The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 6 (Excavation).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Human Interaction With The Landscape And Its Soundscape. “The wind was bitter from the north, but was at his back when he set out for the Globe.  He quickly rattled and clashed through the shingle and gained the sand, upon which, but for the groynes which had to be got over every few yards, the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 6 (Excavation).

A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 8 (Lisztomania).

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).

A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 5 (Dance of the Seven Veils).

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).

The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 1 (Introduction).

Manifesting The Supernatural: The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories. Introduction. “When Monty first began to write them, with the intention of inducing a pleasing terror in his listeners, he did so as an avid and discerning reader and connoisseur of the genre, keenly aware of his precedents and of the characteristics, objectives, and limitations of the ghost story as he understood the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 1 (Introduction).

The Music of Folk Horror – Part 8 (Conclusions).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Conclusions From the analysis of only a handful of British folk horror films, it has been shown that they rely heavily on their music in order to achieve their full cinematic effect.  Altman states the following when discussing genre theory: “Constantly opposing cultural values to counter-culture values, genre films regularly depend on … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 8 (Conclusions).

A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 3 (The Debussy Film).

Part 1. Part 2. The Dramatisation of History in The Debussy Film (1965). For a film relatively early on in Russell’s portrayals of classical composers, The Debussy Film is surprisingly knowing about the director’s position as story-teller in the relaying of history to the viewer.  The history of the French “impressionist” composer, Claude Debussy, is one of the more dramatic that Russell chooses to recreate … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 3 (The Debussy Film).

The Music of Folk Horror – Part 7 (Musical Anachronisms).

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).

A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 2 (Monitor and Bartok).

Part 1. BBC Monitor and the Use of Audio-Visual Form as Musicological Comment. The medium that Russell first gained traction in was not in fact film but in television documentaries.  The flop of his first feature film, French Dressing (1964), marks the advent of his daring creativity entering into his work as television director; a role he had begun at the BBC for their documentary … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 2 (Monitor and Bartok).

A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 1 (Introduction).

The Russell Prism: How Ken Russell’s Auteuristic Aesthetics Presents a Reception Study of Classical Music and its Composers. The following essay was a dummy-run dissertation for my Masters course before realising that the subject had already been covered thrice in audio-visual academia.  Though none of three essays analyse or go into the depth of the work (instead choosing to shoehorn their own subject matter through … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 1 (Introduction).

The Long Goodbye (1973, Robert Altman) – A Musical Critique of Film-Noir.

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.