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These Amazing Shadows by Peter Golub

These Amazing Shadows

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These Amazing Shadows (Soundtrack) by Peter Golub
These Amazing Shadows (Poster and Memorabilia)

These Amazing Shadows (Poster and Memorabilia)









These Amazing Shadows (Soundtrack) by Peter Golub

These Amazing Shadows
Composed by Peter Golub
Lakeshore Records (2011)

Rating: 6/10

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“PETER GOLUB clearly has the talent to weave music of striking beauty, yet through a combination of onscreen content and time limitations, this particular effort falls short of the expectations that may arise in the advent of the soundtrack. ”

It's Not East Scoring the Scored
Review by Richard Buxton

The experience of merely surveying the National Film Registry (est. 1988) and the 550 films that it is composed of is a humbling one. Over the 105 years that the films present span, the jewel in America’s crown that is film has provided the world with an array of the most profoundly inspiring and purely entertaining visual experiences in history. From the timeless CITIZEN KANE to the time-traveling THE TERMINATOR, and the far reaches of A NEW HOPE to bedroom of TOY STORY, the registry is a tribute to the greatest achievements in film, and it is in THESE AMAZING SHADOWS that the importance of the registry and the films it contains is truly revealed.

Directed by PAUL MARIANO and KURT NORTON, THESE AMAZING SHADOWS is a documentary journey through the registry, a journey that unveils it as a blueprint for the American existence, an existence of hopes, dreams and most importantly, the unexpected.

In documenting this list and the various films, it perhaps composer PETER GOLUB that will find himself under the greatest scrutiny from those who venture deep into the aesthetic texture of the documentary. As the featured films flash upon screen, with each comes a certain expectation and memory that viewers will be expecting to be upheld. Firstly is the infallible visual aspect; the iconic images that whisk audiences away remain unchanged. Secondly, and crucially, is the music. The unforgettable soundscapes of BACK TO THE FUTURE and 2001: A Space Odyssey carry the weight of decades of acclaim and audience recognition, and it is when films of such musical calibre make their appearance that a conflict arises.

In making THESE AMAZING SHADOWS one can imagine that at a certain point in production the decision to either utilize the original scores of the various films or opt for an entirely original score was made. In this case an original score was chosen, perhaps due to the various issues that licensing presents or perhaps through the desire of the filmmakers to carve their own mark in film history, rather than remaining reliant on those that came before them. GOLUB’S competent efforts in THESE AMAZING SHADOWS largely reinforce the latter as a wise choice, yet it is still often quite difficult to detach the films onscreen from their original musical accompaniment and it is because of this that GOLUB’S achievements may never be fully appreciated.

At full creative capacity, with the freedom to roam within his own musical imagination, GOLUB is clearly capable of producing compositions of outstanding beauty and elegance. “Main Titles” (1) is one such composition, establishing the magical motif of American film and Hollywood whilst still maintining an air of exclusivity and originality. The soaring brass effortlessly induces spontaneous mental images of classic American film productions and studios, images that provide moments of potent nostalgia. This emotionally resonating introduction continues in “Protecting Our Films” (2) and “Creating The National Film Registry” (3) before the stars of the documentary, the films, emerge.

“Into West Side Story” (5) presents what is possibly the greatest obstacle presented on the soundtrack. Such is the brief running time of the track; it becomes increasingly difficult to allow oneself to feel truly immersed in score. GOLUB produces an adequate effort in echoing the sounds of the original film, but having such a short existence creates a somewhat stilted experience that is only magnified by the piece that it precedes.

“To Kill A Mockingbird Montage” (6), an example of GOLUB’S aforementioned scope to craft effortless beauty, does not suffer from the ailment of a short life as GOLUB utilises each second to evoke maximum emotion in an achingly heart rending one and a half minutes. Having said that, an extra minute or two would have been very much welcome.

The heights of the sixth track are never quite reached again throughout the rest of the score, despite a determined effort heard in the elegant meandering of “Japanese Internment During WWII” (12) and the triumphant resolution of “Final Montage: The Power of Movies” (23). The rest of the score weaves between the uninspired monotony of “Exiles” (20) and the exuberant but ultimately futile “Back To The Future Montage” (16), a piece that can never live up to the expectation it carries in its title.

PETER GOLUB clearly has the talent to weave music of striking beauty, yet through a combination of onscreen content and time limitations, this particular effort falls short of the expectations that may arise in the advent of the soundtrack. The task of accompanying the most iconic films in motion picture history brings with it a certain expectation, an expectation that few, if any composers could fulfill.

Rating: 6/10


Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Main Titles 2:05  *****
2 Protecting Our Films 1:45  ****
3 Creating the Natural Film Registry 0:52  ***
4 Preserving Our Cultural Heritage 1:39  ***
5 Into West Side Story 0:33  ***
6 To Kill a Mockingbird Montage 1:36  *****
7 These Amazin Shadows 2:05  ***
8 The Land of Nitrate 0:41  ***
9 Dorothy Opens the Door to Oz 0:41  ***
10 2001 and Beyond 0:53  ***
11 With Every Laugh, A Tear 1:09  ***
12 Japanese Internment During WWII 2:59  ***
13 The Kennedy Assassination 0:51  ***
14 Gender Bias 0:34  ****
15 Vision of Women Directors 1:13  **
16 Back to the Future Montage 2:31  ***
17 Harlan County Montage 0:41  ****
18 Race and Politics 0:44  ***
19 The Danger of Cinema 0:44  ***
20 Exiles 0:54  ***
21 Race Issues 0:54  ****
22 The Effect of War 0:56  ***
23 Final Montage: The Power of Movies 4:09  ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 31 minutes  


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