E.W. Korngold Goes to Kikkatsu

E.W. Korngold Goes to Nikkatsu was conceived from an experiment in combining the work of two of my favorite artists: Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Seijun Suzuki. Korngold’s work in the genre of film music created the “Hollywood Sound,” serving as the aesthetic bedrock of the Golden Age of Hollywood’s musical taste. However, his foray into film music left him marked and stigmatized by the concert hall, as he rarely found a welcoming concert review after he stepped on to the Hollywood soundstage. The work of Seijun Suzuki is little known outside of his home country of Japan, yet his contributions to the field of cinema are both universal and highly visible. After beginning his career as a B-picture director at Nikkatsu Studios, he destroyed notions of narrative in his films and inserted aesthetic devices that turned his hard-boiled gangster flicks into arthouse specials and cult phenomena. Suzuki’s style is reflective of many different styles of film from the time. You can see the archetypes of American Westerns á la John Wayne rubbing elbows with the classical morals of Kurosawa and Ozu. Suzuki then throws in gratuitous amounts of sex and violence with an extreme dose of nihilism. The main inspiration of E.W. Korngold Goes to Nikkatsu is in imagining a film of Suzuki’s scored by Korngold. Both of these artists worked in aesthetics of excess – Korngold with his hyper-Romanticism, and Suzuki with his seemingly never-ending action sequences and hyper-masculine (to the point of parody) heroes.

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Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Earshot New Music Readings (2018)

April 20, 2018 12:00 am
Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall

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