Thursday, April 25, 2013

Music in Film

Well it took hardly any time at all to get me ensconced in my temporary quarters so no hiatus as originally expected. Computer, telephone, electric kettle all set up and you have never seen such a plethora of cables. TV still to come up. Last night tried watching an Almodόvar film, WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, on this screen but it was so jerky it became irritating and we gave up half way through. Will pick it up this evening on the TV proper. We’re a bit spoilt for viewing at the moment as far as DVDs are concerned as Douglas has stocked up with WORLD AT WAR, BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, PORRIDGE, OPEN ALL HOURS, the Agatha Christie film collection with Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marples, CRANFORD, the Almodóvar collection. Previously watched BLOTT ON THE LANDSCAPE which I was really looking forward to as I am a great fan of Tom Sharpe, I think I’ve read and enjoyed and had a great laugh over everything he’s written, but found it disappointing despite some fine performances from a galaxy of British talent: Geraldine James, George Cole, Julia Mackenzie, Simon Cadell (beautifully underplayed, a really wonderful performance,) and a host of others. Unfortunately, and it might just have been me, I didn’t take to David Suchet as Blott. Somehow I got the impression, maybe mistakenly, that he simply hadn’t got a hold of the character or maybe it was the way he was directed or misdirected or not directed. A pity because normally I like him. Mind you… the series itself was no great shakes. Humour on paper and in your imagination is one thing; transferring it to the screen is something else entirely and the whole thing tried too desperately hard to be funny and merely became rather silly. The score by David Mackay was so jolly hockey sticks and rumpty-tump-tump it was irritating beyond words which certainly didn’t help. All right so I remember it and can still reproduce it vocally but as Noel Coward said, how potent cheap music is. Compare it to Carl Davis’ score for WORLD AT WAR. I realise this is comparing chalk to cheese being an entirely different programme but that score does everything music is meant to do in a film or television programme and I can still hum that as well so good music is just as potent. I know I have gone on before, probably at length, about the use of music in film but it seems to me in many instances it is no longer doing what it is meant to do; that is reinforce or enhance a scene, set the mood and, used judiciously, it is an integral part of the finished product. Unfortunately it is no longer background music but for some reason best known to those in charge has taken precedence even to the extent unfortunately virtually obliterating dialogue. Mind you the way modern actors speak (or don’t speak as the case might be) sometimes it really doesn’t seem to matter as one can’t translate their mumbling anyway. What is it with the world today that silence is no longer golden? I would like to find a Greek café or restaurant in which one can enjoy oneself without music blaring out in more decibels than necessary, music that apparantly no one is listening to and through which one has to raise one’s voice or have no conversation. It doesn’t worry the Greeks; they like noise and talk very loudly anyway.

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