Batman Research Info Essay

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Batman Research Info

Batman: (Danny Elfman) This was Elfman's breakthrough score, catapulting him into the mainstream scoring business. Many traditionally classical composers may find fault with Elfman's dark and uniquely strange score for Batman (or, for that matter, any of Elfman's scores), but it doesn't change the fact that Batman was one of the highpoints for soundtracks of the 1980's. Even without the same training as many of the other top composers of this era, tributes to such classical masters as Holst, Orff, Strauss, Wagner, and others are inserted by Elfman, along with his own Gothic and operatic style.

With Batman, Elfman first showed a talent of composing for large orchestras that wasn't widely known up to that time. The main theme is the best Batman theme ever conceived --and it is a great shame, with due respect to Elliot Goldenthal, that the Batman series abandoned the great theme halfway through. Throw in the multitude of secondary themes in Batman and you get a remarkably complete score. The Joker's tinkering little magic box theme is zany enough to parallel Jack Nicholson's idiotic grin, and the mysterious cello theme is brooding enough to make the audience curious and yet fearful of learning more about Bruce Wayne's past. The love theme is likewise dark, and although it didn't work completely with Kim Basinger's persona, it suffices.

The main Batman fanfare dominates the screen during a few key points of the movie, and really enhances the depth of the film: specifically, the drumroll when Bruce Wayne opens up his costume closet to get into his armour and fight the Joker one last time, and the finale, in which the camera pulls up from the city street to reveal Batman and the spotlight on the sky --th...

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... a reprise of the Batman theme. Easily one of Elfman's finest scores, it packs a punch with great thematic drive and that unique Elfman sound.

Orchestrations by STEVE BARTEK
Additional Orchestrations by SHIRLEY WALKER and STEVEN SCOTT SMALLEY
Engineered by ERIC TOMLINSON
Recorded at CTS STUDIOS, London
Digital Editing and Mastering: BRUCE BOTNICK at DIGITAL MAGNETICS

Executive Album Producers: JON PETERS, PETER GUBER
Executive in Charge for Warner Bros: GARY LeMEL
Music Supervisor: MICHAEL DILBECK

Pearson, Roberta E. and William Uricchio, eds. 1991. The Many Lives of the Batman. New York: Routledge.

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