#ThinkpieceThursday – Music in Film

Thinkpiece Thursday

My husband was on a panel at a legal conference right around the time The Silence of the Lambs was released.  An FBI profiler was also on a panel at the conference.  The moderator asked what the profiler thought of the film.  He said, “I was scared to death”.  The moderator asked why. “Don’t you deal with this stuff every day in your job?”  The profiler replied, “Yes.  But in my job, there’s no music.”

Jonathan Demme is known for marrying sound and picture in a very evocative way.  He creates a sound atmosphere’s that heightens emotion that’s already there but doesn’t hit you over the head telling you how to feel.  Howard Shore wrote the score and he talks about music in film HERE.

This is also my impression of your score for SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. The music is very “neutral” and monochromatic. It’s just flowing without much counterpoint.

I tried to write in a way that goes right into the fabric of the movie. I tried to make the music just fit in. When you watch the movie you are not aware of the music. You get your feelings from all elements simultaneously, lighting, cinematography, costumes, acting, music. Jonathan Demme was very specific about the music. His suggestions were valuable…

Here is an analysis of Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Rings trilogy.  He is, indeed, a modern master.

Contrast Howard Shore with John Williams.  While visiting my family this summer we went to an outdoor orchestral performance of John Williams’ scores. So much of it sound vaguely alike.  Personally, I am not a fan.  I especially disliked his heavy-handed work on Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. The script was very weak and very episodic and the score tried to box the audience in the ears to get them to feel something.

The following video essay on Marvel movies is a great analysis of modern scores



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