Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Promised Fantasy Post #2: Willow OST

I guess we should get this out of the way: I love Willow. I think it's a film you had to have seen when you were a kid to continue enjoying it as an adult. This a) means I'll never like Labyrinth, probably, and b) explains why my father never wanted to watch Willow (over and over again).

This post is slightly celebratory because after what must be 5 years of trying to do it, I have finally finished reading Chris Claremont's ("and George Lucas") Chronicles of the Shadow War. The books (three of 'em) are the continuation of the Willow story, except for a few things. It's located on another continent, Willow has changed his name to Thorn, and Elora is all grown up and silver and- y'know, I don't even know. The books are nothing like the film, serious high fantasy. It feels like a separate series with borrowed names.

We all love Chris Claremont to death for his spectacular X-Men run, but the man writes the most precise, nuanced, long, and anal descriptions of everything. At first I thought that was why these books took so long to get through, but I began to realize that wasn't really it. First was that I bought the books as I ran across them, which meant by the time I got my hands on the second book, I couldn't remember a thing from book 1. And so on. (The Dodgers just won. I think I should stop going to the games and bringing them bad luck.) But I think what makes the books seems so long and confusing is Claremont's tendency to launch into huge descriptions using terms and settings that he has not yet introduced, and then explaining what is going on after the fact. It makes starting each book something of a task, but once you get into the swing of things, and once you realize that Elora is not going to stop doing the irritating song & dance thing, it gets easier to read, and the world building becomes very enjoayable. Claremont (and Lucas) have created an intricate setting, and if you like your fantasy worlds ridiculously fleshed out, then you'll love Claremont's books. And I should say that his descriptions, while being crazy-hardcore-dense, allow for very clear mental images as you're reading.

Horner's soundtrack (sorry, I'm too tired for clever transition sentences that high school teachers tell us to write, like, Even while you're reading the books, you can hear Horner's soundtrack in your mind. . . just like you heard it. . . while watching the film?) is rousing, fun, and a great big brassy adventure score. Fans of soundtracks in general while get a kick out of this one. The downside are the track lengths, ranging from 5 minutes to a whopping 18.
You can also check out the unreleased music, available for download in .rm format from here, but soundclips from the film and thus has the sound effects and dialogue.

[Picture Source]
(Anyone out there a fan of this film also, or is it just crickets chirping? :p)

1 comment:

Jim said...

Chris Claremont in purple prose, over-writing shock!
Frankly I think he's been terrible since, oh, X-Men #3 ,any years ago.
I've never seen Willow, don't hurt me.


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