May 26th, 2013

Screen Sound: The Australasian Journal of Soundtrack Studies

Number 4, 2013 A Tribute to Rebecca Coyle

Screen Sound n4, 2013

Individual Articles

  1. Cover
  2. Publishing Information
  3. Contents
  4. Preface
  5. Editorial — Rebecca Coyle, Forever Heard
    Mark Evans

Theme Features: A Tribute to Rebecca Coyle

  1. Baz Luhrmann’s Eclectic Musical Signature in the Red Curtain Trilogy
    Rebecca Coyle
    [ Abstract ] [ Keywords ]

    Abstract: The following article addresses Baz Luhrmann’s use of musical elements to progress cinematic narrative in a spectacular, and often eclectic, manner. It examines how Luhrmann layers various sonic elements to create a crowded musical extravaganza reminiscent of traditional stage productions (complete with red velvet curtain). A brief historical overview of Luhrmann’s career trajectory and his three Red Curtain Trilogy films is provided, including Strictly Ballroom (1992), Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Moulin Rouge! (2001), followed by an analysis of how Luhrmann’s signature style of musical collage was developed. A comparison is then made of the narrative elements within the three films, and how these elements are used to construct a distinct branding strategy, resulting in the formation of the Red Curtain Trilogy. The article recognises the significance of repeated collaboration on the films’ production as an important facilitator of Luhrmann’s cinesonic style. It contributes a detailed discussion of specific musical choices and the reasoning behind them, with links to the use of music in cabaret and Bollywood. The article concludes with an orientation of the Red Curtain Trilogy within the local Australian industry.
    Keywords: Baz Luhrmann, Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet, Strictly Ballroom, The Red Curtain Trilogy, branding, musical, spectacle, cabaret
  2. Integrated and Intersected: Kylie Minogue, Baz Luhrmann and the use of popular song material in Moulin Rouge!
    Philip Hayward
    [ Abstract ] [ Keywords ]

    Abstract: This article complements Rebecca Coyle’s analysis of Baz Luhrmann’s authorial signature in the ‘Red Curtain’ film trilogy (elsewhere in this issue) by reflecting on the involvement of enduringly popular Australian audio- visual performer Kylie Minogue with Luhrmann’s 2001 feature Moulin Rouge! (in which she acted the part of an ‘absinthe fairy’). The article discusses the career trajectory that led Minogue to this role and the manner in which Minogue’s body of work represents a distinct oeuvre that has intersected with Luhrmann’s at various points. Discussion of the ‘absinthe fairy’ scene in Moulin Rouge! also engages with the more recent work that Coyle undertook on the use of music in animation cinema and links this into aspects of the audio-visual heritage that generated Minogue’s fleeting presence in Luhrmann’s film. The article’s focus on these aspects stretches the usual parameters of screen soundtrack studies, reflects on the nature of contemporary screen music performance and provides a case study of the deployment of popular song material in a particularly dense, inter-referential media text.
    Keywords: Kylie Minogue, Baz Luhrmann, Moulin Rouge!, absinthe, music video, animation
  3. Subtle Idiosyncracy: Sound and Music in the Australian animated short film The Lost Thing (2010)
    Rebecca Coyle, Jon Fitzgerald & Philip Hayward
    [ Abstract ] [ Keywords ]

    Abstract: Sean Tan and Andrew Ruhemann’s collaborative screen adaptation of Tan’s graphic short story ‘The Lost Thing’ is a highly accomplished work that gained international attention following its 2010 Academy Award for best short animation film. This article provides textual and contextual analyses of and reflections on the particular aesthetics of sound and music employed in the film and identifies the manner in which these represent a distinctly local and idiosyncratic approach to auralising the author’s visual narratives. As individual sections detail, the collaborative and interactive aspects of particular sonic components are also notable for representing a subtle compositional integration of elements—rather than a set of relationships between autonomous elements determined in the final sound mix (as is often the norm for cinematic production).
    Keywords: Animation cinema, soundtrack, The Lost Thing, Sean Tan
  4. Popular Songs and Instrumentals in 1930s Australian Feature Films
    Michael Hannan
    [ Abstract ] [ Keywords ]

    Abstract: Seven feature films produced in Australia in the 1930s are analysed to examine professional practices in the use of music. The focus is on the way songs and instrumentals are used diegetically in the films selected for the study, rather than the use of music for underscore. Judgments are made about how diegetic music is employed to enhance the entertainment value of the films, to exploit the versatile talents of the actors, and to reflect the cultural values of the characters. The way that music interacts with film narrative structure is also considered.
    Keywords: 1930s Australian films, diegetic songs, instrumentals, underscore

Additional Features

  1. Contributor Profiles

Call for papers:

Screen Sound n5, 2014: The fifth issue of Screen Sound is scheduled for publication in mid 2014. The issue theme is Interactive and Game Audio. [more information]

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