Friday, April 27, 2018

Christopher Doll on The Inception

SMT-V is the Videocast Journal of the Society for Music Theory; it has been publishing since 2015 using the Vimeo platform. The most recent title is Christopher Doll's “Was it Diegetic, or Just a Dream? Music’s Paradoxical Place in the Film Inception”: link.

Here is the abstract:
Between "diegetic" film music (heard by the characters) and "nondiegetic" film music (heard only by the audience) is a paradoxical space called the "fantastical gap." A film such as Inception (2010) makes traversal of this gap into an overt theme, obscuring our sense of place to such a degree that even the literal plot of the movie is open to interpretation, and thus also illustrating the extent to which filmmakers can manipulate an audience's understanding of the filmic world through the blurring of the diegetic/nondiegetic divide.
The video opens with succinct example clips for the categories of diegetic, nondiegetic, and "fantastical gap," then traces the connection between the latter, musical themes, and narrative. Although posted to a professional music theory site, “Was it Diegetic, or Just a Dream?" is very accessible and would be an excellent accessory to the opening pages of Chapter 3.