Escape From Tomorrow (Abel Korzeniowski)

Final Musings: Escape From Tomorrow showcases Korzeniowski’s knack for overachieving compositional efforts. The score presents musical diversity from the Golden Age style string writing to electronic ambiance with great success. And although the length of the album and lack of a thematic core will disappoint some, the outstanding highlights makes this more than worthwhile.

Disney’s long established reputation as the “Happiest Place on Earth” was threatened by one particular film that seemed to be hogging all the spotlight this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow follows a typical American family’s vacation to Walt Disney World, where every child’s dream turns out to be their disturbing nightmare. Almost satirical in nature, the film quickly rose to fame not only because of its strange content, but the strange nature in which it was filmed. Described by some as the ‘ultimate guerrilla film’, the project was filmed entirely on the amusement park grounds of Disney World and Disneyland without the permission and knowledge of the corporate giant. There was a lot of sneaking around, scripts being passed through iPhones and filming done largely on handheld digital cameras. Moore’s daring take on Disneyland and ambitious guerrilla techniques didn’t exactly produce a unanimously acclaimed film, it did rile up interest among critics. It won’t be long before Disney decides to sue, but in the meantime, the crew is enjoying the limelight. Read the rest of this entry »


W.E. (Abel Korzeniowski)

Final Musings: Lovers of A Single Man will be glad to hear Abel Korzeniowski take that sound in a more potent, romantic direction, accordingly giving them one of the most beautiful scores of the year and a fantastic example of how simplicity can often work wonders. Unfortunately, the narrative arc of the score suffers from the classic case of “director picks on the composer” scenario. In a clash between pop and traditional sensibilities, a score with fantastic potential is slightly diminished in its impact. Nevertheless, this score is a treat that no film score fan in their right mind would miss.

America’s “queen of pop”, Madonna has often tried to spread her wings beyond her pop career, yet not always with successful results. Having been panned by critics for her directorial debut, the short film, Filth and Wisdom, it seems that Madonna did not intend to give up in this specific field. Now advertised as Madonna’s directorial debut of a full feature film, W.E. is the veteran star’s attempt at creating an artsy Oscar-bait film. Often proclaiming it as her “dream project”, Madonna’s film hasn’t really improved her standing in the film world. W.E. is about a woman in the modern day by the name of Wally Wintrhop. Wally, fascinated by the infamous affair between King Edward VIII, the only British monarch to have abdicated the throne and Wallis Simpson, the woman who stole his heart. Throughout the film, she begins to realize that it was not the perfect love relation she thought it was and finds herself connecting to Wallis through her own romantic struggles. Critics found themselves baffled by the lack logic in the over-stylized film and the overbearing precedence that is given to the fashion driven elements of the set rather than the narrative. The film has often been dubbed as a “perfume commercial, or a feature-length documentary on shopping tips on expensive designer tips. One of the more redeeming features of this project however, is Abel Korzeniowksi.

Korzeniowski is an extremely talented composer who has scored many Polish films with amazing scores (and yet often underrated) like Copernicus Star. Madonna was first introduced to the polish composer through fashion designer Tom Ford’s own critically acclaimed directorial debut, A Single Man. Bewitched by the bittersweet nature of the solo cello work and the alluring string writing from Korzeniowski’s highly effective, Golden Globe nominated score; Madonna became adamant on obtaining the same sound for her own film. After all, the singer did hope to mimic the stylized nature of Ford’s production, so why not share some of the successful production elements? And so, after having approached Tom Ford on his thoughts, the man was hired for quite the adventure. Read the rest of this entry »