Thesis by Trang Nguyen
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Avatar has created a record-breaking box office of all time with its stunning and groundbreaking visuals world. However, the critics are divided when commenting on its “cliché” story template, lack of narrative depth and well-worn characters. As a spectator, I cannot help but notice that despite the criticisms it received, it is still a vivid living and breathing spectacle with soul and heart. Why? Is the music of Avatar the answer?
In this essay I would like to explore the role of music in Avatar’s storytelling. Many aspects and techniques of storytelling will be analysed together with the film score to discover the power of music in helping to complete and enhance the film’s storyworld.
The approach for my research is to start with examining Avatar’s genre, theme, story structure and plot. This will give a basis for detailed analysis on how music has operated within the film’s genre and commercial expectation, as well as its functions in moving the story forward, constructing the storyworld, and adding emotional and spiritual layers. Using music tracks from an on-line source, I was able to tie the visual sequences to the sound tracks and analyse them in detail.
The analysis has given me insight into the creative process of making Avatar’s film score and enriched me greatly in understanding how music has been such an important part of Avatar’s storytelling.
I hope that this research will contribute to audience with similar interests in film and film score in appreciating the power music has brought to Avatar’s storyworld