Williams’ film scores matter, but is Hollywood really listening?

Posted on: June 10, 2016

In Thursday’s (6/9) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed writes that this week John Williams received the American Film Institute’s 44th Life Achievement Award, “the first time AFI’s honor—which has gone to such film greats as Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock … is being given to a composer…. This week … I watched ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and realized just how threatened symphonic film scores have become. This seventh in the ‘Star Wars’ series has everything you would expect from Williams, whose music played an incalculable role in creating the ‘Star Wars’ phenomenon from the start. Thanks to Gustavo Dudamel conducting the opening and closing credits in this latest ‘Star Wars’ movie, Williams’ music has never sounded better…. [During] Williams’ 10-minute symphonic movement [over closing credits] … the only musicians I caught were Williams, conductor and orchestrator William Ross and Dudamel. The musicians are of less importance than assistants, apprentices, drivers or caterers. Do the producers care? … There would have been no ‘Star Wars’ franchise without the first film, which had something far more lasting than a pop culture moment. What made it last was the music. Hollywood is not paying attention.”

Posted June 10, 2016

John Williams photo by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times