Paths of Glory Sound and Music Film Analysis

467 WordsDec 18, 20132 Pages
Paths of Glory Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory is the unglorified version of all the epic war movies in existence. Originally made as an anti-war film, Paths of Glory doesn’t embellish the reality or horrors of war. One of the prominent ways that Kubrick does this is through usage of sound and music (or lack thereof) in the film. The three most prominent sound effects used are the authoritative snare drum, the explosions in the trenches, and sound of gunfire in the distance. Kubrick’s usage of the snare drum throughout the film represents the order and authority present specifically by General Mireau and his supporting leaders. When Mireau makes his first visit to the trenches we hear a non-diegetic snare drum in the background that (considering that relatively little other sound effects are used in the film) gives a strong indicator of a commanding presence. We revisit this percussion semblance later during the execution scene but with deeper accompanying bass drums and snare without the beads. This contrasting aspect gives the mood of this specific authoritative a mellower mood, though it should be noted that this is more diegetic than the previously mentioned drum beat as executions were carried out to the beat of a drum. Another sound effect used by Kubrick is the explosions. Compared the soundtrack of the music, Kubrick does not deflate the intensity and duration of these explosions throughout the charging of the ant hill. This allows for Kubrick to demonstrate the intensity and horror of the actual explosions and monstrosities of war. Conjointly with the explosions, we hear scatterings of gunfire mixed in with the explosions. The gunfire, which sounds like Lucas’s laser blasters in Star Wars (I really wouldn’t know what it actually sounds like), is high pitched and causes contrasting chaos to the deep, loud explosions causing a cacophonous effect. A few

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