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Seeing Through MusicGender and Modernism in Classic Hollywood Film Scores$
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Peter Franklin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383454.001.0001

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Modernism and ‘the Image of the Man’

Modernism and ‘the Image of the Man’

Hollywood Interprets Musical Modernism

(p.138) 6 Modernism and ‘the Image of the Man’
Seeing Through Music

Peter Franklin

Oxford University Press

The closing chapter focuses on the arrival of musical modernism, along with “popular music” in the postwar sense, in the scores of films focusing psychoanalytically upon male characters. Citizen Kane, Spellbound, The Wild One (1954), and Psycho (1960) are explored for evidence of “infected” echoes of late romantic scoring practices and for more explicit traits of modernism linked to Mary Ann Doane's suggestion that “the story of the woman culminates as the image of the man.” The deranged, unstably feminized face of Norman Bates, with the slow-motion dissonant harmonies of Herrmann's score for Psycho, conclude the book's implicit critique of modernism, compounding the problematization of the music “through which” we see Hollywood film and through which film sees.

Keywords:   musical modernism, male characters, Doane, Citizen Kane, The Wild One, Psycho

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