Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mildred Pierce Essay

Mildred Pierce Essay

When does the music move and match the motion of objects in the film? During the opening credits the music is very bitter sweet and gives the audience mixed emotions about the rest of the movie. The powerful orchestra becomes loud and soft with crescendos and decrescendos as the waves of the ocean wash up and then retreat from the shore is a rolling motion. Another example of this is when the police officers are running down the hill of sand and chasing Wally, the music is in sync with their footsteps as they stumble down the hill.


When does the music try to capture the overall emotions and mood? The music becomes dramatic when something bad is about to happen. It builds up so the audience becomes tense until the climax. The music was always very mournful and sad; it brought out emotions when Kay was dying of pneumonia. It is supposed to make the audience sympathize with Mildred who loses her daughter. The music is also emotional when Mildred and Veta are re-united after Mildred marries Mr. Pierce. This is done by having a powerful orchestral score to bring out and enhance the emotions that actors are portraying on the scene.

Was the music conspicuous or did it break through? For the majority of the movie the music stayed inconspicuous. Unless the audience was listening for the soul purpose of hearing the musical score it would remained un-noticed because the audience has not been trained to listen for a musical break- through. However, there were certain dramatic scenes in the movie where the music was noticeably loud and stood out. After Veta slaps her mother there is loud noticeably music. In other scenes such as the bar or restaurant scenes there is parlor or saloon music that is noticeable to the audience.

If the music does demand your focus does it still maintain a subordinate function in the film as a whole? How? When the musical score in this film did demand attention, it did not draw the attention away form the characters or the dialogue. Instead it supports and adds to the action on the screen. The only scene where the noise was distracting was the scene in the jail where no one was allowed to talk and there were little abstract sounds like, the clock ticking, the newspaper ruffling, chairs being pushed in and out, coughing and footsteps. However, all these sounds helped to build the atmosphere of the room, the tension and frustration of Mildred as she is sitting in the station. Music and sounds also helped set the pace and rhythms of the film as the story unfolded. The music even though noticeable in some scene served to stimulates the audience emotional responses and reinforces the effects happening on the screen.

What if the musical score was removed from the film? If the musical score was removed from the film, the film would defiantly not have the same dramatic impact. The music in this film is used to fill dramatic pauses in dialogue and it is also used to effectively transition between scenes. There is military drum roll type music when there is a scene with the police. There is lonely mournful music that is often played when Mildred is talking and thinking about the past, setting the overall tone of the movie. The score put the audience in the specific time and action. It makes the audience feel sad, or angry and warns them when something terrible is about to happen. It enables the audience to further express and understand the feelings and attitudes of the characters and their actions.
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