Making Music in Selznick's Hollywood by Nathan Platte, new book by Oxford University Press synthesizes in the title the essence of this filmmaker: the spasmodic research and ability of creating a strong connection between imagines and sounds in an harmonic fusion for the big screen.
Selznick's life can be summarized writing this: he researched to give to viewers, spectators all the best not just in terms of imagines but in terms of soundtracks because to him, he started to work when Hollywood was still producing movies soundless, it was a fundamental part of the movie-making entire process. His movies, will inspire the genre of musicals.
Selznick was fixated with another thematic: the one of strong ladies as iconic protagonists to be put on the screen. Big and strong heroines from old fashioned novels of XIX centuries or like Scarlet O'Hara from a recent book written by Margaret Mitchell. Selznick bought immediately the rights imagining a movie based on that book.
Let's remember some of Selznick's productions: Little Women, Anna Karenina. Selznick produced also David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, King Kong, Casablanca.
David Selznick discovered and launched thanks to the realization of Night Flight a new author Alexandre de Saint-Exupery the "dad" ten years later of The Little Prince.
A filmmaker of course feels a special connection with some people, and to Selznick his biggest collaboration in term of creation of music for his movies was with Max Steiner.
Steiner: his family has a profound, fascinating, beautiful story. They were from Wein, Austria and all Steiner's family musicians. They worked in the ballet collaborating also with Strauss II. To Steiner this world was a new adventure and a big surprise.
Later when their destiny for a while divided Selznick found a great collaborator for soundtracks in Stothart, without forgetting Steiner.
The geniality of Steiner appreciated by Selznick meant also the involvement of this musician in the realization of Gone with the Wind one of the most suffered productions we can imagine and winners of eight Oscars prizes.
The same Steiner risked to be removed from Gone with the Wind's production by David Selznick. Close to him Selznick found other collaborators for completing the soundtrack, still too germinal.
Steiner decades later remembered in an interview that movie and his involvement with a bitter-sweet touch.
A wonderful book this one for everyone interested in music, movies, cinema. You will find for every movie explanations, facts, anecdotes, sometimes the movie-themes so that you can enjoy to perform it!
Highly recommended to everyone.
I thank Oxford University Press for the physical copy of this beautiful and informative book!
Anna Maria Polidori