Not that I'm trying to show off or use this board to promote myself - you kno I will never do anything of the sort! - but since the TCA page is gone, I saw it fit to mention that I've recently discovered the original for the painting Crown stole for Catherine. You can read about it on my TCA page, which can be found at remingtonzeal.t35.com/Cast/PB/TCA/TCA.html
Someone on the IMDB-TCA board said the painting over Crowns bed the one with the women was an originbal piece done just for the film and auctioned afterwards for $50,000. I haven't found any verification for this. Interesting that it's actually my favorite piece of art from the film.
Thomas Crown Affairpage put up on my site with photos, links to reviews (what are left on the net), articles (thankfully I salvaged a couple of the larger ones before they went AWOL), cast and a (very little) bit of media.
Someone on the IMDB-TCA board said the painting over Crowns bed the one with the women was an originbal piece done just for the film and auctioned afterwards for $50,000. I haven't found any verification for this. Interesting that it's actually my favorite piece of art from the film.
Which one? The reflection pool? I don't have the DVD at hand, lent it to some friends.
I finally put up a separate Thomas Crown Affair page put up on my site with photos, links to reviews (what are left on the net) , articles (thankfully I salvaged a couple of the larger ones before they went AWOL) , cast and a bit of media.
Ace, I was just admiring your work ethic -- not that it's rubbing off. A bit of digression, but I read somewhere that now the FBI has a full-time art crime specialist with his own team. Previously such offenses were lumped together into property theft. I think the change was made to help track movements / possible terrorist finanacing arising from the flood, post-invasion, of looted Iranian antiquities. As for how this might relate to TCA2, Woody Harrelson's agent Lloyd has probably been fired by now, or been made director of FEMA but maybe a lovely female feeb could track Thomas Crown across jurisdictions and continents, all the while being tempted to chuck her government salary and join him. My preference though, truly, in a new foil for Crown, would be someone a bit exotic in looks and origin to join the caravan.
A follow-up to my prior mention of the FBI art squad...
To catch an art thief, FBI agent counts on profit motive; Almost all stolen items will resurface eventually as the culprits seek a market, a Portland audience learns.
DAVID HENCH Staff WriterPortland Press Herald (Maine)
For Robert Wittman, life as an FBI agent isn't all about catching bad guys.
His passion is in reclaiming pilfered pieces of our cultural heritage, unique items of historical significance that unscrupulous thieves and black market dealers parlay for profit.
"I didn't get that back for the Swedes," he says of a $35 million Rembrandt he recovered last year, "I got it back for all of us."
Wittman is the senior investigator with the FBI's Art Crimes Team. His slide talk Thursday night at the Portland Museum of Art to 100 members of the World Affairs Council of Maine was the group's grand finale to this year's series of events.
Wittman is like some modern-day Indiana Jones, working against tomb-robbers and art thieves to recover stolen antiquities. But instead of a bullwhip and wide-brimmed hat, Wittman is as likely to wear a sport coat and carry a briefcase full of cash.
Posing as a buyer in this country, Wittman recovered a 2,000- year-old piece of gold battle armor looted from a king's tomb in Peru. In that country, rife with poverty and desperation, the artifact is viewed with the reverence and symbolism granted to the Liberty Bell in this country, said Wittman, who lives outside Philadelphia.
"It's pride in what their ancestors did. It's about the hope and cultural property of people who need that so they can have pride in themselves," he said.
Wittman forbids having his photo taken because of his undercover work. With his silver hair, tan, handsome features and debonair bearing, Wittman concedes he wouldn't be as effective as an undercover drug agent, "but I could be an art buyer."
It helps that he can tell a Miro from a Monet, and a Renoir from a Cezanne, and that when negotiating to buy Geronimo's eagle feather war bonnet, he can convince the seller to sign a receipt for the $1.2 million artifact.
The key to the success of Wittman and his team is greed. For the bad guys, "it's all about the money," he said.
The profit motive in art theft not only gives authorities their best chance at catching crooks, but it also gives Wittman confidence that almost all the stolen items will resurface, eventually.
