Allied: The Longstanding Relationship Between Composer Alan Silvestri and Director Robert Zemeckis

Marshall, Kingsley (2020) Allied: The Longstanding Relationship Between Composer Alan Silvestri and Director Robert Zemeckis. In: A Critical Companion to Robert Zemeckis - Barkman, Adam and Sanna, Antonio. (Eds.). Critical Companions to Popular Directors . Lexington Books, Lanham, US. ISBN TBC (Submitted)

[img] Text
Zemeckis_abstract_FinalKMEdited_FURR.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (119kB) | Request a copy

Abstract / Summary

Abstract
“I'm standing there in this Calvin Klein white sweater, and all of a sudden Bob walks in wearing the exact same sweater. Right then, we knew that we were connected for life" (Silvestri, 1995).

The collaboration between composer Alan Silvestri and director Robert Zemeckis began with Romancing the Stone (Zemeckis, 1984) and has continued through to the present day, with their eighteenth collaboration The Witches due in cinemas 2020.

In order to better understand the relationship between Silvestri and Zemeckis, this chapter draws an alignment of the creative practice of these film with a detailed, intrasoundtrack analysis of the scenes they discuss. I will make use of interviews to explore their working relationship and use these to contextualise the close reading of specific scenes selected from four live action films of their relationship – including Flight (2012), The Walk (2015), Allied (2016) and Welcome to Marwen (2018). These four recent films have been chosen as they represent the well-developed relationship between composer and director, and each articulate genre, space, place and character subjectivity in a complex manner through the combination of musical and moving image

Vicki Mayer observes that this analysis of cultures of production, when applied to specific productions, speaks not just to the film under examination, but can offer “larger lessons about workers, their practices, and the role of their labors in relation to politics, economics and culture” (2009: 15). I argue that such longstanding collaborative relationships, and a practice of involving music composers within the development stages at the initiation of film projects, can serve to privilege sound more broadly within a film and commonly results in a greater integration of music within the films themselves than is common in film production.

Amy McGill argues that a “contemporary” narrative mode of sound and music within cinematic storytelling emerges in the 1970s (2008), a development of film sound born of “the industrial realignments that led to flexible production processes, technological developments and emerging trends in storytelling technique and generic style, all of which have contributed to the diverse and complex character of the contemporary soundtrack” (2009: 289). Silvestri’s work with Zemeckis over a thirty-year period offers an opportunity to consider the manner with which this mode manifests itself in their work, and offer commentary on the manner with which this use of sound can be sound to demonstrate the blurring of distinctions between international art cinema, American independent filmmaking and US studio productions occurring during that period (2008: 293-294).

Indicative Bibliography

Adorno, T.W., Eisler, H. and McCann, G. (1994) Composing for the Films. London,
UK: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Altman, R. (ed.) (1992) Sound Theory, Sound Practice. New York, US: Routledge.
Altman, R., Jones, M. and Tatroe, S. (2000) ‘Inventing the Cinema Soundtrack:
Hollywood’s Multiplane Soundsystem’, in Buhler, J., Flinn, C., and Neumeyer, D.
(eds.) Music and Cinema (Music/Culture). Hanover, US: University Press of New
England, pp. 339–359.

Bastow, C. (2013). ‘Revelation: You know that new sound you're looking for?: Music in the films of Robert Zemeckis’, in The Lifted Brow, 17, April 2013.

Buhler, J., Flinn, C. and Neumeyer, D. (eds.) (2000) Music and Cinema. 1st edn.
Middletown, US: Wesleyan University Press.

Chion, M., Gorbman, C. and Delogu, J.C. (2009) Film, A Sound Art. New York,
US: Columbia University Press.

Cooke, M. (2008) A History of Film Music. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University
Press.

Dickinson, K. (ed.) (2002) Movie Music, The Film Reader. New York, US: Taylor &
Francis.

Dickinson, K. (2008) Off Key: When Film and Music Don’t Work Together. New
York, US: Oxford University Press Inc.

Donnelly, K. (ed.) (2001) Film Music: Critical Approaches. Edinburgh, UK:
Edinburgh University Press.

Donnelly, K. (2005) The Spectre of Sound: Music in Film and Television. London,
UK: British Film Institute.

Ellis-Geiger, R.J. (2007) Trends in Contemporary Hollywood Film Scoring: A Synthesised Approach For Hong Kong Cinema. Phd Thesis, University Oo Leeds, September 2007.

