Often TrekMovie brings you links to the humorous trivial Trek, from LOL Cats meeting Trek to silly viral videos. Today we have links to some more serious takes on Trek. First up a recently unearthed and very thorough analysis and history of the score for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. We also link to an interesting look at the ‘minimalism’ of Star Trek TOS.
Analyzing Goldsmith’s TMP Score
Although Trekkies can debate the merit’s of the first Star Trek feature film, Star Trek The Motion Picture, few disagree that Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar-nominated score was a triumph. Now our friends at Film Score Monthly have unearthed an interesting and detailed analysis of this score. FSM have published "Anatomy of a Film Score: Star Trek: The Motion Picture", 175-page undergraduate thesis (CLICK FOR PDF) by composer, orchestrator and violinist Cameron Patrick, written in 1986. It contains detailed breakdowns of the score’s history, instrumentation, themes, cues and more. FSM has also published a new introduction by Cameron Patrick, and a foreword by
FSM’s Lukas Kendall. Here is just a tiny excerpt:
In the case of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the director Robert Wise and Goldsmith had previously worked together (in 1966 on The Sandpebbles), so a working relationship was already established. Wise came to Star Trek with wide experience the genre of screen musicals. Preston Jones relates this experience to Star Trek with the comment: "Goldsmith’s score …is such a prominent feature of Star Trek’s screen dramatics that the film might also be called ‘ Robert Wise’s third musical,’ after The Sound of Music (1965) and West Side Story (1960)"
Goldsmith describes working with Wise on Star Trek as follows:
Most directors find it really difficult to communicate with you in musical terms, but Bob is such a pro [and has] done enough films that he can express musically what he wants. It may take a while — we were going around in circles with each other for the first month or so — but then, after we got into the groove again, we could really get across to each other.
The Minimalism of the original Star Trek
It can certainly be said that the look of the original Star Trek is unique. Now in a new essay at Bright Lights Film Journal, professor Mervyn Nicholson takes a closer look at the show, in context of other sci-fi and future Trek shows, and sees Star Trek as an example of the minimalist style, and not just in design. Here is just a quick snippet of the lengthy essay:
There is a word for the Star Trek style, and that is "Minimalism" — which I mean as a technical term, the designation of a certain style. Minimalism brings with it a complex of values that are also notable in the original Star Trek. There is no doubt that budget constraints shaped the style, but ultimately the Minimalist look has nothing to do with budgeting. The look of Star Trek is Minimalist through and through, even including the somewhat elaborate bridge set (with the "con"), where Captain Kirk issues commands and supervises the starship. Successor shows and movies, by contrast, could hardly be less Minimalist in their art direction, style, and lighting.
Go to the Bright Lights Film Journal to read the entire "Star Trek: Minimalist Magic" article.
More Deep Trek Thoughts:
Star Trek has inspired quite a lot of analysis down to the minutiae of ship layouts and up to the lofty themes and messages being conveyed. Two of my favorite Trek sites delve into each and although I don’t always agree with the conclusions, I always enjoy reading and being given something to think about. I recommend you visit these sites as well:
- The Soul of Star Trek blog by William Kowinski offers thoughts on a wide array of Star Trek and sci-fi topics, often dealing with themes and meanings.
- Ex Astris Scientia site by Bernd Schneider offers both a database of Star Trek ships and technology and more, along with regular updates with new analyses of every little nook and cranny of Trek.
Not Deep: O’Brien Photobomb
If you are not inclined to do any deep thinking on your Star Trek, then here is something simple for you. The ‘O’Brien Doesn’t Approve’ photobomb, which showed up this week at This is Photobomb.
Miles is not amused
Thanks to Lukas and Greg for links