"They're all going to come back sooner or later," he said. "To a thief, a Picasso is just a piece of canvas with paint on it unless you can resell it."
The black market art and antiquities trade is estimated at $2 billion to $4 billion a year, he said.
Art thieves are not the handsome, charismatic men of the silver screen, such as Cary Grant, Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan.
"I see Larry, Moe and Curly," he said, showing a slide of several international art thieves looking very unromantic.
The FBI team, with just a dozen members, is dwarfed by similar units in countries like Italy, Spain and France. But the U.S. is a lucrative market for dealers in stolen art and antiquities, so the FBI is drawn in to some of the biggest international capers.
When three armed men, using car bombs for a diversion and a speedboat for escape, stole paintings from a museum in Stockholm, there was little connection with U.S. authorities.
But Wittman's team eventually arranged to buy the $35 million Rembrandt, apparently the only self-portrait ever done by the Dutch master, at a Copenhagen hotel for $250,000 in $100 bills.
Wittman cares less about the items' monetary value than about their historical and cultural significance.
He described one of the unit's more rewarding cases, the recovery of the battle flag of the 12th Regiment Corps d'Afrique, one of only two battle flags in existence from the original African-American regiments that fought for the North in the Civil War. It was stolen from Army museum officials as it was transferred between forts 20 years earlier.
"Five color guards were killed with that flag . . . In the smoke and dust and blood and pain of the battlefield, all they had was this flag. That's what kept them going," he said. "It's not the object, it's not the money, it's what it means."
One of the most profound assaults on cultural heritage right now is the looting of artifacts from the 10,000 archaeological sites in Iraq that are not guarded, he said.
"Any time a piece of that leaves the ground without any historical information, we lose a piece of our humanity."
Another article which references Thomas Crown like thievery with non Thomas Crown like thieves.
The Scream' is back, but 170,000 other art treasures still missing
ANGELA DOLAND AND RAPHAEL SATTER Tuesday, September 05, 2006
PARIS (AP) - Together, they would make up a stunning gallery: 167 Renoirs, 166 Rembrandts, 175 Warhols, and more than 200 works by Dali.
Experts have estimated that more than 150,000 important pieces of art are missing - many burgled from private homes, others snatched from museum walls or pilfered from storerooms.
Only a fraction is ever found: Interpol puts the figure at around 10 per cent. Yet iconic masterpieces like Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and "Madonna," recovered last week in Norway, turn up more often, partly because of intense police work and partly because they are so tough to sell.
Criminals sometimes mastermind a spectacular burglary, then discover nobody will touch a work of art so famous that any buyer would have to hide it from view, said Karl-Heinz Kind, specialist officer on art theft at Interpol.
Thieves may demand a ransom, or try to sell works at a fraction of their worth. This is how some thieves trip up: The Italian house painter who stole the Mona Lisa in a famous 1911 heist was caught two years later, when he tried to sell it.
After a robbery, "the second step is ... to make money out of it," Kind said in a telephone interview. "And that's the much more difficult part, and I think very often underestimated by the thief."
Charles Hill, a former Metropolitan Police detective in Britain who specializes in recovering stolen art, calls stolen masterpieces "a poisoned chalice."
"Spectacular trophy art robberies are low or non-earners," he said.
For lesser treasures, the market is lucrative - and vast.
The FBI estimates the market for stolen art at US$6 billion annually. The Art Loss Register, which maintains the world's largest database on the subject, has tallied a total of 170,000 pieces of stolen, missing and looted art and valuables, said staff member Antonia Kimbell.
Interpol has about 30,000 pieces of stolen art in its database. Most art thefts are ordinary burglaries of private homes, where criminals take everything of value they can find, including art, said Kind.
In museums, many thefts occur in storerooms, and sometimes go unnoticed for years until museums do inventory. Often, museum personnel are involved, he said.
Then there are the dramatic raids. Kind likes to dispel the myth of art world criminals like Pierce Brosnan's suave character in the 1999 remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair."
