from Saturday, December8th of the year2007.
So last night I went with Liz, Nadia, Chris and Leander to the movie adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. It was not as bad as I had feared, but, I have to say, the music was really dreadful. It was written by Alexandre Desplat, who wrote the score for that weird movie Birth; people who like film music (who are a sort of terrifying sub-genre of people, akin to Wagner People, or Joyce People ““ you can tell them from their crazy eyes and constant squabbling) got their panties all up in a twist about how fabulous the score to Birth is. (It’s an okay score, I guess, but the best moment comes at the beginning when Nicole Kidman is sitting listening to the prelude to Die WalkÃ¼re).
Now, the issue with the Golden Compass score is that it is exactly the kind of manipulative, cartoony orthodoxy that the books seek so hard to undermine. There was one vile little turn of phrase that reminded me so much of that song “Somewhere Out There” from An American Tail, which works so well in that movie because it’s a cartoon about mice. Here, in this complicated, multi-layered story, having this kind of music just forces the whole film into a tedious urban sprawl of forced emotions. If you want to describe a parallel universe musically, why not set up some parallel rules of harmony, or instrumentation? Inasmuch as Pullman has subtle twists in nomenclature, why not perform a similar Clever Act in the music? I did, however, like the throat singing and the natural harmonic series, so, at least there was that.
In other news, Mike Huckabee is so gross. You all read that he, “advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public and suggested homosexuality could ‘pose a dangerous public health risk.'” Right, fine. But then just last Saturday, he argued that “there was still too much confusion about HIV transmission in those early years.” The article then goes on to point out that even by 1992, when he answered the question, “it was common knowledge that AIDS could not be spread by casual contact.” Awesome, right? I love it when these guys just straight up say what they think; it’s so much easier than trying to piece together all the back-stepping and do-one-Ã¾ing-&-say-another. The image above is from Tibor Kalman’s notorious Colors magazine editorial in which an image of Reagan was doctored to make it look like he had lesions. Here’s Maira talking about it.