Friday, June 1, 2007

Time for Great Art

A small meme has been bouncing around classical music blogs over the past few days. It began with Terry Teachout pondering if there were any great scores for movie comedies and quickly spiraled into Alex Ross proposing Danny Elfman's Beetlejuice, Matthew Guerrieri throwing out Franz Waxman's The Philadelphia Story, and Lisa Hirsch wisely bringing in Carl Stallings.

All in all, an interesting discussion and one I'd have to think about more deeply than is possible in my sleeplessness addled brain today, but I was most struck by the age of the film scores proposed as great by all the commentators. As is often the case, music from the past twenty years gets no respect.

Think about the AFI's list from a few years ago. Certainly the list proves that comedy scores are routinely ignored and has other problems like putting Vertigo and The Adventures of Robin Hood outside the top five, but notice that the most recent film score is from 1986.

Is this neglect a feature of our historical imagination? Most will argue that great art needs to stand the test of time to be considered great art, but why is twenty years the proper amount of time? Why do we seem chronically unable to recognize great art within our own time period?

1 comment:

jeanetta said...

one new soundtrack that i adore is the one from THE HOLIDAY. awesome. almost manchini-esque at times. watch it and listen. its an awesome movie too. yeah i know its a chicky flick but its really good.