After John Williams completes the score for the upcoming Indiana Jones film, John Williams will retire, am I correct? Steven Spielberg undoubtedly believes this. or felt like way. At the conclusion of a 90-minute talk between the two cinematic titans on Thursday night, he was corrected on that assumption.
90- Minute Talk with John Williams:
The event was sponsored by the American Cinematheque and held at the Writers Guild Theater. The moderator, Variety film music writer Jon Burlingame, addressed the topic at hand by saying, “I have one more question for everyone of you. John, are you really leaving the film industry? Are “The Fabelmans,” the most recent film to be discussed, and the impending Indiana Jones film your final contributions to the genre?
Well, Steven is a lot of different things, the composer said. He is a producer, a director, a studio head, a writer, a philanthropist, and an educator. He is not, however, a man to whom you can say no.
Spielberg remarked, a little jokingly rattled, “You never told me that before tonight.
John Williams said that the director’s father, WWII veteran Arnold Spielberg, who passed away at age 102 and continued to work at the Shoah Foundation at ages 99 and 100. The composer asserted, “This is what he wants from me,” even though it was obvious Spielberg had no such expectations.
John Williams said,
The finest decade in a person’s life, she responded, is from 90 to 100. I’ll thus stay for a bit. Additionally, you cannot stop making music. It’s like breathing, as I indicated before. You lead a life. My life is it. A day without music is therefore unwise.
It is thus the best decade. The finest decade in a person’s life, she responded, is from 90 to 100. I’ll thus stay for a bit. Additionally, you cannot stop making music. It’s like breathing, as I indicated before. You lead a life. My life is it. A day without music is therefore unwise.
Spielberg responded, “I have get to work, to figure out what the hell I’m doing next,” with a wry smile.
Spielberg gave the following summary of their 50 years of working together: “Because we’re still in it together, it’s really difficult to summarise, and when I try to do so, I almost think as if we’re both retiring at the same time. I recently found out that he isn’t. The story has now taken a completely different turn that obviously influences the pages and chapters that follow. Williams was once again addressed, “That you said that tonight is unimaginable. This is amazing!
Definitely the most popular ticket in town The event has Burlingame selecting a dozen film clips from the 29 feature films made by the director and composer who would most likely be chosen by popular acclaim as the leaders in their fields who best kept the gold going after the golden age of Hollywood on Thursday, with dozens of hopeful standby hopefuls in line, hoping for seats to open up.
Spielberg claimed that he had been fixated on Williams’ music for two Mark Rydell movies, “The Reivers,” for which he “wore out” the soundtrack CD, and “The Cowboys,” for which there was no soundtrack album at the time but part of which the aspiring director had nonetheless retained to memory.
When John Williams arrived at a high-end Beverly Hills restaurant, “I replied, ‘I’m looking for Mr. Spielberg,'” he recounted.
I chatted with him for a short while and recognised straight away that this young man was incredibly intelligent and that he seemed to know more about film music than I did. and had knowledge of it comparable to that of a scholar. I saw “Sugarland Express,” and I was so blown away by how masterfully cut it was, especially the action sequences, which were unlike anything I had seen at that calibre in a very long time. I decided right away to work with Mr., sorry, Master—Spielberg.
After some shared love for the Toots Theilemans harp soloing that made up a large portion of the “Sugarland” music, “Jaws,” Spielberg’s second cinematic release, received greater notice. Steven was intrigued by my score for Robert Altman’s film “Images… Very inappropriate for an adventure movie like this,” the composer continued, emphasising the point.
Spielberg acknowledged, “I temped the entire movie with the soundtrack from ‘Images’.” And when we did it, it wasn’t ‘Jaws. The movie was different. And after watching the movie with the “Images” score, you reacted negatively. Not a Robert Altman film, this. It is a pirate movie.
John Williams recalled that when she played the well-known two-note theme for Steven on the piano, his response was something along the lines of, “Are you serious? Well, by the time we get the cellos in, I believe it might work, I said. So he said, “Let’s give it a go.” And we gave it a go. He seemed content. When Spielberg initially played it for him on the piano, he said, “I was afraid because after you finished playing it on the piano, you looked up at me and you were smiling, and I began laughing because I didn’t know you that well.
In a humorous passage that alluded to Spielberg’s own musical skill—or lack thereof—”Jaws” was brought up once more. The two of them asserted that they had never disagreed over a musical style in their five decades of steady labour when Burlingame questioned them about it. The director questioned, “I mean, what am I going to do, go down and create the music myself?
John Williams said, “I think you definitely could,” adding, “Don’t play the clarinet.” I play clarinet in “Jaws” because I play it so poorly, Spielberg said. A little high school band was playing as it marched down the street. Well, you know, we generally do stuff to sweeten it, but we need you to sour this, John explained to the studio band. We had a fantastic clarinettist as our opening act, and he was simply too brilliant. You’ve got to make it worse, I told him. He then gave Steven the clarinet.
