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    Latest Articles

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    The Importance of Soundtrack in Films

    A movie is incomplete without a good soundtrack. With that said, some soundtracks surpass the original film and often are considered as being so significant in their presentation, they are considered on their own independent of the movie. This has been the case with Conan the Barbarian (1982) when the score by the late Basil Poedouris can best be considered standalone.

    Which is where the questions for this topic come in:

    1) In which films have soundtracks been underrated due to the movie itself not standing out or being underrated?
    2) Can renditions be counted as a part of a soundtrack of films? This question is made relevant when one considers some movies which have different presentations and interpretations of originals, such as the Laura Del Ray version of "Once Upon a Dream", or "Singing in the Rain" as used by Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange".

    Guidelines are open for this topic.

    • Along the lines of the example of Kubrick's use of 'Singin' in the Rain' in Clockwork Orange), I have always been interested in how a film's tone can drastically change by soundtrack genre. I recall a short film I once saw that explained this by showing a video of a crocodile walking toward a camera. In one version, an ominous soundtrack was used, causing the sight to be intimidating; in the next, a comical soundtrack was used, and the alligator's short-legged gait became awkward, silly and bumbling. I'd like to see someone write about this, using two different types of music for film clips and see how it changes the tone. – Katheryn 8 years ago
    • The recent Mad Max movie had an awesome soundtrack. Soundtracks that introduce a character always add to the movie. For example, Darth Vader's music has become synonymous with sinister characters. Relating to the idea of becoming synonymous, one of my friends from England once asked me why every rom-com has the song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"? Some soundtracks are overused. – Munjeera 8 years ago
    • Another example which can be quoted as being a soundtrack which is famous, but is almost always associated with a single film/film franchise (alongside Star Wars and Star Trek and Indiana Jones), is the opening song in Kill Bill Vol. 1. of "Bang Bang!" by Sonny Bono. Although there are various versions (Frank Sinatra), this one is iconic of Kill Bill Vol 1. – shehrozeameen 8 years ago
    • It might be interesting to explore Melodrama as a form and how the addition of music to subtend emotion is a relatively new phenomenon in storytelling (though one that's obviously become the norm). – Tiffany 8 years ago
    • One aspect of looking at movie soundtracks might be to see how film reviews or categorization such as nominations changes our perception of the film soundtrack. Quiet often films that are nominated for Oscars, Golden Globe, BAFTA or so on have great soundtracks, or is it that the idea that they are nominated changes our perception of the music to see them as "great"? – Arazoo Ferozan 8 years ago
    • The idea of analysing how a good/bad soundtrack makes or breaks a film with in-depth look at particular examples, this would be interesting. In terms of melodrama, I did this article which already kind of covers it. – Francesca Turauskis 8 years ago
    • This topic is really interesting to me! it reminds me of when I made the connection in one of my favourite films "Angela's Ashes". The main theme contains only 3 basic chords and they are used to symbolize the father, son and holy ghost. This furthers the connection to the Catholicism in the film and really hit home for me. I do think that music is really important when it comes to films and the emotions they invoke in us as an audience. I believe what makes a good soundtrack/score is the time and place it is used in the film and how the actual notes relate back. – Shannon 8 years ago
    • You use the term 'Importance' in the title which often suggests something is either worth paying attention to or it is not. Perhaps the term 'significance'? It is more suggestive of possible levels of relevance. Also if you are interested in music or sound significance R. Murray Schafer wrote a book titled 'The New Soundscape' and it discusses the significance/relevance of sounds within society today. He also talks about defining music in the contemporary world and compares the rural soundscape with the urban. If you are not familiar with the artist/musician John Cage, please check him out! It would be so worth your time. I hope this helps :) – melpetrinack 8 years ago
    • I think it would be really helpful to this topic to analyze the absence of soundtrack in film. Specifically, I'm thinking of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and Fritz Lang's "M," but I know that there are others. These are movies that really tonally benefit from having no non-diegetic sound in terms of creating mood. Similarly, the Dogme '95 famously demanded that no director was allowed to use diegetic music in their films to make their films more 'realistic.' I often wonder how effective this is. – DerekHorneland 8 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    Sorry for the late reply.

    I thank you for your humbling comment. And you are right – there is plenty of underappreciation when it comes to story telling in video games. The medium is much more involved, although it boils down to the fact that habit prevents a person from actually thinking. Which is why we ignore the actual story.

    Bioshock does that pretty well. It does have problems, but as a story it is bar none really well handled.

    Story Telling and Interactivity in Video Gaming

    I liked this article in how it handled its topic and in all fairness, the point about titillating anime is true and, granted, it has definitely become a common “the lulzs for lulzs sake” cliché associated with anime.

    HOWEVER, some anime actually handle the darker aspects of titillation and its associations exceptionally well. Especially when they integrate the sexuality in the context of the anime’s in-universe explanation.

    I’m referring to two specific examples here: Ghost in the Shell (the original, although I personally prefer Ghost in the Shell 2.0: Innocence) and Shigurui. Now, BOTH, have titillating aspects in them. They’re brilliantly animated, which also makes them stand out. But where they are successful in making both social commentary as well as being innovative as anime, is why I cite them here.

