Compare and contrast the appropriate music used in Steven Spielberg's movies Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List to create not only an entertaining product of visual extremes, but also an...
Compare and contrast the appropriate music used in Steven Spielberg's movies Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List to create not only an entertaining product of visual extremes, but also an explanation of human conscience.
Since he directed "Jaws" in 1975, Steven Spielberg has repeatedly employed the music composer John Williams to score his films. Williams' orchestral arrangements have accompanied virtually every Spielberg film since -- to say nothing of the work Williams has done for Spielberg friend and colleague George Lucas on the latter's "Star Wars" films -- "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan." Spielberg's use of Williams clearly indicates that the director has total confidence in the ability of the composer to establish the right tone or mood during the highly dramatic sequences of his films.
While "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan" both take place during World War II, and while they are both very serious dramas, the stories are vastly different and required very distinct orchestral arrangements to highlight the unique passages in each film. The drama involved in portraying the horrors of the Holocaust and the wrenching decisions that had to made by ordinary men and women on a daily basis required a very somber melody to support the gravity of the situation. Williams' choice of Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman can arguably have contributed to the melonchalia of the film score by underlying the passion that Perlman, a Jew, would bring to a project so close to his heart.
In contrast, Williams' score for "Saving Private Ryan" had to be more focused on the drama inherent in the close combat situations that occur throughout the film than on the interpersonal relations that dominate "Schindler's List." While there is plenty of personal interaction in "Saving Private Ryan," for example, the scenes where Captain Miller converses with Sergeant Horvath and, most poignantly, the scenes that both open and close the film showing an aged Army veteran (Ryan) visiting the grave of the killed-in-action Miller, the film's depiction of combat scenes required a more explosive film score to accentuate the action.