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Directors/Composers

by Eric Levy

Created 12/04/14

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Encouraged by my good friend and inquisitor TruffautBergman, I thought it would be cool to create an adjunct to my Wives/Muses list, this time about directors who employ the same composer multiple times.

To be included, the director has to have used the composer more than once, and at least one of those collaborations has to be a Criterion title. So for instance, Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann made one of the most innovative director/composer teams in Hollywood history, but none of Criterion's Hitchcock films feature a Herrmann score (yet), so that particular pair is not represented below.

Composers are listed after the films they worked on for each director.

I have tried to make this list as complete as possible. Please let me know if I am missing anyone.

It was a bit confusing deciding how to arrange this list. I knew I wanted to start with Fellini/Rota because that's such a renowned pairing, and I made Cassavetes/Harwood second since Cassavetes is my hero. Because the number of Japanese directors and composers is so vast, I decided to separate all of them into the second half of the list, with the Italian Bertolucci and the Japanese Sakamoto serving as the fulcrum between two cultures. Beyond that it was a challenge to come up with any kind of meaningful order. Please make additional suggestions about making the list more user friendly.

Deepest gratitude to TruffautBergman, Kilianf286, and especially Peter_Wilson for filling in some of the blanks. Peter's Playback is the definitive list of existing classical pieces used in Criterion films and was a huge inspiration for the present list. Don't miss Jason K.'s Great Scores and Sean Ramsdell's Criterion Symphony Orchestra lists too.

And be sure to check out TruffautBergman's two lists of Director/Cinematographer collaborations: I've Seen It All: A Union Of Visions and The Dull Flame of Desire: Our Vision, and Kilianf286's Directors/Editors, Sound Designers, and Director/Production Designers.

Because this list ended up being so long, I am not including my usual cross-references and personal statistics.

Criterion folks: I'd really love to add Peter Greenaway and Michael Nyman!

77 comments

  • By TruffautBergman
    April 03, 2017
    11:16 AM

    Hello! Agreed, fingers crossed for "Stalker (1979)" and for an updated edition of "Andrei Rublev (1966)", as it was hinted on their [old] Hulu page. Yes, I have seen "Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)"; you actually recommended it to me during a previous 'quartet film deal' {back in 2015}. I'm doing well, glad to be back. I haven't watched many films lately {which is unfortunate}; I've been focusing on school, struggling with 'writer's block', and chatting it up with 'new' online friends, so those three things kind of take up my time... but I'm on a 'break' from DeviantArt right now, due to what I mentioned earlier. Maybe a 'film deal' from a certain person could bring me back into my cinephilia? Hint, hint...
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    April 07, 2017
    09:50 AM

    Hi Nina. Sorry it took me a few days to respond, but I guess you're used to that by now ;-) Well, at least I'm consistent. Did you like M&Y&EWK? So are you no longer home schooled? And I'd love to do a new film deal. Have you kept a list of the movies I've recommended to you like you have for music? I'd need to look at that first. But I'm definitely down!
    Reply
  • By TruffautBergman
    April 09, 2017
    04:42 AM

    Hehe, it's fine. I thought "Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)" was cute and unique; I remember it reminded me of "Juno (2007)" so that whole indie 'element' gave me quirky Tumblr-like vibes. Yes, I'm still home-schooled; I'm a 'senior' as of right now. College {along with a few other things} should be coming 'around the corner' {for me|; I start in January, which sounds very exciting/scary. Pray I'll get along/make friends with my peers. Also, I just e-mailed you the list of films you've recommended to me {from our previous 'film deals'}, hope it helps... I didn't realized how often we talked to each other, crazy; a little bitter-sweet reading some of the other comments though. Oh well, tis life as they say, but it's always a pleasure chatting with you.
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    April 09, 2017
    03:20 PM

    Hi Nina. Always a pleasure chatting with you too. I think it's just lovely we've become friends for all this time. So exciting about college! Where are you going? Got the e-mail. Thanks for the list. My next pick for you is PATHS OF GLORY. What shall I watch? If there are more Criterions you'd like to suggest, I am back on a CC kick, going through more I haven't seen yet. Watched Fellini's THE WHITE SHEIK, which was wonderful! Just rented HAXAN and THE WAR ROOM from the library, so I'm hoping to watch those today. But if you're burning to have me watch a non-Criterion title, that's fine too.
    Reply
  • By TruffautBergman
    April 09, 2017
    05:00 PM

    Aw... I'm going to a community college, the same one as my {older} brother. Could you 'pick' another film for me to watch? I've already seen {and loved} "Paths of Glory (1957)". My 'pick' for you is "Empire of Passion (1978)", it's a little 'out-to-lunch'/outrageous but a lush film none the less, and one of my all-time favorites. What films are you hoping to see for the July announcements?
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    April 10, 2017
    08:59 AM