"I would warn against considering art thieves as gentlemen thieves," Kind said. They are increasingly armed and violent, he said.
The Munch paintings were stolen by masked gunmen at the Munch Museum in Norway in 2004, while the museum was open. Police have said little about how they were recovered.
One of the biggest art heists of all time took place in the United States. In 1990, two men disguised as Boston police officers walked into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as the city's St. Patrick's Day celebration was winding down. They persuaded security guards to unlock the doors of the gallery and then stole 13 priceless items including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet.
That heist appears on the FBI's list of the top 10 art thefts. The list is topped by the looting of Iraqi artifacts following the U.S. invasion in 2003 - an event that galvanized the international community's response to cultural theft.
The following year, the FBI dedicated 12 agents to a special art crime team. During its first year in operation, the team recovered more than 100 pieces worth over $50 million.
"International law enforcement is getting better, they are devoting a lot more resources to it - specifically in the United States, where they really upped their staff," said Jonathan Sazonoff, who runs a leading website on stolen art.
Museum of the Missing The High Stakes of Art Crime
By Simon Houpt
Key Porter, 192 pages, $30
Reviewed by Margo Goodhand
AH, art thieves. They're rich, smart, cool and impeccably dressed, right? They look like Pierce Brosnan or Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones or Cary Grant.
Well, not exactly.
According to Globe and Mail reporter Simon Houpt's first book, Museum of the Missing, art thieves can be as quirky as the collectors they steal from.
There's the spoiled rich girl who stole from her parents in 1973 to aid the Irish Republican Army. Or the paranoid vicious Irish gangster who sold a Vermeer in the 1980s to buy drugs.
Or better yet, the compulsive sadsack who quietly plundered European country houses, carefully framing and displaying his million-dollar hoard of 232 treasures in his tiny bedroom, until they spilled out into the house he shared with his aging mother.
By the time police finally came to get him in 2001, his mom had ditched "closetfuls" of priceless relics into the Rhine-Rhone canal.
Fascinating and fun, this book is full -- not surprisingly -- of great art.
For example, in the case of the kleptomaniac Stephane Breitwieser, we see a beautiful full-page glossy shot of his most valuable booty, a 16th-century painting by Lucas Cranach (the Elder), worth some $9 million.
And beside it, we see a news photo of French gendarmes in hipwaders, armed with fishing nets, gamely trying to scoop art out of the canal. It's a delicious, intriguing romp through the high-stakes world of art crime: part history lesson, part art class, part true crime story.
Houpt is a good writer and a good journalist, with a way of packaging a lot of information and ideas into easily digested pieces.
We learn about the true meaning of the "spoils of war" -- from the Emperor of Art Theft, Napoleon Bonaparte, through the colossal pillaging of the Nazi regime, to the ransacking of Iraq's National Museum in 2003.
We hear about new kinds of art police, like the undercover officer in the ritzy Copenhagen hotel who jumps into a cast-iron bathtub to shield a stolen Rembrandt as a SWAT team storms in to arrest the thief.
We find out that more than 80 per cent of art heists are inside jobs, and that museums are spending so much on security these days it's getting too expensive to keep them open.
We read about the commodification of art in the 21st century, with skyrocketing prices at public auctions.
And it all makes you wonder just how we value art in this society.
Apparently, Da Vinci's Mona Lisa only became famous after she was stolen in 1911. During the two years she was gone, composers wrote tunes to her, editorial cartoons mocked police recovery efforts, and cabaret singers performed topless tributes.
"Crowds flooded the Louvre to stare at the empty space on the wall," Houpt writes. "They actually showed up in far greater numbers than they had before."
This, then, is Houpt's tribute to the missing; a glossy colour picture book like no other. That's because its final 31 pages -- a sumptuous gallery of Corots and Caravaggios, Monets and Matisses -- are images the world may never see again. Incomparable, irreplaceable ... and gone.
Margo Goodhand is the associate editor of the Winnipeg Free Press.
