Christopher Wintle1 and Hans Keller2
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  • 1 Kings College, London
  • | 2
Hans Keller
Essays on Film Music
in Film Studies
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Among the musical Hitler Émigrés from Vienna to London, pride of place has often been accorded to Hans Keller, a psychologically-minded critic (or, as he described himself, ‘anti-critic’) who dominated the British musical scene for the 40 years that followed 1945. In the period 1946-1959 he devoted himself assiduously to film music, on the one hand laying out the topics that a ‘competent film music critic’ would need to address, and on the other paying scrupulous attention to everything he saw and heard. He shared with Theodor Adorno a loathing of Hollywood, and championed British composers above most others. This selection comes in advance of the publication of his collected writings on film, Film Music and Beyond (London, Plumbago, 2005), and shows on the one hand his topical writings, dealing with the importance of actually listening to film-music, ‘noise as leitmotif’, the contribution of psychology to understanding the function of film music, and classical quotations in film, and on the other hand his writing on composers, including Arthur Benjamin, Georges Auric, William Alwyn, Leonard,Bernstein (On the Waterfront) and Anton Karas (The Third Man).

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