Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 10:31 am
Film scores are, by and large, manipulative. They do their work at the periphery of the senses, signaling danger, heralding victory, prodding us toward fear and joy in time with the unfolding story. Crucially, they are also empathic, letting us in on what the actors' words or faces may not convey. And when things get unpleasant, the score can step in as an emotional buffer — a layer of unreality between us and the action that lets us know we're safe. Sunday night at the Oscars, Hollywood will honor a film whose music manages to get all these things right.
Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 10:08 am
Writer and critic Stephen Holden has covered everything from film to cabaret for The New York Times, as well as for TV programs such as 60 Minutes and 20/20. While he'd hoped to become a pop singer in his adolescence, Holden later embraced poetry and was published in The New Yorker.
Music remained a passion for Holden and became a key subject of his writing. He covered the singer-songwriter explosion of the 1970s, and his 1980 satirical novel Triple Platinum was based on his experiences as a journalist and executive with RCA.
In 2010, Lights made Ellie Goulding a star. The British singer-songwriter's debut topped the U.K. albums chart that year, and became a stateside hit over the course of the next 18 months. Goulding has performed at the White House, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Nobel Peace Prize concert.