Tag Archives: non-narrative

Narrative in non-narrative? Or narrativising non-narrative?

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“[Pablo] Berger’s silent film [Blancanieves] employs sparing title cards to elaborate plot points and relies primarily on the score as a means to express emotion and advance narrative, with specific instruments and styles attached to different characters: a whining saw for the evil stepmother, clacking cabaret for the seven dwarves and effervescent flamenco for the youthful Snow White.

“I don’t know music but I would talk to [composer of the soundtrack] (Vilallonga) as if he were an actor. I would talk to him about emotions and character and what the scene should convey,” Berger says.

Though “Samsara” eschewed the theatrics of narrative, the film’s trio of composers relied on a similar gestalt to create mood and pathos. A sequence with images of hurricane-ravaged Louisiana found eerie resonance with the pitched wobble of composer Michael Stearns‘ Tibetan singing bowls while images of Jerusalem and the West Bank were freighted with composers Lisa Gerrard and Marcello De Francisci’s multilayered vocals.”

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☞ Can musical soundtracks create narrative in films that are not inherently narrative? Can they significantly enhance the narrative in films with only skeletal narratives?