Off Key: When Film and Music Won't Work Together

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Oxford University Press, Mar 27, 2008 - Music - 264 pages
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In Off Key, Kay Dickinson offers a compelling study of how certain alliances of music and film are judged aesthetic failures. Based on a fascinating and wide-ranging body of film-music mismatches, and using contemporary reviews and histories of the turn to post-industrialization, the book expands the ways in which the union of the film and music businesses can be understood. Moving beyond the typical understanding of film music that privileges the score, Off Key also incorporates analyses of rock 'n' roll movies, composer biopics, and pop singers crossing over into acting. By doing this, it provides a fuller picture of how two successful entertainment sectors have sought out synergistic strategies, ones whose alleged "failures" have much to tell about the labor practices of the creative industries, as well as our own relationship to them and to work itself. A provocative and politically-conscious look at music-image relations, Off Key will appeal to students and scholars of film music, cinema studies, media studies, cultural studies, and labor history.

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User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

Very high jargon content, arguing that instances often identified as failures in film—Elvis in Harum Scarum, pop stars who are cast in movies but can’t act, “video nasties,” etc. are indicative of ... Read full review


1 The Status and the Potential of FilmMusic That Doesnt Work
The Migration of Cinema into Rock n Roll
Ken Russells Composer Biopics and the Uneasy Realignment of Work and Culture
The Horrific Sights and Incompatible Sounds of Video Nasties
5 Pop Stars Who Cant Act and the Limits of Celebrity Flexibility
The Problems of Conclusion

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About the author (2008)

Kay Dickinson is a Lecturer in Cultural Studies within the Media and Communications Department of Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is editor of Movie Music: The Film Reader (2002) and co-editor of Teen TV: Genre, Consumption and Identity (2004).

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