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James Horner composed the film scores of our dreams

in Potpourri by

James Horner may have been the most important film composer not named John Williams to work in the movie industry. He scored music for more than 100 movies, won two Academy Awards, and through his music, provided the emotional context for some of the most beloved films of our time. It’s rare that movie viewers even notice the music that plays under the scenes that they’re watching (Williams’ duuuh-dum! that accompanies the shark in Jaws might be one of the best examples of a film score stepping to the forefront). Horner, however, was a master of striking just the right note in the emotional accompaniment to the action on screen. “You have to make an audience connect to [the film]…

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Leonard Nimoy: Actor, Vulcan, Renaissance man, friend

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It’s too easy to say that he lived long and prospered, although many writers will begin their remembrances of Leonard Nimoy with his time-honored catchphrase. Nimoy—who was a writer, poet, photographer and musician as well as an actor—prospered in a singular and unique way. He was the breakout star playing the breakout character in a short-lived science fiction TV series 50 years ago. His work in that series (and in subsequent endeavors) touched and changed the lives of generations of fans in ways that few actors have ever known. It’s not an overstatement to say that Star Trek’s Mr. Spock was one of the great folk heroes of the 20th century, and the half-human, half-Vulcan Starfleet officer will continue to…

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Remembering Robin Williams: the genie who brought books to life

in Fiction by

The news of Robin Williams’ passing generated near-palpable shock across social media, television, and around the world Monday. Fans lost a brilliant and gentle (if troubled) soul who delighted countless millions across five decades with a brand of comedy that was unique in its tenor and unparalleled in its inspired lunacy. Williams was all four Marx Brothers squeezed into one pair of pants, a cyclone of comedic energy made up of equal parts childlike innocence and late-night Vegas-strip bawdiness. Williams’ rocket-fueled brand of comedy, however, sometimes eclipsed his formidable talents as a serious dramatic actor. In his youth he was granted a full scholarship to study theatre at the prestigious Julliard School at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in…

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Top 5 spring reading picks from off the beaten path

in Fiction by

Spring is the perfect time to get to know some new authors. If you’ve been keeping up with your BookTrib reading, you know that 2014 has been dubbed “The Year of Reading Women.” My run-down last month of five female authors everyone should read hopefully got you off to a good start, but what’s next? This month, we’ll go off the beaten path, highlighting a handful of new novels from small presses. Small  or “indie” presses—meaning those that are independently owned and operated outside of the control of a large conglomerate like Penguin/Random House or Simon & Schuster—are the place to go to find new, creative, and often experimental work. These presses operate on smaller budgets, and with lower expectations for…

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