Once upon a time, before sound came to movies, pianists and organists (or phonograph recordings) would perform soundtracks for audiences in darkened venues, calculated to capture the changing moods of the silent footage or (as written here) simply to distract the viewers from the early unnaturalness of the larger-than-life two-dimensional medium and “absorb the shock” of it.
Those days are long gone of course, though (to quote the same source) “music eventually became so indispensable a part of the film experience that not even the advent of mechanically produced sound could silence it.” Witness the fact that almost no movies over the last century have been presented without a synchronized recorded soundtrack.
What you’re about to witness in this premiere is something like a throwback to the time of silent movies, even if it is a step forward into a dystopian future — though silent-movie audiences would have been horrified to see and hear this short film. The imagery is reality turned inside-out, and the music provides no real comfort, no “shock absorbers” despite its viscerally compulsive movements, but instead an ultimate reinforcement of fear. Continue reading »