From: Myron Ort (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Oct 19 2009 - 12:03:03 PDT
Chance Encounters: Serendipity and the Use of Music in the Films of
Jean Cocteau and Harry Smith
I currently do not has access to this article, but it looks interesting.
The exploration of ‘chance’ as part of the creative process emerged
as an increasingly important element in art practice during the
twentieth century. It can be regarded as one of many approaches by
which the avant-garde expressed its desire to create new forms in
opposition to the aesthetic and conceptual values of the past. Film
was not immune to this interest in chance procedures. This article
focuses on notions of chance in the context of exploring the
relationship between film image and music. More specifically, I
discuss Jean Cocteau's method of ‘accidental synchronisation’ and
Harry Smith's notion of ‘automatic synchronisation’, distinctive
approaches to the use of music with film predicated on chance
procedures. These methods can be viewed in terms of a longer history
of experiments with sound, images and colour, that is, as precursors
of the light-shows and multi-media events of the 1960s and other more
contemporary media forms. Cocteau and Smith's experiments open up
important questions about the processes by which audiences perceive
and make sense of music in relation to film.
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