The Real Screenplay (НАСТОЯЩИЙ СЦЕНАРИЙ) – Andreu Jacob


A short Russian thriller from 2018, The Real Screenplay (Настоящий Сценарий) follows a young and successful screenwriter who is kidnapped by someone seeking revenge for the death of his pregnant wife. The kidnapping doctor believes that the screenwriter is responsible for how his life has turned out: the doctor sees a presentation given by the screenwriter where the doctor and his wife are described in the minutest detail. Could it be that everything the screenwriter writes comes true? Co-written and directed by Sergey Znamensky, The Real Screenplay represents Znamensky’s directorial debut and asks questions on who or what is responsible for one’s actions: fate, man or God? The original score is written by Andreu Jacob. [Read more…]

GOGOL. THE BEGINNING (ГОГОЛЬ. НАЧАЛО) – Ryan Otter


Gogol. The Beginning (Гоголь. Начало) is a Russian fantasy-horror film from 2017 directed by Yegor Baranov and starring Alexander Petrov as Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, a young clerk from Petersburg. Gogol suffers mysterious seizures during which he has visions that contain clues to help solve actual crimes. Gogol, together with an investigator, travel to the small village of Dikanka to attempt to solve a series of murders. The film is loosely based on Russian dramatist Nikolai Gogol’s collection of short stories, Evenings On A Farm Near Dikanka. The film is produced by Russian production company, SREDA and the score is written by in-house composer Ryan Otter whose recent projects include the Russian 8-part biopic, Trotsky (Троцкий). [Read more…]

THE EXORCIST – Tyler Bates


In 2016, the American broadcasting network Fox debuted a TV series based on the 1971 William Peter Blatty novel The Exorcist. Creator Jeremy Slater’s journey back into the world originally established by the novel was received positively by critics. Whereas Season 1 focused on telling the whole story of the demonic possession that grips the Rance family, Season 2 followed the format of an anthology series, where Fathers Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) and Father Marcus (Ben Daniels) come to the aid of another family whilst tackling a number of additional ‘problems’. Although several of the main characters (e.g., both Fathers Tomas and Marcus) in the show appear in both seasons, many do not feature in Season 2. Mirroring some of the significant changes in the show between seasons, composer Tyler Bates wrote the score for the second series, taking over from Season 1 composer, Daniel Hart. [Read more…]

THOROUGHBREDS – Erik Friedlander


Thoroughbreds is a drama/thriller that tells the story of two teenage friends, Amanda and Lily, who hatch a plan between them to be rid of Lily’s mother’s controlling partner. Directed by first-time-director Cory Finley and starring Olivia Cooke (Amanda) and Anya Taylor-Joy (Lily), Thoroughbreds is a dark comedy that has been applauded for the performance of the central characters. The score is written by Erik Friedlander.

Originally trained as a cellist, Friedlander has composed music for ads, dance works and scored feature films (Future Weather [2012], Oh Lucy! [2018]) and documentaries (Nothing On Earth [2013]), as well as creating a number of projects for other musical disciplines. Thoroughbreds is a sparse score that is dominated by a variety of percussion instruments (played by Satoshi Takeishi) that is peppered with additional musical colours including prepared piano (played by Sylvie Courvoisier) and a small ensemble of strings (including cello). [Read more…]

PILGRIMAGE – Stephen McKeon


Pilgrimage is a powerful Irish historical drama directed by Brendan Muldowney and is set in 13th century Ireland. A group of monks leave the sanctity of their monastery and, under orders of the Vatican, must escort a sacred relic across a hostile Ireland and onwards to Rome. The faith and devotion to their task are tested from without and within as they come up against savage local tribes, Norman soldiers and even members of their own group. The low budget film stars a strong cast including Tom Holland, Richard Armitage and Jon Bernthal, and has a wonderfully dramatic score by Stephen McKeon. His score for Pilgrimage won the Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) for Best Music in 2018. [Read more…]

มะลิลา (MALILA – THE FAREWELL FLOWER) – Chapavich Temnitikul


Malila: The Farewell Flower is a Thai drama that was shown at several Asian film festivals towards the end of 2017. Written and directed by Anucha Boonyawatana and starring Sukollawat Kanarot and Anuchit Sapanpong, Malila tells the story of Shane (Kanarot) and Pitch (Sapanpong), a couple who were once lovers, but who meet again by chance some years later and together try to heal the pain experienced in their lives by attempting to rekindle their romance. The creation of traditional Thai Bai Sri flower ornaments (ornate and complicated ceremonial structures made from folded banana leaves and delicate jasmine flowers) is part of this healing process. This pastime is particularly poignant for one of the main protagonists as he takes solace from his diagnosis of cancer. The score is written by Thai composer Chapavich “Phil” Temnitikul, whose previous projects include several Thai feature and short films. [Read more…]

WASTELANDER PANDA: EXILE – Christopher Larkin


Original Review by Alan RogersPanda

Wastelander Panda: Exile (2014) is an unusual beast. The most recent creation of a larger Wastelander story arc, it’s an Australian 6-part series of 10 minute episodes that follows a family of anthropomorphic pandas across a post-apocalyptic world (think Mad Max) in search of a young girl. Isaac (together with his mother and brother) must find this girl to replace the one he killed at the beginning of the story. Children are a great commodity because of their child-bearing potential and, so that the exiled family can return to Legion (the self-contained human settlement from which they were exiled) Isaac must return with a replacement. So, Wastelander Panda: Exile is essentially a story of a violent panda’s quest to kidnap a human child. Director Victoria Cocks has created quite a dark and violent world where the presence of the pandas is played completely straight. The score is composed by Australian Christopher Larkin.

[Read more…]