Clip from Danny Boyle’s film Slumdog Millionaire
The montage is a favourite film device. It explains away the long periods of waiting, training, growing, sleeping (delete as appropriate) that take an inconveniently long time for the purposes of story-telling. More often than not these montages are framed by music, which keeps up the pace and conceals the sound editing between one scene and the next.
In real life, however, the long periods that halt a story in its tracks are our main action sequences. Biographies will jump from experience to turning point to landmark moment with nary a reference to the weeks, months and years in between in which very little seemed to happen.
Perhaps this is why so many of us stick our headphones in our ears and drown out the mundanity of the every day with musical accompaniment. In a fast-paced world where fifteen minutes of fame has shrivelled to seven and twitter-feeds spread the news faster than clunky television crews and clunkier papers, our hours in waiting or – dare I say – commuting, are too slow and too quiet to bear…
We feed our need for pace and meaning with music, at the price of interaction and a better understanding of peace.