TUNED TO FILM
“Standing under the screen was ancient, Viennese, knocked about, kilometre-long Hammerklavier, which was pounded by Miss Kanina, the pianist,” painter Aurél Bernáth reminisces of his childhood magical cinema in Keszthely. According to this glorious memoir, the young lady “suggested the overwrought state of the heart” and “emotions and sentimentalism, landscape painting, adventure and excitement” because “the cinema audience couldn’t bear a silent film in silence.” The relationship of film and music is at the forefront of this year’s Budapest Classics Film Marathon. Film, given that it is a true synthesis of the arts, uses effect elements from literature, theatre, circus, photography and numerous other branches of the arts, but perhaps there is no other art that it is in a more symbiotic relationship with than music. The fact is, without music (with the exception of a couple of masterpieces by director giants) film is virtually inconceivable. Not even silent films were silent, because the emotions of audiences were shaped and provoked not by the soundless scenes but by the melodies played by pianists and orchestras: right from the earliest days, images and music combined to create the film experience. In our selection, we present works dating from the very earliest days of film history to the 1980s, in which music plays a vital role – whether it be a popular melody, an evocation of a classical piece, a musical, jazz solo, something written for a silent film, a particularly effective piece of incidental music, a sung hit or music playing from the beginning to the end of a film.