World Festival of Animated Film /
7 to 12 June 2021
World Festival of Animated Film / 7 to 12 June 2021
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Puccini and Magnetic Rose: Music as the Catalyst of Emotions in Koji Morimoto's Animated Film - Irena Paulus (Franjo Lučić Art School, Croatia)

09/06, WED 10:00 – 10:40, Kino Tuškanac

A declared music lover, Japanese director Koji Morimoto, developed a poetic approach to universal symbolism in his animated films by using music. In his film Magnetic Rose, arias from Giacomo Puccini’s veristic operas Tosca and Madame Butterfly were the basis for the development of film’s story, marked by gradual discovery of intense emotions conditioned by tragic events in films’ protagonists’ past. The idea of using operatic verismo wasn’t coincidence, since the style was based on melodramatic, frequently violent plots modelled after true, realistic events already shown in the literary naturalism. Therefore, librettos and music of veristic operas expressed extremely strong emotions, like obsessive love, passion, jealousy, hatred, grief, and despair, which culminated, as in Greek tragedy, with death. In Morimoto’s Magnetic Rose, music sets specific moods and emphasizes emotions, to represent, as Claudia Gorbman puts it, “a signifier of emotion itself”. As such, music becomes “the representation of irrational” (that is, the world of memories of the main character), “the representation of a woman” (the charismatic singer Eva), and “the representation of epic feeling” (a destruction at the end of the film equalled with death in well-made play). The paper will explore connection between Puccini’s operas and Morimoto’s film, seen primarily through music; the role of Puccini’s arias in interpretation of particular scenes in Magnetic Rose; and the role of music in forming of two main animated characters (Eva and Heinz) by transferring their diverse but still intensive emotions to the public.

Irena Paulus (1970) earned her MA in Musicology from the Music Academy of the University of Zagreb, Croatia. She specialized in Film Music at the European Film College, Denmark; and earned her MA and PhD degrees in Film Studies from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb. Paulus is a tenured teacher at the Franjo Lučić Art School in Velika Gorica, Croatia, where she actively participates in projects such as were concerts dedicated to band Queen, or concerts and lectures dedicated to Claude Debussy (Days of Claude Debussy in Velika Gorica). She also teaches film music courses at the Academy of Dramatic Art and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. She is a long-time collaborator of the Croatian National Radio (currently as an author of radio show “Zvukopis”) and of the Croatian Composers’ Association’s magazine Cantus, where she publishes reviews, interviews, and critics of classical music, and of works for music theatre and film. Paulus has written four books: Music from the Screen: Croatian Film Music Between 1942 and 1990, Brainstorming: Notes on Film Music, Kubrick's Musical Odyssey, and Theory of Film Music through Theory of Film Sound.