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Self-Reflexive Suspense: The Music of Bernard Herrmann and Pino Donaggio in Brian De Palma’s Thrillers

newdigital Self-Reflexive Suspense: The Music of Bernard Herrmann
and Pino Donaggio in Brian De Palma’s Thrillers
Article
journal COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI
section Online First
title Self-Reflexive Suspense: The Music of Bernard Herrmann and Pino Donaggio in Brian De Palma’s Thrillers
author
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Article | Pdf
online since 03-2021
doi 10.26350/001200_000124
issn 03928667 (print) | 18277969 (digital)
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It is known that film director Brian De Palma has a recognizable style which may be called mannerist, virtuosic, and operatic, and his narrational mode is often self-reflexive. De Palma’s thrillers are rich in music, which helps connoting the sequences and making meanings. Following a neoformalist approach, this article aims at demonstrating how music contributes to De Palma’s self-reflexivity, in that it is often used intertextually: the scores by Bernard Herrmann reference his own scores for the films that inspire De Palma – i.e., those of Alfred Hitchcock – and the scores of Pino Donaggio sometimes evoke Herrmann’s style. Moreover, Donaggio’s use of similar musical materials in different films helps the audience make connections between them. Therefore, music is a crucial feature for understanding the formal project of De Palma’s thrillers, which may be really appreciated only in their transtextual connections.

keywords

Film music; hypertextuality; intertextuality; neoformalism; transtextuality.

Author biography

Sapienza Università di Roma ‒ valerio.sbravatti@uniroma1.it.

Latest issue

Anno: 2021 - n. 1

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