Category Archives: special features.

THE TIME MACHINE (1960). A CLASSIC SCORE RE-ISSUED AND EXPANDED.

STEPPING BACK IN TIME WITH RUSSELL GARCIA.

Many of you like me remember the great movies of the 1950’s and the 1960’s and categorize many of these as classics with iconic scores by composers who went onto become household names, if you were a soundtrack collector that is. One composer who I remember because of just one score is Russell Garcia, who wrote the music for the George Pal movie The Time Machine. The movie which was produced and directed by George Pal was released in 1960. At first the film was entitled H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, because it was based upon the 1895 novella by the author, its, a movie that attracted the attention of many, and I can also remember seeing it in the cinema when it was re-released a few years after its initial run.

It’s a movie that also shows up on TV regularly and each time I just must sit and watch it from beginning to end. I think it was more the movie that I was firstly attracted to but as my interest in music for film grew, I discovered the music that Russell Garcia had penned for the film. I suppose it is also a good thing that my focus on the movie and its storyline was not distracted by the musical score, it was something that I took for granted because it was not only good and supportive of the movie but was an important and integral part of the unfolding and ever-changing storyline. They often say that if you notice the music in a movie then it is not really doing what it is supposed to. So, I guess that Garcia’s music for The Time Machine, was working with and for the movie. His rich and dramatic symphonic compositions were to become a regular listen for me when I finally added the soundtrack to my collection.

Russell Garcia.

In 1987 the composer recreated his atmospheric and breath-taking score when he conducted the Graunke Symphony Orchestra in Munich. The result of these sessions was a re-recording of the score. Now some thirty-five years on we are once again to be treated to this brilliant score, which has been superbly re-mastered from the original digital stereo elements, this latest edition of the score contains previously unreleased material. With Garcia’s suite from Atlantis, The Lost Continent included which he also re-recorded.

This stunning compact disc release is packaged in a jewel case and contains an informative and colourful twenty-page booklet. The booklet contains an interview with the composer and background information on the movie and its score written by the producer of the disc Arnold Leibovit. It also has attractive cover art which has been designed by Jim Titus.

It’s a limited-edition release and one that every film music fan should own and is available now. The Time Machine, the movie I think stands out as one of George Pal’s most accomplished pieces of cinema, and as a fantastic slice of science fiction in film full stop. The film is one that you just cannot stop watching, and stars Rod Taylor, as a Victorian scientist, who I have always assumed was H. G. Wells? He invents a machine that hurtles him through time to the far distant future world in the year 802,701 where we find that mankind has evolved into two species.

A gentle surface-dwelling, vegetarian, childlike, pacifist race called the Eloi, and the brutal, beastly, meat eating, Morlocks who live beneath the Earth and prey upon the weaker and more subdued race that live on the surface, feeding on them.

The movie also starred Yvette Mimieux and Alan Young, Young. I think was probably the most liked character in the story and we see the relationship between his character Filby and Rod Taylor’s time traveller develop and grow over the years and at various stages of the film, with Taylor moving back and forward in time experiencing the past and being shocked at times by the future of the earth.

Gene Warren and Tim Baar received the Oscar for Best Special Effects which was mainly due to the time-lapse photographic sequences, that effectively and convincingly show the world rapidly altering, most effectively via a tailor’s dummy in a shop window, where we see the fashions changing as the time traveller journeys to the future accompanied by Garcia’ music which has a slightly more comedic tone to it in places during this sequence.

The imagery and the sets are wonderful, and the direction is nothing short of brilliant. Russell Garcia’s score fuses the dramatic with the romantic and adds much to the overall mood and atmosphere of the film. The composer captures the frightening and brutal world of the Morlocks, but at the same time underlines the beautiful and for the most part carefree world of the Eloi.

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It also provides a strong and slightly darker musical persona for the Time Machine itself, which is driving as well as melodic. Overall, the music has to it full and rich sound that is lavish at key moments within the movie, with the composer utilising the string section to great effect. .

Garcia’s lilting theme for Filby is subtle and filled with melancholy and tenderness. Which conveys the warmth of the friendship between him and George (Rod Taylor’s character )throughout the movie.

Australian actor Rod Taylor as H George Wells .

The theme that the composer created for Weena, which is the Love theme from the score, is beautiful and gracious. Again the string section is utilised to maximum effect. Garcia’s driving and highly dramatic action cues for the movie are fairly typical of the style that many other composes employed when scoring films during this period, but work wonderfully punctuating and adding tense and nervous support to the time travellers violent encounters with the Morlocks.

