Scene Sound Off

Scene Sound Off: Masculin Feminin

While I am going to focus on the laundromat scene, I want to examine part of the six-minute tracking shot that precedes it. Paul records a poetical monologue in a record-making booth. The satisfaction of his purchase is signaled by an overlaying pop song beginning as he emerges from the booth. He walks into a room next door to play pinball where a man holding a switchblade confronts him. The jubilant song continues as he forces him out of the…

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Scene Sound Off: Anomalisa

Anomalisa is a story that cinema has seen time and time again: a self-centered middle-aged man finds himself disillusioned with his existence and seeks salvation through a woman. But Charlie Kaufman’s uniquely uses stop-motion puppets and two metaphorical devices: a single voice actor voices every other character who all share the same face. Michael, a self-help expert who fosters productivity in businesses worldwide but not for himself, can find no joy or connection with anyone he meets, they are all…

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Scene Sound Off: Baby It’s You

John Sayles’ 1983 film Baby It’s You, the story of a class-cross teen romance in 1960s New Jersey, is unlike the other high school and nostalgia films of its release era. Instead of a romanticized vision of the “glory days” Sayles portrays a gritty and realistic past. The film becomes an antithesis to the nostalgia genre, mobilized by the use of anachronistic music. This takes the audience completely out of the film’s 1960s world, using Bruce Springsteen’s hits from the…

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Scene Sound Off: To Kill a Mockingbird

Robert Duvall’s film debut was the 1962 film adaptation of Harper Lee’s famous book To Kill a Mockingbird. His role was the elusive Boo Radley- a character who remains a mystery for most of the story. Scout, Jem and Dill swap tales about their neighbor, the Radley son who is a monster-like man that never leaves the house and was once chained up in the court’s basement. They’ve never seen him, so the children regard him as a mythical creature…

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Scene Sound Off: Mommy

Mommy was the winner of the Cannes Film Festival 2014 Palm D’Or. The film is another exemplary work from 26-year old visionary filmmaker Xavier Dolan, who already has other strong features under his belt such as I Killed My Mother, Laurence Anyways, and Heartbeats. Dolan’s films are noteworthy for their visual experimentation and fantastic use of song. They bring to light the visual spectacle that the art of cinema can be capable of. Mommy tells the story of a mother…

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Scene Sound Off: Halloween

It is in the following scene where we see Michael eerily preying on the little town of Haddonfield, particularly his most prized victim Laurie Strode. This scene demonstrates how the out-of-place Michael Myers infects the beauty of the idyllic setting of Haddonfield on that cheery Halloween day, soon to become a fearsome Halloween night. The audience gets a beginning sense of this character’s terrifying power. This scene brilliantly depicts the quiet terror of our villain, as Laurie feels the unsettling tension of being followed. Continue reading

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Scene Sound Off: Gone Girl

*photos and scene may be NSFW* The Desi murder scene in Gone Girl is not only one of the most exciting and terrifying parts of the film, but also a great example of a film elevating a scene from the book. I remember reading this part in the book, but it didn’t nearly chill me as much as seeing it on screen helmed by the great David Fincher. There were loud and audible gasps in the theater when this happened,…

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Scene Sound Off: Jaws

Though there are countless memorable scenes in Steven Speilberg’s summer blockbuster Jaws,  one of the most famous is Chief Brody witnessing the shark attack of the little boy Alex. The scene begins with a shot moving left following an overweight woman going into the water.. This shot is a red herring, for she is what the audience would assume the most appealing victim to the shark. Next to her is a young man playing fetch with his dog. A young boy…

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Scene Sound Off: Frank

The indie Frank could have been dismissed as trying too hard to be quirky, but it transcends these trappings with a surprisingly heartfelt ending. The film gets serious very quickly in its final scenes, turning out a rather thought-provoking story. Frank’s story revolves around a group of eccentrics and the struggling musician that follows them, their leader who happens to wear a Frank Sidebottom head 24/7. They go to a cabin to make the best music ever, which is really…

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Scene Sound Off: Thief

Michael Mann, known for his genius storytelling with taut and explosive thrillers such as Heat and Collateral, made his film debut writing and directing Thief. Thief is both a stylish thriller and engaging character study, starring James Caan as Frank, an ex-con who lives by his own existential creed. Frank is beginning a relationship with a waitress, played by Tuesday Weld. She doesn’t know his true profession as a theif first, but he reveals himself in a dark and intense…

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