First conversation with actor Pierce Brosnan about his performance in the remake of the 1968 film, The Thomas Crown Affair. He discusses the actor Steve McQueen's role in the original and his earlier performances as James Bond. Also, Brosnan's co-star Rene Russo talks about her work on the movie. She shares her experiences on the set and opinions about sexuality on the movie screen.
The After The Sunset cast interview is also avalaible for separate sale but exists as an extra on the ATS DVD at considerably less cost.
Since so many questions are asked about the music, all the non Bill Conti composed score on the film soundtrack is listed below. All the music with ** are available on the official film album, all the others are not. There's also a longer promotional CD with about a half hour more of Conti's score but it's very hard to find.
This listing came from the UK publication Sight & Sound.
"Sinnerman" adapted/performed by Nina Simone **
"The Complicated Man", "UFO Get-Go", "Back Porch" by/performed by Jamshied Sharifi
"Tango Ballad" from "The Threepenny Opera “Original Broadway Cast" by Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, music conducted by Samuel Matlowsky
"The Windmills of Your Mind" by Michel Legrand, Marilyn Bergman, Alan Bergman, arranged by Rob Middleton, performed by Chico O'Farrill and His Orchestra
"Cumenco" by Raf S. Astor, Eddie Bobe, performed by the Cumenco All-Stars
"Everything Is Never Quite Enough" by Wasis Diop, Xavier Derouin, Beth Hirsch, performed by Wasis Diop **
"Caban la ka Kratchie" by/performed by Georges Fordant **
"T'oublies tout" by Jean-Marc Monnerville, Remy Bellenchombre, performed by Kali
"The Windmills of Your Mind" by Michel Legrand, Marilyn Bergman, Alan Bergman, performed by Sting **
I caught most of an episode of Private Screenings with Robert Osborne last night and his interview subject was Norman Jewison, the director of the original TCA. During their chat you're reminded that his career had an interesting trajectory, from Judy Garland TV specials to movies and that Jewison once thought he was pre-destined (by his contract at Universal) to be known as just another go-to guy for light comedy after helming Doris Day and James Garner in "The Thrill of It All." (He tells an interesting story about how he got out of his contract.)
The subject of his TCA comes up and most of the story's been told before though I didn't know he got to look at early footage of Dunaway before Bonnie and Clyde came out so he could see how she was on film. (He'd seen her before in a play.) He familiarly recounts how Steve McQueen lobbied intensely for the Crown role even though Jewison kept telling him he was wrong for the part of a suited Boston Brahmin type -- and because of that resistance Steve just kept pressing harder. NJ then goes on to say that he knew with a star like McQueen in the role he'd have no trouble getting financing for the film, but you never got the usual apology that comes with this kind of story, where the director admits he was wrong and actor turns out to be a revelation in the role, etc. - and Jewison had opportunity to say it. He and Mcqueen were very close and he probably has said as much before, and I'm sure when he was promoting the film, but it's interesting years on and looking back on it, that he doesn't. Makes you wonder a little bit if he ever truly came around to thinking McQueen was right for Crown. Wasn't there some rumor that Sean Connery was approached? Not that he would have been quite right either as the part was originally conceived, IMO, (and he may have been a studio choice and not Jewison's). In any case, McQueen was a noticeably uncomfortable fit and it's a strained performance.
Last Edit: Sept 14, 2007 13:41:44 GMT -5 by Lauryn
Connery was approached but was contracted to another film. Lucky for us he turned it down or Pierce says he never would have remade it, there would be way too much baggage. Connery would have been better at it than McQueen but I still can't see him coming close to Pierce's portrayal. It is interesting that Jewison knows he was miscast then and still probably thinks it.
Speaking of PB's Crown there's a new YouTube video up (I think that brings the count up to three)
An interview with Composer Bill Conti. It looks like it was from 1999 but it's undated.
DS: Did you actively pursue The Thomas Crown Affair?
