The Tech had the chance to speak with Grammy award-winning conductor, composer, and music director Arnold Roth about his performance of Final Fantasy soundtracks at Boston’s Symphony Hall last Saturday as part of his Distant Worlds concert series. He reveals his connection to video game and film music, talks about the relationship to his close friend Nobuo Uematsu, the original composer of the Final Fantasy soundtracks, and explains what makes video game fans a great audience for classical music in our exclusive interview!
The Boston Symphony Hall hosted a very special event last Saturday. It featured not Dvorak, nor Bach, nor Mendelssohn, but instead video game pieces from almost 25 years of Final Fantasy scores. Even though this event did not attract Symphony Hall’s regular audience, the place was sold out. Symphony Hall was overflowing with Final Fantasy fans, many of them dressed as original characters from the game. A number of fans brought their copies of Final Fantasy soundtracks or games so they could get an autograph after the show.
Tarsem Singh’s (The Cell) third film Immortals (previously named War of the Gods) is an incondite action movie loosely based on Greek mythology. It falls far below the expectations raised by the trailer but does at least provide some aesthetically pleasing action sequences which demonstrate Singh’s skills as a music video (REM, “Losing My Religion”) and commercial (Pepsi) director.
Jorge Cham’s Piled Higher and Deeper — Life (or the lack thereof) in Academia, aka PhD Comics have been capturing the grad student life in a humorous but always accurate way. The original newspaper and web comic strip started in 1997 when Jorge himself was a grad student at Stanford University. The comic deals with the topics that govern grad student life like struggles in research, the relationship between students and their supervisors, and most importantly, the constant quest for free food. Much material was built up over the years, and it almost seems that the movie version was long over due. Filming started in March 2011 and was a colaboration with a theater group at Caltech.
Michael Bay’s newest installment of the Transformers movies, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, starts with a sequence explaining the “true” motivations behind NASA’s Apollo program: In 1961, scientists witness an alien spaceship crash on Earth’s moon. To explore the wrecked vessel, the Apollo program is initiated. President Kennedy makes his famous statement to bring a man on the moon within a decade, and when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin finally land on the moon in 1969 with Apollo 11, their true mission is to investigate that wrecked vessel on the dark side of the moon.
During the past two weeks, MIT Theater Arts and Dramashop presented La Ronde (Let’s Get it On), an adaptation of the original play by Austrian author and dramatist Arthur Schnitzler. It was translated and directed for the MIT community by Anna C. Kohler, MIT Senior Lecturer in Theater Arts.
Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is a loser whose life is falling apart. He is failing in his job as a writer, and his girlfriend (Abbie Cornish) dumped him. Soon after, Eddie accidentally meets his ex-wife’s brother, Vernon Gant (Johnny Whitworth), a drug dealer who sees directly through Eddie’s miserable existence. Vernon offers Eddie a new drug, promising that it will change his life for better by temporarily increasing his intelligence. Vernon claims that humans only use 20 percent of their brain and that the drug, called NZT, would enable Eddie to reach his full potential. Eddie hesitates, but due to his desperate situation, he eventually tries NZT and is surprised to find that it, indeed, focuses his attention and increases his intelligence. He immediately cleans up his messy apartment, writes a first draft of his book, and delivers the draft to his editor, who is stunned by the work. But soon, the effect of NZT drops, and Eddie senses a return to his lowlier existence.
After two years of production, Zack Snyder returns with his fifth big movie, Sucker Punch, which many fans have been eagerly awaiting. The film has all the characteristics that Snyder’s previous projects have been well known for, but it is partially overloaded with action sequences that do not essentially contribute to the storyline.