Film music has being written for over a hundred years. Almost for such a long period, film music technologies of its creation and functioning are being studied through examining pictures of completely different genres, ranging from short documentaries of the epoch of silent movies to “supersonic” blockbusters with their sophisticated computer music and noise audio equipment. Today, when the history of cinema has passed for centenarians, and the history of radio and television to are approaching this border, it is clear that music and sound have become an essential part of screen and microphone synthetic arts.
For my study, I have chose a scene from Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” which was released on May 1st, 2013. The action takes place in spring 1922, the era of decaying morals, brilliant jazz and contraband alcohol. The main character, Nick Carraway becomes involved in the exciting world of the rich – their illusions, love and lies. He becomes a witness of what is happening in this world and writes a story of impossible love, eternal dreams and the human tragedy that is a reflection of modern times and mores.
A very interesting fact about this screening of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book is the soundtrack: in the entire excess of emotions and colors, there is some kind of inexplicable harmony, even apparently modern soundtracks are neatly stacked on the long bygone world and seem natural. The scene I have chosen for the study is being accompanied by a song “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Ray. In the scene, main characters, whose love was forbidden and forgotten seem to be carelessly happy in the purest sense of this word. The singer has a deep melancholic voice, which can only sing about love and death, she is a singer for dreamers and introverts. “The Great Gatsby” tagline is “Can't repeat the past? of course you can!” which totally coincides the scene, but not the soundtrack. In Lana Del Ray’s music videos, we all can see the image of a fantasy America, the U.S. of our dreams. That is why the song suits the scene so much: it lets the viewer understand that this happiness is temporary and incredibly fragile.
Lana herself very strange girl singing about strange love, she is closer to her listeners than any other doll from the TV. Most of her love songs are dedicated to an image, not a real person. This fact make the song even more appropriate for the scene: Jay Gatsby wasn’t in love with Daisy Buchanan, he was in love with an image of her from five years ago.
The past can only be perfect on the screen. All attempts to transfer a fictional image to reality are doomed to failure because of their utter helplessness. Such an obviously failed game was greatly shown by Harmony Korine in his film “Mister Lonely”, where failure actors perform in the roles of Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin to the almost deaf public of a nursing home. The characters in the scene are helpless almost at the same rate. The movie makes us wander through a fictional reality of Jay Gatsby, the reality he made up for himself, living in the past and wanting to return the feeling from the past.