for Cinetalk.net  (at FMF Krakow)

Visiting Krakow Film Music Festival (FMF #11), for the 4th time, is Hollywood’s most interesting composer to emerge from the 1980’s, Elliot Goldenthal, the first winner of FMF’s coveted Kilar Award, back in 2015. His silver screen efforts go from the eclecticism of the avant-garde to the skillful and beautifully written concert music. He can be simple and efficient and then suddenly display his full skill and personal signature, throwing in some exquisite and deep solos like a lover’s caress, while adding sound experimentation the next minute. Sometimes deceptively low key (Michael Mann’s Public Enemies), some other times embracing action-wise assignment (his ‘Batman’ inputs would be a fine example). Simply put, the man has it all, somewhere up his sleeve. Good old school scoring meets the new century.

Not exclusively devoted to the Cinema’s mecca, Goldenthal also filled the concert hall with some equally refreshing pieces. Requiems, symphonies, ballets, musicals, theatre. You name it, he probably did it. And he made it sound good. If you feel like being jealous of a contemporary composer, he’s the right choice.

As far as the ‘moving images’ medium is concerned, there are some strong collaborations with filmmakers, with irrefutable proof out there on CD’s and LP’S. Feeling a bit jazzy? Go for the B-side of the LP (A-side contains a roster of songs) for his fine early score to Gus Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy (1989). You want to explore his ability at parody writing? Neil Jordan’s The Butcher Boy (1996) – in which he showed how he can change the pace and mood of a black comedy with the right music – may be your cup of tea. Intimate dramatic writing? His Oscar winning score to Julie Taymor’s Frida (2002), might take you to another world. Michael Mann’s Heat (1995) recorded with the Kronos Quartet is also on the wish list.

But let’s face it, we do have some extra love kept for his large-scale takes of epic proportions. There are numerous majestic moments in scores made for Neil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire (1994), Cobb (1994), with some dense psychological characterization and 1996’s Oscar nominated (also Neil Jordan’s) Michael Collins.

Alien 3 (1992), Demolition Man (1993), Sphere (1998), In Dreams (1998), all bear similitude to these epic scores, but contain the best of both worlds. They expose Goldenthal’s penchant for manipulated orchestral sounds through inventive experimental approach. In Julie Taymor’s Titus (1999) the composer mixes it all (classic, rock, jazz, techno, etc) in what could be a mess. But hey! It’s Elliot G. so it works. It works big time.

This year, at the Film Music Festival, we’ll witness some of this type of orchestral bravura.

First, as an active participant in the Penderecki2Cinema concert (see: https://cinetalk.net/2018/05/27/11th-fmf-krakow-penderecki2cinema/), Elliot Goldenthal will introduce his Concerto for Trumpet and String Orchestra (featuring Norwegian soloist Tine Thing Helseth). This is a composition in which he wanted to salute Polish American friendship, mirroring his own strong relation to the festival through the historical figure of Polish military man, Tadeusz Kościuszko (also a celebrated hero of the American revolution).

Later during the festival (Saturday June 2nd) Elliot Goldenthal’s lavish score to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Suite, from Hironobu Sakaguchi‘s 2001 film, will be performed during the Video Games Music Gala Concert.

Once more, the Brooklyn guy will leave us speechless, thanks to FMF’s team.

FMF site : http://fmf.fm/programme/date/all

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