BC: I know it's a stock-in-trade to do that, but I don't pursue films at this point in my life. But it's mildly interesting how I got the job. Pierce Brosnan made a film with John McTiernan called Nomads, for which I did the score. It was John's first picture. He remembered me, and called me to do The Thomas Crown Affair. I had seen the original picture and adored it.. So why do they do remakes like this? I have no idea. I did the original Gloria, which wasn't even a hit. But since Pierce was a producer on Thomas Crown, I'd say that he had something to do with remaking it.
DS: How do you get Michel Legrand's score out of your head?
BC: If John McTiernan made a Thomas Crown Affair that was a homage to the original, then I'd have to be conscious of the original score. Michel's score for the original defined an era. But is this a "90's" score? I wouldn't be able to give you an answer. This is a different film. It just has the same name. In my opinion, it could be called many other different things than The Thomas Crown Affair. It's not the same caper, but some story points are similar. If I want to say dark and light, I'd say this one is lighter in its tonal quality.
DS: Tell me about your score.
BC: I scored the film with two thoughts. One came from the opening titles. As a wink to the original, Faye Dunaway plays Pierce's psychiatrist. These lyrical title cards are going on during their conversation. There was a flow, and lyricism to them that I heard. That's my job. It's not a miracle or a mystery. I do that, because I know the language of music. Those things affect me musically, and I told John 'Wow, I really like this. As a matter of fact, I heard the whole thing. I'll let you hear it tomorrow morning.' And that's what I did. I went home, and started messing around with pianos, and ended up with five of them. I brought the music to John, and he liked it. I also have a string orchestra and a percussion section to reflect the slick nature of Thomas Crown. He's like a tap dancer, so you hear tap dancers on the percussion tracks. Those two ideas brought me the entire score.
DS: How did you come up with the tap dancing analogy?
BC: The guy's doing a caper. He's slick. But that tap dancing is subtle, as is the whole movie. The director and actors are winking at us. They don't want us to take the film too seriously. They want us to have fun. There are no gun or car chases, but you sit there and enjoy the movie.
DS: Are there any jazz touches to the score?
BC: There are jazz touches to the score, but I wouldn't call them "real" jazz. Real jazz is improvised. Michel's score was also written, but there are moments of improvisation in his score and mine. I think my score has a unique sound because of the five pianos. But to everyone else, it will sound like a really large piano, even though a pianist couldn't play all of those notes. The score is subtle, and interesting.
DS: Did John have anything he wanted your score to do?
BC: He knew what his movie was, and wanted the audience to be prepared for. So it would've been wrong if I scored The Thomas Crown Affair like an action picture. While there are moments of tension, you aren't going to think that an explosion's going to happen. There's a subtlety of entertainment, fun, intelligence and sophistication. It's not a movie for people who are expecting vulgarity. The score can't do the vulgarity of "He's a bad guy, he's a good guy, here's the chase and this is the sex." In the Greek chorus style, the score is supposed to be as sophisticated as the movie is. Hopefully, I've done that.
DS: What do you think equals musical sophistication?
BC: You'd have to begin by talking about what unrefined music is. It's anything that has rock and roll, rap and repetitive rhythm and harmony. The guy who drinks ripple instead of wine would not expect a sophisticated composer like Mozart. And the guy who's drinking ripple doesn't even know that he's vulgar. They don't get it. You need to acquire sophistication. It's an aesthetic that transcends words and takes your breath away. You have to be educated to know a real kind of sophistication, because the ordinary person just wouldn't get it. You can get a high with a bottle of Ripple, but the explosion of your taste buds with fine wine is like a bigger orgasm.
DS: How many themes are in your score?
BC: There's a dark and a light theme. One that tells you something's happening, and one that tells you people are having fun. Those two themes are all about Mr. Crown. Catherine has a theme which is more emotional. Her character is more complex than Crown's. There are other thematic things in the score, but they're so inside that they don't come across as being thematic.
DS: Are there any other instrumental motifs in the score?
