Call#: Van Pelt Library ML2075 .C66 2008
Hughes introduces the relationship between music and film by comparing his film score to that of Eisler’s. Eisler puts more emphasis on the foreground of music. He states Sergei Eisenstein’s theory as a good starting point to the overall interaction of the two forms. Eisenstein believed that different media established a connection based on shared emotional qualities through collision rather than equivalence. He did not believe in equating the two media form because the fundamental properties of visual art and audio art are “unalike.” Eisenstein introduced a higher form of montage with the idea that visual shots corresponded with “musical movement.” For example, a shot drawing the eyes downward would be complemented by a descending chord combination. Hughes continues with an explanation of film and music relationship in Eisler’s Rain. He concludes that the sense that there is a connection between music and picture comes from an extension of the sense of motion, generated by interactions between the media. The problem that arises here is the possibility of assigning a musical structure with an unrelated visual sequence. This problem arises from the difference between filmic modernism (clarity) and musical modernism (self-reflective symbolism).
“Fantasia,” fundamentally about the relationship between music and sound, utilizes Eisenstein’s idea of “musical movement.” A perfect example is the “Nutcracker Suite” sequence. Mystical fairies, such as the ice fairies skating on the frozen lake, create a kind of dance through their interactions with nature that perfectly interprets the music’s “movement.” Nevertheless, Disney did not take into account the likely collision of the two forms. Beethoven’s Pastoral and its corresponding mythical, Greek animation exemplify the inappropriate sound-image connection that Hughes would like to avoid. Overall, “Fantasia” seems to have moments of brilliance and moments of musical butchery. In its grace, the film captures the synchronization of music and sound on screen creating flowing unity. However, the abuse of musical art in “Fantasia” demonstrates its producers’ artistic disqualification. A good example of Eisenstein musical movement theory, the film is a technological artifact, but cannot be esteemed for its artistic innovation.