Friday, January 27, 2012
Old Men Drinking in the Dark
Review by Helen San
Classically trained Spanish composer ALBERTO IGLESIAS has an ethereal, perspicacious style that Hollywood has really taken a liking to. Like actor Antonio Banderas, IGLESIAS has been propelled him into the international spotlight by his close working relationship with acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. Recent years has seen him scoring more and more Hollywood and European artfare, the kind that gets Academy Award nominations. Twice nominated for the Academy Awards before (THE CONSTANT GARDENER and THE KITE RUNNER), IGLESIAS has just been nominated a third time for TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY). He has already won the Hollywood Film Composer Award this year for both TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY and Almodóvar’s THE SKIN I LIVE IN.
IGLESIAS’ style is reminiscent of other classical composers like JOHN CORIGLIANO and ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL. He writes abstract, discordant, thorny compositions that pique and provoke, often contrasted against an amorphous, atonal background. When it hits the spot, his music is sheer brilliance. “Los Vestidos Desgarrados” (Track 1) in THE SKIN I LIVE IN, for example, is one of the most mesmerizing and ingenious string cues I’ve ever heard. The problem was, these flashes of genius were few and far between. In both previous Oscar-nominated scores , THE CONSTANT GARDENER and THE KITE RUNNER, IGLESIAS maintained his luminosity and intelligence at a relatively steady pace throughout the albums. This year, in both THE SKIN I LIVE IN and TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, Iglesias’ music has been very uneven.
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