I’m teaching a course at the Royal Conservatory of Music called “Cinematic Music- How We Hear Film” (register here).
There are many ways to teach the history of film.
Do you see directors as the key to understanding cinema? Then perhaps you go from DW Griffith to DeMille to Hitchcock & Cronenberg.
Film as an actor’s medium? Whether you start in the silent era with Fairbanks & Pickford, or later with Bogart, Gable … there’s a great deal you can learn about the medium watching the ways actors approach the medium.
Or perhaps following through a particular genre:
- gangster pictures?
- Science fiction?
- Screwball comedy, or perhaps more recently romantic comedy?
Any one of these (directors – actors – genres) can be a pathway to better understand & appreciate your film experience.
And so too with film music.
For me it’s a natural pathway. I’ve written music for film. I have always loved watching and listening to any film, to examine how the music in the film works, to understand how the film works.
It’s been a subject I write about on the blog, sometimes coming up when I encounter a new film, other times front and centre in the topic. This will give you an idea of some of the films I really enjoy, and what you might find in the class.
- Max Reinhardt’s First and Last Film: Korngold comes to Hollywood
- JFK: Choose Your Conspiracy: John Williams’ and Oliver Stone’s best work
- Pageants of Power: a discussion of how music works in several media, including film
- Freud & Jung, Shore and Wagner: a film by David Cronenberg
- Bridal Lullaby: Percy Grainger’s gift to his ex-GF and to Howard’s End
- The Descent of Psycho: an analysis of one of my favourite film-scores
Cinematic Music: How We Hear Film begins on February 18th, 2015. For further info click here.