Monthly Archives: June 2010

Evangelion 2.22 and “inappropriate music”

What infuriates me most about some of the criticisms of 2.22 that I’ve read so far is the claim of “inappropriate music” during fight scenes.  Seriously?  It’s a great technique.   When done right, it emphasizes the monstrosities that occur on-screen, and affects the viewer more than if so-called appropriate music is used instead.  And even if it fails, you’ve got a hell of a memorable scene.

I’m no film buff, but I’m sure one of the most famous examples of this technique is in the imminent rape scene in A Clockwork Orange.

I guarantee that in a conversation about the film, this scene will come up first.   It’s violent, disturbing, and makes it so you can never think about “Singing in the Rain” without thinking about rape — and that’s why it works.   Even if you forget about the movie’s message or even what the film is a about, this scene will still be buried in your brain, affecting you.

Another example of “inappropriate music” I’ve recently seen appears in Kick Ass, in Hit Girl’s timely first appearance.

At 0:55, after stabbing the shit out of some guy, she turns to Kick Ass and smiles.  The rest of the scene is just good fun, but  something about that one shot, with those la-la-la’s in the background, makes my skin crawl.  I don’t know if that was the point, but it works nonetheless.

Anno fucking loves this technique. It’s used a lot in the TV series and the movies.   So the scene in 2.22 where the dummy plug and the  Unit 03 duke it out is just continuing the long, proud tradition of messing with people’s emotions.   I don’t remember the corresponding scene in the TV series, but it had a million times more impact on me than it did before (one of the things I love about Rebuild).   2.22 does kind of push it by using the technique twice, but it pulls it off, so what does it matter?

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Happy birthday Shinji!

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