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"Doug's Corner"

4/14/14

If you like movie music from long ago, you probably know the score from The Robe reasonably well. Maybe even amazingly well. I've often stated that the love theme, for Diana (Jean Simmons) and Marcellus (Richard Burton), remains to this day one of the three or four greatest such themes of all time. The creation of a great love theme is - in my humble opinion - an art long lost in contemporary films. El Cid has one, Ben-Hur has one, Spartacus has one, The Wind And The Lion has one... something about period epics and love themes. But all those movies go way back. So maybe today composers have lost the touch, maybe directors hate them, I don't know. But pointing fingers is meaningless. The world of The Robe is just a thing of the past, both literally and figuratively.

Anyway, so I watched The Robe over the weekend. All of it. I hadn't done this in many years. My opinion fluctuates but I still find the movie too set-bound with too many processed shots to have the scope worthy of a debut CinemaScope feature... but the Roman Empire backdrop, the inspiring subject matter and the drama itself are still powerful. I had no trouble sitting through the entire picture. So back to that love theme... and the scenes it appears in. I noticed something I had never noticed before and it was actually cool to ponder over. When the theme first appears in the movie it's during the slave marketplace scene, where Diana and Marcellus see each other for the first time since childhood. It plays briefly then gives way to music for Caligula and the drama proceeds. Then it reappears in a magnificent reading as the two meet again, this time with Marcellus bidding farewell to Diana as he embarks on his assignment to Jerusalem. The theme does not appear again until Marcellus and Diana are again re-united much later. Then a lot more drama plays out before this gorgeous theme plays again, this time as Marcellus leaves yet again, now to deal with personal demons. A lot more drama plays out, some of it quite moving, before Diana and Marcellus are really able to again meet. But this time he is being held prisoner by the Emperor, and the meeting sees them separated by prison bars. And again, as this wonderful theme plays, they are parting as he is taken away to meet his fate. Okay, so I am condensing the comings and goings here a bit. But anyway, so somewhere along the way it suddenly dawns on me that this most magnificent of love themes, this most emotionally rich and moving tribute to the joining of hearts and souls is scoring just numerous sequences of meetings and partings... and nothing else! There is nary a real love scene per se anywhere in the movie! This is not a flaw, on the contrary it adds considerable emotional weight to their story. And it gives meaning to the ever-present feel of longing that the theme always displayed. I grew up passionate over this theme on the ancient Decca LP that I acquired sometime in the sixties, where the track was known as "Farewell To Diana". I never really thought about that title, however... until this weekend.

4/6/14

The string of Disney/Marvel superhero movies have all been terrific to me. So it would appear for many other comic-origin movie fans as well. They're all big successes at the box office. It would appear to continue as such. I was really excited to read that Captain America: The Winter Soldier apparently broke all box office records with the most successful April opening of all time. Some $96 million and change in the first couple of days alone. Wow! Disney & Marvel continue to get these super tales on screen just right. Congratulations to all concerned for making them about stories and characters and not just about blowing things up. I think this newest Captain America tale is one of the best of the bunch. I won't hide my extra enthusiasm. Intrada has happily been a co-branding partner with Disney & Marvel on several of the soundtrack CDs, including Winter Soldier. With The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World also in our catalog, we've become an admittedly tiny but still exciting part of the Marvel superhero universe. Our CD arrives in stock in just a few days, too!

Yesterday offered up some soundtrack fun as well. I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at Taylor White's Creature Features event in Burbank, celebrating the music of Bruce Broughton, with our new release of Young Sherlock Holmes getting the spotlight. Seeing Bruce get so much well-deserved attention from his fans was a treat. I came with a small Intrada group which included Jeff (sales manager), Kerry (CFO) and Joe (graphic designer.) We all had the fun of mingling with soundtrack fans and took extra pleasure in seeing people walking around with Bruce Broughton albums for signing. Yep. Just about all of them were Intrada projects. Sure helped make the day memorable. An extra treat: all those incredible models in Taylor's shop. Sci-fi/horror/fantasy buffs must go to heaven every time they're in that place! A lot of eye-catchers in the store but one grabbed my eye in particular. It sticks with me still: the "Thunder Road" from Explorers. It looked exactly like the "real" one, just smaller. I didn't have an extra grand in my pocket so the model is still there for someone else to enjoy... and maybe own!







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