Interstellar… Music

Gary Westfahl’s reviews save me lots of time and money. Whenever I think a new SF film might be interesting enough to see…. his review often persuades me otherwise. (And when I do see them, my reaction is much the same as Gary’s, which is why I rely on him for reviews.) Thus, Interstellar. Worth seeing? I go to see so few new movies anyway, it takes some convincing to get me to get to the theater. At the same time, that Neil deGrasse Tyson has taken this film seriously enough to tweet about it, suggests it’s worth taking seriously. At least seriously enough to see. If only to keep up with what all the other SF filmgoers are seeing, and how the broader culture perceives science fiction, via films like this.

But even without seeing Interstellar, I do have a reaction to one criticism of the film, about the music. I’ve already posted this on Facebook:

The 7 biggest problems with “Interstellar”

“Hans Zimmer is a monster who must be stopped” is among the complaints.

If the soundtrack overwhelms the dialogue, this is not the composer’s fault; it’s the sound editor’s, or perhaps the director’s.

Several of my favorite film scores are by Zimmer – especially scores for “The Thin Red Line” (a film I like), “Beyond Rangoon” (a film I’ve never seen), and “The Da Vinci Code” (a film I saw but don’t care about). The scores I like, independent of the films. How the scores are used in those films is not within the composer’s control.

I remember seeing “The Hours”, over a decade ago, with an Oscar-nominated score by Philip Glass. I’m a Philip Glass fan, but as I watched the film I was aware about how relatively *loud* the score was, and wouldn’t this turn off movie-goers who found his music distasteful? Even as a Glass fan, I found the music obtrusive.

I’ve just listened to several YouTube tracks of Zimmer’s score to Interstellar, and I find them quite intriguing. If they interfere with the film, it’s not his fault.

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