tonight a dj saved my film

i wrote a few posts back about chantal akerman's hotel monterey (1972) and briefly noted that the music included in the clip i posted isn't actually in the film itself. today, i wanted to expand a little on just how much emotional heft music has when it interacts with film, successfully or otherwise. to demonstrate just what i mean i am suggesting a little exercise.

here is a small section of fantastic planet (1973), rené laloux's animated, surrealist, science fiction wonder.

of the thousands of films i have seen, no other even comes close in terms of how much the musical accompaniment changes what you see onscreen. also, no other film i have ever seen is as wide open in what soundtrack/score you can successfully apply to it. it is the most malleable and durable piece of film i can think of for this example. if you have others you can recommend, i would love to see them.

the instructions for today's exercise:

one - play the clip i have provided with the volume muted.

two - provide your own soundtrack/score. i have tried everything from kay starr to erik satie to cannibal corpse, all of them equally effective. each spin of the wheel will make for an entirely new viewing experience.

three - let me know what you tried and how it worked. are they songs that have a particular emotional attachment for you? how much does what you have emotionally invested in a particular piece of music dictate how you view the clip? was there music that just didn't work at all? anything you'd like to tell us about your experiment would be great.

p.s. i am well aware, by the way, of the dark side of the moon/wizard of oz vibe of this whole thing but we're pushing past that. what i want to think about today is how much we depend on art, consciously or subconsciously, and how much the arts depend on, and contextualize, each other. looking forward to hearing about what you find!

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of a similar game I used to play when i worked at Vulcan. There's an old VHS animation comp called "Acid Burn Flashback Taboo", pretty much exactly what it sounds like. All frame by frame cell animation. I used to put the tape on and play random cd's on shuffle, whenever I couldn't think of anything I felt like watching. simple enough, and not an earth shaking endeavor, I know. But. The funny thing was, there were so many different styles of animation in the compilation reel, that at some point EVERY TIME I tried it, the visuals would sync up, with whatever was playing at that moment, usually for the entire duration of the song. It never did this more than one or two times per play through, but you never knew if and when it was gonna happen since the music was on shuffle. We'd sit, staring at the screen just waiting for it to happen...good times.