Music is inseparably connected with other forms of art. The link between music and cinematography can be viewed as one of the brightest examples. The inseparable connection between music and cinema was established with the development of technology. With regard to this, the following observation can be made. Music makes the most notable contribution to the emotional palette of a film, revealing the characters’ feelings, their nature, and moods. On the other hand, music is can intensify the impact of setting (for instance, either sceneries or the descriptions of the interior environment), and by so doing, music affects the viewer and, apparently, it tends to impact the characters’ inwardness, as well. Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights appeals to most topical social issues of times being depicted in the film. Critics believe that it turns out to be Chaplin’s first films in which he asserted himself as a composer. Joel Schumacher’s The Phantom of the Opera contemplates both the essence and the meaning of music for the audience, as well as a musician. Therefore, both works prove that music plays a significant role in cinematographic art.
City Lights is a film directed and produced by Charlie Chaplin. The film stars, among the others, are Harry Myers as An Eccentric Millionaire, Charlie Chaplin himself as A Tramp, Virginia Cherrill as A Blind Girl, Florence Lee as The Blind Girl’s Grandmother, Hank Mann as A Prizefighter, and Al Ernest Garcia as The Millionaire’s Butler (“City Lights,” n.d.). The film positions itself as a touching and heart-warming story of A Tramp who is attempting to help A Blind Girl and her grandmother and saves An Eccentric Millionaire’s life. The story of A Tramp and A Blind Girl has a romantic flavor that is, basically, a pure expression of kindness, naivety, devotion, and generosity.
What is peculiar about the music in Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights is the following. Music, above all, positions itself as a powerful means of setting the scene and revolving the plot. But most notably, music is a means for the characters to express themselves. To put it more simply, music in the films reveals the essence of the events and the nature of characters.
As far as the issue of City Light’s music is concerned, it is important to admit the following. Charles Spencer Chaplin is very well recognized as an actor and comedian. He is considered to be a genius in a silent movie. The rise of sound motion pictures is also connected with the name of Charlie Chaplin. However, very few people know that Chaplin was also a gifted musician. City Lights is believed to be Chaplin’s first work, in which he asserted himself as a composer.
Music in Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights can be characterized as gloomy and joyful, upbeat and soft, light and serious, it is always simple, intelligible and harmonious. Since there is no part for vocals, music in a film manifests itself through orchestration (that is to say, the arrangement of the sounding of musical instruments, their coordination) and melody.
Each character has its own, so-called, theme. A Tramp’s theme is at times lively, joyful, amusing, and, at times, full of sorrows, mischief, and solitude. So is A Tramp’s nature. A Flower Girl’s theme is the pure expression of purity, innocence, tenderness, and hope. Similar motives are discernible in The Blind Girl’s Grandmother’s theme. Something mischievous and deceitful sounds in An Eccentric Millionaire’s theme, although, mostly his theme is offbeat and amusing, as well.
City Lights by Charlie Chaplin proves that music is capable of rendering the meanings being conveyed, as well as the feelings and emotions being implied, literally without words. One of the film’s main ideas was uttered by A Tramp himself and it is as follows: “Be brave face life”. It is worth saying that music in the film under consideration serves to affirm the particular statement.
Amusement and mischief, advantages and disadvantages of extraordinary, luxury life, need (exigency) and commitment to help others overcome hard times, by all means, success, disillusion, hope, and justice can be viewed among the main themes of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. The final scene in the film proves that music can explain the unexplainable without words.
The Phantom of the Opera is a film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film stars, among the others, are Gerard Butler as the Phantom, Emmy Rossum as Christine Daaé, Patrick Wilson as Raul de Chagny, Miranda Richardson as Madame Giry and Minnie Driver as Carlotta. The film was released in 2004 by Warner Bros. and Scion Films in association with Odyssey Entertainment and Really Useful Films. The film is based on the eponymous novel by Gaston Leroux, written and published circa 1909-1911 and a musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Weber premiered in 1986. Basically, the film by Joel Schumacher is the film adaptation of the musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber.
All music in a film was composed by Andrew Lloyd Weber himself. All songs in the film are performed by the actors playing the parts in the film, except for Minnie Driver, whose real voice, however, one can hear performing the song that accompanies the final credits. The song is called “Learn to Be Lonely”. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s most famous works include, among the others, the musicals Jesus Christ Superstar and Cats. The Phantom of the Opera has marked the composer’s maturity artistically, having combined all of his previous experiences and having revealed his preferences in literature. In this regard, it is important to admit the following. An assumption that creating a musical based on the novel that, basically, is the quintessence of French art and aesthetics is justified.
