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Music at the Movies


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#1 Danny

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 07:18 AM

Hi.

There have been discussions on this before, but not from this side I don't think. We all generally say and agree that the theme tunes to any movie is to more or less 'support' it, which is true. But I think sometimes a theme tune can do more than that. It can become a huge part of it.

Recently I just bought the album 'Classic FM at the Movies', and listening through it, the theme tunes that I recognised had so much magic to them. For instance 'Apollo 13' and 'The Piano', they just bring you right back into the movies.

Where would 'Star Wars' or 'Superman' be without those John Williams tracks? When you hear that tune, you are automatically brought back to the intro of 'Star Wars'. Whilst you are watching the film, sub-consciously the theme tune is setting in and is more powerful than you think.

I think this mainly applies with Classical orientated themes, since as the average bod can't really fault a classical track and they are pretty much a universal musical genre. Whereas a rock song is very subjective material and is blasted to the front row of your brain and will most likely take the audience OUT of the film.

I just think that even though we say a theme tune is there to support the film, I think the theme tune on it's own is extremely powerful and can sometimes make the movie what it is.

Anyone else got any thoughts on this?

(P.S That Classic FM at the Movies is a good buy if you're into that kinda stuff)

Edited by Danny, 21 June 2006 - 07:23 AM.

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#2 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 10:31 AM

i believe the soundtrack of a movie has a huge impact on how you interpret the images, not in the least because sound/melody/rythm seems to bypass our reason and almost subconsiously impacts our emotional state. Sound is so direct that you don't even notice it while watching a movie, unless it's suddenly turned off or out of synch. Because of this the use of sound is closely tied to the concept of suspension of disbelief and the realist effect of mainstream film. This is especially strange with the music, because it obviously participates in the illusion of film, but it's not naturalistic in any sense at all. At least i've never heard a saxophone squeeking while kissing my girlfriend.
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#3 Matt Pacini

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 05:23 PM

I personally think it's at least 75% of the emotional impact of a film, if not more.
Almost nothing works in film without music, to the extent that the lack of it, is often used as an effect in itself, which always leaves the feeling of either emptiness, or an uncomfortable expecting of something to happen.
Of course, I'm first of all a musician/composer, so naturally I'd pick up on that!
Try watching any favorite film of yours with the sound off.
It's dead and lifeless, even if you know the story, the dialog, therefore know exactly what's happening.

I had an interesting experience a few years ago. Here in Sacramento, they show old silent movies at the Towe Auto Museum, and they have an old restored pipe organ.
Just like the old days of cinema, they have a guy largely improvision organ music to the silent films.
The first time, it seemed funny and campy, but not more than 10-15 minutes in, I was caught up in it.
It's amazing how effective it was. I saw Nasferatu, a pretty good 16mm film print, and with the music it really worked well.

MP
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#4 Nick Mulder

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 06:48 PM

I often wonder what I would think of Donnie Darko if I hadn't been exposed to the same music in my earlier years (late seventies child) - I like that film, but I suspect its the sound track
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