Tag Archives: Interstellar

Interstellar “No Time for Caution”

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Like many, I watched enthralled when Interstellar (2014) came out into theaters. Even before I first saw the film, I’d heard that there were some fairly intense musical sequences. But nothing, absolutely NOTHING could prepare me for the sequence known as “No time for caution.” To briefly sum up how the story gets to this point: Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is put in charge of a mission to scout three planets to see if one of them is capable of supporting the human race in place of the dying Earth. One planet has already been proven unviable, the third is too far away, and the second planet was claimed (falsely) by Dr. Mann (Matt Damon) to be a viable place to live (frigid conditions notwithstanding).

 

Dr. Mann claimed that there was water located deep under the surface. Cooper discovered this was a lie and after surviving a murder attempt, Cooper and Brand (Anne Hathaway) chase after Dr. Mann who is making his way to the spaceship Endurance without them. Insane after years of isolation, Dr. Mann has convinced himself that he can somehow control the Endurance and take it back to Earth. In his rush to board, Mann ignores the fact that his ship is docked improperly, meaning the hatch seal is not stable. When the door seal is forced to open anyway, Mann is blown out of the ship into space and Endurance is sent spinning out of control. If Cooper and Brand can’t dock and stabilize the ship, humanity is doomed.

This is where the cue begins. There is a long high pitched drone immediately after the explosion (as Cooper and Brand watch in shock as Endurance begins to spin wildly). Then a strong drumbeat sets in as Cooper makes his decision. He orders TARS (a robot) to analyze the Endurance’s rate of spin (to help with docking). And when Brand asks the fateful question “Cooper what are you doing?” The only answer is “Docking.” This one word sets off the next stage of the cue in a revolving spiral of theme and variation.

In fact, I listened to this cue over and over and it finally hit me, that composer Hans Zimmer used a Baroque form called passacaglia when he put this cue together. A passacaglia is a musical form based on a repeating melody in the bass line. As you listen to the cue, listen closely to the primary melody (which launches around 0:44, 0:45 in the soundtrack version) and hear how it continues, leaping from instrument to instrument for most of the piece.

I hope you enjoy “No Time for Caution” as much as I do. Please comment if you liked it (or even if you didn’t).

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Hans Zimmer talks Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar

Question, who watched Interstellar when it came out? *hand shoots up* Who thought it was awesome? *hand shoots up again* Who freaked out when Matt Damon accidentally blew himself out of an airlock into the void of space never to be seen again? (I liked this movie, can you tell?)

Hans Zimmer talks Interstellar (2014)

The plot of Interstellar is rather complicated at certain points but the main gist is as follows: in the future (no year is ever specified), the Earth has suffered from a string of blights that has rendered most crops ungrowable. When the film opens, corn is the major food supply of the world and even that is quickly growing vulnerable. As a result, the world has suffered a major technological regression.

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There appears to be no TV, no Internet, no advanced medical equipment (it is openly stated that MRI machines are not available anymore), and man’s great technological achievements (such as landing on the Moon) are regarded as mere propaganda, not historical fact. To put it bluntly, the Earth is one generation away from being uninhabitable and it will mean the extinction of the human race…unless we can find a new home, and the story continues from there. (I will have to write about this movie in full some time in the future).

INTERSTELLAR

The score of this magnificent film was composed by film music giant Hans Zimmer (born 1957). Zimmer is responsible for such great scores as: The Last Samurai (2003), The Lion King (1994), Gladiator (2000), The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012) and Inception (2010) (and these are just a few, he’s a prolific composer).

In this interview, Hans Zimmer talks about how he developed the score for Interstellar, including how they decided to use an organ. Please watch and enjoy.

See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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