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 Posted:   Nov 13, 2013 - 9:48 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

THE BIRDS has always been effective, to me, sans score.

Again, do you really think that's an argument AGAINST the potential use of music in that film???? MANY critics have complained about the lack of music, and if you will, since the artificial bird shrieks are "composed", the film actually HAS music. Remy Gassmann, an avantgarde composer, and Oskar Sala, the trautonium player for the film (and himself also a composer) were involved in the creation of this electronic "score".

And even if the film is effective without an acoustic/orchestral score, does that mean it couldn't be MORE effective with such music????

Some of the people on this board who profess to be film music lovers seem not to have grasped the first thing about the role of music in films, nor of film technique itself.

Seriously.


If that rant above is meant to say, do I think THE BIRDS can be improved upon with a score, the answer is, no, I don't. THE BIRDS is a perfect film, for me. Look, film scores are my favorite music, without question. They generally enhance a film, beyond what everyone else involved could do. If I had the money, I'd buy THE ODESSA FILE and have it rescored; but THE BIRDS is perfect, as is. I do not, in any way, shape or form, music. If you do, then let me ask you this, if they were to release a soundtrack with those electronic sounds on it, would you buy and listen, more than once? I would not.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2013 - 9:48 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

I've never seen a film which wouldn't have been better with more music. smile

Or, to put it another way, I always feel something is missing if a film has little or no music.

 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2013 - 9:52 AM   
 By:   Penelope Pineapple   (Member)

The only film, for me, that jumps to mind that had no score was NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN--and I thought the lack of score contributed immensly to the film's tension. So do films need scores? No. Not if all the other pieces of the film are firing on all cylinders.

 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2013 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

It was certainly effective to have no scores for The China Syndrome and Fail-Safe.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2013 - 10:14 AM   
 By:   follow me   (Member)


Another wrong-headed argument. Editing is as much a manipulation as camera work or music. They all belong to the TECHNIQUE of film-MAKING, and from the very start!


Another wrong-headed argument. This still does not mean that you have to add YET ANOTHER manipulative device. Most films will need a score and will benefit from it - but not ALL films and CERTAINLY not all scenes of a film. A wall- to - wall - score is the best method to make a film appear unrealistic.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2013 - 10:16 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I've never seen a film which wouldn't have been better with more music. smile

Outside Hollywood (and for films such as those I mentioned), a score would be disastrous and in fact undermine the very artistic project that the filmmaker wants to embark on.

Again -- I wish more people looked OUTSIDE Hollywood to see the true glory of some films with no or minimal music. In fact, there are also some films from the American indie scene that subscribe to this. If one for some reason is uncomfortable in venturing outside the US border.

 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2013 - 1:26 PM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

I've never seen a film which wouldn't have been better with more music. smile

Outside Hollywood (and for films such as those I mentioned), a score would be disastrous and in fact undermine the very artistic project that the filmmaker wants to embark on.

Again -- I wish more people looked OUTSIDE Hollywood to see the true glory of some films with no or minimal music. In fact, there are also some films from the American indie scene that subscribe to this. If one for some reason is uncomfortable in venturing outside the US border.



I've just seen a glory like this, Thor, having returned from BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR. Kechiche did an amazing job, passionate and thought-provoking, and there were just one or two scenes (one for sure in the second half) accompanied by music in an almost 3-hour film. I didn't feel a score would have helped here - on the contrary, the absence of music made the experience so much more intense.

 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2013 - 2:35 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

SERPICO was originallyy planeed to be unscored.
Fortunatley, DeLaurentis convinced Lumet to hire Theodarikis.

the rest is musical history!
bruce

 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2013 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

It was certainly effective to have no scores for The China Syndrome and Fail-Safe.

yes, not so musch in THE PASSENGER !
bruce

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2013 - 5:28 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)



That makes no sense. Had Hitchock's PSYCHO been released without music for the shower scene, as originally planned, you would probably have said: "Oh, that's more effective without music". Only a direct comparison between the same scene with and without music can tell you which of the two is more effective.

You're whole argumentation, if you can call it that, is useless for film analysis.


Respectfully, your response is based on something that I "would probably have said" rather than what I typed.

 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2013 - 6:18 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

Respectfully, it still doesn't make sense:

I know based on my satisfaction with the experience. I could also mentally trade actors or imagine the film with different lighting. If there's no score and I love the movie, I don't have to wonder "what if."

You might have been even more satisfied had the film had a suitable score. You'll never know.

Neither is the artificial separation of Hollywood and non-Hollywood movies, as suggested by some, helpful. Film making is subject to the same grammar and vocabulary the world over. In Europe, there has been a tendency to shun film music because of FEAR, not rational arguments. Adorno/Eisler once put forward the concept of films with little or no music, which never made any sense then, and certainly doesn't now. Yet it still had a far-reaching effect on European film making, and not in a good way. It's a myth that e.g. art-hourse movies don't need music, while "commercial" films do. It's entirely aribitrary. Some films need less music than others. But a film with suitable music will always be MORE effective than one without. That doesn't mean a film can't be effective AT ALL without music.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2013 - 6:30 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Respectfully, it still doesn't make sense:

I know based on my satisfaction with the experience. I could also mentally trade actors or imagine the film with different lighting. If there's no score and I love the movie, I don't have to wonder "what if."

You might have been even more satisfied had the film had a suitable score. You'll never know.

