The Sound of History: How Score and Ambiance Affect Perception in ‘Jackie’

A character colored by aural cues.
By  · Published on August 30th, 2017

A character colored by aural cues.

Pablo Larrain’s Jackie is easily the most emotionally-thorough take on the former First Lady’s life and trials, and that’s quite the feat considering Ms. Kennedy was one of the most iconic figures of 20th century America. Part of the way in which Larrain manages to convey this serious and sincere emotionality is through the soundtrack, both the ambient one and the one provided by the film’s composer, Mica Levi, who became the fourth woman ever nominated for Best Original Score, an accomplishment made more impressive by the fact it is only her second score.

Editor and essayist Oswald Iten considers Jackie’s score indispensable to our understanding of the character, and to that effect he’s made the following 10-minute video that takes as its focus the possible answers to two questions: how does the film’s soundtrack affect and influence our perception of the character, and how sounds and music, even voice, color their visual counterparts? The answers will surprise, intrigue, and inform you.

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