Film has shaped modern society in part by changing its cultures of memory. Film, Music, Memory reveals that this change has rested in no small measure on the mnemonic powers of music. As films were consumed by growing American and European audiences, their soundtracks became an integral part of individual and collective memory. Berthold Hoeckner analyzes three critical processes through which music influenced this new culture of memory: storage, retrieval, and affect. This book shows that films store memory through an archive of cinematic scores. In turn, a few bars from a soundtrack instantly recall the image that accompanied them, and along with it the affective experience of the movie.
Hoeckner examines films that reflect directly on memory, whether by featuring an amnesic character, a traumatic event, or a surge of nostalgia. As the history of cinema unfolded, movies even began to recall their own history through quotations, remakes, and stories about how cinema contributed to the soundtrack of people's lives. Ultimately, Film, Music, Memory demonstrates that music has transformed not only what we remember about the cinematic experience, but also how we relate to memory itself.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 320
Dimensions: 254 x 178 mm
"Film, Music, Memory is superb. There are no books in soundtrack studies that are remotely like it, as it approaches film music from the angle of memory and its representation in film. Hoeckner shows us how images and situations stick to music, and this stickiness is why music is so adept at recalling characters and ideas, but more importantly it is why music is absolutely crucial to cinematic representations of memory."--James Buhler, author of Theories of the Soundtrack
"Hoeckner's book offers a set of meticulous and original readings of films across a wide spectrum of cinema and a thesis linking recorded film music with broader work on memory. This is a major intervention in film sound, opening ears to the work of memory that recorded and synchronized sound make possible within and between films as varied as Godard's Histoire(s) du cinema and Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam. For film buffs and audio professionals as well as film scholars, Film, Music, Memory will be a constant source of new inspirations."--Sean Cubitt, author of Finite Media: Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies