Part 1. Part 2. Belief And Ritual. The power of belief and its will in the distortion of reality is one of Valerie‘s more crucial cinematic aspects. This isn’t simply a belief in the sense of a religious doctrine and all of the aesthetics that accompany it, but the moral belief of the main character whose fantasies dictate the narrative ruptures within the film. However, … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 3).
Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision. Jaromil Jireš’ Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) is a cornucopia of images and sound. Its vision is of a complex blossoming of sexuality amidst the visual and thematic realisations of a Freudian dreamscape, driven primarily by the lack of understanding and misinterpretation caused by social naivety. The narrative rarely ascends to … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 1).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Lizstomania and the effect of Rock Aesthetics on Classical Reception. After making Tommy, Russell clearly felt as if there was still new territory to be explored. The last of his composer films would not simply be a final whimper in the delving into a musical and cultural history, but an all-out … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 8 (Lisztomania).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. When approaching a cinematic portrayal of Richard Strauss, Russell is, for the first time in his biographical canon, openly honest about its position within cultural texts. Dance of the Seven Veils has a sub-heading that reads “A comic strip in 7 episodes on the life of Richard Strauss” which is the first open admission that this is … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 5 (Dance of the Seven Veils).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Musical Anachronisms – Naturally and Overtly. “Let’s just say there aren’t many films set in the reign of William and Mary in which the devil rebuilds his body by harvesting the skin of children…” (Gatiss, 2010, BBC). To address the presence of musical anachronisms in films of all types is a tricky subject … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 7 (Musical Anachronisms).
Out of all of the modern interpretations of film-noir produced in the 1970s, The Long Goodbye (1973) is by far the most aesthetically interesting. This isn’t only because of its integration with counter-culture ideas and values, but with its continuous critical assessment of genre tropes. This critique, which extends to the literature and music as well as the films of the hindsight-based movement, is considered … Continue reading The Long Goodbye (1973, Robert Altman) – A Musical Critique of Film-Noir.
The Female Voice in Subversive Soundtracks of the Counter-Culture Era. After a recent viewing of Alan J. Pakula’s crime thriller, Klute (1971), something occurred at the back of my mind that connected the film with a number of others. At first, I struggled with my memory as to what exactly it was about the film that was bringing other films of the era to mind; … Continue reading The Female Voice in Subversive Soundtracks of the Counter-Culture Era.
What is the best way for a film to show the power of a character? Is it to retain the power within the narrative world and show it be all encompassing, or is it better to show it to have control over specific qualities of the medium itself? One of the best examples of this debate to be realised in cinematic aesthetics is in John … Continue reading Point Blank (John Boorman, 1967) – Rhythmic Footsteps and Diegetic Power.
In spite of its very energetic reappraisal and various analyses, Michael Powell’s career destroying masterpiece, Peeing Tom (1960), is a film whose musical eccentricities and sound design contain hidden depths. For a film that appears on the surface to be almost excessively Freudian, this was normal yet, when looking at some of the detailed reappraisals and even some of the high-end re-evaluations of its narrative … Continue reading Peeping Tom (Michael Powell,1960) – Aural Perspectives of Murder.
Part 1. Part 2. Emphasis on Acousmatic Concepts in Ross J. Fenimore’s “Voices that Lie Within”. “Psycho almost didn’t happen. This is a unique case of music literally saving a film.” – Sullivan (2006, p.246). Like much literature around Psycho, Fenimore’s “Voices That Lie Within” begins its argument with setting the scene. “Psycho begins with a theft.”(2010, p.80) he begins as so many often do. … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 3 (Acousmatic Concepts)