James Newton Howard talks The Village (2004)


Like practically every M. Night Shyamalan film ever created, The Village is a strange film. An isolated village in the middle of the forest lives in fear of strange “monsters” that inhabit the woods all around them, but (as you might expect from a Shyamalan film), things are not exactly what they appear to be.

I’ve never actually seen this film all the way through, but I do recall my jaw smacking the floor when I read a synopsis and found out what the big twist in the story was. Depending on who’s watching, you either see the twist coming a mile away or you have no idea what’s coming at all (I’m definitely the latter).

What I DO know about this film is its soundtrack. This is another example of the work of James Newton Howard (Atlantis: The Lost Empire), in fact his work on this score earned him his fourth Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score (unfortunately he lost to Finding Neverland). This short video takes us into the scoring process for The Village and highlights the contributions of Hilary Hahn, the violinist whose solo work is one of the best parts of the soundtrack. It’s always fun to learn about the scoring process of a film, and even though I’m not the biggest fan of M. Night Shyamalan’s work, I did enjoy watching how the score for The Village came together, and I hope you enjoy it too.

If you’ve seen The Village, let me know what you thought of the film in the comments below 🙂

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See also:

James Newton Howard talks Dinosaur (2000)

James Newton Howard talks Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

James Newton Howard talks Signs (2002)

James Newton Howard scoring King Kong (2005)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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5 thoughts on “James Newton Howard talks The Village (2004)

  1. Songlines Pilgrim

    Thanks for this. It’s a beautiful score, and Hilary Hahn’s violin playing really helped establish the atmosphere for the film. Personally, I’ve always liked “The Village,” but the parts I appreciated most were the “feel” of the town and its culture, the interesting characters, and the complicated interpersonal relationships. There are some wonderful actors in the piece. I especially love William Hurt as the father and de facto village leader, Brendan Gleeson’s tortured portrayal of his character, and Bryce Dallas Howard’s sweet innocence and surprising strength as Ivy.

    The “big twist” adds an interesting layer to one’s perception of the earlier parts of the film, but I’ve often thought M. Night Shyamalan’s work as a filmmaker has been (somewhat) unfairly judged by how effective or unexpected each movie’s “big twist” is. Maybe it was inevitable, after the success of “The Sixth Sense,” that he would be associated with surprising third-act revelations, but I’ve never thought that was actually the strongest part of any of his movies. Rather, his development of atmosphere (including, of course, his use of music!), setting, mood, and character has always been of greater interest to me. I’ve also been intrigued by his role as both a writer and a director, something which hasn’t been all that common with big studio films. Though directors may be involved in rewrites and building the shape of the story as it’s filmed, usually they’re interpreting someone else’s story and script. I first became interested in Shyamalan because of the scope of his creative oversight of each of his films (especially the earlier ones). He’s a bit like the moviemaking version of a singer-songwriter – involved in both the “dreaming” and the “doing” of artistic creation – and that unique role is really interesting to me.

    Long story short, knowing the big twist will definitely affect how you view “The Village,” but I don’t think it ultimately detracts from many of the good points the film has to offer. Enjoyed reading your post about it, and glad I found your blog. As another longtime fan of soundtracks, I look forward to reading more. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: James Newton Howard talks Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) | Film Music Central

  3. Pingback: James Newton Howard talks Signs (2002) | Film Music Central

  4. Pingback: James Newton Howard talks Dinosaur (2000) | Film Music Central

  5. Pingback: James Newton Howard scoring King Kong (2005) | Film Music Central

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