Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tell Me Alexandre ...?

I hope to be interviewing Alexandre Desplat shortly and thought I'd enlist your help, dear readers. I can read music and play the piano but that's about the extent of my musical ability / knowledge. What would you ask the arguably busiest film composer? He's up for an Oscar this year for Fantastic Mr. Fox (his third nomination) with a trail of brilliant scores already behind him. There's so many to love I bet none of you will have the same favorites. Mine are Birth (2004) and The Painted Veil (2006) thus far... but there's yet more to come next year.

What would you ask him... and which other composers do you love?

26 comments:

Lúcia Leiro said...

I'd like to know what kind of music he plays in New Moon. Is it a sonate?

Lúcia Leiro said...

I'd like to know what kind of music he plays in New Moon. Is it a sonate?

Jim T said...

Nice! And, thanks for asking us :)


I would like to know whether he always writes the music that his director tells him to or if he, sometimes, reads the script and decides what kind of music suits, even if the track seems off but he believes that there is an element in a particular scene that has to be understood by the viewer (for example, a seemingly happy scene which is actually sad) and it can only happen through the choice of music. What I mean is, does he have an opinion on other things besides the notes? Though I would expect not, since he has so little time in his hands. About 100 scores per year? :p

And, does he think he has some special characteristic? Does he think his music can be identified by some trait?

So, you play the piano? Good for you! I bought a keyboaerd, a year ago and I'm (whenever I remember) trying to learn to play and even some day compose. It's hard :(

Ángel Ramos said...

I'm absolutely in love with Alberto Iglesias. His scores for Almodovar's films (specially broken embraces and talk to her) are among the best music compositions for film in recent years.

Ángel Ramos said...

From Alexandre Desplat's work my favorite is Lust Caution

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH68kH2ajdA

rosengje said...

I would love to hear about if he took into account anything different about providing the score for an animated film vs. live action.

Rob T. said...

The only present-day film composer I'm into is Thomas Newman, for whom I have fanatical devotion. I don't really know enough about Alexandre Desplat to discuss his scores with any degree of knowledge, but it might be interesting to know if he currently has any projects in the works outside of the movies.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

Say what you want but I LOVE LOVE LOVE Benjamin Button's Desplat score.

From this year, Chéri's and Fox's are astonishing.


I'd like to ask him where does he get the inspiration to make such thoroughly different but equally beautiful scores for so many different types of film (just this year: comedy, drama, animated...)...


He's one of my favourite composers in the biz and I hope he goes the John Williams' path (and not Thomas Newman's). He deserves A LOT of Oscars. He's brilliant.

Amir said...

lust caution is my favorite.

i have a question: is working on movies with different languages and from different cultures difficult and does he even consider that at all? say like, if lust caution was an english speaking war film, would that change his perspective at all or does he not consider the elements of chinese, french, english music at all?

Burning Reels said...

Along with Clint Mansell, clearly the most original and talented composers working today.

I just hope he doesn't burn himself out and become derivative of himself.

I'd like to know which other composers and artists (music or non) have influenced and inspired him over the years.

Anonymous said...

Can you ask him just about making Birth in general? It is one of my favorite films and scores, and I feel like there is very little information on its gestation. Specifically, could he talk about working with Jonathan Glazer and what his ideas were about music in the film.

Robert said...

I'm interested to know how he got himself into the business - it's something that you isn't really publicized, how a composer like Desplat goes from being a music student to scoring seven films a year!

Billy D said...

Oh God, the Painted Veil has one of the best scores of the decade, hands down. Absolutely gorgeous.

I'd second Jim T's suggestion to ask if he thinks he has a musical "signature" or motif that runs throughout all his work.

Glenn Dunks said...

Birth! One of the three greatest films scores I've ever heard, definitely.

Ask him why other composers are so lazy, perhaps?

adri said...

Like Burning Reels, I'd like to know what other composers have influenced him, and what film composers he admires and why.
I'd also be interested in knowing what he thinks about how film scores have changed or evolved since the early days of film - wasn't the music played as a live accompaniment in the early days?

Slayton said...

I would ask him about his creative process. Is he very rigid in the way he approaches the brainstorming/composition process, or does he take ideas as they come and then work on building them into a whole?

richard said...

i LOVE his score to Girl with a Pearl Earring. it helps me fall asleep some nights.

Linda said...

I'd like to know if he, when he has to do the music to a sequel, listens to the previous soundtracks.

So yeah I'm mainly thinking of him doing Harry Potter 7. While I loved his New Moon score (much, MUCH better than the Twilight score - The Meadow should have been Bella's lullaby, seriously) I was a bit peeved/disappointed that *none* of the themes from Twilight were used, not even Bella's Lullaby which is pretty important in the story/to the characters.

And otherwise I'd love to know which composers he likes, particularly classical composers. :)

City_Of _Lights said...

If you are interviewing Desplat I'm sure you'll ask him about Birth. I would love to know what he has to say about it.

Other favorite composers....Dave Grusin, Michael J. Lewis, Jerry Fielding, Elmer Bernstein, John Newton Howard

All time favorite....Georges Delerue

Dimitra said...

Is there any work of his that he believes it stands above the rest?

Favorite composers: Dario Marianelli, Michael Nyman, Philip Glass, Nino Rota, Zbegniew Preisner

Jim T said...

Dimitra! Shame on you! You don't include Hatzidakis?

PS: Dimitris ki egw :)

Daryn G said...

I really love Caleb Sampson's music for Fast, Cheap & Out of Control. The score is so discordant from what you see on screen that it forces you to really think about what you're seeing and hearing.

I would like to know if he has ever tried to adapt one of his film scores into a composition to be played in a concert hall or by a chamber group.

Rebecca said...

'Birth' is my favorite, although I have not seen some of his major scores. I loved that the score from 'Birth' seemed like such an un-traditional movie score in terms of what instruments are highlighted and how he uses them. (Heavy on winds, whereas most scores are heavy on strings & percussion and seem to use winds for atmosphere, not to carry the melodies).

Thomas said...

can you ask him where admirers can find/purchase his scores (as in, the fully orchestrated sheet music)? I'm a music student and love listening to music and reading the score at the same time :)

RYAN M said...

I'm a HUGE film soundtrack/score connoisseur, but I have to say my all-time favorite score of any film so far, EVER, has to be Clint Mansell's for The Fountain. I know the film tends to get a bashing as Aronofsky's weakest, but damn...the music pretty much BECAME the film for me. It's so haunting and makes you SEE all the lights and beautiful compositions of the film, all just by listening. Wonderful, wonderful score, and I always eagerly await a new Mansell score (Moon!).

Alex said...

Oh! COMPOSERS!! The passion behind the passion for film!

Michael Nyman (Gattaca, The Piano)
Philip Glass (The Hours)
Alex North (Streetcar Named Desire)
Yann Tiersen (Amelie, Goodbye Lenin!)
Abel Korzeniowski (A Single Man)
Mark Bradshaw (Bright Star)
Dario Marianelli (Atonement)
Zbegniew Preisner
Elmer Bernstein (To Kill A Mockingbird, Far From Heaven)
ENNIO MORRICONE or, as I like to call him, The Great One(Navajo Joe is the theme of my life)