Lights, Action, Music (2007)
Documentary directed by Dan Lieberstein
With Francis Ford Coppola, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Julie Taymor, John Barry, David Shire, Terence Blanchard, Eliot Goldenthal, Osvaldo Golijov, Rachel Portman
Studio: First Look Pictures FLP-12149
Video: 1.66:1 for 16:9 color
Extras: More composer interviews, More director interviews, Interviews with film & music technicians, Previews
Length: Feature: 57 minutes; Extras: 2 hours
Sorry for just getting around to this documentary, but in spite of the increasing number of featurettes included with DVDs and Blu-rays dealing with the creation of the scores for them, this just-under-an-hour feature is a wonderful introduction to the importance of music soundtracks to films. The basic design is to have some of the finest current motion picture composers and some of the finest current directors talk about the special combination of filmmaking and music and how they work together and separately.
The various composers display a variety of approaches to film scoring, and clips from some of their big hits are included. I only wish there had been a quick title indicating what film the scenes were from. Many people don’t give a thought to the often major contribution music makes to the success of a motion picture, but any movie buff would surely want to have this DVD in their collection. It looks like the feature was created to fit into an hour slot on a cable channel like AMC, but the filmmakers had lots of interviews left over, and they kindly offer them in the extended extras section. Equipment mavens will appreciate all the shots of the composers working in their home studios. Considering the time available, the 57-minute production is a most edifying cinematic journey.
– John Sunier