Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Alexandre Desplat – Movies Spotlight – November 2010

Alexandre Desplat is the composer of many of the best scores of the last few years (and whom I commonly refer to as the hardest working man in HollywoodJames Brown reference – because he has done 12 scores in the last two years, which is crazy). This month’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and The King’s Speech will feature new scores from him.

Early Career:

Desplat has always had a love of music, playing the piano from the age of five. He is also a talented trumpet and flute player as well. He studied with Claude Ballif, Iannis Xenakis and Jack Hayes, while he developed his sound. Having a wide appreciation for music, Desplat has a special fondness for South American and African music and musicians, like Carlinhos Brown and Ray Lema, influencing his style. He began his career as a composer, orchestrator and conductor in his home country of France, working on many French films from 1985 on (though now he does work on more non-French films). Along with working in film, he has also performed live, conducting performances of his music played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Munich Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra (to name a few), as well as teach master classes at La Sorbonne in Paris and at the Royal College of Music in London.

Breakthrough in America:

After composing around seventy-five scores in French cinema from 1985-2003, Desplat got is first exposure in America working on the film Girl with a Pearl Earring for director Peter Webber. His score was nominated for a BAFTA, but the film is best remembered for Eduardo Serra’s cinematography (also working on Deathly Hallows). Desplat continued to work primarily in France, but scored Birth, a small indy film, in 2004. However in 2005, Hollywood was ready to start piling work on him, as he worked on The Upside of Anger, Hostage, Casanova, and Syriana during the year, while also scoring a few French films including brilliant work on The Beat That My Heart Skipped, working with director Jacques Audiard and winning a Cesar for best score (which is a French Oscar).

Awards, Recognition and Bigger Projects:

Desplat continued to split his time between France and Hollywood in 2006 (including scoring the very funny French film The Valet), but his work on The Queen (working with director Stephen Frears, who would again hire him for his films Cheri and Tamara Drewe) garnered him is first Oscar nod, which lead to him getting lots of Hollywood projects and big franchise films. He did very good work on the films The Painted Veil, Lust, Caution and Afterwards before stepping into his first franchise: The Golden Compass, which was a mess and never generated the box office to see any sequels. Desplat got his second Oscar nod for 2008’s The Curios Case of Benjamin Button working with director David Fincher. This set off a packed 2009, scoring the films Coco Before Chanel, A Prophet (working again with Audiard) Julie & Julia, Fantastic Mr. Fox (which he received his third Oscar nod for), and his biggest film to date (at least before the release in a couple of week of Deathly Hallows) New Moon, among others. This year has also been crazy busy for Desplat, as he has worked on The Ghost Writer and Oscar favorite The King’s Speech, not to mention Deathly Hallows (for the millionth time).

Future Projects:

2011 is looking like another great year for Desplat. Along with Deathly Hallows: Part 2, he is scoring Terrence Malick’s new film The Tree of Life, Chris Weitz’s socially and culturally relevant and appropriate The Gardener (he also directed The Golden Compass), The Burma Conspiracy for French director Jerome Salle, and French comedian Daniel Auteuil’s directorial debut La Fille du Puisatier.

Alexandre Desplat’s Selected Career Highlights:

1.)    The Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) – composer – available on DVD
2.)    The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005)* – composer – available on DVD
3.)    The Queen (2006) – composer – available on DVD
4.)    The Painted Veil (2006) – composer – available on DVD
5.)    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)* – composer – available on Blu-ray/DVD
6.)    Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)* – composer – available on Blu-ray/DVD
7.)    A Prophet (2010)* – composer – available on Blu-ray/DVD
8.)    The Ghost Writer (2010) – composer – available on Blu-ray/DVD
*editor’s picks

No comments:

Post a Comment