Elephant (Audio)

Most of the soundtracks featured in Elephant are classical pieces such as Fur Elise and the Piano Symphony No. 14.  In one of the scenes which showed Alex, one of the two guys involved in the massacre, playing on the piano. This may be one of the few soundtracks in the movie which are made during the shoot itself. This music falls under the category of practical music as the source of the sound was made by the source on screen. Therefore, the character was able to hear it as well as the audience. I find that the music Alex was playing displays a sense of irony as the calm and soothing music is a total contrast to the emotional turmoil he was going through at that moment. This could be the director’s way of hinting to the audience that something is wrong with Alex. It does not seem right for someone who was picked on by the other students in the school and who was so troubled to be playing soft classical music.
Most of the other sound tracks in the movie were accompaniment music, meaning they were added in during the final editing. In the case of accompaniment music, the characters will not be aware of the presence of the sound, but the audience will. This music falls under the category of extraneous music. One of the examples of such music was heard during one of Nathan’s scenes. Nathan was the popular athlete of the school. When he was first introduced to the audience, he was shot walking through the school premises to meet his girlfriend. During this scene, when the camera was trailing behind him, another instrumental piece can be heard. This piece of music was only added to accompany the picture, and was only added in during the final editing of the film. All of the soundtracks heard in this movie were canned music as they were taken from existing scores. No original scores were composed for this movie.
As for the filming techniques, the director did many long tracking shots, with the camera trailing quietly behind the characters. He also seemed keen on showing observations of the characters’ expression, filming the expressions on their faces longer than necessary in certain scenes. This movie is also shot in a way that portrays the different eye-view of each character. As a result, there were multiple repetition in the scenes. Moving on to the composition of the movie, in one of the scenes when Elias walked into the classroom, the camera focused on him, leaving the other students and the background a blur.





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