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Scoring Transcendence

Contemporary Film Music as Religious Experience

Kutter Callaway

Publication Year: 2012

Films are the lingua franca of western culture; for decades they have provided viewers with a universal way of understanding the human experience. And film music, Kutter Callaway demonstrates, has such a profound effect on the human spirit that it demands theological reflection. By engaging scores from the last decade of popular cinema, Callaway reveals how a musically aware approach to film can yield novel insights into the presence and activity of God in contemporary culture. And, through conversations with these films and their filmmakers, viewers can gain a new understanding of how God may be speaking to modern society through film and its transcendent melodies.

Published by: Baylor University Press


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pp. 1-1

Half Title Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 8-9

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pp. ix-x

It almost goes without saying that books are never written in isolation. This particular book is no different. It simply would not exist without the insights...

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pp. 1-12

On the opening weekend for one of Disney/Pixar’s more recent animated films, Up (2009), my wife and I settled into two theater seats located in the midst of a frenetically undulating sea of parents and young children...

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1. Music in the Films of Pixar Animation Studios

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pp. 13-42

In order to demonstrate the rich interpretive potential of film music analyses and to identify the principal concerns that will drive the remainder...

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2. A Theological Explanation of Pixar’s Film Music

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pp. 43-62

Given the possibility that Pixar’s films may be functioning in the contemporary world as the kinds of stories that individuals of all ages hold...

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3. The Form of Film Music

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pp. 63-92

With a bit of playful abandon, we opened our discussion with a demonstration of the ways in which film music presents us with possibilities...

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4. The Feel of Film Music

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pp. 93-126

Film music is so much more than a simple tool that filmmakers use to communicate a story effectively. It is also, for lack of a better word, “powerful...

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5. The Presence of Film Music

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pp. 127-152

A young woman once attended a film discussion group that I was hosting. Although I had never met her before, in a moment of seemingly perfunctory...

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6. The Spirit of Film Music

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pp. 153-180

If film music does indeed possess the capacity to mediate a firstorder encounter with some manner of t/Transcendence, then we have come...

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pp. 181-194

More often than not, we are incapable of articulating the profound depth of the human experience. Certain losses, sufferings, and wounds lie beyond...


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pp. 195-238


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pp. 239-248


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pp. 249-253

E-ISBN-13: 9781602585362
E-ISBN-10: 1602585369
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602585355
Print-ISBN-10: 1602585350

Page Count: 257
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 826684845
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Scoring Transcendence

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Subject Headings

  • Motion picture music -- History and criticism.
  • Motion picture music -- Religious aspects.
  • Children's films -- United States -- History and criticism.
  • Animated films -- United States -- History and criticism.
  • Pixar (Firm).
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