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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

entry arrow10:16 AM | Music for Short Films

I've finally gotten around to selecting the music for my Film Appreciation class's final project. They have to make, from scratch, two short films that should "spring forth" (or are inspired) from the soundtrack I've provided them. (No democracy here. I had to choose the music myself, or else I might get a short film done to the tune of "Who Let the Dogs Out?" The thought is terrifying.)

Years ago, for the same class (when I was still a naive greenhorn of a teacher), I was moved by Franc Roddam's sexy-lovers-on-the-lam-in-Las-Vegas take on Wagner's "Liebestod" from Tristan and Isolde in the 1987 film anthology Aria. I took to the aria then as our cinematic prompt. In that year, one short film submitted to me was a so-so dramatic piece that bordered on the predictable (lovers dressed all in white looking for each other, and holding hands under a tree...), but the other one was a brilliant exercise in hypnotic surrealism. It was a great exercise in film appreciation, based on a principle I learned from the great Jean-Luc Godard who once said that the best way to critic or appreciate a film is to make another one. So I'm doing the same exercise for my film class this term. (It's been almost five years since I last had this class.)

And my musical choices for this term are...

I've always liked the soulful sadness of Dido's songs, and Barber's very beautiful "Adagio for Strings" (here played by The Philadelphia Orchestra as conducted by Eugene Ormandy) is a classical piece clearly spun from the music of the stars. I wanted a cinematic exercise in balance and counterpoint, so I chose a contemporary tune and a classical one, but both sharing a haunting, almost meditative, quality. Here's hoping my class learns something from this project...

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