The Captive Viewer: Glamour and Desire in the Hollywood Musical

March 10, 2020 @ 7:30 pm
Schulich School of Music
555 Sherbrooke St West
Free for members of the SJLS, $12 for non-members
Sam Browman

Glamour is addictive. Hollywood stylists and music arrangers developed a fund of enhancement techniques so that visual, tactile and sonic surfaces could arouse inner desires. If we want to understand this experience better, how do we give in to its spell without letting our rational faculties drift off to sleep? Musical production numbers from the classical studio era will be used to illustrate how sound and image were shaped and styled to generate allure, encouraging particular frames of mind in the viewer. Three such frames of mind: captive attention, the transfiguration of the everyday, the preservation of distance between spectators and the object of fascination will be explored in this session.

LLOYD WHITESELL is Professor and Associate Dean in the Schulich School of Music, McGill University. His research explores the importance of gender, sexuality, style and emotion in modern music.
He published a book The Music of Joni Mitchell in 2008. Articles of his on film music have been published in American Music, Musical Quarterly and Music in the Horror Film.
His latest publication entitled Wonderful Design: Glamour in the Hollywood Musical appeared in fall 2018.