score is supplied by Japanese-born composer Takeshi Furukawa (Star Trek: Enterprise, CSI: Miami, Star Wars: Clone Wars) and is an interesting example of what is possible with limited time and budget. However, it lacks any sort of a lasting punch that elevates it above much of what is currently being written for independent films. [Read more…]

My Favourite Scores – 1944

Double indemnity

  • Double Indemnity
  • Miklós Rózsa
  • Koch Records / 1997 / 26:26

This is Rózsa at his film noir best – probably. James Sedares & the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s accomplished suite starts off with the well-known title theme that, from the outset of the score, tells the vigilant audience that no-one is going to emerge from the film happily. Although the score is devoid of much “action music”, there are several memorable themes that deliver the required emotional responses: a “full-on” love theme and a restless “film noir-ish” theme/motif. The score oozes many of the trademark sounds that goes to make up the so-called “Rózsa Sound.” [Read more…]

FAAN SE TREIN – Nik Sakellarides

Original Review by Alan RogersFaan Se Trein

In Faan se Trein (Faan’s Train), Wille Esterhuizen plays Faan, a burly simpleton with a love of trains. He is the focus of differing opinions with the townsfolk of a close-knit community in the Karoo region of South Africa where Faan lives. His simple-mindedness and his child-like episodes of anger coupled with his strength splits the townsfolk: some feel threatened by this combination and want him institutionalised whereas others think him harmless. Everything is brought to a head when Faan’s father (and the “responsible adult” in his son’s life) dies. The situation is made more complex when some of the townsfolk realise the value of Faan’s inheritance and manipulate the Faan’s child-like innocent for their own financial gain. Based upon a successful 1975 play penned by South African playwright, Pieter Fourie, the film (directed by Koos Roets) has been receiving positive reviews from critics. [Read more…]

My Favourite Scores – 1943

For Whom the bell Tolls

  • For Whom The Bell Tolls
  • Victor Young
  • Classic Soundtrack Collector / 2013 / 58:49

I first came across Young’s Oscar-nominated score for For Whom The Bell Tolls as an 8-minute suite which was featured on the excellent Koch International Classics CD, “Shane: A Tribute To Victor Young” (New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Kaufman). Listening to almost an hour of the original score highlights the quality of Young’s score.

Drawing from a number of influences, For Whom The Bell Tolls also covers a number of different emotions delivering a varied listen. [Read more…]

2013 Reel Music Awards – The Nominees

Reel Music Logo - 2013 AWARDS2013 Reel Music Awards

Can there be too many awards given out for soundtracks? I hope not! In what is the first Reel Music Awards I aim to shine a light on the scores released in 2013 and which I have found particularly noteworthy. Whether it is music composed for film, TV of video games that received a release in 2013 or for pre-2013 titles that received a release in 2013, these awards aim to celebrate soundtracks.

The nominees within each category are listed alphabetically. [Read more…]