These two title sequences are how you get into Autumn. Listen and watch and you will be resigned to it.

I have melancholic mixed feelings about James Horner’s music for SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES — it was imposed by DisneyCorp against director Jack Clayton’s wishes, after Georges Delerue’s original, beautiful score was rejected. I really like Horner’s derivative, evocative, hammy theme tune, though. But I’d love a restored director’s cut. They say Disney never throws anything away…

Michael Kamen’s opening theme for THE DEAD ZONE may be the best thing he did in his two-short career. I guess it’s the first of Cronenberg’s snazzy title sequences — he’s had them ever since, and then his films settle down to being visually quite flat, which works because usually there will be some startling imagery, and if the camera is just resting its chin in its hand in an apathetic way, that can be quite effective.

OK, you can have this one too:


4 Responses to “Autumnal”

  1. ehrenstein47 Says:

    With all due respect you seriously underrate Kamen (full disclosure: he was a classmate of mine at “Communist Martyrs High”)

  2. ehrenstein47 Says:

    As for Autumn —

  3. I rewatched (and loved) The Dead Zone recently, and that visual flatness you mention in Cronenberg not only makes it work not only on his terms (like you said, to offset the groresque imagery – I say it’s like a medical textbook approach. Here it’s observing Walken, who is plenty alarming on his own), but also on King’s – his pulpy excesses are curbed alittle bit, and we get to see the humanity he can be pretty good at. Helps the horror feel really offhand and casual (although I think the shock cuts to Walken’s visions are very simple, but effective).

  4. The visions are really well done — putting Walken INTO them was a masterstroke.

    Don’t mean to underrate Kamen — he hit his stride when I was a youngster, and suddenly he was everywhere. Brazil and Die Hard!

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