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Music in the movies.


BETAQDAVE
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    While there are not that many people who appreciate classical music (especially Opera), those that don’t should realize that this music is quite prevalent in  many of the movies they watch. 

    I was just listening to a bit of Italian opera known as:  Rigoletto-LaDonna E Mobile by Giuseppe Verdi and was reminded of Marvels 2004 movie The Punisher, specifically the scene with the comparatively diminutive hero (played by 5’-10” Thomas Jane) duking it out with the hulking Russian assassin, (played by 6’-10 ¾” WWF pro wrestler Kevin Nash).   While totally oblivious to the assassination attempt just down the hall, the three other somewhat oddball residents of his shabby rooming house are going about making a special desert.  The fight and desert making scenes seem choreographed to closely follow along with the music, and it’s one of the funniest parts of the movie.  Watch the movie and see if you agree.

    So the idea with this topic is to see what other examples (besides musicals) you have noticed of the strong ties between the music we hear and the film that we watch.

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    Yes, I have seen and contributed my two cents to that topic, but while that one is simply showing the music we listen to while building our models and thus would fit into the Nautical General Discussion, this topic would not. (It’s hard to watch a film and build your ship at the same time!)

     Perhaps my original example above wasn’t too clear.  This topic is trying to show some examples of the blending of sight and classical music in a theatrical motion picture. (Song and dance musicals could obviously do that, but I am looking for more subtle examples where the actors aren’t simply singing or dancing to the music which is an integral part the film.)

     Maybe a more effective early example of this would be Walt Disney’s 1940 animated film Fantasia.  A few of the musical works in that film that immediately come to mind are: A Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas and Ave Maria, Op. 52 No. 6 by Frantz Schubert.  That was a film that has helped to popularize classical music with movie-going audiences. 

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    Another good example would be 2001 A Space Odyssey with the theme song Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss.  As a mater of fact, there was more music than dialog in the film.  The Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss II was also used quite effectively during the extended space-station docking and Lunar landing sequences.

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How about a movie that (legend has it) was made because the producers wanted to bring together the musicians who made the soundtrack?

THE HOT SPOT, 1990, directed by Dennis Hopper.

Musicians = Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, Earl Palmer, Roy Rogers, Bradford Ellis

The last track is named 'End Credits' and I have left instructions for it to be played at my funeral.

Oh, and the movie ain't bad either.

 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

 

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A movie without a soundtrack is not nearly the movie it COULD be, whether it's pop, classical or something avant garde such as Tarantino's offerings.  I used to have a CD set that was titled music at the movies - a whole set of music, mostly classical from various movies.  Two of my favorites are the movie Excalibur's "O Fortuna" by Carl Orff, and who can forget Apocalypse Now's "Ride of the Valkyries"!  The music plays as much or more a part than any character, whether in the background setting and amplifying the mood, or in the forefront, where the action is choreographed to it, as in Dave's Punisher example.  I would highly recommend reading "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene.  One of my biggest take-aways from it was that we are all made of impossibly small strings vibrating at impossibly high frequencies - a veritable cosmic symphony, with everyone playing a different set of tunes............of course it's all theory...........Steve M

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15 hours ago, coxswain said:

A movie without a soundtrack is not nearly the movie it COULD be, whether it's pop, classical or something avant garde such as Tarantino's offerings.  I used to have a CD set that was titled music at the movies - a whole set of music, mostly classical from various movies.  Two of my favorites are the movie Excalibur's "O Fortuna" by Carl Orff, and who can forget Apocalypse Now's "Ride of the Valkyries"!  The music plays as much or more a part than any character, whether in the background setting and amplifying the mood, or in the forefront, where the action is choreographed to it, as in Dave's Punisher example.  I would highly recommend reading "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene.  One of my biggest take-aways from it was that we are all made of impossibly small strings vibrating at impossibly high frequencies - a veritable cosmic symphony, with everyone playing a different set of tunes............of course it's all theory...........Steve M

 

String Theory

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

Stanley Kubrik's movies (including 2001) often use classical music for dramatic effect. I would never have associated the Blue Danube waltz with outer space, but watching the movie it was "of course! Why didn't I think of it before?".

 

The opening scene of Clockwork Orange  - Purcell's Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary (on moog synthesiser) - is perfectly sinister. And we won't talk about what's going on when they play Rossini's William Tell  Overture.

 

And the music in Barry Lyndon (another Kubrik movie, which unfortunately sank without trace) converted my housemate to classical music. Or the final scene of Doctor Strangelove, with Vera Lynn singing "We'll meet again" as the H-bombs start going off . . .

 

But there are so many movies where classical music is used to set the scene and create a mood, it's almost impossible to list them.

 

Steven 

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  • 4 weeks later...

    How about Tim Robbins playing the wardens LP of The Marriage Of Figaro by Mozart over the prisons PA system.  The hardened prisoners who haven't seen the world outside the prison walls for ages, just standing open-mouthed, silenced by the sudden beauty of soothing music coming out of the machine that normally orders them to do things.  It seemed that everyone, except for the warden, including the guards in the courtyard the hospital and in the workplaces were rapt by the music.  

 

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Joking aside, I think the Warner Brothers cartoons did a lot to acquaint kids with classical music. The kids might not have realized what they were listening to but years later,upon hearing some of the cartoon classics, they might have an instant familiarity with Rossini, as well as Wagner (Kill the wabbit!), and Fingal's Cave by Mendelssohn . That was my experience, at least.

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3 hours ago, BETAQDAVE said:

    How about the movie Conan The Barbarian with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Oriff: Carmina Burana-O Fortuna  was playing as James Earl Jones transformed into the giant python.

O Fortuna is kind of a go-to piece for exciting action music in ancient costume dramas. Too bad that's the only piece that they borrow from Carmina. There is some great stuff there! I'd love to see someone animate the whole suite.

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