Journal of Film Music 2019-09-10T10:21:25+00:00 William Rosar Open Journal Systems <p><em>The Journal of Film Music</em>&nbsp;is a forum for the musicological study of film from the standpoint of dramatic musical art. The analytical tools and methodologies of historical, systematic, cognitive, and ethnomusicology all are relevant and essential to this study, which seeks to both document and illuminate film practice through source studies, analysis, theory, and criticism.&nbsp;</p> Guest Editorial 2019-09-10T10:20:56+00:00 Alessandro Cecchi Maurizio Corbella 2019-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Source and Myth 2019-09-10T10:21:02+00:00 Matteo Giuggioli <p>Going back to the early days of film, Italian cinema's attraction to opera showed no sign of abating in the aftermath of World War II, albeit with a change of direction and and an expansion into new expressive and semantic paths. The initiator of the new direction was Luchino Visconti in the 1950s, followed by a new generation of renowned Italian film directors in the 1960s. in the heated social, political, and artistic environment of the "economic miracle," Italian cinema of the 1960s first and foremost questioned the symbolic status that opera had acquired and maintained in Italian popular culture throughout the first half of the century. Prominent film directors identified opera as a relevant object for their critical inquiries into the controversial nation-building process and the customs of the Italian people. This article focuses on three films in which excerpts from opera activate complex intertextual plots: Valerio Zurlini's Girl with a Suitcase (1961), Bernardo Bertolucci's Before the Revolution (1964), and Marco Bellocchio's China is Near (1967). Against a backdrop of such different cinematic experiences, the article shows how opera acquired the common profile and value of a sublime and troubled mythology in 1960s Italian film culture.&nbsp;</p> 2019-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Setting the Tone of the Southern Question 2019-09-10T10:21:06+00:00 Maurizio Corbella <p>This article explores film music’s role in shaping the discourse of Italy’s&nbsp;<em>questione meridionale</em>&nbsp;(“Southern Question”) during the long 1960s. Part of its main argument is that music, working as a subliminal agent in film dramaturgies, impacted the perception of the Italian south on an affective, non-verbal level. It focuses on the trope of fatalism, which has often been attached to southern-ness, and examines how it was musically fleshed out in film narratives. Each of the article’s three sections tackles one specific nuance of fatalism (“sublime,” “grotesque,” and “cynical”) as it is elicited by the combination of music and the moving image. It unpacks film music’s agency by referencing topic theory and leitmotif theory, discussing film composers’ backgrounds and production practice, and tracking the historical-cultural timeliness of specific musicodramatic configurations, with reference to the Italian economic “miracle.”</p> 2019-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Looking at the Screen through the Spindle Hole 2019-09-10T10:21:11+00:00 Alessandro Bratus <p>The use of songs in Italian cinema could be regarded as a minor issue from a cinematographic perspective, being seen possibly as a derivative by-product in both a film’s production and in its critical reception. However, music plays a crucial role in postwar Italian popular culture, as evidenced by the heated debate about the ideological function of popular and folk music that has raged among intellectuals (most notably Umberto Eco), musicians, ethnomusicologists, and composers. My starting assumption is that a perspective on cinema production gained from the vantage point of the phonographic medium can help to enlighten issues related to changing styles and production practices in Italian popular culture after World War II. Investigating the connections between the film and recording industries also highlights the need for film composers to be versatile and proficient in different genres, a quality that was an integral part of their role as specialized professionals.</p> 2019-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Italian Cinema’s Sound Archives 2019-09-10T10:21:15+00:00 Ilario Meandri <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This article presents a historiographical inquiry into the instruments and technologies employed in Italian Foley art during the 1960s, drawing on an ethnography of the manual techniques involved in sound post-production. It draws on extensive research based on oral accounts of technical directors, Foley artists, rerecording mixers, and sound technicians employed in post-production facilities in and around Rome since the late 1950s. The first section considers the Foley artist’s status and responsibilities within the industrial organization of sound post-production in the 1960s; the second analyzes a category of sound effects in which Foley artists specialized early on, the so-called&nbsp;</span><em style="font-weight: 400;">rumori sala</em><span style="font-weight: 400;">(“Foley stage sounds”). The third section examines how Foley artists progressively extended the scope of their work to include&nbsp;</span><em style="font-weight: 400;">ambienti</em><span style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;(“ambient sounds”) and so-called&nbsp;</span><em style="font-weight: 400;">effetti sonori speciali</em><span style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;(“special sound effects”), which had previously been the prerogative of&nbsp;</span><em style="font-weight: 400;">fonici</em><span style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;(“re-recording and production sound mixers”). The final section discusses the long-term consequences of these changes in the creation of ambient sounds. There is also brief consideration of the introduction and development of the so-called&nbsp;</span><em style="font-weight: 400;">macchina per ambienti</em><span style="font-weight: 400;">(“ambient sound machine”), which remained in vogue in post-production practices until the mid-1990s and was, as far as is known, used exclusively in Italy.</span></p> 2019-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. The Industrial Soundscape between Fiction and Documentary Film in Italy’s Long 1960s 2019-09-10T10:21:20+00:00 Alessandro Cecchi <p>During the long 1960s, which includes the culminating phase of the “economic miracle” and the beginning of the protest movement in 1968, the industrial imagination took forceful hold of the collective mind of the Italian people. While corporate films adopted the rhetoric of industrial progress, feature films offered a negative view of industrialization and underlined its problematic aspects: the exploitation of the working class, class struggle, alienation, pollution, the role of criminal enterprise. In both cases music and sound profoundly influenced the representation of the industrial contexts. Corporate films had a tendency to extol the virtues of labor and industrial production and used music extensively to this end. The wide circulation of these films in this period encouraged a critical approach to industrial contexts from feature film directors: in their films music and sound offered critical readings during the industrial sequences: they posed questions, encouraged ironic or tragic reflection, or gave the sequences grotesque or sinister overtones. This article analyzes film music and sound options in feature films against a backdrop of corporate film communication in order to trace the history of industrial imagination in Italian cinema.</p> 2019-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Listening to Another Italy 2019-09-10T10:21:25+00:00 Marco Cosci <p>The transition between the 1950s and 1960s is a watershed moment for the construction of the Italian post-war identity through cinema. Not only do feature films of those years reflect this critical point, but also documentaries become a privileged medium for revealing the contradictions of a country that was increasingly divided between tradition and progress. In this article I focus on the production of composer Egisto Macchi, a leading figure in the renewal of Italian music. He worked with significant filmmakers scoring hundreds of non-fiction films during the 1960s. Combining archival sources with historiographical and theoretical discourses of musicology and film studies, I examine some key examples of Macchi’s soundtracks. Macchi’s scores shun widely encoded musical styles in an attempt to investigate the most striking and hidden character of the reality observed by the camera. On the one hand, experimental music is seen as the best way of engaging afresh with the subject matter; on the other, these documentaries establish a viewpoint and a way of hearing rooted in the contemporary music soundscape.</p> 2019-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd.