Hollywood Theory, Non-Hollywood Practice : Cinema Soundtracks in the 1980s and 1990s book cover
1st Edition

Hollywood Theory, Non-Hollywood Practice
Cinema Soundtracks in the 1980s and 1990s

ISBN 9781138272941
Published May 16, 2017 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

Relatively little has been written about film scores and soundtracks outside of Hollywood cinema. Hollywood Theory, Non-Hollywood Practice addresses this gap by looking at the practices of film soundtrack composition for non-Hollywood films made after 1980. Annette Davison argues that since the mid-1970s the model of the classical Hollywood score has functioned as a form of dominant ideology in relation to which alternative scoring and soundtrack practices may assert themselves. The first part of the book explores some of the key theoretical issues and debates in film studies and film music studies. The second part comprises a series of case studies of non-Hollywood scores. Starting with Jean Luc Godard's Prénom: Carmen (1983), Davison argues that the film's score offers a deconstruction of the relationship between sound and image proposed by classical Hollywood film. Derek Jarman's The Garden (1990) takes the debate a step further in its exploration of the possibility that a film's soundtrack may be liberated from slavery to the image track. Wings of Desire (1987) directed by Wim Wenders offers, Davison believes, a negotiation between classical and alternative scoring and soundtrack practices; while David Lynch's Wild at Heart (1990) actually fully integrates scoring and soundtrack practices so that sounds and dialogue are used in musical ways. Seeking to stimulate debate about the aesthetics and interpretation of film scores and soundtracks in general, this book develops an important synthesis of film studies and musicology.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Classical Hollywood cinema and scoring; New Hollywood cinema and ('post'-?) classical scoring; Alternatives to classical Hollywood scoring; 'What is the role of the quartet?': the soundtrack to Jean-Luc Godard's Prénom: Carmen; Playing in Jarman's Garden: sound, performance and images of persecution; Music to desire by: the soundtrack to Wim Wenders's Der Himmel über Berlin; 'People call me a director, but I really think of myself as a sound-man': David Lynch's Wild at Heart; Epilogue; Bibliography; Discography; Index.

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Annette Davison lecturers at the University of Edinburgh and has published a number of articles on film music and is co-editor (with Erica Sheen) of Weird on Top: The Films and Television of David Lynch (2003).


'With Hollywood Theory, Non-Hollywood Practice, Annette Davison offers a second-generation approach to film musicology that stands in relationship to the first generation (Gorbman, Kalinak, et al) much as her subject stands to Hollywood cinema - building on, reacting against, making us think about the most basic issues with new critical facilities. Sensitivity to industry practice is increasingly essential to understanding film texts and contexts, as she demonstrates in her case studies. Her discussion of the historical/theoretical framework of (and silences on) music in film will be an excellent foundation for any student in the field, and reflects the current expansion of film music scholarship into sound "at large", to the advantage of film music, film sound, and film studies.' Robynn Stilwell, Georgetown University, USA. 'Serious students of film music will certainly want to study Davison's account.' Popular Music 'For many reasons, Annette Davison's book Hollywood Theory, Non-Hollywood Practice should be essential reading for film music and music scholars. In its focus on film music in the 1980s and 1990s, this book covers territory that has seen only limited exploration.' American Music