CineFix is back after a long hiatus with a brand new list highlighting the 10 best uses of music in movies, instances where music is used inside the film to further the plot…but not musical numbers or scores. There’s actually a word for this if you want to forgo a rip on your Word-of-the-Day Calendar: Diegetics. Within this concept are a whole lot of extremely specific uses for music in films: music provided by characters in a scene, contrapuntal scoring (or music provided to underscore a scene wildly out of sync with that particular scene’s gravity; think The Mickey Mouse March in Full Metal Jacket or the closing number from The Life of Brian), songs character choose to play that help define that character (ex: Peter Quill dancing to “Come And Get Your Love” in Guardians of the Galaxy), and a whole bunch of more esoteric musical film categories. Diegetics, people.
Diegetic sound. Sound whose source is visible on the screen or whose source is implied to be present by the action of the film: voices of characters. sounds made by objects in the story. music represented as coming from instruments in the story space ( = source music)
2016 was a fantastic year for film and there’s so many movies that deserve recognition, but they’re out of luck because La La Land is steamrolling its way through awards season. It broke the record for number of Golden Globe wins, it won the BAFTA, its going to be nominated for double-digit Oscars, and if you go on IMDB and start scrolling through the honorifics, it literally takes five minutes. I’ve resisted going because…..I really don’t like musicals and I have lived in and haaaaate Los Angeles, and it doesn’t matter because Damien Chazelle has followed up his amazingly good debut film Whiplash with a minor movie miracle. It’s worthy of the Best Picture Oscar it already has a lock on, and coming in this year, that says quite a lot. Continue reading Movie Review: La La Land (2016) “Old School Movie Magic”→
This is simply one of the most joyful scenes in movie history, and the signature moment in Gene Kelly’s career. Kelly was truly an actor who lived in the right age-the golden age of musicals- that showcased the breadth of his talent. In today’s Hollywood, I don’t think anyone would know what to do with him. he’d likely be on Broadway rather than in films. I love this scene. This is a go-to scene when I need a pick me up, and it always leaves a smile on my face. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Singin’ in the Rain (1952) “Singing and Dancing in the Rain”→
Wait! Wait! Put down your pitchforks. I am not lauding the last movie incarnation of The Phantom of the Opera. You hire Joel Schumacher to direct your film, you get what you deserve. What I wanted to do with this week’s My Favorite Scene is illustrate how a film can take a play or a musical and do something with it you could never do in the theater.
I thought we were off to the races with this opening scene as a grainy, gritty present is whipped back in time as the camera pans the theater; lanterns alighting, cobwebs disappearing, upholstery plush and the full magnificence of the opera house is brought to life in a way you just couldn’t on-stage. And then King Leonidas began to sing…..
Phantom is my favorite musical, though I’ve never seen it performed live. I was supposed to today actually with my wife, Janice. With her passing I couldn’t go. Her joy for the venture was what made it come to life for me. So hum a couple bars for me today; this one’s for Jan.
I’m not a big fan of musicals. Oddly enough, though, when you marry a big fan of musicals, you end up watching a tremendous lot of them regardless of your pre-marriage inclinations towards the genre. I can recognize a good one. Chicago-for instance-is a film I really don’t like tremendously, but I can tell you it’s a really well done musical. I use the example of Chicago, because Rob Marshall, the director of that film, made Nine. Nine is, not to mince words, not a good musical. Continue reading Movie Review: Nine (2009) “How Do You Waste Daniel Day-Lewis?”→