The Visual Music Film by Aimee Mollaghan (auth.)

By Aimee Mollaghan (auth.)

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Extra info for The Visual Music Film

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Richter, Eggeling and Survage’s explicit connection between their film practice and vision for a visual music film demonstrates that the discussion of their work as motion paintings by authors such as Lawder, Faure, Rodgers and Gasgard is a valid and useful one. Although the focus of their writing is on the visual aspects of the body of work under debate, it serves to place the aesthetics of the visual music film into a broader historical context. It is my intention to combine aspects of this visually grounded methodology with an approach that places a greater emphasis on the musical qualities of the visual music films.

Although Eggeling uses the musical analogy to lend the film structure, form and, to a certain extent, content, it cannot be considered to be synaesthetic in nature nor can it be regarded as multimedia in the audiovisual sense that Eisenstein or Chion propose. It does, however, possess characteristics of Wagner’s gesamtkunstwerk through its use of the musical analogy, combining aspects of painting and music into the new hybrid form of the visual music film. This chapter has laid the groundwork for the investigations of the way that visual music has thus far been read and has marked out a need for a rereading of visual music films that pays attention to their musical characteristics.

Visually the figures look like variations on trails disappearing from shooting stars. As the film progresses, the imagery becomes increasingly complex, echoing the development of a symphony. The individual elements of these compositions are in a constant evolution: growing, transforming and disappearing until the end of the figure. Musical form The title of the film is the first indication of a musical structure. As with the paintings of Paul Klee, Mondrian and Barnett Newman, Eggeling incorporates the nomenclature of music into the title to make explicit the connection between the structure of film and music.

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