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 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 5:15 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

I'm familiar with contempt, and I ahve nothing but comtempt for it. ;-)

Seriously though, I think this is nothing more than it is with all things in life. You're a kid, you think such-and-such cartoon is hot shit, but you grow up and it changes; you become a teenager, suddenly it's lost it's appeal, and you become and adult it isn't pretty much crap and not worth your time.

You like some film when you were young, but once grown up, you find yourself thinking you were crazy to like that crap.

Who here has never regretted purchasing a LaserDisc/VHS/DVD/insert other medium here release of some movie, only to wonder later when older what the hell they were thinking?

"Full House" was a big deal for many years two decades ago. Would you watch re-runs now? I have zero interest.

For some people the "Chariots of Fire" theme may be nothing more than the equivalent of bell bottoms and combs in afros.

 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 5:17 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I don't seem to hear film themes much outside of my own playing them. Maybe it's just that I don't watch sports. But I do take pains not to beat any one thing to death by playing it too often.

 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 6:31 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

What I really find fascinating with this thread is we have a bunch of different music lovers who are offering different variations and examples on this topic, but nearly all of us seem to agree on one thing. The music we love we try to treat with kid gloves[not playing them to much] because we know we might lose something special in our enjoyment of listening to it.All my life I always despise in a musical creative sense, the commercial market industry of top 40, the hit parade. for this reason. Something get's lost with being bombed in conformity with hit songs, It has nothing to do whether it's good or not or one can to a certain extent still enjoy it.But something is lost. As mention already about food on this thread, sometimes turkey. cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes maybe should only be eaten a few times a year. Eat it every week or month, something is lost.

 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 6:48 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

ANH, I love that C.S. Lewis quotation. How very apt.

dan, I think it was the "top 40" than ruined some scores for me, not all, but some.

 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 9:41 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

I think the important word is "contempt", rather than "familiarity".

When something becomes generally popular, those who feel their own taste is more individual and discerning than average might feel the need to alienate the popular item. They'll consciously or subconsciously rebel against its presence regardless of its intrinsic merit.

For example, no-one would say that viewing the familiar Mona Lisa should be beneath the dignity of an art lover. But if everyone has a copy of it on their wall at home, or every doctor's waiting room displays a framed print, it will be perceived by some as being way beneath their dignity to hang it on their own wall. Nothing to do with the painting itself, and everything to do with the contempt one feels for the massed "sheep" that have adopted it.

If everyone is playing Lara's Theme or the Born Free theme, or Carmina Burana or The Four Seasons, same thing. When tunes become very popular, they become symbols of the masses and are no longer the property of the so-called enlightened. So they become the subject of threads like this.

A more specific example in film music terms would be a film music concert. If it features only the main themes from Dr. Zhivago, Born Free, The Sound of Music, Star Wars, The Magnificent Seven, Raiders of the Lost Ark and ET, people here would not say the music is no good despite its familiarity. Rather, they'd likely be contemptuous of the people who put the concert together and made the concert so "popular". It would be seen as film music for the masses, and not for their own "specialist" and "more discerning" tastes.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 7:02 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Good observations all. My own feelings on the subject have already been touched on by some of you, but here they are again in my own words -

In my case I'd say that familiarity doesn't quite breed contempt, but it has bred, in some cases, a sense of indifference. It's a bit like a Strauss waltz or a National Anthem - you know them so well, and the connotations are so strong, that they almost cease to be music. Or at least we don't "hear" them on a musical level. I suppose the same could be said of a TV theme for any show that's been in syndication for decades - the symbolic nature of it will have worn away any perception of it as real music. It's as if our critical faculties have been switched off.

With film music, there was a time when I'd grown so used to hearing STAR WARS everywhere that I'd almost "forgotten" that it wasn't simply a noise that was associated with a popular movie franchise. I thought, wait, this is music written by a real person. So I forced myself to go back and listen to all the John Williams STAR WARS scores again, and it was like a revelation. Familiarity had bred indifference, and I had to shake off all the built-in connotations to fully appreciate the music anew.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 7:08 AM   
 By:   Foodman   (Member)

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Familiarity Breeds Contempt.” I am wondering if that statement might apply to film music? After reading the CHARIOTS OF FIRE topic, I’m a bit torn between wanting the general public to hear memorable film themes versus having scores lovers become so over exposed to certain themes that the themes no longer resonate with us, or we actually grow to dislike those themes.

It is a hit and miss for me. I never tire of Rocky’s themes or Steiner’s A Summer Place that has played endlessly over the years. I never mind hearing Rudy’s themes underscoring many sports events. I’m not weary of hearing Williams’ iconic Superman theme. On the other hand, Lara’s theme from Dr. Zhivago totally wore out its welcome for me after too much exposure, and to a lesser extent, so did Rota’s love theme from Romeo and Juliet and Barry’s theme from Born Free. It is not that I don’t admire those three scores; I do admire them. I was just too drenched in them and don’t want to hear them anymore.

There is the dilemma. It is nice to have people recognize great film music, but in some cases, familiarity may truly breed contempt or at least removal from our CD players. Your thoughts?

Excellent topic Joan.

 Posted:   Oct 20, 2013 - 10:41 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Thanks Foodman. Graham, maybe the word is "indifferent" instead of contempt. Makes sense.

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