The School of Languages and Cultures is delighted to welcome Professor Phil Powrie to The University of Queensland in August 2018. During his visit, Professor Powrie will be delivering a Masterclass titled ‘From the musical moment to the crystal-song - La La Land (2016) and American Honey (2016)’. The Masterclass is a free event open to The University of Queensland HDR students and staff.

About the Masterclass:

Building on Amy Herzog’s concept of the “musical moment” Professor Powrie will develop the concept of the “crystal-song” through some case studies from American cinema. Unlike Herzog’s view that the “musical moment” functions principally as a “point of resistance”, the crystal-song can occur in any film, whether a popular comedy or a “high-brow” art cinema film. It crystallises turning points in a film creating a “frisson” in the audience. It functions in a similar way to Deleuze’s crystal-image in that it is less a pause or interlude than a cristallisation of temporalities, an intervention that brings together past, present and future, often in an epiphanic moment. The crystal-song is more often than not a diegetic song performed in one way or another by the characters we see on screen; in a sequence of musical numbers such as those found in a film musical, it is the song that stands out from the others. There are a variety of modes; they have in common the fact that attention is drawn to them, they tend to be performed, and the lyrics can often (but not always) be less important than other factors such as the music itself or the modalities of the performance.

In this masterclass, participants will focus on the diegetic song that is repeated at different points of a film (La-La Land) and the “song of the film” (American Honey) to show how they may well be very different types of song, functioning very differently within a musically saturated context, but their function is the same. They do not illustrate or echo what we see; rather, they articulate a privileged musical moment of intense affect whose intensity depends on the performance of the body in time.

Note: participants may wish to read the introduction to Professor Phil Powrie’s Music in Contemporary French Cinema: The Crystal-Song in advance of the masterclass. Click here to access this resource via the library.  


The Masterclass will be held in room E107 in the Forgan Smith Building (Building 1). Click here to view the location on UQ Maps.


If you are interested in attending the Masterclass, please register your attendance using the 'register now' button below.

Please note: capacity for the masterclass is limited so we recommend that you register early to secure your spot.  


About Distinguished Visitor Program - Professor Phil Powrie

The School of Languages and Cultures is looking forward to welcoming Professor Phil Powrie (University of Surrey) to The University of Queensland in August 2018. 

Phil Powrie is Professor of Cinema Studies at the University of Surrey, UK, and one of the world’s leading authorities on French Cinema. He has published more than 90 articles and book chapters and published 20 books as author or editor including his most recent monograph Music in Contemporary French Cinema: The Crystal-Song (Palgrave, 2017).


Forgan Smith Building (#1),
The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus