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Hans Zimmer is one of the biggest film composers working in the industry today.  He won an Academy Award for his work on The Lion King, and has been nominated for six other films including Gladiator, The Thin Red Line, and As Good As It Gets. With The Last Samurai he celebrates his 100th film score, and SoundtrackNet had an opportunity to talk with Hans a few weeks ago during a rare break in his busy schedule working on Something's Gotta Give.<br><br>You've scored many projects during your career, and The Last Samurai is being touted as your 100th film score…<br><br>Well, I'm terrible with math, so I'm not doing the counting. It could be more, it could be less – but apparently it's the 100th.<br><br>So how did you get involved with the project?<br><br>If you're lucky enough to get nominated for an Oscar, you get invited to the Oscar nominee's luncheon where they hand out these little nomination certificates. There are usually 150 people standing there, and people are invited up in alphabetical order, starting with the As. By the time they get to the Cs, everybody's already back at their table chatting and eating, and while the first people called get thunderous applause, you can imagine what it's like when your name starts with Z!<br><br>So Ed Zwick and I were standing there, waiting at one of these luncheons about four years ago, and we started talking to each other. I asked him what he was working on and he told me about this movie called The Last Samurai, which I thought sounded interesting and I asked him to send me a script. After the script arrived, I didn't hear from him for a long time and I thought he'd forgotten about me, not thinking about how difficult it is to set up a samurai movie these days. The other thing I liked about the project was that Tom Cruise was involved, so it was like returning home, since I've scored a bunch of his movies – I knew we were going to have a good time.<br><br>Did it end up that way?<br><br>Ed and his editor Steve Rosenblum are such gentlemen, so together and professional, and they basically did one cut of the film, screened it, and everyone loved their work. So after this, they had plenty of time to come and hang with me, and while I usually love the re-cutting process because it's a diversionary tactic to keep the director and editor out of my life, these guys were great to have around. <br><br>Of course, my sense of paranoia made me think that something was going wrong all the time, waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it were, but it never happened. Ed phoned this morning and I thought, "Oh my god – rewrite!" It's just how my brain works. But I think he and I feel a bit odd now: we've been seeing each other every day for months, and suddenly we're done. I completely understand why people have a problem finishing a movie, because there's something really nice about the process – completion is far more boring.<br><br>For Samurai, you used Japanese percussions and ethnic woodwinds, without getting too 'Japanese'.<br><br>My problem is that I feel Japanese music is really inaccessible to Western ears, and I was really struggling with this film initially, trying to figure out what I was doing. This idea popped into my head for using Western-style themes, but applying a Japanese aesthetic to them, which sounds great of course, until I had to ask myself what I meant! Actually, I think it's just my way of not overloading certain things with too many colors, or being geometrically precise about my cues and not making them too flowery.<br><br>The Tom Cruise character is one of those nasty drunks at the beginning, who obviously has some serious problems he's trying to deal with, or not deal with. He's obnoxious and restless, suffering sleepless nights and is very un-Tom. For me, this character's journey was about his need to earn tranquility and peace, so within the score there's this very romantic, overblown and passionate theme. It's like a juvenile way of dealing with life and death – the pain and liebestod.<br><br>However, to contrast with these very relentless themes, there are a number of stark, formal and sober pieces, because I wanted to take Tom's character on a journey. He comes from America and ends up in this foreign place where he doesn't speak the language or understand the culture. But at the end of the movie, I want the audience to think that there isn't a more beautiful place for him to be, that he is at home in Japan and finally at peace.<br><br>There are many useless acts of bravery we do out of misguided romanticism, and this movie is full of courageous and dignified acts of bravery. So I wanted to play off these acts, since both the American and Japanese cultures have a concept of heroism, and I just wanted to see if I could play with the nature of the two different concepts.<br><br>So you didn't want to do the stereotypical Japanese thing...