Last Sunday night I had the pleasure of attending The Big Picture- A Celebration of 75 Years
of 20th Century Fox at the famed Hollywood Bowl. Turner Classic
Movies host Robert Osborne did the honors, introducing us to various clips from
Fox’s great library.The LA Philharmonic
conductor David Newman, son of the legendary music composer Alfred Newman and a
noted composer himself, re-lived the magic of the great Fox film scores,
delighting the 15,000 or so fans that attended the two-hour event.There were plenty of screens constructed to
allow the audience to enjoy the film segments, though each clip was badly cued
with a blank screen and an anxious orchestra was forced to poise for an anxious
30 seconds in between scenes.I thought
the opening well-edited montage of some 175 movie clips was by far the best
part of the evening.
I can well imagine the pride David Newman must have
felt when conducting from the same music sheets his father had once
utilized.The scores ranged from was
from such classics as Zorro, How Green
Was My Valley, Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing to the world famous Fox
fanfare itself. There were also scores
of David Raksin for Laura, Jerry
Goldsmith’s Planet Of The Apes and
James Horner’s themes for Avatar.It was quite a treat to see a live orchestra
play such memorable music. Surprisingly, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s extensive
Fox legacy was mentioned only briefly in the concluding Sound Of Music salute.Fifteen minutes was devoted solely to the climax of Avatar, making for a not particularly well-proportioned sampling of
the Fox studio sound.In the aggregate,
my main complaint was that the evening should have been longer to accommodate
so many great Fox scores that were left unrepresented.
There were a number of ironies about the evening. No
one from Fox officially attended (or at least was publicly introduced).
Likewise, no former Fox celebrities or veteran employees were present to lend a
hand in toasting a studio that gave Hollywood its very voice through the
invention of sound-on film, otherwise known as Movietone.It would have made the evening far more
special if it had been arranged for someone from Fox to address the audience. One
of the other ironies is that the evening was indirectly sponsored through
Warner Brothers, which owns Turner Classic Movies, rather strange since Warner’s
own sound system Vitaphone was replaced by that of Fox. The Warners-Fox
relationship had another historic precedent when the two studios collaborated
on producing Irwin Allen’s 1974 blockbuster The
Towering Inferno, which marked the first production to be co-produced by
rival studios.On behalf of all retro
movie lovers, I’ll offer a “Here’s looking at you” salute to TCM for making the
effort to commemorate the 75th anniversary of this great studio.
We were saddened to hear that our friends at Movie Grooves, one of the UK's best sources for rare film soundtracks, is going out of business. There are precious few companies that specialize in film scores and Movie Grooves proved to be a terrific source for retro film fans worldwide. We wish them the best. Here is the statement sent by E mail from Movie Grooves:
We're sorry to announce that Movie Grooves will shortly
be closing down - for ever.
IMPORTANT: All pending
orders will be fulfilled before we close.
Please don't cancel any pending
orders or payments. We know that some of you are waiting for Tootsie and Outland
(and items you may have ordered whilst ordering those) and they WILL be sent to
you in due course. Tootsie and Outland are being held by our overseas supplier
and will be shipped to us shortly.
We will no longer be stocking or
taking pre-orders on any new or forthcoming releases or back catalogue items and
we are no longer selling any items full stop (or period, as
they say in the USA).
Movie Grooves is closing because I feel that it's
time for me to move on and do something different with my life. The business has
changed slightly to when I started out and, of course, the global financial
situation - whilst not being a direct reason for closing down - has affected
trading conditions and contributed to me making the decision to close. Yes,
there's a sadness at closing, but I know it's the right decision so I also have
an excitement at what possibilities the future holds (schmaltzy, but
I've had a great eight years or so running Movie Grooves. Movie
Grooves was something that had its gestation years and years ago with my love of
60s and 70s horror, cult and b-movies which then got me into the soundtracks
from those movies which then developed into a successful business during which
time I had the pleasure to meet some great people, gain some new friends and
also attend some fantastic related events. I even had a crack at DJing a few
times in clubs and also on the radio (thanks Jonny!) which was so much fun. I
also had the experience of running a successful business selling products I
loved and that provided a service to many like-minded and friendly people all
around the world.
I hope that I offered a good level of service -
something that was high on my list of priorities when starting out. And I hope
that every customer took pleasure from the CDs and LPs (and DVDs) that they
purchased from Movie Grooves over the years.
Many thanks to each and
every customer for your business and especially to the loyal band of regulars
(you know who you are!) - thanks!
All that's left to say is that as a
final send-off I'll be playing a selection of my favourite soundtrack/library
tracks on Jonny Trunk's 'OST' Radio show on Resonance FM on Saturday 25th
September from 4.30pm - 6.30pm UK time. I may be having a few drinks throughout,
hopefully lots of laughs and perhaps at points even crying like a small child so
it could be quite a funny/harrowing/interesting listen.
If you live in
London you can listen on 104.4 FM or if you live elsewhere on the planet and
have an internet connection you can listen live at http://resonancefm.com/listen - put it in your diary
For old times sake I'll probably be running a silly competition so
you could even win a few CDs, LPs or DVDs.