Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.

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 … Continue reading Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.

The Night Of The Hunter (1955) And The Death Waltz – Charles Laughton.

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 … Continue reading The Night Of The Hunter (1955) And The Death Waltz – Charles Laughton.

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 3).

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 … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 3).

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 2).

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, … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 2).

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 1).

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) - Duality Through Sound and Vision. Jaromil Jireš' Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) is a cornucopia of images and sound.  Its vision is of a complex blossoming of sexuality amidst the visual and thematic realisations of a Freudian dreamscape, driven primarily by the lack of understanding and … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 1).

The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 9 (Conclusions).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Part 8. Conclusions. "If its central characteristics remained immune to change, the ghost story did keep pace with the times through progressive modernization of settings and language." - Cox (xix, 1991). From analysis of the BBC Ghost Stories, it is clear … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 9 (Conclusions).

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

The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 4 (Music).

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." … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 4 (Music).

A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 7 (Pop Aesthetics).

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 … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 7 (Pop Aesthetics).