    Ghost in the Shell (as well as Ghost in the Shell 2.0: Innocence) have nudity in them, with the former having a very famous opening sequence especially using nudity (and to good effect in my opinion). It succeeded to share some very interesting themes and perspectives (especially in the Japanese version with English subs), and with 2.0, it dealt with very dark themes (I think 2.0: Innocence had moments of child prostitution in it too, as well as child kidnapping).

    In contrast, Shigurui. Hyper-realism, gore, and VERY dark means to describe abusive relationships. I cannot overstate how Shigurui handles titillation to tell its story (which in the context of the anime, is actually well told. The manga, however, takes it many steps further. Its really cool).

    All the same, I just feel that the West shouldn’t be too hypocritical about Anime. I mean… George RR Martin makes incest look normal (as if his world is Alabama or something).

    Titillating Anime

    I don’t always agree with the non-linearity part to be honest. Somehow, being a traditionalist on story-telling structures, I hate it when I have to fill in the blanks by myself and make the story sensible or whatever. That’s lazy pathetic and sloppy work on part of the creators, and fans should know better than to fall into that trap. Unless the game itself treats the story like a badass, I will never tolerate sloppyness as a consumer, let alone a gamer, leave alone a fan.

    I think the best example of a game which used non-linearity – which, by my definition, means that the story is not always a straight-forward approach with a clear climax and a conclusion structure to it – is actually DOOM 2016. the story is almost entirely bareboned. BUT, for me, it suits the attitude the game uses. And it uses its approach like a boss. Doomguy literally makes murder great again. And I’m eternally grateful for how DOOM 2016 handles his story.

    All the same, to each their own. Bloodborne wasn’t my cup of tea. However, I respect people for why they would like that game. Its non-linear, yes, but it makes up for it through its interactivity, its environment, and all the cues and gameplay mechanics it uses to involve the player with the universe they play as the protagonist.

    Story Telling and Interactivity in Video Gaming

    Unfortunately, I do not know any game reviewers anywhere. Not personally at the very least.

    I’ve come to a conclusion that the best way to experience a game is if you hear about it from academic sources, or from very close friends / from family directly. OR, you went into the game blind.

    The problem with games are, they don’t really lend themselves to “social context reviews”. This is because the world sees gaming the way we see things we don’t relate with: the whole us-and-them perspective.

    I consider myself a gamer. I’ve played games on the following platforms (excluding PC): Gameboy Advance, PSOne, PS2, PS4, Xbox 360, SEGA Genesis, and NES. From the PC I wound up playing games through emulators for: MS DOS and SNES. Unfortunately, gaming is in and off itself, not AS big a community as, say… boxing, or snooker, or table tennis, or even simple cards.

    And this is important to realize. Game Reviewers grew up playing traditional games, hell they practically only play traditional games. So if they are put in a situation where they should, for example’s sake, play Bloodborne, I don’t expect them to be very kind to it. Then again, when the game itself is made with good gameplay mechanics, the story has higher gears to fill in, and that works in its favor when its good (such as these games in my article mention).

    Story Telling and Interactivity in Video Gaming

    Its very true, because it is a power fantasy setting. You, the player, are aware that it is a power-fantasy. You are immersed in it, because you as the player understand that in the end, life in the game will not affect life in real life. So the effects are, at best, psychological. Maybe even spiritual depending on how good the game is.

    But it has been put into another perspective as well. The false perspective, to the best of my knowledge, comes from games which believe in “save state killing”. DOOM 2016 actually used this technique, and it has been used in games released prior.

    The concept is simple: At the highest and most extreme difficulty, if the protagonist dies, there is no extra life. They are dead, therefore YOU are dead. THUS, all trophies and achievements and all collectibles are gone. You therefore start from the ground up.

    Bioshock Infinite also has such a mode. But its called 1999 mode.

    Story Telling and Interactivity in Video Gaming

    Unfortunately, the fault lies not just with the determination and the technology of the company making the game, it also lies with the supporters / fans of the company.

    No Man’s Sky, for instance. It promised a lot, but it didn’t deliver. THAT, is the claim of the fans, and something which I have noticed a lot of gamers make glaringly obvious.

    In contrast, gamers had a middle line perspective on DOOM 2016. I personally LOVED it. I absolutely adore that game. However, I also respect the perspectives and opinions of those who actually thought it was repetitive, tedious, and even from a story-line standpoint, kind of pointless.

    More to the point, its not about the money entirely. Its about manpower, determination, adaptability with technology. And generally how to improve or innovate the experiences of the gamers.

    Again, that’s my opinion. Money should work in conjunction with imagination and technology, not as a predominant necessity.

    Story Telling and Interactivity in Video Gaming

    Thanks for the comment.

    Filming techniques are independent of which genre you pick. In essence, some filming techniques can only be admired and observed due to cross-genre influences. That is why I used a genre-related and chronological means of writing this article.

    Filming Techniques: The Evolution of Good Movies

    Ben Hur? Hmm, that is a fair point. Even though there have been significant and copious amounts of reviews and scholarly articles on its importance, in the context of this article, your point is valid because a little more explanation would have been beneficial.

    The same goes for other movies like, for instance, Goodfellas, and even Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia and even Star Wars.

    Thanks for pointing that out 🙂

    Filming Techniques: The Evolution of Good Movies