The masterpiece by Gaston Leroux is a story of a man of genius, haunted by his own fears and past. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is also a novel art, love of art, aspiration for beauty and romance. However, it is, above all, a story of dignity. Clearly, the plot of the film by Joel Schumacher, as well as Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical, is the adapted version of the novel’s plotlines.
To be more specific, while taking the issue of music in the film by Joel Schumacher into consideration, it is important to admit that each song is put into the setting where it is capable of rendering the messages that Gaston Leroux as the author of the original novel and Andrew Lloyd Weber as the creator of the musical conveyed. Christine Daaé’s reminiscences of her childhood years manifest themselves in a song called “Think of Me”, whilst she sings about the grief of loss and the need for her father’s advice in “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again”. “Angel of Music” and “The Mirror”, in some ways, allude to the innocence of dreaming and, on the other hand, to deceit. “Angel of Music” is reprised several times throughout the film and each time different senses are implied, such as sorrow, affection, despair, remorse, and hope. “The Phantom of the Opera” is a song of sacrifice. This particular song is counted among the most recognizable. “The Music of the Night” is a song of a darkened soul that cherishes a dream of beauty, love, and recognition. “All I Ask of You” is a tender confession and a song of promised happiness. “The Point of No Return” is the pure expression of passion with neither hope for salvation, nor reciprocity. It is also a song losing something important in life. “Learn to Be Lonely” summarizes the whole story. It is also important to admit that the song is different from the rest of the film’s music. Thus, it is possible to assume that the song is called to relate the aesthetics of the original novel and the issues being contemplated in it, as well as in the musical and the film, to modern times.
Tenderness and love, tragedy, solitude, and aspiration for beauty, grief and pain of loss, the dream of happiness and desire to do good, passion, and despair – so is the emotional palette of Joel Schumacher’s The Phantom of the Opera. Each song tends to reflect the characters’ moods, their dark and bright sides. Thus, every song reveals the nature of each character. Moreover, music in the film exposes the real essence of emotions and feelings. When performed, each song blends with the setting perfectly. The combination of setting, melody, lyrics and the singers’ voices makes a powerful impression upon the viewers. With regard to the fact that the singers’ voices and performing manner are very emotional (that is to say, make a great contribution to creating the overall tone of the film and presumably influence the viewers’ feelings and senses), it is important to admit that they are artistically perfect in terms of the film’s main cast. All the actors playing the main parts seem to harmonize the film’s canvas perfectly. Music appears to help the actors show themselves from the best side and assert themselves as talented singers.
Andrew Lloyd Weber’s music in Joel Schumacher’s film The Phantom of the Opera is a tribute to art in its essence. Music, in this particular case, is a celebration of spirit, genius, and dignity. But above all, it is a celebration of a feeling that guides people, control them, corrupts them, gives them credit and affects their passions and deeds.
Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights and Joel Schumacher’s Phantom of the Opera have much in common. The main differences between the two works of art under consideration rest upon the films’ thematic framework and technical peculiarities. As far as the issue of music in both works of art is concerned, it is important to admit that in the case of City Lights music is closely linked with the setting and the purposed circumstances the characters of the film put themselves into. At the same time, The Phantom of the Opera suggests a connection between the characters’ nature and their relationships.
Taking all the aforementioned facts into consideration, it is possible to make the conclusions as follows. Music is capable of transcending the limits of form. To put it more simply, music is omnipresent. One can picture music, dance to it, write about it and, as experience confirms, even make films about it. Music was and until present remains an integral part of human life. Moreover, the general idea of art is celebrating life. The art of cinematography and music is capable of capturing moments and conserving them. Music in a film is essential for setting the scene, describing the characters, their inner world, as well as rendering the conveyed messages and disambiguating the implied meanings. Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights is a work celebrating simple life full of mischiefs, believes, hopes, disillusionments and, at the same time, full of virtuous deeds and dignity. Joel Schumacher’s The Phantom of the Opera is a celebration of human genius. Both works under consideration are different in terms of their planes of form due to the different genres’ specificities and technical aspects. Both works differ in their thematic frameworks. Each of two films under analysis, however, is a coherent whole, a holistic unity. In both cases music positions itself as an integral part of the cinematographic canvas, making a great contribution to setting the scene, introducing the characters and illustrating their development thought the film. The most important thing is that in both cases music has a direct connection with the main idea of the film. Having considered the findings based on the analysis of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights and Joel Schumacher’s The Phantom of the Opera, it can be stated that music plays an important part in cinematographic art.