Alex Binns – Music and/in cinema

Date(s) - Thursday, February 27, 2014
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm


3 people are going

seminar room 1


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music cinema
‘Music and/in Cinema: critical problems and potential answers.’
Music occupies a critically problematic position: it is both non-referential and yet is also afforded narrative qualities. The idea of narrative in music is intimately connected to music’s subjectivity – how it creates, in itself or in the listener, a sense of a speaking/creating agent and this, in turn, allows it to shape the way a film scene is read, often because the music is placed in the perceptual background and is thus not directly attended to.  This helps to explain the rich and varied deployment of music in film where its voice supplements the visual and spoken, shaping and circumscribing the ways in which these are received and interpreted.  It can do this because, in a so-called mixed medium music both supplements and suffuses the other components of the cinematic text in ways that it could not do so ‘outside’ this context.  This raises important questions about the hermeneutic status of music and suggests that it functions as a dynamic principle of containment.
Alex Binns is a lecturer is Music at St. Anne’s. His main areas of research interest deal with music in film and he is currently completing a book on the use and function of music in the films of Woody Allen. He is also interested in opera and, more generally, music as an interdisciplinary phenomenon in its relations with space and geography, in particular the city, and its intersection with literature and visual culture.


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