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The Journey Inside
  • Composed by David Shire
  • Intrada / 2015 / 37m

An extreme oddity of a film, I can’t be alone in never having heard (until this album release) of The Journey Inside, a 40-minute IMAX movie released in 1994 which was intended as both a narrative science fiction story and an extended commercial for Intel, promoting their then-new Pentium processor.  It came and went very quickly, but its filmmakers certainly took it seriously and were extended a large budget, including for a lavish orchestral score by the great David Shire.  It’s one of the “biggest” of his career, the composer delighted to be able to enter John Williams territory having been toiling in much smaller television dramas around that time, and he delivered a delightful effort, bolstered by several excellent themes, the first heard over the main titles – heroic and boisterous, the whole orchestra is put through its paces.

The dark theme for the bad guys (aliens – here to stop a key moment in mankind’s evolution by preventing production of the Pentium) is developed throughout the three-track “The Cave” sequence where an aggressive, almost Rózsa-like call-and-response melody for brass and low strings alternates with some excellent otherworldly synth choir and just occasionally a bit of dated electronics.  That’s followed by a fantastic set-piece, “Chip Trip”, a big romantic fantasy on the main theme.  Finally there’s a delightful new theme introduced about half way through in “The FAB” (nothing to do with Thunderbirds), full of youthful adventure.  This is a terrific score, Shire at his most expansive, composed for the most obscure of movies but clearly taken very seriously by its composer.  Intrada’s release presents the whole thing and Tim Greiving’s lines notes include new interviews with composer and director.  Recommended!

Rating: **** | |

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  1. Chris Avis (Reply) on Sunday 1 March, 2015 at 23:14

    Interesting… will have to give the clips at Intrada a listen. The film itself is directed by the venerable Alan Smithee, so you know it must be a quality production!