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Magnificent Movie Music: The Heartbeat of Film

Getting Under Our Skin

Weekend Lecture/Seminar

Sunday, October 17, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0154
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$25 - Member
$30 - Non-Member

Rachel Franklin

Save when you purchase the Magnificent Movie Music: The Heartbeat of Film series!

"The marriage of the moving image and music is perhaps the most powerful visual communication we have.”—Director Norman Jewison

Film music can inspire and romance us. It can make emotional statements that a script simply can’t, subvert a plot with a completely different subtext, and inject irony, fear, or humor when there is apparently none on screen. Music can salvage a bad movie and make a good one great.

Great film scores by composers such as Bernard Herrmann, Max Steiner, Ennio Morricone, and John Williams have engraved iconic scenes into our collective memory with their extraordinary music, even if the rest of the movie might have faded.

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin in a series that explores the stories behind some of the greatest film music ever composed. She considers the purpose of a fine score and how it both supports and transforms the film, so we frequently fall in love with the movie through the music.

Over four sessions, view fascinating film clips and discuss the role of the score in each, comparing our responses, and delving into the history and craft behind the composer’s work. Look at the role of the movie director, enjoy some Oscar-winning sounds, and share great movie trivia. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a fabulous ride!

British-born Franklin has been a featured speaker for organizations including the Library of Congress and heard on NPR, exploring intersections among classical and jazz music, film scores, and the fine arts.

Session Information

Getting Under Our Skin

"A great film score gets under your skin, triggers your subconscious, enhances the drama and helps drive the emotional power train of the movie."—Director Alan Parker

While we frequently don’t notice the music underpinning the movie, our response to it is pretty much universal. Our pulse can race, we get goose bumps, our stomachs churn, our tear ducts fill: Listening to film music is a very physical business. Build some listening expertise by examining our own reactions to movie music, and defining some of the many different aspects and uses of a great score.

Films include Jaws, Laura, and The Third Man.

Additional Sessions

Patron Information

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  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.