What is the best way for a film to show the power of a character? Is it to retain the power within the narrative world and show it be all encompassing, or is it better to show it to have control over specific qualities of the medium itself? One of the best examples of this debate to be realised in cinematic aesthetics is in John … Continue reading Point Blank (John Boorman, 1967) – Rhythmic Footsteps and Diegetic Power.
Ligeti’s Atmosphères as a Musical Foreshadowing of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Introduction. “First in Cologne in 1957 and later during my long stay in Vienna in the ’60s, I gradually evolved a musical style in which I abandoned structures conceived in terms of bars, melodies, lines and conventional forms. In this respect my first two orchestral works, Apparitions and Atmosphères, are the most … Continue reading Ligeti’s Atmosphères as a Musical Foreshadowing of Kubrick’s 2001- Part 1 (Introduction)
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)
Part 1. Part 2. Emphasis on Acousmatic Concepts in Ross J. Fenimore’s “Voices that Lie Within”. “Psycho almost didn’t happen. This is a unique case of music literally saving a film.” – Sullivan (2006, p.246). Like much literature around Psycho, Fenimore’s “Voices That Lie Within” begins its argument with setting the scene. “Psycho begins with a theft.”(2010, p.80) he begins as so many often do. … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 3 (Acousmatic Concepts)
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).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Communal Singing of Popular Music. “Song lyrics threaten to offset the aesthetic balance between music and narrative cinematic representation. The common solution taken by the standard feature film is not to declare songs off limits – for they can give pleasure of their own – but to defer significant action and … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives (Part 4) – Communal Singing and Domestic Abuse.
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.
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Home Viewing of Blue and New Reception Possibilities. “Say you were struck down tomorrow, what would your monument be?” – Dr Mathew Herbert. “Oh nothing, because film disappears, thank God.” – Derek Jarman (1993, p.117) There is an unstated irony within this essay in the fact that this writer has never been able to experience Blue in … Continue reading The Problematic Reception of Derek Jarman’s Blue – Part 5 (Home Viewings and Conclusions)
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)
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Working Class Pasts – Nostalgia and Past Hardship Through Sound and Music. “Since the 1970s especially, the tendency has grown for directors to indulge their own musical tastes in scoring a film” (Gorbman, 2006, p.17). Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) – Differences in Time. Terence Davies’ autobiographical second feature is the last film to be examined. Unlike … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives – Nostalgia and Hardship Through Sound & Music (Part 1).