Moving Image Extracts

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‘Little Miss Sunshine’

I think that this piece of music is a very strong use of sound in moving image.

This is the opening scene of the film, so we do not know anything about any of the characters at this point, and what kind of people they are. The main theme of this film is ‘family’, and this scene introduces all of the characters one by one. I think that the music fits in really well. It moves forwards slowly and builds up. I think that it works well particularly with the first two characters, because it is giving a reality to it. The little girl wants to be a princess. The aspiring man wants to be give motivational speeches to people. With everyone and the activity’s that they are involved with, you get an impression of repetitiveness. That you start to get the impression that this is an average day in the lives of the people on show. The music itself is loud and clear and gives makes its presence felt, but at the same time, it is quite subtle. It does not exaggerate. Given that repetitiveness is a theme here, you would think that the music may be quite ‘down’ or depressive. The music is not, because I think what it does it that it is trying to give a glimmer or hope, that these people can change and improve their lives, achieving their goals. The voice over that is given my the man who is giving a speech, really works with the scene. It sets the tone for the film, helps us understand him, and mixes really well with the music that is being used. The music has a lot of piano in it, which is often used to evoke emotion from the audience, as it is completely different from many other instruments. We do start to feel like as if we are related to these characters, because we will have gone through many similar things from a day to day basis. and in that their is an instant connection between the characters and the audience. We do not necessarily go by their morals, for instance; smoking, wanting to be a model, doing drugs. But we follow them as if we know them.

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‘Sunshine’

(Spoilers ahead)

I think that this piece of music is a very strong use of sound in moving image.

This is a very important scene in the film. The basis of the film is that the sun is dying and a crew of about 8 must travel to the sun and release something into it, that will give birth to a new sun. At this point of the film, things start to go wayward, and the lives of all the crew members rest on the two crew members who have gone to repair certain machinery. And this piece of music to me, is about heroism and ‘facing the odds’. They know that the chances of success are slim, and that they must sacrifice themselves as individuals in order to keep the integrity of the mission alive. This piece of music is heard twice in the film (I believe) and both in similar circumstances. This is the first time that it is heard. Faced with frequent orders to turn round and aboard the current objective, this individual knows that despite the orders from everyone else, the mission will probably fail, if this objective is not completed. And so he decides that he must sacrifice himself for the mission. I think another important part here is that, the individual sacrificing himself, is the captain of the crew. And it is almost like passing on the baton. I think that the music is almost giving the view of the captain himself, because he knows that these are likely to be his last moments. And so this music tries to let you see what the captain see’s. That also ties into the part of the scene where one of the character’s says ‘what do you see?’. The music itself is a kind of ambient soundtrack, that starts off fairly quiet and expands as the soundtrack goes on. But in listening to it, you can tell that it is a very ‘heroic’ type of soundtrack. As it goes on, the tempo increases and it becomes notes in the background repeat in fast succession. The piano is also used in this soundtrack as well. I think that it has a strong way of connecting with the audience. And it brings in another emotional level to it. I think that the soundtrack also works because, in listening to it, it sounds like the sort of soundtrack where you can tell that time is crucial. And that it will soon end. So you have to act quickly, if you want to succeed.

 

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