Abstract

According to modest constructivism, the spectator’s freedom to imaginatively invent the meanings of films is limited to cases where a film is genuinely indeterminate. This essay argues that the relation between standard musical underscoring and a film’s story world (or diegesis) is seldom indeterminate in this way. It also argues, however, that the diegetic status of much underscoring can be imaginatively constructed in radically different ways. Thus, modest constructivism is mistaken.

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