<br><br>Absolutely not! Take Akira Kurosawa's Ran, for example, which has this brilliant score where Takemitsu writes Western music, but with an Eastern accent. Somebody asked me a few days ago why As Good As It Gets was European – why did I write a European score for a quintessentially American story? For me, it's because Jack Nicholson was crazy in the movie, and I felt one of the great things about America is how they always think we Europeans are crazy. So by writing a European-styled score, it's my way of saying that Jack is crazy, but it's alright!<br><br>How do you feel about people who criticize your work for not fitting into the time period, like Gladiator?<br><br>The reason I take these jobs is because I'm interested in foreign cultures, and every time I get to work on a movie I'm thrown into the adventure of whatever that culture is, the time, and wherever the story's taking place. So one of the things I'm very careful about is not to be historically correct to the culture, but, on the other hand, not to insult the underlying aesthetics of that culture either. I remember watching Chariots of Fire and thinking how brilliantly the music worked, never missing that it wasn't period instruments! I grew up listening to Bach played by a symphony orchestra – it's the wrong sized orchestra with the wrong instruments, but I don't think that's the point.<br><br>With Gladiator, Pietro Scalia brought in a CD saying "this is Ancient Roman music," and I said, "Says who? You went to the Ancient Roman music store and bought an Ancient Roman music CD? Bullshit!" We're not anthropologists. Look at he costumes Ridley Scott had: they were more Napoleonic than Roman, which was perhaps fitting since Napoleon had stolen all of his good ideas from the Romans regarding how to make his generals look cool – and so did Hitler! So I got criticized for making the "Entry into Rome" cue too Leni Riefenstahl – but that was the joke! I am allowed to have a sense of humor in my music!<br><br>Earlier this summer your credit on Pirates of the Caribbean was "Score Overproduced by". What was the deal with that?<br><br>Well, I thought honesty was a virtue! But seriously, Jerry Bruckheimer quite rightly asked me not to give him "that old-fashioned Pirate music," and Gore Verbinski, who I adore and did The Ring with, said, "Well, it is a pirate movie, so we have to disguise it." In the end, I spent a day and a half writing tunes, Klaus Badelt wrote a lot of stuff, and we rolled up our sleeves, got drunk, behaved in a debauched way, and produced a score!<br><br>There was a lot of criticism regarding that score, but in the end it had to serve the film - which it did. You seem to get a lot of criticism on any project you do.<br><br>I had the misfortune of going onto the Film Score Monthly web site recently to look something up and vanity made me type in my own name. I suddenly realized that you can't ever get it right. Who do people want me to be? The guy that writes Matchstick Men? Or the guy that writes The Rock? Or the guy that writes Driving Miss Daisy? My need is ultimately to write for myself. I mock myself and I'm ironic about the way I speak about it because if I take it too seriously, it would be a pompous and boring thing to do. But at the same time I take each note I write very seriously – none of them are random.<br><br>The Internet Movie Database always lists you as being attached to multiple projects, so I was curious, what's Sharktail?<br><br>I complained to Jeffrey Katzenberg that I couldn't cross any more Red Seas, or deal with any more horses that can't speak – I wanted to do one of the fun animated movies instead. There's also a hip-hop element in Sharktail, and I haven't been there yet, so it's new territory! King Arthur is still in production, and I literally just got the first bits of footage just before you came here.<br><br>Are you working on all of these projects simultaneously?<br><br>I'm thinking about them! I'm also working with Jim Brooks on his new comedy, Spanglish.<br><br>And speaking of comedies, you recently did Matchstick Men for Ridley, which had a very Nino Rota vibe to it....<br><br>And I gave him credit! I thought, what if Nino had written the theme and I was just doing the variations? But I bet I'm going to get criticized for that because it's not like Gladiator.<br><br>So when did you last have a vacation?<br><br>Well, I went to Japan for a couple of days at the end of November for the Japanese premiere of Samurai, but look, I love what I do! In January I'll travel to Morocco because Ridley will be shooting his next movie, Kingdom of Heaven, so that's like a holiday!<br><br>My family and I are going away at Christmas, and what we used to do would be to rent a house in the mountains and go on these skiing holidays. It would be a crappy house, not as nice as the one we live in, my wife was still going to the market, and we're still washing our plates – so it wasn't a vacation, it was a lot of work! It's taken us a long time, but we just figured it out: we're not practical with vacations – we're staying at hotels! But while the Zimmer family isn't talented when it comes to vacations, we're talented when it comes to work!