    Hello again. Look, I'm getting better at timely responses ;-) EMPIRE OF PASSION is an excellent suggestion. I've been meaning to see that one for a while anyway (and more Oshima in general). Not sure how soon I can get to it, but I will let you know. I think I did know that you'd seen PATHS OF GLORY. Tell me which Kubrick you have not seen. It's important to be complete on him. As for July, well, of course I'm always hoping Peter Greenaway will finally officially join the Collection. As far as more likely fare, the February Newsletter hint was an angry clock. Most people on the Criterion Forum think it's going to be Mike Leigh's MEANTIME, which is a great film! But there's also the suggestion that it could be Charles Burnett's TO SLEEP WITH ANGER, which would absolutely thrill me! And of the New Year's hints, of course I'm most excited about STALKER. How about you?
    Reply
  • By TruffautBergman
    April 10, 2017
    10:42 AM

    Hi. I haven't seen "Fear and Desire (1953)", "Killer's Kiss (1955)", "Spartacus (1960)", "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)", or "Eyes Wide Shut (1999)". Well, as always I'm hoping for something from Krzysztof Kieślowski and/or Lars von Trier, but having "Meantime (1984)" in the Criterion Collection would be interesting, I love Tim Roth and absolutely adore Gary Oldman so that would be 'right up my alley'. By the way, what films have you been showing to your students lately? Any of the 'recent' releases from the Criterion Collection?
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    April 11, 2017
    08:32 AM

    Well that makes my choice easy: DR. STRANGELOVE! And how did you like LOLITA??? Did you like THE ELEMENT OF CRIME? I've only seen a handful of von Trier's films, and liked them--especially BREAKING THE WAVES--but that one left me cold. And yes, MEANTIME is a wonderful film. I believe it was the first film appearances of both Roth and Oldman, so it's exciting for that. Oldman's performance definitely laid the ground for his role in SID AND NANCY. The only recent Criterion film I've taught is THEY LIVE BY NIGHT--a while ago when I did a unit on outlaw couples. As I recall, they weren't crazy about it. I love it. Have you seen that one? Currently showing REAR WINDOW, which is always fun. Excited for our new deal. I'll let you know when I watch the Oshima.
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  • By TruffautBergman
    April 11, 2017
    09:59 PM

    I loved "Lolita (1962)", I thought it was very funny but in a very sick/odd way. "Made in Britain (1982)" {an amazing gritty film} was Tim Roth's debut [where he played a racist skinhead], while "Meantime (1984)" was only Gary Oldman's debut. Still, seeing those two in a film together would be a major treat; I've already seen "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)" and that was pretty funny. I've never seen "The Element of Crime (1984)" but I'm sure I'll watch it one day, I love Lars von Trier. This is the first I'm hearing of "They Live by Night (1948)", ironically I'm not too familiar with 'old(er)' American cinema... I guess I've never been as interested in it as I am in European or Asian cinema; maybe it's because I know how minorities were treated and perceived back then, especially black people, so I try to avoid it altogether... unless the film was made by Alfred Hitchcock or Charlie Chaplin {British filmmakers/immigrants}. I found "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)" on YouTube so I'll watch it this week{end}. Did your students like "Rear Window (1954)"?
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    April 12, 2017
    02:52 PM

    You kids and your YouTube! Make sure the quality is good. Kubrick is the master of images. And to be honest, I was the same way about "classic" American cinema for the longest. My girlfriend turned me on to how much great stuff is out there. Remind me, have you seen CITIZEN KANE yet? Tim Roth is amazing in Greenaway's THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE, AND HER LOVER. And yes, this year in particular the students went nuts for REAR WINDOW. It's always a fun one to watch with them. The shot where Raymond Burr looks directly at the camera makes them shriek! ;-)
    Reply
  • By TruffautBergman
    April 13, 2017
    12:22 PM

    Yes, I've 'seen' a bit of "Citizen Kane (1941)"... I actually fell asleep about twenty minutes into it, and never bothered to finish it; I know it's 'blasphemy' but I have to admit, I wasn't too impressed with what {little} I saw. Are you excited for the Cannes Film Festival this year? The Competition 'line-up' looks great! I can't wait to see the trailers for Michael Haneke's "Happy End (2017)" and Lynne Ramsay's "You Were Never Really Here (2017)"; Bong Joon-ho's film {"Okja (2017)"} is going to be there too, that's going to be cool. Too bad Lars von Trier couldn't make it, I guess they're still mad at him; he's so crazy but God bless him!
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    April 14, 2017
    07:47 AM

