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Follow-Up to the All Quiet Score: Hans Zimmer on Facebook

So this was funny: yesterday I wrote about the Oscar-winning score to All Quiet on the Western Front, which I liked, but seems to have rubbed some (traditionalist) fans the wrong way—in a big way.

I don’t know if anybody checks the “view count” on these daily blog posts. Basically, if I’m just dashing something off, or mentioning a video I liked, I don’t bother to promote the post.

But if it’s a more substantive opinion piece, I post links on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and the FSM message board. So the “view count” is higher.

Yesterday I posted the links and there was a bit of discussion (i.e. arguing) on my personal Facebook page.

My personal Facebook page is private, because I post family photos and I don’t want images of my kids to be public. But I try to keep my film music posts public, so you can go over there now to see how the discussion evolved.

Also, I’ve accepted most film music fans because, well, why not? (So if you want to join, and you’re not a sociopath, you can friend me. I still have a few hundred “slots” before they cap me.)

Anyway—yesterday there was arguing on my personal page, and I forget exactly how the conversation turned to Dunkirk, but it did, and some people didn’t like that, either...

When none other than Hans Zimmer shows up to play a little “I happen to have Marshall McLuhan right here...”

Actually not the same situation—because Hans has never criticized anybody for having an opinion, as far as I’m aware.

Also, to his credit, somebody asked Hans if he could elaborate—so he did!

So I’d like to thank Hans for always being so totally awesome on a personal level.

And I have to say, back in the 1990s when I was one of the “traditionalist” fans complaining about Hans’ approach—well, I feel a bit stupid. He was ahead of the times, and I wasn’t.

There was one person on the Facebook thread who really, really disliked the All Quiet score, and I asked something along the lines of, “What score should it have sounded like, instead?” And I got a theoretical answer, but not a specific answer (a la “It should have sounded like Hell Is for Heroes”). I was sincerely asking.

Anyway, it was fun to have Hans drop in.

Also, I listened to the All Quiet album, and I thought it was quite good.

I really don’t agree with people who dislike this score.

But you’re all welcome to your opinions!

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It's an extremely puerile argument for him to say "try watching it with the sound turned down" - ANYONE could say that about ANY film, it doesn't automatically mean the sound or music is of high-quality. Film has always been a visual and sonic medium - even "silent" films had score and occasional sound effects accompaniment.

It's also bad faith of him to not just admit that he's not really doing music, he's doing sound design. And it's not like we need him to say this to know it, there are already so many articles out there that have identified this trend, so why he continues the charade is just pure ego. Every time Zimmer joins a discussion on social media…


Victor Field
Victor Field
Mar 19, 2023

I'm trying to open my mind.


Robert Knaus
Robert Knaus
Mar 17, 2023

"I wanted the audience to hate the score."

You's possible to write skillful, textured music that's tense and unnerving without just producing the bludgeoning "musical" equivalent of dragging your fingernails down a chalkboard.

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