Wednesday, May 12, 2010

11|5|10 & 16|5|10

I love some bits of Avatar's music. These bits mesh very well with what is shown (and, in some cases, whatever else is heard). The bits accompanying the first twelve frames contribute to a great start of the film. The bit which is a drum/percussion-based buildup starts with the frame tracking towards the ship within which the protagonist has arrived in the orbit of the planet as of then not yet to enter the film's story, though the absolutely first frame does indicate the protagonist's emotional attachment to the planet and the native way of life on it. Or the first frame indicates that the protagonist has a story to tell about himself and the planet. So the first frame can also be called an expression of retrospective attachment to the story that shall unfold in the shots that follow.
Coming back to the drum/percussion-based buildup, read now that I heard a 29 second extract of the music track it belongs to. The extract starts when an eerily/suspensfully engaging or merely engaging sound is a blown out of a trumpet/horn. That sound is followed by the drum/percussion-based buildup which then spills out, followed by another suspensfully/eerily engaging or merely engaging sound [this one produced by a singer]. The extract ends somewhere at the middle or end of a second drum/percussion-based buildup.
post script-The word frame in this essay is a substitute for the word shot because I have used the latter as a word for the combination that is a frame and the sound(s) in it +/or the bit(s) of music in it. The first frame is soundwise silent, as is the frame I described. Perhaps the former is not accompanied by any bit(s) of music either, though it is accompanied by a bit of music in one trailer/advertisement/promo of the film. Speaking of which, the 20th Century Fox logo shown in that or another trailer of the film includes atleast one Beverly Hills palm tree, declaring that the distributor of the film is celebrating the film's ecology-friendly message. This tweaking with the logos of major Hollywood film distributors is common. The globe of Universal shown at the start of the film Van Helsing, for instance, is grey rather than its usual green-blue and flames burst up from it, the flames and globe then transforming into the top of a torch held up straight by a man. The mountain of Paramount, shown at the start of Raiders of the Lost Ark, is followed by a frame containing a similarly shaped real mountain. These instances, however, constitute a category different from that constituted by the starts of the films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. After the logos of the distributor and copyright holder are shown, a bat like shape appears: formed by a lot of bats flying from the left to the right of the frame in Batman Begins, and by blue-black frames approaching the frame in The Dark Knight. The former frame is accompanied by the screeching of the bats, and the latter shot is soundwise silent till the end and musicwise silent till the second last microsecond.

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