The Times Lit Supplement (23 January 2015) has a review by Adam Mars-Jones of Foxcatcher and Whiplash, headlined on the front cover as ‘Coercive film scores’. In the review he writes of his current discontent “where the eye’s priorities are routinely overruled by the ear’s and audiences are no longer able – or no longer trusted – to respond to visual story-telling without emotionally explicit music.” Right on, Adam. I wrote a letter to the TLS in support. Here it is:
“Sir, – Not for the first time in your pages, Adam Mars-Jones carries the banner to denounce the hyperbolic use of music in films, or in your apt headline, ‘coercive’ (23 January). I’m in solidarity with him. And not just films but television where even ordinary documentaries are waterboarded in music.
We should be carrying the campaign a step further: DVDs should offer the option of watching a film without the film score; in a digital age TV programmes could provide us with the option of watching them without music. I’m holding my breath.”