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Animating characters through music: A multimodal and musical framework for character analysis exemplified through Pixar’s 'Up'
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Film and Literature. (LNUC Intermedial and multimodal studies, IMS)
2018 (English)In: Symbiotic Cinema, Confuences between film and other media: 24th Sercia Conference, 6-8 September 2018 - Växjö, Sweden, Växjö: Linnaeus University , 2018, p. 44-45Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Films are inherently multimodal and intermedial media products, bearing on representation of (intermedial relations) and through (multimodal integration) a range of different media. In this presentation, I want to focus on the multimodal aspect and explore how to perform a character analysis in film which is rooted in a multimodal and musical approach – discussing the meaning potential of music as it interacts with other auditory and visual modes in constructing and developing filmic characters.

Following the character theory set forth by Jens Eder, what defines and sets characters apart from other elements of the filmic narrative is that characters are experienced as ‘fictional beings’ having ‘an inner life’ of their own (Eder, 2010). What animates a character in other words – in the sense of lifting a specific representation from the level of pure artefact to the level of ‘fictional being’ – something experienced as having a consciousness – is the impression that the representation is capable of having thoughts and feelings of its own. Since music in both animated and live-action features is often considered to provide an emotional content and a background for understanding characters’ feelings, it seems logical that music in diverse film genres should therefore play a significant part both in creating and developing characters as multimodal artefacts and in animating them into ‘fictional beings’. 

Using selected examples from the Pixar film ‘UP’ (Docter and Peterson, 2009), I will discuss how to conduct an analysis of character formation in film based on a musical and multimodal semiotic approach, inspired among others by the works of Philip Tagg, John Bateman and Mikhail Bakhtin. Following this, I propose that character formation in film depend on a dialogic and polyphonic orchestration of different semiotic modes, herein several interacting visual and musical modes, to construct a character as a structured reservoir of meaning potential. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University , 2018. p. 44-45
Keywords [en]
Multimodality, film music, animation, characters
National Category
Musicology Studies on Film Media Studies
Research subject
Humanities, Musicology; Humanities, Film Studies; Media Studies and Journalism, Media and Communication Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-81122OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-81122DiVA, id: diva2:1296597
Conference
Symbiotic Cinema, Confuences between film and other media. 24th Sercia Conference, 6-8 September 2018 - Växjö, Sweden
Available from: 2019-03-15 Created: 2019-03-15 Last updated: 2019-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Jensen, Signe Kjaer

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf