Category Archives: Movies

Shostakovich’s First Film Score

Dmitri Shostakovich wrote 29 film scores. The first of these was composed when he was 23 years old. The New Babylon is an expressionistic depiction of the Paris Commune of 1871. It was released in 1929 and was a failure. It’s plot is summarized here. The music is brilliant and presages virtually everything Shostakovich was…

Read the full entry

Ella Brennan – Commanding the Table

This is not a film review, rather it’s a recommendation that you see the movie the title of which is above. Netflix has it. The movie tells the story of Ella Brennan who has been the Doyenne of New Orleans restaurateurs for more than 60 years. She first made Brennan’s into a eating powerhouse. She…

Read the full entry

Shostakovich – The Gadfly

Dmitri Shostakovich’s music seems to be in the process of eclipsing that of all other 20th century composers, again proving Verdi’s dictum that the only critic that counted, in the long run, was the audience. The Russian composer was a prolific composer of film music. His most famous piece from that ouvre is the Romance…

Read the full entry

Ich Ging zu Ihm – Korngold Das Wunder Der Heliane

The title of this piece is the 2nd act aria from Das Wunder Der Heliane by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957). The opera was completed before the composer reached his 30th birthday. His most popular opera, Die Tote Stadt, was written when he was only 23. Born in Moravia, but raised in Vienna, Krongold was the…

Read the full entry

John Wayne – A Biography

John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman 672 pages Simon & Schuster – 2014   Why a new 574 page biography (this total does not include the notes and index) on a movie star who died in 1979 and who likely made more bad films than any other actor in the history of the business? Because…

Read the full entry

Metropolis Elektro at the LHUCA

Fritz Lang’s silent movie epic with an original soundtrack was performed live to two sold out audiences on March 22 and 23 at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. The music was written by Scott & Amy Faris. The film was the opening work of the 2013 Flatland Film Festival. Metropolis is a landmark in the history…

Read the full entry

When the Saints Go Marching In

Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye in a scene from The Five Pennies – 1959. Here’s an encore. Danny Kaye – Tchaikovsky (Weill/Gershwin) Here are the Russian composers mentioned in the song, in order: Witold Maliszewski, Anton Rubinstein, Anton Arensky, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Wassily Sapellnikoff, Nikolay Dmitriev, Alexander Tcherepnin, Ivan Kryzhanovsky, Leopold Godowsky, Nikolai Artsibushev, Stanisław…

Read the full entry

Flatland Film Festival Opens

Lubbock’s  5th Annual Flatland Film Festival opened last night (Oct 15) at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. The first half of the program offered four shorts films . The second presented a full length ( 85 minutes) feature, A Quiet Little Marriage. Spoiler alert! The plots of these films are discussed in…

Read the full entry

Fitzcaraldo and Opera

Somehow I didn’t get around to seeing Werner Herzog’s movie Fitzcaraldo, released in 1982, until now. I thought it was about a mad attempt to haul a steamboat over a small mountain. While moving the boat over the obstacle that separates one river from another is a central part of the story, the film is…

Read the full entry


twitter facebook rss