The Film Music Society & Hollywood Entertainment Museum Present
The Music Of Film Noir Recaptured In New Hollywood Entertainment Museum Exhibit Opening April 8-June 7
Christopher Young, President of the Film Music Society (left) gives a welcome presentation to the Hollywood Entertainment Museum as museum Curator, Jan-Christopher Horak, looks on.
(L-R): Warren M. Sherk, Board Member and Co-Curator of Exhibit, Hollywood Entertainment Museum; Christopher Young, President, Film Music Society; Nancy Knutsen, ASCAP; Don Davis, Composer; Jan-Christopher Horak, Curator, Hollywood Entertainment Museum.
(Hollywood) -- At a VIP Reception on April 7 at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, composers of classic and modern Film Noir including Christopher Young ("Rounders") and Don Davis ("Bound") previewed the museum's retrospective, Film Noir: The Music That Sets the Tone. This historical exhibition (April 8-June 7) explores the instrumental scores that embraced the dark and moody film noir cinematic style through disc recordings, music sketches and film scores, photographs, sheet music, cue sheets, production-related materials and correspondence associated with the music of Film Noir. The event was presented, as is the exhibition, by the Hollywood Entertainment Museum and the Film Music Society and sponsored by ASCAP, BMI and Sesec. Wine was sponsored by Frank Family Vineyards.
Film Noir: The Music That Sets the Tone evokes the often haunting sounds of the atmospheric orchestrations of film noir and spotlights the composers who scored for a broad range of memorable films, chronicling the composers' approach to scoring through disc recordings, music sketches and film scores, photographs, sheet music, cue sheets, production-related materials and correspondence. Co-presented by The Film Music Society, which is providing a selection of artifacts, "Film Noir" is co-curated by archivist and FMS board member Warren M. Sherk.
The retrospective evokes the often haunting sounds of the atmospheric orchestrations of film noir and spotlights the composers who scored for a broad range of memorable films – from German Expressionist works and the American gangster genre to classic Hollywood noir and modern-day interpretations.
The exhibit chronicles the composers' approach to scoring through disc recordings, music sketches and film scores, photographs, sheet music, cue sheets, production-related materials and correspondence. Co-presented by The Film Music Society, which is providing a selection of artifacts, "Film Noir" is co-curated by archivist and FMS board member Warren M. Sherk.
Composers represented include artists from across the spectrum: John Barry ("Body Heat"), Elmer Bernstein ("The Grifters" and "Sweet Smell of Success"), Don Davis ("Bound"), Adolph Deutsch ("The Maltese Falcon"), Jerry Goldsmith ("L.A. Confidential"), Bernard Herrmann ("Taxi Driver"), Bronislau Kaper ("Gaslight"), Henry Mancini ("Touch of Evil"), John Ottman ("The Usual Suspects"), David Raksin ("Laura"), Miklos Rozsa ("Double Indemnity"), Dimitri Tiomkin ("Strangers on a Train"), Franz Waxman ("Rebecca" and "Sunset Boulevard"), Roy Webb ("Journey into Fear") and Christopher Young ("Rounders").
"While most Hollywood films from the 1930s offered an optimistic view of American life and mores, World War II and the ensuing Cold War brought a darker tone to Hollywood," said Jan-Christopher Horak, curator of Hollywood Entertainment Museum. "It was French critics in 1945, viewing the many American films they had missed because of the Nazi occupation, who coined the term film noir – literally 'black film' – to describe the new attitude and style."
Dramatically underlying these dark images were moody, emotional compositions that incorporated modern atonal music, as well as Wagnerian orchestrations, ominous pounding, melancholy sounds and suspenseful echoes. Classic films such as "Laura" and "The Maltese Falcon" captured the essence of film noir, its pessimism and dark, shadowy cinematography and its "anti-heroes" characterized by moral conflict, ambiguous politics and a dark view of the urban landscape.
The non-profit Film Music Society (www.filmmusicsociety.org), is the leading organization for film and television music preservation in the world. Established in 1982, members in 18 countries, the Film Music Society is devoted to restoration, preservation, education and archiving themselves the past, present and future of film and television music in all its manifestations.
Hollywood Entertainment Museum at 7021 Hollywood Blvd, LA is open Thursday through Sunday (11 a.m. - 6 p.m.), admission is $10.00 for adults, $4.50 for students, and free to Museum members and children under the age of five. Parking off Sycamore Ave. is $2 for two hours with Museum validation. For more information, call (323) 465-7900 or visit
Beginning Memorial Day, May 31, the Museum will be open daily (10 a.m.-6 p.m.).