Faulkner, R. (1978) ‘Swimming with sharks: Occupational mandate and the film composer in Hollywood’ in Qualitative Sociology, Vol 1, No. 2, September 1978. pp.99-129.

Fhlainn, S.N. (Ed). (2010) The Worlds of Back to the Future: Critical Essays on the Films. McFarland & Co.

Freeman, D. and Sider, J. (2003) Soundscape: The School of Sound Lectures
1998 - 2001. Edited by Larry Sider. London, UK: Wallflower Press.

Gorbman, C. (1987) Unheard Melodies. Bloomington, US: Indiana University
Press.

Hershon, R. (1997) ‘Film Composers in the Sonic Wars’, Cineaste, 22(4), pp. 10–
13.

Hershon, R. (1998) ‘Off the Beaten Track’, Cineaste, 23(4), pp. 38–41.

Hershon, R. (2001) ‘They’re Playing Your Song: The Role of the Music
Supervisor’, Cineaste, 26(3), pp. 24–26, 55.

Kagan, Norman. (2003) The Cinema of Robert Zemeckis. Taylor Trade Publishing.

Kalinak, K. (1992) Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film.
Madison, US: University of Wisconsin Press.

Kassabian, A. (2001) Hearing Film: Tracking Identifications in Contemporary
Hollywood Film Music. New York, US: Routledge.

Lapedis, H. (2008) ‘Popping the question: the function and effect of popular music in cinema’, in Popular Music, Vol. 18, Issue 3, October 1999. Pp. 367-379.

Larsen, P. and Irons, J. (2007) Film Music. London, UK: Reaktion Books.

LoBrutto, V. (1994) Sound-on-film: Interviews with Creators of Film Sound.
Westport, US: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Marks, M. (1979) ‘Film Music: The Material, Literature, and Present State of
Research’, Notes, 36(2), p. 282.

Mayer, V. (2009) Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries. Edited
by Vicki Mayer, John T. Caldwell and Miranda J. Banks. New York, US: Taylor &
Francis.

Mayer, V. (2011) Below the Line: Producers and Production

McGill, A. (2008) The Contemporary Hollywood Film Soundtrack: Professional
Practices and Sonic Styles Since the 1970s. PhD thesis. University of Exeter.

Neale, S. (2000a) Genre and Hollywood. Edited by Steve Neale. 1st edn. London,
UK: Routledge.

Pasquariello, N. (2013) Sounds of Movies: Interviews with the Creators of Feature
Sound Tracks. San Francisco, US: Port Bridge Books.

Prince, S. (2000) ‘The Score: Interviews with Film Composers: Michael Schelle’,
Film Quarterly, 53(4), pp. 69–69.

Reay, P. (2004) Film Music: Soundtracks and Synergy in Contemporary Cinema.
2nd edn. London, UK: Wallflower Press.

Reylan, N. (2015) ‘Corporate Classicism and the Metaphysical Style
Affects, Effects, and Contexts of Two Recent Trends in Screen Scoring’, in Music, Sound and The Moving Image. Volume 9, Issue 2

Rona, J.C. (2009), The reel world: scoring for pictures. San Francisco, CA Milwaukee, WI: Miller Freeman Book.

Silvestri, A. (1995) Flight of the Navigator: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Sleeve Notes). Super Tracks Music Group.

Sonnenschein, D. (2001) Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice,
and Sound Effects in Cinema. Seattle, US: Wiese, Michael Productions.

Stilwell, R. (2001) ‘Sound and Empathy: Subjectivity, Gender and the Cinematic
Soundscape’, in Donnelly, K. (ed.) Film Music: Critical Approaches. New York, US:
Continuum, pp. 167–187.

Weis, E. and Belton, J. (eds.) (1985) Film Sound: Theory and Practice. New York,
US: Columbia University Press.

Whittington, W. (2007) Sound Design and Science Fiction. Austin, US: University
of Texas Press.

Wierzbicki, J.E. (2009) Film Music: A History. New York, US: Taylor & Francis.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: TBC
Subjects: Music > Digital Music
Film & TV > Film > Hollywood Film
Music > Miscellaneous
Music > Popular Music
Music > Sound Design
Courses by Department: The School of Film & Television > Film
Depositing User: Kingsley Marshall
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2019 10:01
Last Modified: 21 May 2020 10:36
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3560

Actions

View Item View Item (login required)