Percussion is combined with rasping brass flourishes and swirling strings to underline the ferocious creatures as they attempt to kill the time traveller. The score is wonderfully expressive and sensitive, and I am pleased that this glorious music has at last been re-issued in its re-mastered and complete form. The soundtrack is available now from,  The Time Machine – Puppetoon Productions  Be quick though it is a limited edition.

LOCKDOWN CHAT 8.

 HOLLY AMBER CHURCH.

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Talented and inventive composer Holly Amber Church talks about being on  lockdown for COVID 19. 

I am guessing you are on a lockdown or at least part lockdown, how has this been for you and are you managing to write any new music at all?

I am in a lockdown situation in Los Angeles currently. It’s strange how quickly things turned and how this feels like the new “normal” now, but I am grateful to have a roof over my head, food to eat and healthy loved ones. I have still been writing some new music during all of this but I will admit that my productivity is not what it normally is as I am so distracted by the news or trying to order groceries online now (and mostly spending hours searching for Lysol or some other disinfectant online too).


What music have you been turning to mostly during the Pandemic and the lockdown?
I have mostly been turning to music right now that makes me happy or peaceful, so a lot of Disney music or Hawaiian music (and I also love some good vintage “tiki” music like Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman).


Have you been watching what we refer to as classic movies ,or are you taking this time to check out more recent releases and maybe looking at shows or films that normally you would not?

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It’s interesting because I have been mostly turning to classic films that I love or have seen before right now because they make me happy and there’s a sense of comfort to them. Again, a lot of Disney and Muppets. I do have some more recent films that I would like to check out during this time though too.

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Whats the food and supplies situation been like for you?
Getting food and supplies around LA has been interesting but not impossible. We’ve mostly been ordering groceries through delivery services or via Amazon but as many know that can be interesting and a lot of the time you get half of what you placed in your order because they were out of stock. I am just grateful to have whatever we can get.

 

 

As well as audio and visual entertainment have you been reading anything at all?
I did finish a book last week that I really enjoyed called “The Science of Monsters” by Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl.

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Do you think that after this Virus has been beaten that the world and the people in it might be a little different in their behaviour towards each other and also the planet and animals?

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I hope that some good can come out of this virus in that we don’t take things or people for granted ever again. I think we’re also seeing the effect that people staying home more has had on the environment around the globe and I hope that people will take that to heart and we can think about our impact and what we can do in the future to be kinder to each other, the animals and the environment.

LOCKDOWN CHAT 7.

John Williams,  (no not that one)  film music and TV music collector, all round music lover, former editor and creator of Music From The Movies, contributor to Movie Music International. 

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Are you in a lockdown or part lockdown situation?

As to the lockdown, it has been hard not being able to go to places you normally do and plan trips whatever, but I am grateful I am not working and don’t have any of the problems of keeping a job or wondering what will happen to it. That must be awful. We are all in this together and together we will come out the other side.

 


So, have you been listening to anything specific whilst the COVID 19 virus lockdown started?
Music wise, not as much as normal funnily enough. My usual weird blend of Vaughan Williams, Cilla Black, Francoise Hardy, Jack Jones. Jerry Goldsmith, Francis Lai, Michael Legrand and not forgetting Richard Harvey who’s music I couldn’t exist without.

 


What about TV or even dvd,s
Sadly, as always, the main TV Channels have let us down. BBC next week have THE ROBE, THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN, THE VIKINGS again. I think they were on last Bank Holiday or Christmas. To think years ago BBC had a Film Purchasing Dept. Those were the days. So mostly Talking Pictures – where would we be without them. Some 60s Movies and TV series THE SAINT, THE AVENGERS, KOJAK that sort of thing. Nothing too modern please!

 

 

Have you found that you have been reading more?
Yes, reading a lot more actually, I read a lot anyway, and I think I read more than watch movies-so why have I got a big pile of DVDS sat in the corner? Film biographies. History of World War 2. Britain in the 20th Century. No novels at all? The, last novel I read was the POSEIDON ADVENTURE in about, what was it 1972. Enjoyed it though.

 

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Do you think that our lives will alter even more when this virus eventually goes?

Being usually a cynic, I will go the other way and think when we come out of this nightmare, we will appreciate people, animals, whatever shops that will still be there and anything else that we come out with more of a positive attitude and feeling of love and friendship for our fellow man, and be more courteous to other people.

 

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