We'll Meet Again: Musical Design in the Films of Stanley Kubrick
Famous for his painstaking attention to detail and for the craftsmanship and artistry he brought to his work, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick is by now long established as both the subject of an entire sub-field of scholarly inquiry, and as the object of all levels of cinema studies pedagogy. His oeuvre, developed over nearly 50 years, traverses an immensely broad variety of film genres and subjects and has long been studied and understood in terms of its narrative, thematic, and striking visual elements. However, unique and often startling encounters between music and the moving image are central trademarks of Kubrick's style; witness the powerful effects of Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" in 2001: A Space Odyssey and of Beethoven's 9th Symphony in A Clockwork Orange, each excerpt hand-picked by Kubrick himself. We'll Meet Again argues that some of the most compelling and understudied aspects of Stanley Kubrick's films are musically conceived. Author Kate McQuiston illustrates that, for Kubrick, music is neither post-production afterthought nor background nor incidental, but rather core to films' themes and meanings. The book is divided into three sections, the first of which identifies the building blocks in Kubrick's sonic world and illuminates the ways in which Kubrick uses them to substantiate his characters and to define character relationships. The second section delves into the effects of Kubrick's signature musical techniques, including the use of texture, recurrence, and inscription to render and reinforce psychological ideas and particular spectator responses. The third and final section presents case studies in which the history of the music Kubrick chooses plays a vital and dynamic role. Throughout the author's arguments, the book locates Kubrick as a force in music reception history by examining the relationship between his musical choices and popular culture.
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