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.
It must have come as a political shock to see a film in 1965 highlight, with such casual brutality, the privilege of the male patriarch. Agnès Varda’s third feature, Le Bonheur, is such a contradiction in its conveyance of a happiness, ignorant of morality, that its shock is rarely diminished. The film is a colourful, seasonal evocation of a very unusual ménage à trios which … Continue reading Mozart in Le Bonheur (1965) – Agnès Varda.
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.
This article contains spoilers. There are many aspects of distraction within Jerzy Skolimowski’s 1970 film, Deep End. Its highly sexualised, sometimes seedy narrative, its vast array of colours and its crisp, sharp direction are only a handful of its hyper-active eccentricities. Even David Lynch, a long-time pessimist about colour cinema, is on record as a fan of Deep End‘s array of powerful colours, and styles. … Continue reading Deep End (1970) and the Musical Emphasising of Narrative (Jerzy Skolimowski).
Hitchcock’s early British films tend largely to be devoid of the interesting, endlessly analysable scores his later films have, (thanks mainly to Bernard Herrmann being sat at the musical helm). It seems to have been an almost standard practice to use a handful of musical scores or fragments in the occasional scene but to largely leave the films musically blank outside of their opening and … Continue reading The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938) – Early Uses of Musical, Narrative Tools.
David Lynch has a very clear and obvious interest in music. This interest finds its way into his films via a number of different methods and often build upon the director’s main recurring themes and ideas. What makes David Lynch distinct from other American directors with interests in music such as Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen is that Lynch’s interest has peaked at a point … Continue reading David Lynch’s Musical Formations of Cinematic Ideas (The Big Dream).
Nostalgia can manifest in many forms at the cinema. Sometimes it can be overt, sometimes it can be unconscious but film is most definitely the medium to explore its inner workings. A number of films have recently used sound, not just in an interesting way, but as a major part of the narrative and character focus whilst touching upon nostalgia. These range from the superb … Continue reading Silence (Pat Collins, 2012) – Landscape and Nostalgia.
This article contains spoilers. Though drenched in visual complexities and sharp, hap-hazard editing, Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966) is film that is aurally interesting as it is exhilarating to view. Its opening segment of film footage from all corners of cinematic life, spliced together to form a montage of passing thoughts and nightmares, is actually a beautifully put together piece of sound editing as well. This … Continue reading Persona (1966) – Consequences of a Silent World (Ingmar Bergman)
The relationship between sound and vision in film is one that is complex and almost indefinable in a broad sense due to each director and composer treating such relationship in different ways. The two examples about to be discussed are almost reverse images of each other’s effects; the same method has been applied but for different reasons and different results. Much examination has taken place … Continue reading Musical Emphasis on Visual Words (François Truffaut and Pier Paolo Pasolini)