Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Vacation

Most people seem to forget that Memorial Day is about honoring our soldiers’ sacrifices and instead equate it with one thing: summer! Today marks the unofficial beginning of the vacation season, as everyone takes advantage of the federal work holiday’s long weekend. Everyone except me. Being the rebel that I am, I am working today—because I have to.

Just to be clear, I took off all of last week. I spent the week with my little brother. We did tons of exciting things, like visiting our grandparents and watching lots of movies. Oh yes, Scranton is an awesome place to spend your vacation, especially when you’re a couple of broke kids. I highly recommend it. Just be aware of the very real possibility of getting hit by a city bus.

Americans have become obsessed with vacation. We spend enormous amounts of money we don’t have to reach “exciting” recreation destinations. We plan our whole calendars around specific dates. Everyone talks about who’s going where and doing what… but why? We’re already one of the laziest nations in the world and then we can’t wait to take a long weekend.

Not that vacations are design to be relaxing. On the contrary, they are usually some of the most stressful times. Nothing is quite as soothing as hours and hours trapped in a hot car with small children. Needing a vacation after a vacation is a very common sentiment. So go ahead, enjoy your traffic jams and sunburns. Don’t forget to charge it all on your credit card too!

Personally, I’m just fine with working today. There’s a whole week’s worth of email to deal with, plus I get so much more done when there are no distractions or interruptions. I’ve got my music cranked so I won’t get freaked out by random noises in an otherwise empty library. Besides, working today means that I can take Friday off instead and go to Baltimore for the weekend.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Modern Symphonies

Few things move the human soul like music. Life would be flat and two-dimensional without it and filmmakers figured this out a long time ago. A well-written soundtrack can elevate a film to a spiritual experience. Through the score, emotions can be elevated, tensions can be conveyed and feelings can be communicated to the audience.

Film composers are some of the greatest musical geniuses of our time. Their job is not only to write songs, but to capture the essence of the film in a theme. That theme must then be expanded and manipulated over hours’ worth of footage to heighten each scene’s impact.

A good soundtrack can complete an audience’s immersion into the plot and involvement with the characters. These superbly composed masterpieces can even stand on their own, as modern symphonies. To me, it’s not just background music, but an essential component of the film’s artwork.

All that being said, I’ve compiled a brief list of some of my favorite composers and some of their best work. However, as this post was originally written for my movie blog, you'll have to visit this page for the full list.