“Lights! Action! Music!”

A one hour documentary on film composers, their creative process and their collaborations with directors such as Ang Lee, Francis Ford Coppola and Spike Lee. See review below….

“Good old WLIW/21 has a hidden little treasure under a rock tonight, so a good thing I’ve turned over said rock: “Lights! Action! Music!” tonight at 9:30 is a particularly well executed doc about a particularly interesting craft – motion picture composers and their glorious art. “L!A!M!” is less a showcase  for the music and more one for the art of composition itself. How do composers actually create the music for a movie? Watch on: There are a lot of interviews with major directors (Francis Ford Coppola) and major composers (John Barry, David Shire, Terence Blanchard) with each explaining why a movie wouldn’t be a movie without the stuff you hear. (In a word, music conveys emotion, which is what most people are shopping for when they sit down in front of the screen, according to Coppola.

Here’s Elliott Goldenthal (“Interview with a Vampire”) on one youthful lesson:”My first [composition] was a porno movie – I was in my teens and, to say the least, it required a lot of music. My first lesson was stay out of the way of the movie. Write stuff that doesn’t interfere with what’s on screen.” Viewers will wonder why their favorite score wasn’t included, or at least given greater weight – John Williams’ many great scores (for “Star Wars” alone), or the incredibly rich, lush, overripe oeuvre of Erich Korngold, or “On the Waterfront,” or “Citizen Kane,” or even “Psycho.” But you may do well do remember that “L!A!M!” isn’t striving for completeness as much as for under-standing. And by that standard, it, ummm, scores. Must watch or must avoid: MW. Definitely”.