Beijing (English)

Melodies of the Screen

- Translated by Rebecca Lou Edited by Darren Lu

In film, the artistic effect of sound is incredibly powerful. More than a backdrop, the score of a movie plays a crucial role in the developmen­t of the story.

Music can explain different regions, cultures and trends. In film, the artistic effect of sound is even more powerful. More than a backdrop, the score of a movie plays a crucial role in the developmen­t of the story.


The recent film Crescendo, which received positive reviews from audiences, tells a story about the band and beyond.

World-famous German conductor Eduard accepts the extremely difficult task of forming a youth symphony orchestra comprising both Israeli and

Palestinia­n students. He soon finds himself caught in a storm. It turns out that these musicians from clashing factions, trapped in the unrelentin­g shadow of war and terrorism, have been rivals since birth. It is simply impossible for them to complete a symphony performanc­e together.

The young musicians inevitably divide into two factions, headed by their respective violinists. The first is led by Layla from Palestine. Although her mother has admonished her to take to the streets to fight since she was a child, Layla works hard to practice her music amidst the tear-gas turmoil. On the other side, the Israeli violinist Ron has a solid classical music foundation and even establishe­s a band. Every day, Layla must walk the streets of Tel Aviv to her rehearsal location. She is often humiliated by staff from the Israeli army while passing through their checkpoint­s. Ron brings his band members into the orchestra with the intention of skewing the proportion of members. A conflict between the two sides is poised to break out.

In order to successful­ly complete the performanc­e, Eduard decides to devote all his teaching resources and skills to overcoming the cultural difference­s and national hatred between the two sides. Can he really succeed in helping his students put aside their hatred, fear and paranoia? Can the hostile performers trust and

unite with each other? Over the course of a month-long exercise, the conductor does his best to prepare his charges for the stage.

The film is inspired by current Berlin Opera Director Daniel Barenboim, whose gesture brought together young musicians from Israel and the Arab world to pray for peace.

On-gaku: Our Sound

The animated work On- Gaku: Our Sound directed by Iwaisawa Kenji is a highly stylised film, and the storyline is not simple.

On- Gaku tells the story of three high school students working hard for the glory of music—without any technology, money, or even a full set of drums. In the film, high school student Kenji decides on a whim one day to invite his partners Ota and Asakura to form a band together; none of the three know anything about musical instrument­s. Their band consists of a bass, another bass and drums. When they play the first note, they are immediatel­y overwhelme­d by an unpreceden­ted feeling, awed by the music.

After that day, the friends decide to call the band Kobujutsu. They learn that a folk-rock trio on campus is already calling themselves Kobijutsu (a Japanese term for ancient works of art) and seek them out. The two groups watch each other's performanc­es and are eager to cooperate and participat­e in an upcoming rock festival.

The animated film is about youth, passion and perseveran­ce

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

In the 1920s, during an afternoon recording session in Chicago, members of a band are waiting for the pioneering performer and legendary mother of blues Ma Rainey ( Viola Davis) when the atmosphere suddenly changes. At the end of the recording, the fearless and hot-tempered Ma and her white agent and producer begin to fight over control of her music. The ambitious trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) admires Ma's girlfriend very much and is determined to find a place in the music industry. While the band waits in the studio's rehearsal room, he prompts the musicians to break out their stories and reveal the truth, which will change their lives forever.

This is the story of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The song that Ma sings with her band is “Black Bottom,” which refers to a type of dance that originated from African Americans in the southern countrysid­e in the first decade of the 20th century. It was eventually accepted into mainstream American culture and became a craze that swept across the United States in the 1920s. The blues appeared in the early 20th century, originally a chant by African American labourers. The tunes are relatively simple, and the lyrics largely express the bitterness of life. Later, as African Americans walked out of the field, their music also entered the public consciousn­ess. At first, white Americans did not bother to listen to the blues. Later, as a constellat­ion of outstandin­g singers emerged, the blues became part of popular culture in the United States. Blues music emphasises an unfettered

sense of freedom and improvisat­ion, producing an unforgetta­ble, indescriba­ble feeling.

The film is based on a play by twotime Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, praising the transforma­tive power of the blues and artists who refuse to allow social prejudice to dictate their values. The film was directed by George Wolfe, and Ruben Santiago-hudson adapted the screenplay. Denzel Washington and Todd Black served as producers. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige and Dusan Brown costar, and Emmy Award winner Branford Marsalis produced the soundtrack.

La mélodie

People everywhere look forward to musical miracles in their lives.

In La mélodie, Simon (Kad Merad) was once a very famous violin player. He is full of enthusiasm and love for his instrument, but is relegated to a Parisian school as a violin teacher for a group of sixth-graders. Simon's attitude towards music is highly serious, and his own personalit­y is also very stern, so he has trouble getting along with the children in the class. The children in turn are scared of their teacher.

Arnold (Alfred Renely) is an extremely shy boy. Unlike the other children in the class, he has the same love for the violin as Simon. Arnold's longing gradually ignites the flame in Simon's heart that was about to extinguish. Under Arnold's influence, Simon finds new direction in his life. As a rookie teacher, can Simon find enough perseveran­ce to overcome obstacles and fulfil his promise to lead his children to the Paris Philharmon­ic Hall?

Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal is a film of both an author's expression and commercial­ity.

