Browse results

Series:

Heidi Hart

Abstract

The soundtrack for Ceylan’s 2014 film Winter Sleep includes only five minutes of music: the opening passage of Schubert’s A-major Piano Sonata no. 20, Andantino, repeated in moments suggesting the main character’s Bildung and introspection. As the film progresses, this musical signal takes on increased narrative weight; its repetition adheres to a growing sense of the damage this character’s privilege enacts on his wife and on the families who owe him rent. Drawing on Irina Rajewsky’s recent work on transmedial movement, this paper argues for repetition and accumulation as narrative strategies across media, while pointing out the material associativity unique to music – in this case a Schubert passage that, in its broken-record replication, exposes the cost of traditional European bourgeois values in a Turkish household as patriarchal as it is ‘western’. Here music does not intensify an emotional-narrative arc but adds a critical dimension to dialogue and visual storytelling.

Series:

Frieder von Ammon

Abstract

This paper starts out from the thesis that the use of music in ‘Quality TV’ series of today differs significantly from the use of music in earlier TV series, insofar as, in accordance with other structural experiments, the potentials of music in television are explored and enlarged to an extent hitherto unknown in the respective series. In order to support this thesis a close look is taken at the use of music in three of the most critically acclaimed and influential ‘Quality TV’ series so far, The Sopranos, The Wire, and Breaking Bad.

Series:

Marion Recknagel

Abstract

In the middle of his second opera, Lulu, Alban Berg inserted a silent movie that is accompanied by film music. Although Berg gave precise instructions for the film scenario and its association with the music outlined in the Particell, many directors omit the film in stage performances. However, the film is essential to the opera dramaturgically because it fills the gap that Wedekind had left in between his two dramas, Erdgeist (‘Earth Spirit’) and Die Büchse der Pandora (‘Pandora’s Box’). Berg initially considered having a speaker narrate the intermediate story but decided on a silent film which depicts the events. In this article, the film and its music are analyzed to show how they together fulfill three functions: as a narration of the missing link; as a mirror axis for the opera’s symmetrical design; and as the pivot of the whole opera.

Series:

Saskia Jaszoltowski

Abstract

Assuming that the interrelation between music and moving images was mainly defined in classical Hollywood cinema and that the degree of involvement with an audiovisually depicted narrative depends heavily on sound, the question is posed how the acoustic dimension in film may either enhance orientation or disturb the audience’s perception. By considering recorded concert performances, documentaries, and fiction films, this examination aims at analyzing the absence of sound, vision, or narrative. Gaps in audiovisual texts are interpreted as well as intermedial transfers between word, architecture, and music.

Series:

Michael Halliwell

Abstract

Opera and film is an area of scholarly endeavour that has engaged a wide variety of methodologies in recent years. The usual areas of investigation include opera on film; opera as film; opera in film, and film in opera. However, film as opera is a relatively new phenomenon. André Previn drew on David Lean’s 1945 film, Brief Encounter, based on Noël Coward’s 1936 play, Still Life, for an opera premiered in 2009. The Kneehigh Theatre Company also used the film as the basis for its 2008 production, Brief Encounter. This paper investigates how these three adaptations of the Coward play draw on different elements of the source work, each finding a distinctive musical response to the play.

Series:

Edited by Walter Bernhart and David Francis Urrows

Series:

Jordan Carmalt Stokes

Abstract

One of the most fundamental premises in the study of film music – the narratological distinction between diegetic and non-diegetic music – is also one of the most frequently challenged. This essay offers a defense of the diegetic/non-diegetic split by describing a series of scenes in which the distinction seems to be doing important work. A narratological reading of the scenes is contrasted with a reading that uses an alternative model recently advanced by Ben Winters, in order to show how these scenes can be used as test cases for the development of future theories.

Series:

Walter Bernhart

Abstract

The documentary film Night Mail, propagating the services of the British General Post Office in the 1930s, reflects the political ideas, typical of the period, of increased democratisation and a collective work ethic. At the same time, it reflects those advanced aesthetic ideas of the period that favoured a public function of art and saw art works as products of collaborative creative activity by artists from different media, with film taking a leading role in the coaction. The g.p.o. Film Unit was able to engage W.H. Auden and Benjamin Britten as contributors to the formation of Night Mail. This paper argues that their cooperative efforts turned the film into a unique case of what it calls a “collaborative Gesamtkunstwerk” showing a particularly close interaction of picture, words and music, and analyses the effects which the closeness of interaction has on the working of the participating media.