Planes of illusion: music soundtrack, rendition and attribution in Sanctum

Document Type


Publication details

Fitzgerald, J, Hayward, P & Brennan, D 2012, 'Planes of illusion: music soundtrack, rendition and attribution in Sanctum', Perfect Beat, vol.13, no. 2, pp. 111-126.

Peer Reviewed



Mainstream commercial cinema’s increasing access to highly advanced computer-generated imagery (CGI) has allowed it to produce convincing evocations of places and experiences that increasingly blur the line between the represented ‘real’ of actual locations and digitally generated fictional spaces. This article discusses one such evocation: the spectacular cave system featured in the film Sanctum (2011), directed by Alister Grierson. The first part of this article examines the manner in which audio-visual elements of the film produce a representation of a Papua New Guinean landscape and locale and, in particular, analyses the manner in which David Hirschfelder’s score provides an element of musical exoticism that serves to complement this. The second part of the article discusses issues of cultural use relevant to the film score’s prominent use of an unattributed vocal sequence.

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