<br><br>I sat through Samurai the other day, and for the first time watched the whole movie from top to tail with everything finished and completed. It felt really good, better than a vacation. But luckily there were enough things wrong for me to think that I learned something from the experience, and now I can't wait for the next project to try these new ideas out.<br><br>The soundtrack to The Last Samurai is available from Elektra Records, and the film is currently in theaters. Matchstick Men is available on Varese Sarabande Records.<br><br>With thanks to Chet Mehta at Chasen & Co, Jason Cienkus at Warner Brothers, and Nina Lynch and Mark Wherry at Media Ventures for helping with this interview. And, of course, special thanks to Hans.Mulan get his release... through Disney+, 4th September.Mulan is being released on sept 4th. Can't wait to hear Harry's score!!!!Here's an interview about Last Samurai from Soundtrack.net https: //www.soundtrack. net/content/article/?id=112You can find an interview with Hans on his process for TLS on soundtrack.net somewhere, back in 2003 or 2004
The tracklist they posted has 58 tracks and yours contains only 54<br>interesting thing, He never really spoke about Last Samurai. but you have to realize, even when He speaks, its not always the truth. <br><br>The only thing I know, in 2013 doing press for Rush, He really said the hardest job was Last Samurai, well its not true according to himself, if you watch the behind the scenes stuff from Matchstick Men from 2003, right there He says that he was working on 3 huge films, (tears of the sun / Pirates / last samurai) and Mathstick men was the absolute hardest for him.<br><br>also Ed Zwick talks about working with Hans on the dvd commentary sometimes, but nothing really fancy.<br><br>Im sure there is an interview for this film with him, since he was at the premierI am struggling to find an interview where Hans speaks about this soundtrack. Does it even exist? <br>I spent the last hours digging but nothing. I always desired to hear some comments about it, like he does for the other works he's done.<br>I know it's a far stretch for Hans To release docu scores, but am really curious as to what Brave Miss World, Believer and Jalous of the Birds sound like...<br><br><br>@Mephariel<br>You can find Great Bear Rainforest on bleedingfingersmusic.com under Anze RozmanMondo only offered to send me a return label and a refund. No info yet on if they plan to fix it. :-/
Mine arrived today and is definitely sped up.LOL klaus badelt hardly composed pirates 1You know what? I love the booklet credits! Klaus Badelt is the same guy who scored Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.Thanks Hybrid soldier for the good news<br>I can't wait to see the documental film and hear the score of lorne balfe & hans zimmer.A score will be released.<br><br>You can always count on Lorne for that. It's in the works.
What was the last Zimmer documentary score that they released outside of BBC? <br><br>I am still waiting for The Great Bear Rainforest.I hope they can the soundtrack release for "Rebuilding Paradise" composed by Hans zimmer & Lorne balfe, including an original song for the film. I hope there is a possibility that they will release the score.How to get this at all?Any news about Rebuilding Paradise soundtrack?@Hybrid:<br>Any news about a release for Ron Howard "Rebuilding Paradise" soundtrack by Hans ans Lorne. The documentary airing today. Any info will be much Appreciated.
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Additional Music
Hans ZimmerJohn Van TongerenJay RifkinPete Haycock
ComposerAdditional MusicScore RecordistMusician
Thelma & Louise (Complete Score)
Label: Unofficial Release
Length: 36'20
HZimmer.com rating:        Not yet rated
Fans rating:     rate at 1 out of 5 rate at 2 out of 5 rate at 3 out of 5 rate at 4 out of 5 rate at 5 out of 5   2/5 (5550 votes)
  1. Going To Mexico (2:12)
    Hans Zimmer
  2. J.D. (Part 1) (0:51)
    Hans Zimmer
  3. J.D. (Part 2) (2:37)
    Hans Zimmer
  4. The Hell With Texas (1:12)
    Hans Zimmer
  5. Happy Birthday Lady (0:45)
    Hans Zimmer
  6. Picking Up J.D. (0:41)
    Hans Zimmer
  7. Oilfields (0:58)
    Hans Zimmer
  8. Watching Him Go (0:30)
    Hans Zimmer
  9. Ride Of The FBI (0:59)
    Hans Zimmer
  10. Louise's Theme (2:46)
    Hans Zimmer
  11. Giving Up - Suck My Dick (3:37)
    Hans Zimmer
  12. I Got A Knack (1:33)
    Hans Zimmer
  13. Getting Out Of State (2:06)
    Hans Zimmer
  14. Charged With Murder (3:00)
    Hans Zimmer
  15. Learning From TV (0:44)
    Hans Zimmer
  16. Chase (5:08)
    Hans Zimmer
  17. You've Always Been Crazy (2:48)
    Hans Zimmer
  18. End Credits (3:58)
    Hans Zimmer, John Van Tongeren
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Bayhem reply Replies: 3 || 2018-08-25 15:47:36
What with all the noise around Hans scoring the "female empowering" Wonder Woman 2, let me just remind the skeptical folks that it was Hans who successfully scored the ultimate "female empowerment" movie - 'Thelma & Louise'.

