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Caught up in an information culture.


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“The Godfather for me is a very good example of good placement of music, because the music doesn’t tell you what to think as the scene is happening. Often, there is no music in those scenes, but music comes in at the end to help you to channel that emotion in the right direction… It’s as if the scene builds up an emotional charge, like an electrostatic charge where if you touch the slightest thing there’ll be a spark. The music comes in to bring that excess energy back to earth, to neutralize things in the right way so you can build up that energy for the next scene.

 

The other way is to have music during the scene. It’s undoubtedly effective, but the danger is that it’s effective in the way that using steroids is effective. It can definitely build up muscle, but it’s not good for you in the long run, and it’s cheating just by of the nature of bringing this artificial steroid into your body.”

Walter Murch, interviewed by Filmmaker Magazine

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“Because of the nature of the way the human mind works, the image at the cut point has a little kind of mental flash bulb on it. You remember the last image of a shot. Maybe not consciously, but it imprints in a way and we use that as we structure a film. We want to leave audiences with these little flashbulb moments, which are key moments.”

–Walter Murch, interviewed by Filmmaker Magazine


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“The eye already accustomed to the images could identify them in a fraction of a second, and the fact that the images might have elements of movement in common… this common movement would in spite of the [visual] contrasts preserve the visual unity; but if we try to imagine the same contrasts in terms of sound – the piano music, the hiss of the fuse, the roar of the taxi engine – we realise at once that these contrasts even to be intelligible, let alone effective, need ten times the space.

…In the kind of quick cutting I have been describing a foot [of film], half a foot or even less, is visually intelligible, but aurally unintelligible.  Further, there is no underlying unity in the sounds as there was in the movement of images… The result would be merely a meaningless jumble of unrecognisable sounds.  The obvious way to make this sequence in terms of sound would be to keep the music… continuous throughout and cut the picture to its rhythm regardless of naturalism, making the visual climax coincide with the musical climax.”

Anthony Asquith, The Tenth Muse Takes Stock (1950)