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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Musical Avant-Garde and Overt Anachronisms in Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971). “I think the other thing that appealed to me was the rural setting. The nooks and crannies of woodland, the edges of fields the ploughing, the sense of soil was something I tried to bring into the picture” – Piers Haggard (Gatiss, 2010, BBC). … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 6 (Blood on Satan’s Claw).
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.
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Narrative Functionality. The music of The Wicker Man, while having few boundaries in terms of the effect of its various functions on its narrative content, is split into several different types. For this section, the specific type of music to be looked at is the folk song; a form that makes several appearance in the film with original compositions … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 4 (The Wicker Man’s Narrative Functionality).
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.
Part 1. Part 2. Tradition Through Folk Aesthetics in the Music of The Wicker Man (1973). The first case study film for this essay is Robin Hardy’s 1973 film, The Wicker Man. Though it is the latest of the films to be looked at, it has the most complex relationship with its music, formed entirely of its own accord rather than on folk horror practices … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 3 (The Wicker Man’s Folk Aesthetics).