Devin's Response to Tarkovsky

Okay, Tarkovsky said this stuff a while ago, but it seems to still summarize / pertain to the current film landscape. It ties well to our brief discussion in class about why orchestral music is used in film--does the filmic world, or the ideas within, call for it? Or is orchestral music just a convention? I think that film+orchestra has been an opportunistic marriage, one that has created a lot of great cinematic moments. But most film music indeed just seems to amplify emotions in the image, or to cover up bad edits or acting. Music could definitely be used better, and Tarkovsky cites some examples of this. But when a filmmaker decides to use music, it is probably rarely a conscious deicision. On the other hand, when a filmmaker decides NOT to use music, it is most likely a bold and conscious decision born of a specific artistic vision. To me, it indicates going one level beyond regular cinema, holding cinema as sound and image together (the true description of the medium), with no preconceptions of "this scene needs high flowing wistful strings." That's a copout, to me. It's like saying, "okay, I'm not going to spend the creative energy to figure out a novel, effective way of expressing what I want to express, so I'll just use a well-known convention instead (orchestral music)." But immediately, that waters down the original vision or expression, and makes it generic. Strips itself of originality. I think that when Tarkovsky talks about the exciting potential for electronic music (and films with no traditional "music" at all), he's talking about this. Coming up with ways of using sound to convey UNIQUE artistic messages, not made to conform partially or wholely to a standard message (sort of like Michael groaned about with James Horner's music all sounding the same). Gets down to questions of why we enjoy art--is it to receive new, unique messages from artists? Or comfortable, familiar, pleasurable-emotion-producing messages? I think there's a place for both, but the jury's still up for me on this one.

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