    Well, you can probably predict what my next pick for you will be... And yes, the Cannes line-up looks great!
    Reply
  • By TruffautBergman
    April 16, 2017
    05:01 PM

    I'm back and I've just watched "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)". I thought it was a very witty yet nutty film; I loved the stylish cinematography, with its slick angles and how in certain scenes {especially during the ones in the 'War Room'}, where the shots were either very wide/open or very narrow [in an almost claustrophobic way]. There was a lot of dialogue; a lot more than what I'm used to; everything was very fast-paced/back-and-forth, all the characters were so quick with their responses. Peter Sellers, amazing as always, but I think my 'favorite' character was probably 'General Buck', I kept re-playing the part where he tripped and continued talking like nothing ever happened, too funny; also, it was nice to see a young James Earl Jones in the cockpit. "Peace is our Profession." Oh, the irony!
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    April 17, 2017
    08:38 AM

    Oh Nina! I couldn't be happier that you enjoyed it. An incredible film--and sadly very timely all of a sudden. Glad you appreciated Sellers. He's incredible in those three roles. And that you liked George C. Scott as well. I love how he raises his eyebrows when he says, "Now, five." SPARTACUS should be seen, but it's not essential. EYES WIDE SHUT on the other hand is incredible. I'll leave that one to you, but let me know what you think once you do see it. I found a nearby library that has EMPIRE OF PASSION, so I'll get that soon. So happy to be doing our movie deal again :-)
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    April 18, 2017
    09:08 AM

    Holy moly!!! The July announcements may be the single greatest month in Criterion's history. I'm just flabbergasted. I actually had the Rossellini trilogy on my Upgrade to Blu-ray list, so of course I'm thrilled about that! As you know, STALKER is my all-time favorite movie. L'ARGENT is an exquisite film from Bresson, who was 82 when he made it. Have you seen anything by him yet? And I swear to god, yesterday morning I was thinking how exciting it would be if Albert Brooks joined the Criterion family. Then LOST IN AMERICA got announced. I must be a prophet ;-) Thank goodness those all come out during a Barnes and Noble sale month. All are first-day purchases! I'm so excited. I'll update all my lists--including this one--pronto.
    Reply
  • By TruffautBergman
    April 18, 2017
    01:17 PM

    Finally! I can't wait to see "Stalker (1979)" {beautifully} restored with some lovely extras, it's going to be gorgeous! Yes, I've only seen "Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)" {so far}, which I adored; I really need to see "Mouchette (1967)", as it is one of the first films that I 'discovered' from the Criterion Collection. Also, the hint is indeed "Meantime (1984)"!! I recorded it recently {from the TMC channel}, and sure enough, I saw the Criterion Collection/Janus Films logo(s) appear before the opening credits; the restoration looked great, so I'm looking forward to its [later] release. I didn't know Alfred Molina was in that film as well. Besides the one I already mentioned, what films from Robert Bresson would you recommend {I check out next}?
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    April 19, 2017
    09:46 AM

    I know, right? (as the kids say). Yeah, we may need to host a movie night to show the STALKER Blu-ray. That release is a major event. Excellent sleuthing for MEANTIME. I haven't seen it in years, but remember loving it. And Gary and Tim are both outstanding in it. Bresson recommendations. Well, MOUCHETTE is an exquisite film, but incredibly sad. You need to prepare yourself for that one. DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST is my least favorite, but I'm in the minority there--most people consider it one of his best. My favorite, and the one I'd recommend most highly, is A MAN ESCAPED, followed by PICKPOCKET. Let me know if you watch them.
    Reply
  • By TruffautBergman
    May 03, 2017
    12:14 PM

    Hey! Thanks for the link; I've already heard about "OKNOTOK" and I can't wait for June 23rd!! I nearly squealed when I saw 'I Promise', 'Lift', and 'Man Of War' {a.k.a. 'Big Boots'} on the {new} tracklist; finally, I thought they would never 'see the light of day'. Since I already have "Ok Computer" and the EP "Airbag / How Am I Driving?" I won't be re-buying the album for four tracks [including "How I Made My Millions"], but hopefully, it'll be on Tidal or be available for individual downloads [via Amazon], so I can purchase the tracks I want and put them on a CD.
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    July 19, 2017
    10:07 PM

    You can add TWIN PEAKS on Angelo
    Reply
  • By Eric Levy
    July 22, 2017
    07:33 PM

    Thanks Sean! Sorry for the delay. I was out of town and didn't have computer access. Exciting to add another Lynch/Badalamenti collaboration. Are you enjoying the new TWIN PEAKS? I'm loving it!
    Reply