Synopses & Reviews
Music is one of the central components of a film, arguably as significant as the visual and narrative components, yet few scholars have examined the importance of music in film or constructed a film theory that includes music. Hearing Film offers the first critical examination of music in contemporary films, paying close attention to the role of newly composed scores versus compiled soundtracks and how they condition different kinds of identification processes.
Anahid Kassabian describes and analyzes the differing functions of compiled and composed scores in such films as Dangerous Liaisons, Bagdad Cafe, Dirty Dancing, Thelma and Louise, Lethal Weapon 2, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Dangerous Minds, and Mississippi Masala. Drawing on issues in film, musicology, popular music studies, media studies, cultural studies, and feminist theory, this interdisciplinary study will influence all future analyses of film music and change the way filmgoers hear and perceive music in film.
This critical examination of music in the films of the 1980s and 1990s looks at the burgeoning role of compiled scores in the shaping of a film. The role of music in films is analyzed in terms of gender, race, desire and identity.
Music is central to any film, creating a tone for the movie that is just as vital as the visual and narrative components. In recent years, racial and gender diversity in film has exploded, and the making of musical scores has changed drastically.
Hearing Film offers the first critical examination of music in the films of the 1980s and 1990s and looks at the burgeoning role of compiled scores in the shaping of a film . In the first section, A Woman Scored, Kassabian analyzes desire and agency in the music of such films as Dangerous Liaisons, Desert Hearts, Bagdad Caf, Dirty Dancing and Thelma and Louise. In At the Twilight's Last Scoring, she looks at gender, race, sexuality and assimilation in the music of The Hunt for Red October, Lethal Weapon 2 and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. And finally, in Opening Scores, she considers how films such as Dangerous Minds, The Substitute, Mississippi Masala and Corrina, Corrina bring together several different entry points of identification through their scores.
Kassabian ensures that modern film criticism has a new chapter written through this book. Her important and long-overdue analysis is not to be ignored. Also includes eleven musical examples.