Date: May 2009
Creator: McGinney, William Lawrence
Description: From 1966 to1976, science fiction films tended to depict civilizations of the future that had become intrinsically antagonistic to their inhabitants as a result of some internal or external cataclysm. This dystopian turn in science fiction films, following a similar move in science fiction literature, reflected concerns about social and ecological changes occurring during the late 1960s and early 1970s and their future implications. In these films, "dystopian" conditions are indicated as such by music incorporating distinctly modernist sounds and techniques reminiscent of twentieth-century concert works that abandon the common practice. In contrast, music associated with the protagonists is generally more accessible, often using common practice harmonies and traditional instrumentation. These films appeared during a period referred to as the "New Hollywood," which saw younger American filmmakers responding to developments in European cinema, notably the French New Wave. New Hollywood filmmakers treated their films as cinematic "statements" reflecting the filmmaker's artistic vision. Often, this encouraged an idiosyncratic use of music to enhance the perceived artistic nature of their films. This study examines the scores of ten science fiction films produced between 1966 and 1976: Fahrenheit 451, Planet of the Apes, 2001: A Space Odyssey, THX-1138, A Clockwork Orange, Silent Running, ...
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