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on December 29, 2011
Though not among the best of Williams work, it is still a nice return to the Johnny Williams epoch. Williams, too
often, is accused of an impressive uni-dimensionality of style. I have always found the charge to be impressively false. He is no spectral presence in the dimension of jazz--which is on display here. Rather than playing at Berlioz, he plays at Kenton and Mancini. This cd reminds us of his multi-dimensionality.
It is also unusual in that the music, in this film, somewhat calms the dizzying frenzy of what is "splashed" upon the screen. Like many, I found the film quite unwatchable because of hyperactive camera work and bad pacing--I think this is not a problem for a younger audience that likes the gyrations of the carnival. Williams usually turns up the kinetic drive in Spielberg films where the emotional energy would otherwise be lacking. Here, Williams often turns it down. I think that is significant, reminding us that Williams is more than a composer; he is an editor.