Berthold Hoeckner: Film, Music, Memory

“Drawing on a remarkable depth of knowledge, Hoeckner puts forward several innovative theoretical tools to provide us with a new manner of engaging with how music, media, and memory interact.”—James Buhler, author of Theories of the Soundtrack

Berthold Hoeckner discusses “Film, Music, Memory.” He will be joined in conversation by Daniel Morgan. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

About the book: Film has shaped modern society in part by changing its cultures of memory. “Film, Music, Memory” reveals that this change has rested in no small measure on the mnemonic powers of music. As films were consumed by growing American and European audiences, their soundtracks became an integral part of individual and collective memory. Berthold Hoeckner analyzes three critical processes through which music influenced this new culture of memory: storage, retrieval, and affect. Films store memory through an archive of cinematic scores. In turn, a few bars from a soundtrack instantly recall the image that accompanied them, and along with it, the affective experience of the movie. Hoeckner examines films that reflect directly on memory, whether by featuring an amnesic character, a traumatic event, or a surge of nostalgia. As the history of cinema unfolded, movies even began to recall their own history through quotations, remakes, and stories about how cinema contributed to the soundtrack of people’s lives. Ultimately, “Film, Music, Memory” demonstrates that music has transformed not only what we remember about the cinematic experience, but also how we relate to memory itself.

About the author: Berthold Hoeckner is professor of music at the University of Chicago. He is the author of “Programming the Absolute: Nineteenth-Century German Music and the Hermeneutics of the Moment.”

About the interlocutor: Daniel Morgan is associate professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. He is author of “Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema,” and a number of articles on topics in film theory, aesthetics, and nonfiction and experimental film.

This content was originally published here.

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