I still listen to that score. "The Decision" alone is a masterpiece, as far as I'm concerned. The ending wouldn't have been as powerful and memorable if it wasn't for that track. It's so refreshing listening to that score now. It brings you back to the time when scores were more than just crazy, weird sound design.....


mpolonest1232018-08-25 19:40:27
^ This.
Aside from being an incredible film that gets overlooked, I think Zimmer did an impeccable job of crafting a score that tackles the depressing story without getting heavy handed and actually fun at points. Very similar to Rain Man in that regard. It’s a bit repetitive but it does suit the film great.


Scorefan2018-08-26 03:27:37
And mention too, all the women who participate in many Zimmer's scores, Shirley Walker, Anne Marie Simpson, Tina Guo,


Josiah2018-08-26 08:52:53
*sigh* why does it matter to be honest? A female lead movie needs a female composer? Hans Zimmer of course in my opinion is the best option for any movie regardless of any situation. Hans Zimmer was the first person who actually got me interested in movie soundtracks but the way he works and operates works for any type of movies. The last samurai, Gladiator,Super hero movies war movies etc etc. He has done 190+ movies and i love pretty much all of them. He truly has an idea of the music to picture perfect.

Dakota reply Replies: 0 || 2010-12-28 00:00:00
MGM announced the 20th Anniversary Blu-ray of Thelma & Louise last week, so maybe there will be an official 20th anniversary soundtrack? And by soundtrack I think everyone knows I mean Hans' beautiful score. Who knows......if not, maybe someone will rip it all from the Blu-ray.

Anonymous reply Replies: 0 || 2008-04-03 00:00:00
Hans Zimmer Proves That He Can Compose Any Movie

That's Why Mr. Zimmer Is The Best Composer EVER

Thomas reply Replies: 0 || 2006-03-25 00:00:00
Hello Hans &-- co.

regarding soundpiece for "--Thelma &-- Louise"--

I believde that your sound piece "--Bitches from Hell"-- is from the scene where Thelma and Louise shoot up the the gas truck and it explodes, followed up by some really sweet and great fast western country slide/blues guitar. Im not sure if that is "--Bitches fromm hell"--, but is there any way i can download this piece of music?..it is really great and for me, the definition of what modern fast country guitar is all about. Thanks in advance...Thomas