BC: Beyond the pianos and the tap dancing, there's a Nina Simone recording which is used during a very critical part of the movie. It's very effective, and came from a great idea that John had. There's also a cameo appearance of the song "The Windmills of Your Mind," which shows up with Faye Dunaway. I didn't have a problem with that. After all, wouldn't you want to hear that with her character?
DS: What was your collaborative process like with John?
BC: Music is anti-intellectual. It's non-literal, and you have to find out what makes the director happy. You want to let someone hear what you're thinking about. Because if you get to the stage, and the director says "I wasn't thinking like that," then your score won't be in the movie. But we didn't have that kind of collaboration, because it just didn't work out that way. John was very busy, and lived in Wyoming. He never came to my house. He only listened to the main title, then he heard the rest of the music on the scoring stage. When John had a problem, I re-manipulated my material.
DS: How did you get into film scoring?
BC: I always wanted to write dramatic music. Maybe that's because I came from a house where Italian opera was always being played. It made me want to be a Baroque composer, and I wanted to get paid to write that kind of music. In the back of your mind, when you say you want to write music for the movies, you're saying that you want a big house, a big car and a boat. If you just wanted to write music, you could live in Kansas and do it. So how can you be a professional composer? You can teach school and write. But that's not being a professional composer, is it? You can only live on Guggenheim grants and Fullbright scholarships for a while. But how do you become a "real" composer? You have to go into the commercial world, which isn't unlike what the Baroque composers did. Cobblers made shoes. Mozart's job classification was to write music, which he did for ballets and operas. He got paid to do that, and taught on the side. He wasn't a waiter. He didn't sell mutual funds. Those are all noble professions, but if you want to be a professional composer, then you're writing dramatic music for film and television. And it's a wonderful thing to do that every day, rather than writing music for a one-time performance. Benjamin Britten disagreed with Penderecki, who was a contemporary of his. Penderecki wrote for 2,000 informed people in the world. People who knew the difference between champagne and ripple. Britten said "I'm a member of the social community. I write for people. And if they're rejecting my music, then I'm writing the wrong kind of music." So if you're a member of the community, then one of the legitimate professions is being a film composer. And I always wanted to do that. I wanted to write thematic music, and get paid for it. And if you're in LA, you get the Hollywood bug. You want the same things that everyone else has- a lawyer, a business manager, an agent, a publicist, and big, big bucks. It's sick, but that's the ideal. So you pursue that. And if you're lucky, you catch the gold ring.
DS: How do you keep yourself in the Hollywood game?
BC: Who wants to be in the game? How much money do you want? I did a couple of things. I've got an Academy Award, an Emmy and some hit songs. On the academic side, I've got two Bachelors, a Masters and a Doctorate. Do you care? And you shouldn't care. What's it all in the pursuit of? I'm fine.
DS: Do you think there's a rediscovery going on now of older composers like yourself?
BC: I think the history of film music writing begins with the Viennese composers. Schoenberg wasn't a film composer, and he wrote great music. So who wrote film music? Guys who were pretty good, but guys who had no illusions of being "A" composers. My music goes towards an end, which is a movie. From the early days of film scoring, there were guys who were educated in music. There were okay writers, and there were guys who didn't have a clue. They were the brothers of, the cousins of the guy who had the real job, and he used other people to write his music, then put his name on it. That's back in the beginning of the "good old, Golden Age" days. So what's different about it from the 30's to the 90's? Nothing. You could say "style," but men still wear long pants. The personality types of the composers are the same. There are guys who know how to write pretty good, but they're not Stravinsky. Aaron Copland did a movie or two, but we don't know him as a film composer. There are guys who know how to be effective. But what does "effective" mean? The Creature From the Black Lagoon jumps up, and the music scares me. But is that "music?" Who cares? It scared me. So the guy who's equally uninformed, whether he's the producer or the director, wants the composer who's effective, because he doesn't have to be musically literate. That's not his job. He just has to be musically effective for the director. There are guys who walk away with Academy Awards who don't know how to write a note of music. You would think that would be a prerequisite in the biz, but it's not. And I'm not saying that in a bad way. I think it's great. There are no illusions about being more than who you are as a composer. If you can effectively put something musical in the right place, then you've got the job and the big bucks. So it's not about being young and in fashion. I see Jerry Goldsmith doing another score, and he's not getting any younger, or doing any less work. So "youth" hasn't impinged on his desire. Does he need the money? I hope not. Does he need fame? I'm sure he does.. Seneca said "What's the sense of saving journey money when the journey's getting shorter? How much journey money do you really need?" And I was a workhorse. I loved to write music, and I wrote it for fifteen years in a row for everything, anything, anywhere. And then I said "I'm tired of that. I just don't want to do that anymore." It left me.
