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Rising Sun (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Underappreciated score, underdone album

Philip Kaufman's 1993 cop flick, RISING SUN, featured enjoyable performances from Connery and Snipes, but sagged as a bad adaptation of one of Michael Crichton's worse novels. Though the film removed much of Crichton's anti-Japanese paranoia, the supporting cast was still peppered with ugly Oriental stereotypes. As a pretty safe bet, classical composer Toru Takemitsu was typecast to give the film "that Japanese sound" -- and even after he finished, Fox mangled its placement in the film. (Given his subsequent seven-year hiatus from filmmaking, Kaufman wasn't too pleased with the studio's input, either.) Still, his score wows. Subtle, foreboding, and often dissonant, it has class and intelligence that far exceed the film's.

The biggest tragedy is that Takemitsu never got to score an American film that deserved him. First runner-up tragedy? His Japanese film scores, which are numerous, stylistically diverse, and superior to RISING SUN's, are notoriously hard to find.

The second runner-up tragedy, of course, is this: the soundtrack album itself. Running 39 minutes on disc in 1993, it was skimpy, considering that RISING SUN was scored wall-to-wall. Consider, though, that the Takemitsu tracks were supplemented by 8 minutes of taiko drum music, a Duke Ellington piano snippet, and a karaoke number that a character sings in the background early on (really, Fox Music?). The absence of those tracks is the only thing worth celebrating about this iTunes release, unceremoniously exhumed for a quick buck. The obvious downside to that is 27 minutes of music for a full 10 bucks.

I'm glad this music is out there in any way, shape, or form, but the iTunes Store is positively BLEEDING Takemitsu's concert works, at much better values. Buy this used and cheap, if you must, and then find some of those.


Nacido/a: Tokyo, Japan, 08 de octubre de 1930

Género: Bandas sonoras

Años de actividad: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Largely self-taught, worked with the Experimental Workshop in Tokyo in early '50s. Guitarist, pianist. Received Italia Prize in 1958. Influenced by John Cage, jazz, serialism, Debussy, ancient Japanese music, and many world cultures. Unique polyrhythmic and open scoring methods combined with traditional Western notation. First combinations of Western orchestra with traditional Japanese instruments and Gagaku ensembles. Filmscores include Woman in the...
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Rising Sun (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Toru Takemitsu
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