Daily Dose of Darkness #9: Showstopping (Scene from Gilda) in Summer of Darkness: Investigating Film Noir Posted June 18, 2015 The song here is about assigning blame (or taking credit depending on how you look at it) for destruction, ruin and chaos. The use of this song is a clever way for both the director and the character to foreshadow and prepare viewers regarding the character’s actions and what’s to come. Rather than just coming right out and saying, “Warning, this character will be wreaking havoc,” the song lets us know exactly what to expect. Music is incredibly powerful as an influence to the development of film noir. Not only can it create a mood and drive the action, it engages the viewer, controlling our emotions by taking us to the heights of happiness, the depths of despair or causing anxious, suffocating dread all as the result of instruments playing and the arrangement of the composition including major or minor chording, rhythm and tempo. The right music involves the viewer in the action and as a result, our investment in the film, its story and characters. Additionally music used in film noir has the amazing ability to cause a disconnect between our emotions and what is unfolding on the screen. For example, as we watch this scene with Gilda, the music is very gay, cheerful and fun. We’re drawn by her charisma and her fun playful performance, but the glaring of Johnny Farrell makes us uncomfortable because we start to realize that he is not happy with her behavior and there will be consequences. We’re further stunned at the end of the number by the doozey of a look that Gilda gives John because we realize in that moment that the entire number was really just an act to get a reaction out of him. It wasn’t some sort of lighthearted, spontaneous heartfelt performance, but very calculated on her part. And so, we realize that she was playing not only John, but us as well.