Music and Film

by stronged


The more I tumble down this rabbit hole of multilinear, poetic filmmaking, the more I discover parallels between the rhythm and design of music and film. For a treat, last night I went to see Laura Marling at St Michael’s Uniting Church. An epiphany occurred to me when she decided to do a cover of a Simon and Garfunkel song. I wondered why film schools do not urge their students to mimic their favourite films as a way to learn the craft. No doubt plagiarism and copyright issues would emerge from such an approach. This is a sad case of affairs as most artists learn by “copying” proficienados in their field. Similar to the first stage of childhood when children mirror the behaviours of their parents and other adults to learn how to function within society.

I presume established musicians such as Marling continue to play covers of music they appreciate for several reasons; perhaps to pay homage to that musician and the orchestration of that particular song, whilst also to learn new techniques to enhance their musicianship. I recently watched a great short film titled Meshes of the Afternoon (dir. Deren and Hamid, circa 1943 – below) that played with a variety of film techniques. I could imagine this being a great assignment to set for a class of media students, to reenact the filming of each scene. Perhaps break the students into groups and allocate a scene for each group to produce.

My main point is this: If musicians learn by playing the songs of other musicians, why can’t filmmakers learn by recreating film sequences of other filmmakers?

<p><a href=”″>Meshes of the Afternoon</a> from <a href=”″>cronopio</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>