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On popular music and cinema

July, 07; 2023. By
Today it is necessary to carry out a small study on the two topics that have been stated in the title of the article, that is to say: popular music, cinema, and also, why not, the interaction between these two domains. To summarize, we can add that two emotionally "highly explosive" fields such as these two mentioned, if they come together, we can offer levels of artistic sensitivity rarely achieved.

The issue is that popular music, which is based above all on the creation of catchy choruses together with heartfelt lyrics (music being the most important part of this whole that is formed), has, as the reader knows, some special properties that they make everyone who listens to them vibrate in a very felt way; These popular music songs can also be associated with fragments of our own lives or movies (the lives of others), and this aspect is also very important.

Now we turn to the movies. There have been directors who have known how to select and combine certain popular music with movie scenes very well. To mention two, coming from Hollywood, we bring up at this precise moment Quentin Tarantino (the reader will easily be able to identify which film passages this director has created based on popular music), or for example Francis Ford Coppola, who in his Apocalypse Now uses a famous song for the highlights of the film.

Well, this union, which is strong, produces very positive results for cinema in general, since, as we have said other times here, music is the "secret" seasoning to really make emotions take off while watching a movie. If we take popular music, which is the strongest musical genre that exists today, and we combine it with a solid work of cinematographic direction, we obtain extraordinary results.

Not to mention only examples from Hollywood, we also want to bring up, as we have done on other occasions, the director Alejandro Amenábar, who in his early days also scored his films. But we point out that Amenábar's music is an accompaniment, and it is instrumental, so it loses a part of the maximum force that a film of these characteristics can obtain. Musicals are also very important in this task of offering the double strength, both musical and cinematographic, but perhaps, and only perhaps, the maximum levels of emotion are obtained with popular music and cinema, not with musical cinema, if there is any difference on this.

And to close the article, the person who writes it mentions himself, Pedro Alonso Pablos, and declares himself a specialist in mixing pop music with cinema, since his films are filled with songs with an eminently popular music structure, and even that are mixed with the plot of the film itself, taking full advantage of the catchy refrains, to multiply the feelings that are generated in the viewer, especially during the strong parts of the film, that is, in the important moments, in the outcome itself or at some other time where there is an important turn for the development of the plot.

In other words, in short, every self-respecting director should have a highly developed musical sensibility, as well as a very musical sense of cinematographic tempo, as happens with Quentin Tarantino, already mentioned, or, in the best of cases, that is the musical director himself as well and who can mix all these sections to create unique cinematographic works, which will stand out from the rest. And I bring myself up again since I have the honor and pride of being the only one of my kind in the world of music and cinema; And I'm sorry that I say it so out of the blue but I would be missing, to this day, the truth if I didn't do it this way.

So now the future film director knows what he/she has to do if he wants to stand out accurately and safely in the world of cinematography: have a broad command of music, especially sensitivity and a sense of musical tempo, if he/she doesn't become composer too.