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…]

PIXEL SOLDIER – Alex Ball & Scott Hazell


Original Review by Alan RogersPixel

Pixel Soldier is an excellent short animated film written, directed and produced by Chris Landy. The movie follows a group of video game characters as they are sent behind enemy lines to take and hold a building of strategic importance. Senseless killing on both sides ensues as the troops fight for survival. Landy shifts between a number of different perspectives to tell the story and skilfully moves between 2-D and 3-D animation as these viewpoints change. British composer Alex Ball was tasked with writing the score for Pixel Soldier, beginning to write music for the project when still at an early stage back in 2012 and being responsible for the overall approach to the music. Fellow composer Scott Hazell joined the team later and provided additional music for several scenes. [Read more…]

MILO – Music for a Small Orchestra – Guy van Nueten


Original Review by Alan RogersMilo

Milo (2012) is an Irish-Dutch co-production starring Lorcan Bonner as 10-year old Milo, a boy living a rigidly controlled life. Milo has a skin condition, the nature of which is revealed later in the movie as events unfold. Rebelling against the strict rules he lives under, he runs away and falls into the hands of a criminal couple. Milo enjoys the freedom the couple offers him but that enjoyment ends when he find out the truth about his “sensitive skin” condition. Part a study of a dysfunctional family, part road movie, the music for Milo is written by Belgian composer and producer Guy van Nueten.

[Read more…]