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Music and Montage: Punk, Speed and Histories of the Troubles

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Film, History and Memory
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Abstract

Emphasising the importance of speed to the moving image, Andre Bazin noted that speed is implied by ‘a multiplicity of shots of ever-decreasing length’.1 Within the montage sequence, speed has a particular impact for an audience. Ken Dancyger notes how, over the last 30 years, the montage sequence has been shaped by the arrival of MTV but also by earlier forms, such as experimental filmmaking, and television commercials.2 The centrality of pace in the music track provides the style for the montage itself. Dancyger says the montage sequence is abundant in terms of style, and that style is placed above narrative within these sequences. Time and place become less important within the montage sequence; time can be any time, and place can be any place. The music video creates a feeling state, synthesizing human emotion from the music. It can be dreamlike with no narrative continuum. Pace, subjectivity and close-ups are used to intensify the montage sequence. Dancyger argues that a faster pace causes events to feel more important to an audience.

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Notes

  1. Andre Bazin, ‘The Evolution of the Language of Cinema’, What is Cinema? Vol. 1 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1958, 2005), p. 25.

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© 2015 Liz Greene

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Greene, L. (2015). Music and Montage: Punk, Speed and Histories of the Troubles. In: Carlsten, J.M., McGarry, F. (eds) Film, History and Memory. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137468956_11

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