In the 1950s electronic music entered dramatically into the public consciousness for the first time, largely thanks to its growing use in film and television. Among the seminal moments were these two classics of Hollywood science fiction, which will be screened back to back with introductory talks from Dr Miguel Mera, a renowned film music expert at City University.
Sunday 10th March, 1pm | The Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB
Part of our Pioneers of Electronic Music festival.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Landmark sci-fi and a classic Cold War allegory in which a Christ-like alien Klaatu ('Mr. Carpenter' is the name he adopts) comes to Earth preaching a message of salvation for mankind: stop fighting or be destroyed. The appearance of now legendary giant robot Gort and the much used phrase "Klaatu barada nikto" have ensured the film's continued cult status, but it also features one of composer Bernard Herrmann's most admired scores, featuring the theremin and other electronic instruments, all of which must certainly have seemed out of this world in 1951.
Forbidden Planet (1955)
The planet Altair-4, the setting for this first out of this world adaptation of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest', is indeed an isle full of strange noises. It is home to Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), his daughter (Anne Francis), a dutiful robot named Robby but also to a mysterious terror. Leslie Nielsen plays the commander who brings his space-cruiser crew to discover what exactly is going on there. A landmark all-electronic musical soundscape score devised by Louis and Bebe Barron is as memorable as the set design and pioneering special effects.