Friday, 18 January 2008

Soundtrack Analysis

I've decided to go for something a bit more conventional in the end, although it's not that conventional. It's a clip from one of my favouritest films eva - Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind! Sound design by Eugene Gearty. I know this film pretty much inside out, so I went straight to the scene I knew would have some interesting sound designy stuff going on - the bit where Joel first starts to have his memories erased, with all the funny technology being introduced. You know the bit...

And there certainly is a lot going on. Weird how I kind of knew that having not consciously ever paid too much attention to the sound tracks in films before. Which in itself sounds rather ignorant considering I'm on an animation and SOUND DESIGN course. Anyway, there's a good mix of diegetic and non-diegetic (fancy words for on and off screen) sounds going on, and a fairly confusing sense of space (although not really that confusing when you watch the film without your analytical hat on and just take it all in naturally, which is interesting), with stuff going on inside Joel's head, inside Joel's head, inside Joel's bed. There's also some nice bits of recurring music that I am choosing to interpret as representing Joel's battle with the process he's being subjected to - the tune becoming less discordant and scrappy as he gains momentary control of the situation. There are moments of counterpoint as well, when he begins to drift off into his memories, before being snapped out of them by the banging down of the next item in front of him.

This all happens within about a four minute period in the film, and it seems like an awful lot to be crammed into such a small amount of time, but it just works and comes together soooo well. It's amazing how much the brain can absorb and understand (news flash, I know), and it'll be interesting to see if I can shovel as many ideas into my own re-design project and still be anything other than an utterly incoherent mess. I doubt I'll be working on something as visually complicated though...

I shall be presenting my analysis, in a much more professional and formal manner of course, to the rest of the class next week.

PS. I realise this will mean very little to you because you can't actually see the clip, but I have to make a record of this stuff for my tutors (Hi guys!).

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