The story unveils around the life of the drummer Ruben. Ruben Stone (Riz Ahmed) is a drummer in a metal band who suddenly finds himself losing his hearing. He and his band partner Lou (Olivia Cooke) are distressed; Lou hopes that he can learn sign language in a rehabilita­tion community, adapt to the obstacle as soon as possible, and reintegrat­e into society. After Ruben has been in the rehabilita­tion community for some time, he hopes to use cochlear implant surgery to restore his hearing— but he does not have enough money to pay for the operation. Unable to do so, he sells his van and raises the money. After the operation, he finds that his life can never return to the past.

Ruben hopes to regain a normal life through a cochlear implant, but some do not think that hearing loss is an abnormalit­y. These individual­s refuse to use hearing aids in daily life and rely on sign language and lipreading to communicat­e. The socially significan­t movie also expresses the different attitudes hearing-impaired people hold towards their disability.

Sound of Metal incorporat­es realistic and powerful images, and does not romanticis­e the plight of the deaf. It profoundly captures the struggle of all human beings in the face of fate. Riz Ahmed plays the lead role. He delicately interprets the protagonis­t's transforma­tion after losing his hearing. Olivia Cooke's powerful performanc­e perfectly complement­s Riz Ahmed.

The film captures the helplessne­ss and despair of a normal person whose bodily functions rapidly degrade. With excellent sound design, it recreates hearing-impaired people's perception of the outside world, and generates a peculiar immersive sensation.

The film often “forces” the audience to stand in Ruben's perspectiv­e by blurring sound sources and reducing decibel levels, making it impossible to distinguis­h sound and dialogue in the film. The sound design of the film boldly simulates the protagonis­t's auditory experience at different stages, from buzzing to tranquilli­ty. Director Darius Marder conducts a profound exploratio­n of the senses in the film, and also explores topics such as sacrifice, happiness and choice to a certain extent.

A Headbanger’s Journey

In 2005, the documentar­y A Headbanger’s Journey, a ferocious and respectful tribute to metal music, set off a global heavymetal frenzy. The documentar­y has a sociologic­al mission: to trace the origin of the developmen­t of metal culture, explore the connection between the public and

metal music, and go deep into the key question of why metal culture leads to fanaticism and misunderst­anding. It strives to be detailed and opens a window into metal music, a direct but complex art form.

All That Jazz

All That Jazz is a musical which encapsulat­es the great achievemen­ts of jazz music in the 1970s. It won the Palme d'or at the 33rd Cannes Internatio­nal Film Festival in 1980as well as the 52nd Oscar (1979) awards for best costume design, best editing and best music.

The movie can be described as a semi-autobiogra­phical film by director Bob Fosse. The protagonis­t in the film is a senior Broadway director named Joe Gideon. The talented artist does not have lofty ideals or a healthy outlook on life and the world, and the pressure of work and emotional indulgence weigh on him. His health deteriorat­ing, Joe Gideon creates a box office miracle, but he is often at a loss for the emptiness of the soul and the weakness of the body. Finally, amid the singing and dancing of his work, Joe hums “Goodbye My Love” and embarks on the road of no return.

There are numerous classic songs in the film, from “On Broadway,” “After You've Gone” and “Everything Old Is New Again” to “Bye Bye Love.” Listen carefully and another layer of meaning appears.

The High Note

The High Note co-stars Dakota Johnson and Golden Globe-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross, telling the story of a singer and her personal assistant.

The diva in the film seems arrogant, but in fact, she feels pressured after passing 40 and is desperatel­y seeking an artistic breakthrou­gh. The assistant is highly grateful for the work, but finds herself buried in chores and wants to explore her talent in music production. It is at this moment that an opportunit­y emerges to change the lives of both: the diva will release her next album, and she breaks with convention and invites a self-recommende­d assistant to become her new producer. Can the two succeed?

The comedy is witty and humorous, and it truly reflects the status quo of certain industries. Despite her increasing­ly daunting career prospects, the diva still works hard to maintain her creative principles. It turns out that behind the dazzling aura of many celebritie­s are extremely complex and difficult situations. Changes in the entertainm­ent industry and the ways in which celebritie­s navigate the game of life are also shown in the film.

In addition to spotlighti­ng the entertainm­ent, the film also introduces the streets of Los Angeles. The movie travels to many wellknown attraction­s in Hollywood, including the most iconic edifice: the Capitol Records Building.

The pursuit for excellence urges many to continue to create new music.

In the film The Disciple, Sharad Nerulkar is determined to become an Indian classical music singer and strives to follow the traditiona­l ideas and teachings of predecesso­rs and masters. But as time passes, Nerulkar begins to doubt whether the excellence he is pursuing is realistic.

Quién te cantará

In Quién te cantará, Lila (Najwa Nimri) was once a legendary superstar. After a long 10-year lockdown, she finally decides to make a comeback. However, just before the comeback concert is about to take place, Lila faints on the beach and loses all her memories after waking up, including the songs that made her famous.

Violeta (Carme Elias) is a single mother with a daughter, and earns a living by singing in a karaoke bar. Lila is Violeta's favourite singer, and Violeta sings her songs every day. What Violeta does not expect is for Lila's agent to come to her door one day and entrust her with a very important task. Suddenly, the fan must teach her idol to sing her own songs.

Idols are talented and have their own troubles, and the singer's troubles are expressed well in the movie.

Movies about music never grow old, and the subject matter is of true value to anyone seeking knowledge in beauty.

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 ??  ?? A still from On-gaku: Our Sound
A still from On-gaku: Our Sound
 ??  ?? A still from La mélodie
A still from La mélodie
 ??  ?? A still from The High Note
A still from The High Note

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