In a section of the interview that followed the screening of a less well-known Williams composition, a superb jazz theme for “Catch Me If You Can’s” opening titles, Spielberg gave a clear answer to the question of whether he ever inhaled. Spielberg stated that jazz is “something that we share in common” because he used to frequent jazz clubs while attending Long Beach State University. I once made the trip to the Hermosa Beach Lighthouse. I went to Shelly’s Man Hole, (the nightclub of) Shelly Manne, and Shelly ended up playing percussion as a session player on both “Close Encounters” and “Jaws.”
But I had already spent a lot of time with Shelly. I believe I first smelt marijuana in jazz clubs rather than on university. That’s where I first really smelled it, and even though I’ve never smoked the substance, I believe I also had a contact high. It was very remarkable since I got to see Lionel Hampton from a distance of six feet. I got to see Art Tatum, who was already elderly at the time. Just a little while after “Duel,” I was directing Sandy Dennis in a TV movie. I had gone to a lot of jazz clubs when all of a sudden, Gerry Mulligan stepped onto my set.
John William astonished me, as stated in the song “Catch Me If You Can” Look, unlike what we often do, you won’t be coming over to the office, he explained. Since it’s obviously impossible, I won’t attempt to perform this on the piano. Simply show up for the meeting. And I had the opportunity to hear it for the first time.
The most sombre of Spielberg’s films, “Saving Private Ryan” and “Schindler’s List,” were discussed. A clip from the former’s ending moment, which moved some audience members even when it was separated from the rest of the movie, was shown. Spielberg remarked that musically, “the trumpet and the low strings—it respects all of the soldiers both today and yesterday.” “It’s such a wonderful honour that the military frequently requests permission to perform this piece. Throughout the whole American military, this is one of the most often requested scores. The Marines and the Army are frequently referenced because of their profound awe and appreciation for those who have sacrificed their lives for freedom.
The discussion shifted to the present when a clip from “Fabelmans” with Michelle Williams as a fictionalised version of Spielberg’s mother performing an unexpected dance in front of her family (and her boyfriend) on a nighttime camping trip was screened. John Williams’ soundtrack was meant to convey “a sort of music that may elicit or generate a kind of dream state, where gravity is suspended and emotion is slowed down and we think about our status in the cosmos,” even if it is likely silent in the real-life location for the scene.
The composer continued, “I knew Steven’s parents and liked them… Whatever I’ve done in this, I hope it is worthy of them. Spielberg said, “Oh, that is.
The director added, on speaking more about “The Fabelmans,” “You know, I’ve spent my entire life leaving home to go produce movies. I finally had the opportunity to shoot a movie at home. This is the reason why I think it was crucial to our work on this and why it is so significant to me. Because I had never done something that gave me the genuine impression that I was disclosing something that, ten years prior, I would have never dared to discuss.
“My mum pushed me to share the tale. She would constantly tell me, “Steve, during our entire lifetimes, I’ve provided you a lot of fantastic stuff,” whenever I entered (her) restaurant, the Milky Way. What are you going to do with it by when? Additionally, Tony Kushner, who co-wrote this with me, was there on the opposite side of me, urging me to write down some of these recollections and then find a method to communicate them. However, I believe that once my mother died and I lost my father… how is today? 12 January? My mother’s birthday would have been today. The spectators applauded. Because she was a performer, “you know, she would have relished that round of applause.”
John Williams said, “Why have Steven and I been together for 50 years? ” in reference to their total shared heritage. I fell in love with this man right away when he was a newborn, and that’s what kept us together. However, Stephen grew up admiring the glory days of the movie business and adopting the mentality that we should strive to equal our forebears’ achievements. He adored classical composers. He adored Franz Waxman, Max Steiner, and all of these other artists. He also adored Korngold.
Therefore, in a certain sense, Steven’s love of movies was not backwards—quite the opposite—but he was listening back into these people’s past achievements, no doubt in a similar way to how he directs. He is a force for progress, yet he is also tied to the past. And I believe that writing music as good as Korngold was one of my musical goals. In some respects, Steven and I were looking in the same general direction because of our shared love of satisfaction and desire to live up to the standards set by the shoulders we stood on. I believe something along those lines explains our shared appreciation of the arts.
Indiana Jones 5 will premiere on June 30, 2023
Frequently Asked Questions:
What was John Williams most famous piece?
Episode IV of the Star Wars saga, A New Hope (1977) Regarding the soundtrack of the original Star Wars film, there is nothing more to be said. Williams was invited to provide the music for a movie that would permanently alter the way movies are produced.
Who has 52 Oscar nominations?
With 52 Oscar nominations, Williams now holds the record for the most nominations for a living person. Williams is also the only nominee in Academy Awards history to have garnered nods in each of the seven decades, trailing only Walt Disney (59 nominations).
Is John Williams the greatest composer?
He is the second-most nominated person for an Academy Award with 52, after Walt Disney. He is regarded as one of the finest composers in the history of cinema, and his works are regarded as the pinnacle of cinematic music.
Did John Williams do Harry Potter?
Each of the eight matching Harry Potter films’ soundtracks was created and released at the same time as the corresponding film’s post-production and release. Nicholas Hooper, Alexandre Desplat, Patrick Doyle, and John Williams all contributed to the scores.