A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 4 (The Music Lovers).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Transitional Films and Symbolic Representations of Classical Composers. In spite of using the visual form as an excuse for experimentation with documentary and biography as seen in his films for the BBC, it wasn’t until the early 1970s where Russell really found material to properly experiment with.  The word experimental however must be contextualised as even the films discussed … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 4 (The Music Lovers).

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 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 Music of Folk Horror – Part 1 (Sub-Genre Theories).

The Sounds of Sacrifice: The Music of British Folk Horror Films. Introduction. In the late 1960s and the early 1970s, a small group of horror films made in Britain set themselves apart from the rest of the genre, becoming an aptly cult phenomena now acknowledged under the banner of folk horror.  As a newly recognised sub-genre, it can be difficult to assess though, as new … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 1 (Sub-Genre Theories).

Ligeti’s Atmosphères as a Musical Foreshadowing of Kubrick’s 2001- Part 3 (Musical Narrative)

Part 1. Part 2. 2001: Narrative and Musical Parallels. “Ultimately, 2001 is a film that suspends that coordination of the human body, and thus human nature, in such conditions- even as it suspends our final judgments about human nature in its open-ended conclusion about our future development.” Decker – (2007, p.101). One of the biggest omens that a piece of music is given preference in … Continue reading Ligeti’s Atmosphères as a Musical Foreshadowing of Kubrick’s 2001- Part 3 (Musical Narrative)

Peeping Tom (Michael Powell,1960) – Aural Perspectives of Murder.

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.

Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 4 (Conclusions)

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.  Combining the Readings: Similarities, Contradictions and Cross-Over. “It’s as if the film were pinpointing the very essence of the unfilmable: the entwined couple, monstrous, the two-backed beast of the primal scene, the impossible couple of body and voice.” – Michel Chion (1999, p.149). While Murphy and Fenimore examine and address different points and issues, their resulting essays not only … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 4 (Conclusions)

Deep End (1970) and the Musical Emphasising of Narrative (Jerzy Skolimowski).

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).

Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 1

Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and its Different Readings. Introduction. “If Psycho had been intended as a serious picture, it would have been shown as a clinical case with no mystery or suspense.  The material would have been used as the documentation of the case history.  We’ve already mentioned that total plausibility and authenticity merely add up to a documentary.” – Alfred Hitchcock … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 1

The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938) – Early Uses of Musical, Narrative Tools.

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.