Rick Altman Once Analysis

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Once was created despite a small budget and an originally limited audience. It was produced for only $160,000 and marketed exclusively in Ireland and then after a strong reception brought to the United States. The film used this regional release to gain popularity and a somewhat of a cult following instead of using marketing and traditional means of promotion. Rick Altman successfully uses Once as a model for many of the motifs and roles found in his semantic version of the Hollywood musical. Altman describes the romantic couple much differently than Once. He does this through his use of the relationship of the couple and the plot, dual focus strategy and the relationship between the music and the plot. The main point Altman makes is that the syntactic framework of a musical is not independent of the semantic framework. The semantic framework has relatively little meaning and relating this to the syntactic meaning he states that the syntactic meaning “surrenders broad applicability in order to isolate a genre’s specific meaning.” Altman’s view of the romantic couple differs from the Hollywood musical in his semantic description of the characters in relationship to society. He depicts two people of the opposite sex who both seem to lack romantic goals; Guy is instead interested only in physical pleasure from the girl. This couple’s relationship is only defined by music and not illustrated in the traditional terms of a “relationship”. This happiness and the love this couple receives only come from their shared interest in music. This concept of a relationship is much more twisted and dark than societies traditional relationship. Both of their music is inspired by love for others but this love is unrequited love felt for so... ... middle of paper ... ...is helps to show that they both have achieved happiness even though it is away from each other. Altmans views on the dual-focus strategy, the parallel between the couple and the plot, and relationship between music and plot are all shown in this scene. Once successfully shows all of the elements Altman describes in his semantic-syntactic framework. Once however depicts a relationship devoid of sexuality or real romanticism. These characters still love each other this love is only pertinent in relation to the advancement of both of their careers. Success brings both individuals more happiness than sex with the other would. Altman’s framework does repeat the classical Hollywood musical formula. Once successfully illustrates Altman’s dual-focus narrative strategy, the parallel between the plot and the couple and the relationship between music and the plot.

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