DS: Well, I think it's great that you're doing a big studio film. It's the first one you've done in a while. You should be doing more of them.
BC: Making a living is not a career. It might be for an accountant, but it's not for someone who says "I want one thing." The guy who feels that his career hasn't happened yet. The guy who has that kind of hunger, who wants money and fame. If your career's going to reach a plateau, than you're going to cop to any of these things. I think John Williams and John Barry have five Academy Awards. Do they want number six? I don't know. But do I want number two? Sort of. It would be a lie to say that I didn't.
DS: It would be nice to be conducting your own music at the Academy Awards if you won another one.
BC: I've conducted twice when I've lost. I was up for Rocky and For Your Eyes Only when I had to play someone else's music. And the only time I sat in the audience during fourteen years of going, I won for The Right Stuff. It's a rush to do the show. It's all about being able to do live music well, and I love it. But I was as bored and anxiety-ridden as everyone else when I was sitting in the audience, the one year when I wasn't conducting. And I won! That was kind of neat.
DS: With so many scores behind you, don't you think you should be better-represented on CD?
BC: I get lots of requests for The Big Blue, Gloria and The Karate Kid. And I think, "what a bore." The only time I've put out CDs were for these three IMAX pictures, The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Niagara Falls. They sell at the parks, and I retained the rights for the music. So that means I went into the CD business. Somebody prints them up, stamps them, and mails them out. I hate every inch of the thought of doing that, because I don't want to be a businessman. So why did I do that? I did it as an experiment. Forget money. If 10, or 100 thousand people want The Big Blue, it don't mean a thing. It needs to be a hit. Maybe your little composer ego goes "Wow!" But I can't tell you how many Yellowstone CDs have even been sold. It's just irrelevant. So when people ask for a tape of Gloria, I tell them that I'm sorry, but I'm not in the business of making tapes. They should just consider the music as not being released. I only wish there was a hit. I don't want to know Gloria. Who cares?
DS: A lot of your fans do. Shouldn't it feel good that people want your music?
BC: You're right. It should feel good, but it's always been cumbersome to put out CDs of my scores. I don't even have any tapes of mine. I don't have a clue of where they are, or records of where they went to. But knowing that there are people out there who do care, the thought has crossed my mind to hire someone to start a label. But then there are those sleazy boutique labels that put out bootlegs. I don't want to be a shopkeeper. Even if I hired someone, wouldn't I still be the shopkeeper?
DS: What do you think of your CD for Blood In Blood Out (retitled Bound by Honor ) going for hundreds of dollars on the collector market?
BC: I don't even have a copy. The soundtrack didn't come out when the film wasn't a hit, and I felt really bad about it. When the film dies, the record dies. Unless the score is going to fly with a hit song, it's not going to reach the people who care about it. It's not a big ticket item. The same thing happened with The Right Stuff. I had a record deal with the Ladd Company, and I'd even mixed the album. The film didn't do business, and they didn't put out the album. So I put out $20,000 when I was recording another movie in London, and I re-recorded North and South with The Right Stuff. Then the record company reimbursed me.
DS: Do you think there's a common bond that runs through your scores?
