Cliff Martinez on his 30-year career, 'Sex, Lies And Videotape', and writing ringtones for Apple

Screen | 1/31/2019 | Ben Dalton
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American composer Cliff Martinez is celebrating 30 years since the first film he scored, Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies And Videotape, burst onto the independent scene, at Sundance Film Festival in January 1989.

Since then, Martinez has written music for directors including Nicholas Winding Refn, Robert Redford and Harmony Korine, as well as scoring many of Soderbergh’s subsequent films.

Music - Too - Old - Die - Young

Most recently, he has been working on the music for Too Old To Die Young, an Amazon Studios series directed by Winding Refn which explores the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles. Miles Teller and Billy Baldwin lead the cast, with the series due on Amazon Prime later this year.

Martinez attended the 48th International Film Festival Rotterdam to give a masterclass on his career to an audience of fellow composers and festival attendees, and while in town spoke to Screen about how the industry has changed across his time, and what is exciting about writing music for film right now.

Appetite - Composers - Europe

Is there a good appetite to hear from composers in Europe?

It is different [in Europe] - I think there’s a bigger appreciation for film music as a separate thing. I don’t view film music as a very engaging listening experience, apart from in the film it was made for. But there are film music fans who feel otherwise. That kind of event probably would have sold two tickets in LA, and here it was packed.

Why do you think that is?

Perhaps Hollywood film culture is more exotic here and is taken for granted at home. There seems to be more of an appetite for the nuts and bolts of filmmaking here. I can tell by the kind of questions people ask that they’re very curious about how the sausage is made. I don’t sense that same level of curiosity with filmmaking [in the US].

Is it possible for...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Screen
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