ORPHANS & KINGDOMS – Giovanni Rotondo


Original Review by Alan RogersOrphans and Kingdoms

Orphans & Kingdoms is a New Zealand drama written and directed by Paolo Rotondo. Three troubled teenagers break into a holiday home to taste a life much removed from their usual experiences. When the businessman homeowner returns the kids attack him and making him a hostage in his own home. However, as a series of flashbacks slowly reveal, the man has demons to keep hidden and the presence of the teenagers act as a catalyst to bringing old wounds to the surface. The score is composed Italian-born composer and orchestrator Giovanni Rotondo, whose recent works include music for the documentary film, Ilaria Alpi: L’Ultimo Viaggio and the TV drama Il Giudice Meschino.

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LOVE IN THE POST – Peter Coyte


Original Review by Alan RogersLove

The 2014 film Love In The Post, directed by Joanna Callaghan, is inspired by the book The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond by French philosopher Jacques Derrida. The book (published in 1980) is divided into two halves, and first half contains a series of love letters by Derrida. In one of these letters he recounts the experience of seeing a card reproduction of a medieval depiction of Socrates taking dictation from Plato. The philosopher speculates on what Plato may be doing behind Socrates’ back, leading Derrida to wonder: “…imagine the day, when we will be able to send sperm by post card.” As with the book, which combines elements of fact and fiction, Callaghan’s film combines the stories of a professor of literature (an authority on Derrida and whose university department is about to be closed), a film director trying to complete a film about The Post Card and filmed extracts from interviews with real-life scholars of Derrida.. For the film’s protagonists, a series of letters act as a catalyst to events that will change everyone’s lives.

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DOFUS. LIVRE 1: JULITH – Guillaume Houzé


Original Review by Alan RogersDofus

Sometimes you approach listening to a film score with no idea of what to expect and it’s not until you listen to the audio clips that you realise that you may be onto a winner. This is the case with Guillaume Houzé’s score for the 2016 French animated film, Dofus. Livre 1: Julith. The film is one of several spin-off projects from a popular 2005 massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Set in a world featured in two earlier animated TV series shown in France (Wakfu and Dofus: Aux Trésors de Kérubim), Dofus. Livre 1: Julith is a feature-length film, directed by Jean-Jacques Denis and Anthony Roux, and is based upon the 52-episode Dofus: Aux Trésors de Kérubim. [Read more…]

AND THE DEVIL MAKES THREE – NE†HERWORLD


Original Review by Alan RogersAnd the devil makes three

I know very little about a small independent film, And The Devil Makes Three, other than what the scant information I found on IMDB says about it. Written and directed by Samantha Friend and Doug Murman, the movie premiered at the recent North Hollywood CineFest and follows two friends “…tasked with packing up the belongings of a deceased grandmother…[they]…venture to a house nestled deep in the woods. Isolated from the outside world, strange noises, lights in the forest, and mysterious locals plague the pair as they begin to wonder if something else may be lurking in the woods at night.” From what little I have discovered, and from viewing the trailer, And The Devil Makes Three seems like your typical haunted house film where a couple of unsuspecting types are holed up in a house (or cabin) where “things happen.” The movie has an original score by NE†HERWORLD. [Read more…]

CRUSHED – Aaron Kenny


Original Review by Alan RogersCrushed

Australian mystery thriller Crushed (2015), written and directed by Megan Riakos, stars Sarah Bishop as a young woman (Ellia) who returns to the family vineyard in rural New South Wales after her father is crushed by a barrel in a freak accident. However, when it is discovered her father’s death may not have been accidental, suspicion falls on members of her family. Ellia becomes increasingly isolated as she searches for clues to solving her father’s death. The score is written by Australian-born composer Aaron Kenny, whose previous works include scores for both film and television, as well as works for musical theatre and the concert hall. Kenny’s score is predominantly moody and atmospheric with little obvious thematic material and relies mainly on the strings of the US-based Youngstown Scoring Orchestra to establish the feel of the score. The composer also uses piano which seems to be a focus for the emotional aspects of the score at key moments of the film. [Read more…]

GHAYAL ONCE AGAIN – Vipin Mishra


Original Review by Alan RogersGhayal

Sometimes a film score comes along that, when listened to, leaves you a bit confused. You like what you hear but at the same time you come away from the listening experience disappointed. Mumbai-based composer Vipin Mishra’s music for the 2016 Indian action flick, Ghayal Once Again, is one of those film scores.

Written, directed and starring Sunny Deol, Ghayal Once Again is a sequel to the 1990 action-comedy Ghayal (also starring Deol). In the original film, Ajay Mehra (Deol) seeks revenge for the murder of his brother. This original movie was received quite well but the same cannot be said of the sequel as reviews for Ghayal Once Again are somewhat mixed. Seemingly fashioned into a sort of Mission: Impossible/True Lies/Jason Bourne-styled action film, Ghayal Once Again sees ageing Ajay Mehra coming to the rescue of a group of teenagers who have become the target of the local billionaire hoodlum. [Read more…]

NUMB – Alain Mayrand


Original Review by Alan RogersNumb

There’s something about images of snowy landscapes and man’s struggle to survive in these environments that appeals. And out of the myriad of soundtrack releases that happen nowadays the artwork for Alain Mayrand’s score for Numb was bound to be an immediate draw. And, having been impressed with Mayrand’s previous score, Comforting Skin, I was keen to hear this new effort. Director Jason R. Goode’s debut feature film, Numb, stars Jamie Bamber and Stefanie von Pfetten as Will and Dawn, a couple experiencing dire financial circumstances. The acquisition of information appearing to offer them a resolution to all their money problems seems too good to be true. Set in the wilderness of a harsh British Columbia winter, the couple set out in search of their “pot of gold” despite being ill-equipped for the quest. Goode’s character-driven thriller charts how greed clouds their better judgement, leading them into severe personal danger at the hands of the hostile environment. Having picked up a couple of hitchhikers on the way doesn’t help matters. [Read more…]