Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Conclusions. Whilst this essay has attempted to be as detailed as possible in its readings of Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, there’s little doubt that covering every aspect of the film would be an infinite task. Three aspects have been considered quite deliberately in order to show the strong musical framework in which the film is built upon but … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 4).
This article contains narrative spoilers. From its very earliest occurrences, electronic instrumentation and music has been used in cinema to signpost various aspects of mental health problems and issues within diegetic characters. Alongside its uses in creating alien worlds, electronic instrumentation seems to, at least in the eyes of the films’ creators, have an ability to go deep within the human psyche as well as … Continue reading Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.
One of the best and most underrated moments from Charles Laughton’s The Night Of The Hunter (1955), the scene that captures the murder of Willa (Shelly Winters) after a prolonged period of brainwashing by Preacher Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), is not only one of the most important and powerful moments in the film but one that sums up the more interesting end of thematic audio-visual … Continue reading The Night Of The Hunter (1955) And The Death Waltz – Charles Laughton.
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).
Part 1. Innocence and Sexuality. As already suggested, Valerie is first and foremost about the links, barriers and cross-over between innocence and sexuality. Whilst some characters (for example, the religious fundamentalists), believe there to be a strict differentiation between the two, the film and Valerie herself know that this is not the case; if anything, it is the watermark of the patriarchy that such a … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 2).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Nondiegetic Musical Themes And Textures. “Indeed, the celestial voices of film music do resemble a phantom in several significant ways. They are ephemeral, they are not ‘substantial’ or do not constitute part of what audiences cognise as important in the film, and have an effect that is not apparent.” – Donnelly (p.8, 2005). Though looking at nondiegetic scores for … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 4 (Music).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. The Use of Rock and Pop Aesthetics in Lisztomania (1975) and Tommy (1975). While the sociological reaction to classical music is a debatable area, Ken Russell had a very clear vision of how classical composers at least ought to have been received. A moment in Mahler briefly summarises this idea, where Mahler is … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 7 (Pop Aesthetics).
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. 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).
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).