Tone Poem Tuesday

A suite of film music today! We watched Avatar the other night, our first time watching it since we first saw it when the DVD came out after the movie’s initial release, way back in 2009 or 2010 or so. The movie was such a huge hit back then, but it oddly became that huge hit that somehow disappeared down the memory hole, never much being talked about except for when news about James Cameron’s more-than-a-decade of work on a bunch of sequels drips out. In fact, a kind of backlash has arisen around Avatar, for reasons that I might go into in another post. For now, though, here’s a suite culled from the film’s score, by James Horner.

I’ve always had a tough relationship with James Horner; some of his music is indispensable, but his strange habit of self-borrowing and self-repeating is often maddening (in this way Horner was the Aaron Sorkin of film music). For me, Horner’s work peaked in the mid-90s, and little of his work after that period really hit my sweet spot, with one exception: his score to Avatar. This music is evocative and exciting and it conveys the sense of wonder that I find when I look at the stunning visuals of the moon of Pandora.

It’s too bad that Horner died several years ago, and thus won’t be able to write the music for the sequels that are going to finally start coming out this December. I’m sure his work will be quoted, but still, his voice will be missed.

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