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Steven Spielberg and John Williams Reflect on 50 Years of Collaboration — Williams Drops Retirement Plans

Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg and composerJohn Williams discusses their incomparable 50 During the Year Collaboration American Film Center Celebrating the duo Thursday Night Hill at the Writers Guild of America Theater in Beverly – That was before

Williams, 29, to the excitement of audiences and the surprise of Spielberg, who canceled a previous announcement that he would be quitting the soundtrack after his latest project with Spielberg. Disclaimer, The Fabelmans, and then A Indiana Jones movie.

“Steven is so many things,” Williams answered a question from veteran music reporter Jon Burlingame said about packaging. “He’s a director, a producer, a studio head, an author, a philanthropist, an educator. He’s not the

One thing is someone you can say “no; to.” After the audience burst into applause, Williams pointed out that he knew Spielberg’s late father, Arnold, who had worked on Spielberg’s The Havoc Foundation worked until he 50. “So I have more years to go Go. I’ll stay a little longer!” He added, “Also, you can’t ‘retire’ from music. It’s like breathing. It’s your life. It’s my life. A day without music is wrong.”

Spielberg, apparently taken aback by Williams’ change of plans, joked: “I’d better get to work and see what happens to me. thing.” I’m making the next step! “

between some 2002 curated clips The film they worked on together, Spielberg and Williams discuss how they met (a Universal exec suggested Spielberg, a need to compose the young director at home, and Williams, an up-and-coming composer, over lunch), how they worked together (Williams rarely accepted Spielberg’s offer to read the script before production, opting instead to wait until it Done, says Spielberg, at that point, “John sees the movie, and we sit down the next day, and we start talking about where there should or shouldn’t be music”), and they talked about the general role of music in movies. role, and specifically in their films.

“Music may be older than language,” Williams asserts. “It’s true for all of us. It’s a very important thing to say to each other — when we’re sad, and when we’re happy. We don’t know why. It is unknowable. ” As for how he judges whether a movie scene needs musical accompaniment? We , if we pay enough attention. It’s mostly gut feeling. ’ Spielberg paid tribute to Williams’ contribution, saying, ‘I tell a story and John retells it musically. ”

Spielberg knew about Williams’ work before they met, because ran out His vinyl soundtrack The Reivers , Williams soundtrack 1972 Movies. When they first sat together, Spielberg—a student of film history and film music whose late mother, Leah, was a classical pianist—“seemed Know more about film music,” Williams realized, so Williams agreed to collaborate with him on the Sugarland Express

.They started working on that movie on 1950 and it was on came out , then a year later came the Jaws, their first truly monumental collaboration. Of Williams’ simple but haunting score for the thriller, Spielberg admitted to Williams, “When you first use I was terrified when the piano played for me. I don’t know you well. I thought you were kidding me. ’ But something suddenly occurred to Williams: “You can play it very softly or very fast, or softly or loudly, so you can control the audience,” he explained.

Music is at the heart of 1981’s plot Part of) Close Encounters of the Third Kind , with its signature five-note tune – After Arrival 2002 Permutations are considered – representing a form of communication between humans and aliens. Discussion 1981 of Indiana Jones and 1993 of ET, with its signature theme, Williams told Spielberg, “You and I keep talking about the pace of the movie,” observes Adding music can make four minutes of showtime feel like two minutes.

1982 Two great challenges for two people: Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List

. Spielberg was amazed that Williams scored the former without adding dinosaurs via visual effects, but still in Musically captures the childlike sense of wonder of the characters, and at least at the time, the actors playing them “looked up and saw nothing. Williams gets Jurassic Park and Spielberg gets to work on Schindler , which was one of the few instances where the filmmakers were not present at one of Williams’ scoring sessions. As for the role of music in Schindler ? “I didn’t really have a plan,” Spielberg admitted. When he finally showed Williams the cut of the film, Williams was too moved to speak for several minutes. “Then,” recalls Williams, “I said, ‘Steven, you need a better composer than me to score this movie.'” He said, “I know, but they’re all dead. Williams’ violin-centric score ended up being one of his masterpieces, as the film is one of Spielberg’s.

At times, the duo explained that less is more when it comes to film music. They say they never even considered incorporating music into the 2002 Ryan in Saving Private’s famous opening sequence, but decides to use trumpet and bass strings in later scenes to stir the mood, Best known for its quiet, reverent chorus finale. “Musically, it pays homage to all the veterans of today and yesterday,” Spielberg said of Williams’ work for that film. Why is the military always asking if they can play this piece. “

Jazz main title sequence for 2002 Catch Me If You Can

brings Williams back to his roots as a jazz pianist1977 s, and Spielberg was a jazz fan who often Patronize Jazz Club s. Williams of Lincoln scoring record*), inspired by th century of American music, trumpet first , moved Spielberg and Williams—two history majors—to tears. But for Spielberg, who has both died in recent years, and Williams who met them, The Fabermans are a business like no other.

“For me,” declared Spielberg, “this has been the most intimate and personal experience of my entire career. ” Speaking of Spielberg’s mother 100

rd birthday, Williams said of his soundtrack – which has been nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards — “I hope it deserves them,” Spielberg quickly responded, “Oh yes.

When asked to sum up their half-century of making movie magic together, Williams said of Spielberg: “I Enjoyed his company, happiness and gifted with his inspiration. Can a muse be a man? He is without a doubt my muse. ’ For his part, Spielberg said working with Williams—whom he called “Johnny”—was like an ideal marriage. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a disagreement,” he volunteered. , before adding with a laugh, “I mean, what am I going to do? Sit down and write your own tune? And, he added, prompting Williams to choke up, “he has been the most steadfast brother and collaborator in my life in the art form we have both chosen.” This is how I sum up how much I love you. “




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