Neither is the artificial separation of Hollywood and non-Hollywood movies, as suggested by some, helpful. Film making is subject to the same grammar and vocabulary the world over. In Europe, there has been a tendency to shun film music because of FEAR, not rational arguments. Adorno/Eisler once put forward the concept of films with little or no music, which never made any sense then, and certainly doesn't now. Yet it still had a far-reaching effect on European film making, and not in a good way. It's a myth that e.g. art-hourse movies don't need music, while "commercial" films do. It's entirely aribitrary. Some films need less music than others. But a film with suitable music will always be MORE effective than one without. That doesn't mean a film can't be effective AT ALL without music.


This just proves to me that you've watched very few films outside the Hollywood paradigm. The difference is not a matter of opinion, it's a fact. But I've become used to some of your outrageous claims by now, which -- from where I'm sitting -- basically seems constructed to 'stir the pot' more than anything. Most of what you just wrote falls on its own sense of unreasonability.

 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2013 - 6:40 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

You're wrong, again. Do you even know Adorno/Eisler?

Since I am European, I've seen TONS of European films, Swedish, French, German, Italian - whatever. The British e.g. never had that FEAR of providing their films with original music. Why do you suppose that is? - On the other side of the spectrum, German "new wave" (Neuer deutscher Film) rarely had any scores to speak of (some Fassbinder films are exceptions), which surely is one reason why they're resolutely unwatchable today.

It all boils down to the auteur theory, one of the dumber concepts of cinema history: where the director is the writer and photographer, i.e. the sole creative entity that fashions the finished "piece of art" - But since almost none of those involved could ever have been composers, it was a convenient excuse to marginalize music in films.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2013 - 7:01 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

You're wrong, again. Do you even know Adorno/Eisler?

Since I am European, I've seen TONS of European films, Swedish, French, German, Italian - whatever. The British e.g. never had that FEAR of providing their films with original music. Why do you suppose that is? - On the other side of the spectrum, German "new wave" (Neuer deutscher Film) rarely had any scores to speak of (some Fassbinder films are exceptions), which surely is one reason why they're resolutely unwatchable today.


Yeah, I think I know Adorno & Eisler better than you do, having used them extensively for my thesis. So you can save your trademark arrogance for someone else.

Be that as it may, we're not necessarily talking about a US vs. European approach here (although I think there's an element of that too), but a difference between paradigms, i.e. particular artistic sentiments. A way to communicate through film in different ways. Hollywood is a (global) paradigm, it's not just a geographical location.

There's a reason why directors like Dumont, Dolan, Grandrieux, Ming-liang, Assayas, Sciamma, von Trier and a ton of others choose not to use non-diegetic music in many their films (or very little of it). That's part of their artistic project -- whether it's for adding a heightened sense of realism, ambiguity, poetry of natural sounds or whatever. That's why I think it's rather shortsighted to view this issue only in the light of mainstream American films, which subscribe to a different ideology altogether (no less valid, of course).

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2013 - 11:47 AM   
 By:   rbrisbane_1984   (Member)

The Birds is incredibly musical. It's obvious from the titles sequence that the sound effects (Bernard Herrmann as everyone knows was the sound consultant) were musically conceived and are very supportive of the drama throughout the film, enhancing it as much as any conventional score would be capable of.

Music shouldn't be limited to an orchestra, an instrument or the human voice. It's everywhere, even in space where there's no sound.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2013 - 2:39 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Music shouldn't be limited to an orchestra, an instrument or the human voice. It's everywhere, even in space where there's no sound.

I wouldn't go quite that far, since music is a form of organized sound, not just sound. But I would agree that sounds can have musical qualities. Especially in film, where you can create sounds that aren't natural to co-exist in different ways.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2013 - 5:50 PM   
 By:   rbrisbane_1984   (Member)

Music shouldn't be limited to an orchestra, an instrument or the human voice. It's everywhere, even in space where there's no sound.

I wouldn't go quite that far, since music is a form of organized sound, not just sound. But I would agree that sounds can have musical qualities. Especially in film, where you can create sounds that aren't natural to co-exist in different ways.


By 1814 Beethoven was completely deaf and composed many of his well known works in complete silence, like in space, including the greatest symphony ever written, the 9th. So music can definitely happen where there's no sound.

Many disorganized sounds of everyday life can become music when juxtaposed, that's the absolute beauty of the art.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 17, 2013 - 2:33 AM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)


Another wrong-headed argument. This still does not mean that you have to add YET ANOTHER manipulative device. Most films will need a score and will benefit from it - but not ALL films and CERTAINLY not all scenes of a film. A wall- to - wall - score is the best method to make a film appear unrealistic.


I'm mostly with you. Some films require the layer of distance that comes of that independent musical layer to give the fiction its gravitas. But it will almost never be an element of the film arsenal that pushes us towards a realist feel. Any filmmaker that wants to be closest to the sense of reality, should approach score with caution. And those who want to cast off the shore and take people on a journey, should similarly be aware that it's a great tool for aligning audience response to a moment.

Nice to see a discussion going here about a real philosophical issue around film music. Sometimes I wonder whether in their enthusiasm for every composer and his scores, film score afficianados haven't really grappled with the diversity of films out there and the ways scores can and cannot help them.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 17, 2013 - 7:11 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

There is a melody for every part of our lives. Of course this discussion is just an opinion and it is nice it is a long intelligent one . When I see wonderful films like LES MISERBLES,UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOUGH ETC I wish there were so many movies made like that. When I see a HANS SALTER and company score from the 40's I wish there was so many more movies like that. To each ones own. But I will side with more music. However as a filmmaker myself in years passed, EDITING is definitely as manipulating as any element of the film process.Hey look at the news and newspapers.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 17, 2013 - 7:11 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

delete.

 
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