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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Magnificent Movie Music: The Heartbeat of Film

Five Great Masterpieces

Weekend Lecture/Seminar

Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0157
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$25 - Member
$30 - Non-Member
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Rachel Franklin

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"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

Five Great Masterpieces

Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, and John Williams are among our greatest movie composers, artists whose works continue to grace screens large and small today. Franklin considers a memorable film score by each of these masters, discussing the elements that make their music so exceptional and influential in the development of movie scoring techniques.

Films include To Kill a Mockingbird, Psycho, and Planet of the Apes.

Additional Sessions

Patron Information

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.