“Score: A Film Music Documentary” Is A Fascinating & Insightful Journey

Score never attempts to answer every question choosing instead to pique your interest and promote curiosity. It highlights the isolation and teamwork required in equal measure as Oscar winning composers wax lyrical about panic attacks, musical inspiration and the fear of a blank page.

Matt Schrader has written and directed a documentary which is endlessly fascinating, highly informative but never dry. This is a must see for film score fans as every composer who has made an impact in the last seventy years makes an appearance. Some appear in archive footage others through stills photography or sown into movie montage, providing musical touchstone moments and a potted picture house history.

 

Name checked contributors are numerous but include John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman and Thomas Newman. People who have both enriched, shaped and helped define the films we have all experienced. Aside from these highly gifted impresarios there are soundbites from great directors, fly on the wall conversations and archive footage of orchestral recording sessions. For many Score will represent a creative peek behind the curtain into warehouses full of musical instruments, where composers create mood, illicit emotion and fashion indelible film scores.

Schrader has gained unrestricted access to an industry which prefers to keep its secrets hidden if only to retain ticket sales. Howard Shore, David Arnold and their contemporaries talk about the pressure of composing for modern cinema, important innovations, creative approaches and passions within their profession. Process both creative, collaborative and individual is explored incorporating interviews interspersed with specific film examples, which prove both enlightening and educational.

 

Score never attempts to answer every question choosing instead to pique your interest and promote curiosity. It highlights the isolation and teamwork required in equal measure as Oscar winning composers wax lyrical about panic attacks, musical inspiration and the fear of a blank page. Just as Anton Corbijn: Inside Out and Milius focused on creative anxiety versus artistic fulfilment, so Score pulls off the same balancing act with one fundamental difference. In this film Matt Schrader makes you realise how important film music is and why cinema would be sorely lacking without it.