Updated: May 31, 2020
2015 was a fantastic year for us here at The Village, and we rang in the new year with the release of yet another stellar film with a score that was mixed at our studio by Village alum Scott Smith. The National’s Bryce Dessner and German electronic musician Alva Noto joined composer Ryuichi Sakamoto in creating the score for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s much buzzed about film, “The Revenant”. While the score is getting some well deserved recognition for its artistic excellence, it’s not been without a bit of controversy.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Music Branch has deemed 112 scores eligible to compete for nominations in the Original Score category for the 88th Academy Awards. Unfortunately, Ryuichi Sakamoto’s score for “The Revenant” did not fit their criteria (they couldn’t separate out his contributions from his two collaborators), and the film has been deemed ineligible to compete for a nomination. The Academy’s decision has been met with resistance and FOX is appealing the ruling.
Iñárritu has always been an innovator regarding his use of music to inform editing choices and narrative development. While many other composers and directors approach their work from a similar angle, the recent Academy discrepancy has lead him to become a voice in a larger conversation regarding the validity of these awards.
We’re hoping Iñárritu gets the result he’s looking for, and that Sakamoto becomes eligible for an Oscar. It’s certainly well deserved, and we couldn’t be more proud to have been a part of the project.