Hang-ups and humility
Posted by Molly on July 07, 1998 at 01:44:04:
In response to Background music, written by Marie-Bernadette on July 06, 1998 at 23:46:05
] Sometimes the background music is very distracting, especially if it 'canned' and doesn't even have the 'flavour' of the period the movie is portraying.
Yes, this is a major one of mine. I hate hearing modern instruments in a period piece, and I notice that the music is almost universally the area in which filmmakers are willing to be inaccurate before any other. It could be perceived as flattering--music is such a powerful force, especially in films, that they would rather have some that they think is more accessible to the audience than accurate to the film. This is certainly true of the wonderful Branagh Henry V--don't get me wrong, I liked the music to that a good deal, but would much prefer to have heard Dunstable and Dufay. Some of the more recent BBC/A&E productions have gone to considerable lengths to have music more or less fitting to its story, but have not yet achieved perfection. In P&P2, they have a marvelous fortepiano played by Melvin Tan (who is wonderful, and I must plug, for those in the Northwest, that he will be in Seattle next spring to do a concert for the Early Music Guild in the new Benaroya Recital Hall), but the orchestra behind him is a modern one, and it is clear from their ornamentation that they know little about Baroque and Classical performance practice. This is a particular shame, because London has good period instrumentalists thicker on the ground than anywhere else.
However, I try very hard to maintain as tolerant a view as possible, for several reasons. One, that it is useless to complain after the fact, especially if the rest of the production was enjoyable; two, that if one is alone in one's complaints, it is very unpleasant for one's friends to hear one going on about something which concerns no one else, and three, that we may think we "know" something, but it is impossible for us to have definitive knowledge of anything, especially the finer details. The farther one goes back in history, the more inaccurate can be all our suppositions about what happened and how, especially concerning little details. Things were done differently in different places and at different times; local customs obtain everywhere, and can vary greatly, and it is useful to think that there are few to no wrong answers. This is hard for musicians, because we tend to fall in the camps inhabited by our teachers, and because we must make choices in order to perform anything, we are required to justify our assumptions somehow or other. So it is best to be as tolerant as possible--one person's way of doing something may not be the same as another's, but that will have been as true in the past as it is now, and neither way is more right than the other.
- Ditto (-: Ken 13:49:53 7/07/98 (9)
- Hollywood's Armies Captain Everett 08:51:29 7/10/98 (2)
- Battle scenes Earlene 04:01:40 7/12/98 (1)
- "No vegitation was harmed in the making of this movie." (NFM) Captain Everett 19:51:54 7/13/98 (0)
- come to think of it... P. Bingham 18:38:11 7/07/98 (3)
- Ken... our very own Scottie... Helen 14:04:13 7/07/98 (1)
- Och! Ken 08:11:12 7/08/98 (0)
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