BC: Me analyzing me is not the same as someone else listening to me. But I think there's always a melodic content in my music. I love melody. There's some sort of Italian-ate lyricism to what I do because of my operatic background. And I don't want my music to be part of the woodwork. Some people say "A good score is if you don't hear it." Then why don't you just say "Let's have the actors mumble." Why does a door slam have to sound like World War III? Why does a gunshot have to be bigger than any gunshot I've ever heard in my life? I want my music to be heard, and if you don't hear my scores, then I've failed. But I also don't want my music to be thrown out if the director feels that I'm taking attention away from the movie. The director is the captain of the ship. He can tell a writer to punch up the dialogue. He can make the lighting brighter. But when it gets to the music, the director is left saying something like "I want it to feel blue." What does that mean? Music isn't literal, it's dangerous. It can sneak up on you and do things. So you're fighting this psychological drama to get into the head of the captain of your ship, because he just can't do it. A director can control everything- except music. He understands it on the only level he should, an emotional one. And if the music doesn't work for him, it ain't working. There was a cue I did for The Thomas Crown Affair that had the room jumping up and down. But I said to John, "Look, if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work. Let me do it differently." And I reached, and found what was missing for John so he could jump on the bandwagon. It's tough. The music is best if it's held down. It's more dangerous if it's loud.
DS: Your theme for Rocky is your most popular piece of music. What's it like to achieve that level of public consciousness?
BC: That kind of phenomenon happens when there's the coordination of people liking the movie and your music, and it being a hit. I've been fortunate to be on that ride. It didn't have to happen. But It did, and I'm thankful.
DS: You've scored films with a wide variety of styles, from jazz to Americana. Is there any style of music that you'd still like to explore?
BC: I just want to write pretty, melodic music. I haven't done something pretty and quiet in so long. But I've cut back anyway. I'm not doing as much. Most recently I did a picture called Winchell for Paul Mazursky and Inferno for Jean-Claude Van Damme. But I've felt a lack of scores like Slow Dancing In the Big City. The aggressive, macho, punch-in-the-face had its timespan in the 70's. And it's difficult to look away from a gift horse. But at least that punch-in-the-mouth stuff happened! And I can do the Rocky and Right Stuff styles when people want me to. But pretty, slow, sad music is what I want to do.
DS: Where do you want your music to stand in the grand scheme of film scores?
BC: It has to stand only as film music for sure. Remember, my opinion of it is not that high. It began with three Viennese composers, and Korngold is not Richard Strauss. He's not as good as him. Strauss' Salome is wonderful. Korngold, in his operas and his film scores are not to be said in the same breath as Richard Strauss. However, Korngold is probably one of the best film composers who ever lived! Franz Waxman, Max Steiner, they're great film composers. And if I could be part of a good group of film composers, then that would be nice. But there's a higher place that I have no illusions about reaching. There's a sophistication and aesthetic about composers who only write only for the music's sake. I don't follow the muse. I follow the film. I watch the opening of The Thomas Crown Affair, and the music feels a particular way, because that's the way I heard it. Is that a muse moment? Who knows, because it was inspired by the film, and that's what I do. I don't want it to sound like I'm putting film scoring down. I'm just being objective about the level that I'm at. Those pure composers are higher, better than me. I'm ripple, and they're big-time wine. But we still do the same things.
Pierce Brosnan is desperate to lose his "'Mamma Mia!' middle".
Former James Bond star Pierce - who insists he looks fat in the new musical movie - is keen to get rid of his excess pounds before he starts filming 'The Thomas Crown Affair 2' with director Paul Verhoeven.
Pierce, 55, said: "Paul does sexy really well. I will have to go to the gym to lose my 'Mamma Mia!' middle before we start the film!"
The actor is set to reprise his role as the thief in the sequel to hit 1999 movie 'The Thomas Crown Affair' and Angelina Jolie - who recently gave birth to twins - is said to be in final negotiations to play the character's young love interest.
Rene Russo was Pierce's co-star in the first movie, but the actor insists he wants a new beauty to woo, adding: "This is a different affair."
Pierce can currently be seen in 'Mamma Mia!' alongside Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Amanda Seyfried.