Mark Isham: Illustrated Talk on Film Scoring, followed by A River Runs Through It

A performing artist as well as composer, Mark Isham will talk about his three decades of musical scoring for cinema. Known for his innovative soundscapes, often driven by subtle programmed keyboards, Isham has worked on everything from restrained character studies such as Nell and October Sky to bold action fests such as Blade and The Mechanic. His haunting scores are typified by airy melodies and buoyant arrangements. Isham will address how a composer brings emotional texture and added drama to a film's final reception and how a score is shaped to fall within the form of a finished film. Isham will conclude his talk with an introduction to his creative participation in A River Runs Through It, which will screen immediately after the talk at 8:45.

Followed by:
A River Runs Through It
Robert Redford (U.S., 1992)

This grand Norman Maclean adaptation marked Isham's first collaboration with director Robert Redford, a teaming that saw its fourth effort with last year's The Conspirator. Recounting his youth in rural Montana, Maclean's semi-autobiographical novel places us amidst the reunion of two brothers, Norman (Craig Sheffer) and Paul (Brad Pitt), one a studious scholar-to-be, the other a lusty grabber of the moment. What links these two young men is a rapturous affection for fly-fishing, for it is in the silken flow of the river that they commune with a kind of prelapsarian grace. “I am haunted by waters,” says Maclean thinking back on those ecstatic moments. The great French cinematographer Philippe Rousselot captures the play of turbulence and calm, of wooded shores streaked with sunlight. His brilliant lensing is counterpointed by Isham's airy, but rustic melodies that bob to the surface with blissful lightness. There is much turmoil in A River Runs Through It as the brothers struggle to define themselves under the harsh gaze of their stern minister father (Tom Skerritt). But as long as there is a river and the hope that a fish might rise, the turmoil can be endured. 

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