'Half of it is just the fun of finding the right music': music and the films of Adam Curtis

Sarah Keith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article introduces the use of music in Adam Curtis' documentary films, focusing on The Power Of Nightmares (2005) and All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace (2011). Curtis' work is notable for its use of found footage and archive material, as well as an eclectic range of pre-existing musics from cinematic, popular, industrial and classical sources. Music is not used as a passive accompaniment to on-screen events; it takes an active role in directing the documentary narrative. This article argues that deciphering the uses of music in these works is key to understanding Curtis' authorial intent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-178
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in Documentary Film
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Adam Curtis
  • Archive
  • Documentary music
  • Popular music
  • Sound
  • Television

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