What’s Eating Jay Gatsby?: Music and Spectacle in a Jazz Age

By Michael W. Harris

I feel the need to begin this review with a disclaimer: I have not read The Great Gatsby in fourteen years.  I know this figure so precisely because the first and only time I ever read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel was in the summer of 1999, the summer after I graduated from high school.  Continue reading “What’s Eating Jay Gatsby?: Music and Spectacle in a Jazz Age”

Pacific Rim and the Art of Life

By Michael Harris

So last Friday, with the words from my overly long post on modern music still ringing in my ears, I went and saw Pacific Rim with a good friend, Andy Lee, whose recordings of lesser known minimalist composers you should really check out.  Anyway, I started to think, while watching giant robots fight giant monsters, how I might discuss this film in context of what I had just written.  Would this film be an example of recycled Hollywood schlock, opiate for the masses, art of death?  (Which on the surface it would seem to be.)  Or is it life affirming, truly creative, and something that helps to contribute to the on-going dialogue amongst creators; the art of life?  For me, it is quite assuredly in the latter category, and I’ll explain why shortly.  First, though, a brief review. Continue reading “Pacific Rim and the Art of Life”

Much Ado About Scoring: Joss Whedon’s Score to Much Ado About Nothing

By Michael Harris

In my previous post (here) I detailed some of the creation behind Joss Whedon’s new film, Much Ado About Nothing and also why he decided to score it himself—namely that everything about this film was done on the cheap, so Joss decided to tackle the music himself.  The question of if he was successful I was leaving open until I saw the film.[1]  I have now viewed Whedon’s masterful Shakespeare adaptation, and am pleased to say that the score is a total success. Continue reading “Much Ado About Scoring: Joss Whedon’s Score to Much Ado About Nothing”

A Few More Thoughts about Man of Steel

By Michael Harris

Having now seen Man of Steel in theatres, I though a few words on the film itself, and its music, appropriate.  Put simply, this is by far the best Superman film since the 1978 original, and honestly I think it is the best interpretation of the character to ever make it to screen.  (Warning: Spoilers follow).  Continue reading “A Few More Thoughts about Man of Steel”