Zedman reply Replies: 0 || 2006-02-13 00:00:00
un score qui continue dans la lignée de ses scores prolifiques et riches en coup d'eclat artistique comme pour "--Rain Man"--, "--Black Rain"--, "--Bird On A Wire"--, "--Days Of Thunder"-- ou encore "--Backdraft"--...
Hans Zimmer continue sur sa lancée et prouve sa maturité en n'utilisant en plus du synthetsiseus habituels, guitare electrique, choeurs de femmes...
La b.o. ne deroge pas a la regle, jouant sur ses bases instrumentales tout en les rendant plus interssant et reelements plus matures que ces precedentes oeuvres.
comme toujours, Thelma &-- Louise a pour particularite d'avoir plusieurs motifs (ou meme de themes) qui se croisent, le tout premier théme entendu est un motif mis en valeur par la guitare electrique et le synthetiseurs utilisé dans "--Going To Mexico"-- ce théme est attribué au voyage des deux femmes, victime de leur innocence et de leur "--train-train"-- quotidien.
Le second théme est celui des policiers, un théme fort qu'on entend brievement dans "--Cops"--, "--The F.B.I."-- et "--The Chase/Grand Canyon"--
L'autre théme est surement l'un de mes preferes, entendus dans "--Cattle Stop"--, "--Wide Awake"-- et "--Thunderbird"--.
Mais le théme a proprement dit memorable est celui entendu dans "--Cattle Stop"--, "--Wide Awake"--, "--The Decision/End Credits"-- et "--Thunderbird"--, un théme d'une trés grande beaute qu'on entend dans toute sa splendeur dans l'excellent "--The Decision/End Credits"--, grace a ce théme Zimmer a prouvé sa grande maturite et a prouver au systeme hollywoodien que ce n'etait surement pas un compositeur a sous-estimé.

Herman reply Replies: 0 || 2005-04-28 00:00:00
Un excellent score de Hans Zimmer qui des Going To Mexico nous prouve qu'il est l'un des meilleurs compositeur mais on retiendra surtout le grand The Decision/End Titles qui conclue brillament le film de Ridley Scott nous menant ainsi dans le grand saut de Thelma &-- Louise

Jayrip reply Replies: 0 || 2005-04-23 00:00:00
Such a brilliant score! I mainly bought it for "--The Decision/End Credits"-- 'coz it makes me shiver every time I hear that fantastic climax and the female singing coming in. Hans has always said he's not released it because there's not much score except for the same repetitive theme, but that's EXACTLY what I wanted!! I will never understand why this wasn't commercially released coz it really has to be one of my most listened-to CDs. I just love the melancholic twangy guitar tune that really conveys the strain and strength of the two characters. I'd never heard the music for "--Regarding Henry"-- before but it sums up the reason I love Hans Zimmer's music!

I did, however, have the hardest time tracking it down, so for anyone who wants to know, try placing an ad in the forum for it at

www.soundtrackcollector.com

The people there are really helpful. The other places I know that still have it (at this moment in time) are Hurricane Records, a European site:

http://213.239.206.44/hurricane/product_info.php?products_id=809262

I nearly vomited when I saw the price - 79.99Eur, which is a bit pricey to put it VERY mildly. Another very reliable collector is

http://www.majestyx.com/discsale.html

The price is $35 which isn't bad I guess. The guy is very good at transactions, and I've been told you can't get better service from him!

Anyway, if you're a fan of the movie, or more importantly, a fan of the simply gorgeous music of it, then it's an absolute must have. Worth every single penny of its pricing. You may have to loads for it, but trust me it'll be worth it, if just for "--The Decision/End Credits"--. Good luck!

jovl77 reply Replies: 0 || 2005-01-07 00:00:00
Excelent Score from both movies. I heard the score from Regarding Henry never before, the score from Thelma &-- Louise I know from the movie, but this CD is a long waiting for the score from T&--L, now I have it and it is absolutly fantastic sounding. I don't know why this score wasn't released yet.

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Thelma & Louise (Complete Score) soundtrack - Hans Zimmer 1991