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The Unknown Known
(2014)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:

Conducted by:
Joris Bartsch Buhle

Orchestrated by:
Steve Bartek
Edgardo Simone

Performed by:
Berlin Session Orchestra, Filmchor Berlin, and Philharmonischer Kinderchor Dresden
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
La-La Land Records
(May 6th, 2014)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you want to hear Danny Elfman cleverly eviscerate a neurotic character on screen with a simultaneously playful and sinister treatment of underplayed but surprisingly engaging rhythmic devices.

Avoid it... if you easily tire of Elfman's methods when he clearly pulls elements from his past scores into a new environment, in this case his prior incarnations combining to skewer a controversial political figure.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,776
WRITTEN 2/16/15
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Elfman
Elfman
The Unknown Known: (Danny Elfman) There is little debate in retrospect about the disastrous nature of the decision by the United States to invade Iraq in 2003, and much of the deception of the American people at the time was the work of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. The man had a tendency to twist logic in mind-bogglingly incomprehensible ways when speaking to the press about his justifications, and one such event occurred during a U.S. Department of Defense news briefing in February of 2002. When confronted about his assertions that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that were destined for terrorists (a lie perpetuated by the American government to explain the war), Rumsfeld gave a rambling response detailing the intelligence community's "known knowns," "known unknowns," and "unknown unknowns." Ironically, as psychologists have illuminated since, the last combination that Rumsfeld forgot to mention, the "unknown knowns," is the one that applies to a person who refuses to recognize what he already knows, thus making it the most applicable of the four to the conniving Rumsfeld. Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris has been plundering political topics for years, typically constructing his films out of interviews with the actual main players. His treatment of Rumsfeld in 2014's The Unknown Known (the film premiered in limited fashion in 2013) cleverly uses Rumsfeld's own words, supplied to Morris willingly for some odd reason (the outcome of the movie's slant should have been a known known for Rumsfeld), to expose his dodgy lies and impactful blunders. The film didn't reclaim the praise he received for The Fog of War in 2003, but it was received well by critics. While Morris had utilized the services of composer Philip Glass for his earlier projects, he switched to Danny Elfman for 2008's Standard Operating Procedure and the two worked well together. It's no secret that Elfman is an active voice for liberal causes in America, so it was also no surprise that he took the opportunity to skewer Rumsfeld with a devious score for The Unknown Known. Elfman had channeled Glass' style of rhythmic minimalism in Standard Operating Procedure, and that approach continues in The Unknown Known. But the latter score is easily more clever in how it strikes to the false sense of uppity self-righteousness that defines the target of the film. There's a simultaneously playful and sinister personality to this score, and it's that finely tuned balance that makes it a remarkable success, not to mention far more listenable on album than its often grating predecessor.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
136 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.33 Stars
***** 30 5 Stars
**** 36 4 Stars
*** 33 3 Stars
** 24 2 Stars
* 13 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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The final sentence
AhN - February 24, 2015, at 9:50 p.m.
1 comment  (608 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 59:59
• 1. Theme From Unknown (4:16)
• 2. Two Sides (1:58)
• 3. Marimba Foghorn (7:01)
• 4. Rummy's Theme (2:42)
• 5. Himself (0:42)
• 6. Drones (4:36)
• 7. Ford Assassination (2:18)
• 8. Snowflakes (2:37)
• 9. Shakespeare (1:35)
• 10. Smokers (2:12)
• 11. The Haynes Memo (3:24)
• 12. What You Know (1:46)
• 13. Reagan (2:01)
• 14. Absence of Evidence (2:58)
• 15. Geneva (1:55)
• 16. Limits (1:14)
• 17. Dora Farms (2:50)
• 18. Full Boil (0:57)
• 19. Abu Ghraib (1:31)
• 20. Detainees (1:36)
• 21. The Resignation (0:48)
• 22. Better to Not Go (2:10)
• 23. Joyce (1:18)
• 24. Main Titles (2:06)
• 25. Unknown - Piano Solo (3:39)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes only a brief note about the film.
Copyright © 2015-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Unknown Known are Copyright © 2014, La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/16/15 (and not updated significantly since).
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