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June 1995, Week 4


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 25 Jun 1995 19:22:33 -0600
text/plain (46 lines)
Post and response:
" Probably a more famous example is
>the Rolling Stones record that starts out on a transistor radio
>in _Apocalypse Now_ and then "expands" to sound much more like
>conventional extradiegetic music.  Something very similar happens
>with the Johnny Hartman records in _The Bridges of Madison
>County_: on at least two occasions they are first heard in thin
>sound from a small radio before they suddenly adopt full fidelity
>and function extradiegetically.  Any other examples?
>Krin Gabbard
>SUNY Stony Brook
Yes, actually the Rolling Stones song "You Can't always get what you want"
in _The Big Chill_, which starts out on the organ at the funeral and then
becomes the actual Stones recording as the funeral procession moves to the
Another kind of "borderline" case occurs in GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM, where there
is some nondiegetic background music, but almost all of the pop music playing
is cued as being played by the radio station where Adrian Cronauer works.
But consider some of the audio-visual "inconsistencies": the montage of
Cronauer cutting up in the booth while rock music plays--the editing clearly
singles a summary of elided time during Cronauer's stint but there is no
discontinuity in the playing of the song; the music is sometimes heard coming'
from a transistor or car radio, but then will slide into a louder, clearer
sound that does'
nt seem to be cued by any one particular receiver;  the playing of Louis
Armstrong's "Wonderful World" is accompanied by a montage of scenes throughout
Vietnam (including that infamous street execution discussed here not long ago)
that in the film's attempt to be evenhanded seems to document atrocities by
Americans, South Vietnamese and Vietcong.  There is no way that all these events
could literally be taking place during the playing of the song but there is
again no break in the song itself either.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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