Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

As if History was Merely a Record: The pathology of nostalgia and the figure of the recording in contemporary popular cinema

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2008), 2, (1), 51–76.

Abstract

By examining a recent set of films that depict passionate listener/ collectors and their utilisation of recordings, the essay focuses on the issues of time and remembrance in order to explore a specific relationship between records and listeners. In particular, each film investigates how recordings both comment on 'the past' and warn of a substantial threat to the listener that these same records can also hinder one's ability to communicate functionally with the present. In these cases records act as experiential goods that are transformed into possibly malicious charms whose abuse can retard social development. Records are often employed within the mise-en-scène of these films to deliver nostalgic temptations whereby they form specific mnemonic charges that supersede the diegetic space of the film to affect the listening audience.

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Author details

Anderson, Tim