Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Emotion in Film

           Most people don't realize how much their emotions' are brought to the surface, not by whats on the screen, but what we hear in the cinema.  Would Luke Skywalker looking at two suns setting be as memorable with the music or with out it?  Would Jaws be just as scary without those two low notes in the background?  More than likely the movie would have been a dud without the music.  If anyone noticed the shark didn't really appear on screen until almost thirty minutes into the film and that was just the fin, not the whole shark.  Without a great score behind a movie, the emotion would more then likely be nonexistent.

          In a horror movie we aren't really scared until we hear the score in the background hinting that there is someone behind the door or warning us of an upcoming kill.  We perceive that our fears come from our site alone but if you close your eyes, that chill still crawls up your spine, sometimes even worse than when your eyes were open.  Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street would of lost their scare factor if the music was never a part of the experience.  I just mean the earlier films, not the most recent sequel or remake.

          Music even makes a grand entrance even better rather than without the melody behind the moment.  Would Pinhead's entrance in Hellraiser be as grand if it wasn't for the over the top score by Christopher Young?  Even the Terminator's entrance would be less than what it was if it wasn't for the metal beating with his every footstep in the background as he walked down a hallway in slow motion.

         A hero isn't a hero without his theme.  John Williams made that perfectly clear when he created the theme for one of the greatest heroes in cinema history.  A man with a fedora and a whip, who always seemed to get away when the odds were against him, became an icon.  You can't deny though that the score for the Indiana Jones films helped in its' success.  The theme practically pulled you into the adventure as you watched in amazement.  A heroes score makes him more heroic and epic in our minds than if he didn't have a score at all.  Jack Sparrow standing on on a mast as the ship sunk, Batman standing on a buildings edge as he stares up at his signal in the sky, or when Roy Hobbs knocks the baseball into the stadium lights for a home run in The Natural.  All of those moments are grand but it was the score that gave us that extra emotion and joy we felt.

         I could go on about how music brings out a persons emotions while watching your favorite movies.  We typically don't give to much credit to what we hear at the theater, we instead give all the credit to what we see.  Film is a collaboration of site and sound and we should take all of it in.

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