Chapter 7Sound in the Cinema1© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
Sound in the Cinema• Sound can be difficult to analyze. It’s elusive.• It can create a strong effect, yet often remainunno...
The Powers of Sound• Can have a unifying effect with visualqualities.• Shapes how we perceive and interpret theimage.• Dir...
Fundamentals of Film Sound:Perceptual Properties• Loudness is connected to perceived distance,but is constantly manipulate...
Selection, Alteration, and Combination:Choosing and Manipulating Sounds• Sound guides the viewer’s attention.• A soundtrac...
Selection, Alteration, and Combination:Sound Mixing• Mixing is combining sounds together, creatinglayers of sonic informat...
Selection, Alteration, and Combination:Sound and Film Form• Choice and combination of sound can createpatterns that run th...
Dimensions of Film Sound: Rhythm• Dimensions are the ways the sound relates toother film elements.• Rhythm involves a beat...
Dimensions of Film Sound: Fidelity• Refers to whether the sound is faithful to thesource as we conceive it.• This revolves...
Dimensions of Film Sound: Space• Sound comes from a source and what wethink about that source can affect how weunderstand ...
Diegetic and Nondiegetic Sound• Diegetic sound can be onscreen or offscreen.• Diegetic sound can be external (objective) o...
Playing withDiegetic/Nondiegetic Sound• Sometimes it isn’t clear if a source isnondiegetic or not.• This can be a commenta...
Sound and Perspective• Sound perspective is a sense of spatialdistance and location being analogous tovisual depth and vol...
Dimensions of Sound: Time• Can be synchronous or asynchronous,simultaneous or nonsimultaneous.• Sound bridges create expec...
Functions of Film Sound:The Prestige• The overall structure of the film emphasizesmisdirection and illusion.• Sound choice...
Echoes, Visual and Auditory• Parallelism advances the films action, tracescharacter development, and maintainsmysteries.• ...
Two Journals• Robert’s and Alfred’s journals frame parts ofthe past, guiding the viewer from present topast and back again...
Hinting at Secrets• As new information is presented, itforeshadows the answer to future mysteries.• Dialogue and voice-ove...
The Opening• Sound is used to reveal and conceal storyinformation from the start of the film with thevoice-over and the ap...
The Opening• The voice-over introduces central themes ofthe film, major characters, time shifts, and thetight image/sound ...
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Bordwell 10e ppt_ch07

  1. 1. Chapter 7Sound in the Cinema1© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Sound in the Cinema• Sound can be difficult to analyze. It’s elusive.• It can create a strong effect, yet often remainunnoticeable.2© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. The Powers of Sound• Can have a unifying effect with visualqualities.• Shapes how we perceive and interpret theimage.• Directs our attention and creates expectation.3© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Fundamentals of Film Sound:Perceptual Properties• Loudness is connected to perceived distance,but is constantly manipulated.• Pitch is the highness or lowness of the sound,and helps viewers distinguish differentsounds.• Timbre is the tone quality, whether nasal,mellow, or in between.• Together they create the sonic texture of afilm and shape the experience for the viewer.4© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Selection, Alteration, and Combination:Choosing and Manipulating Sounds• Sound guides the viewer’s attention.• A soundtrack is made by selecting sounds thatfulfill a function.• Often this means that sound is usedunrealistically.5© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Selection, Alteration, and Combination:Sound Mixing• Mixing is combining sounds together, creatinglayers of sonic information.• Some techniques can contribute to continuity.• In Seven Samurai, the combination of soundenhances the unrestricted, objectivenarration.6© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Selection, Alteration, and Combination:Sound and Film Form• Choice and combination of sound can createpatterns that run through the film.• Musical motifs can reappear throughout thefilm but are re-orchestrated to emphasizenarrative points as in Jules and Jim.7© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Dimensions of Film Sound: Rhythm• Dimensions are the ways the sound relates toother film elements.• Rhythm involves a beat, a tempo, and a patternof accents.• Coordinated rhythm synchronizes visuals withsound.• Disparity between sound and image can smoothover shot changes and create an expressivecounter-rhythm or convey a feeling.8© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Dimensions of Film Sound: Fidelity• Refers to whether the sound is faithful to thesource as we conceive it.• This revolves around expectation, and cancreate jokes or artistic commentary.• Can also refer to volume.9© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Dimensions of Film Sound: Space• Sound comes from a source and what wethink about that source can affect how weunderstand that sound.• Diegetic sound has a source in the story world.• Nondiegetic sound comes from outside thestory world.10© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Diegetic and Nondiegetic Sound• Diegetic sound can be onscreen or offscreen.• Diegetic sound can be external (objective) orinternal (subjective).• In No Country for Old Men, the narration attimes restricts us to Moss’s range ofknowledge through subjective sound andvisuals, creating suspense.11© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. Playing withDiegetic/Nondiegetic Sound• Sometimes it isn’t clear if a source isnondiegetic or not.• This can be a commentary or create jokes.12© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. Sound and Perspective• Sound perspective is a sense of spatialdistance and location being analogous tovisual depth and volume.• It can also have to do with timbre.• Stereophonic and surround tracks can create avery specific sonic landscape.13© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Dimensions of Sound: Time• Can be synchronous or asynchronous,simultaneous or nonsimultaneous.• Sound bridges create expectation, as can flashforwards.• Usually nondiegetic sound has no temporalrelationship with the story.• These categories help us analyze film soundand identify patterns and function.14© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Functions of Film Sound:The Prestige• The overall structure of the film emphasizesmisdirection and illusion.• Sound choices help smooth understanding ofthe action through differentiation of soundand sound association.• The expressive soundtrack enhances themood of different scenes.• Sound bridges and dialogue hooks link scenes.• Dialogue misleads.15© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. Echoes, Visual and Auditory• Parallelism advances the films action, tracescharacter development, and maintainsmysteries.• Auditory motifs, such as mechanical sounds,music, and repeated dialogue create parallels.• Repeated dialogue also drop hints and clarifythe story.16© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Two Journals• Robert’s and Alfred’s journals frame parts ofthe past, guiding the viewer from present topast and back again.• The diaries and voice-overs emphasize theconflict between the men.• The diaries also serve to mislead the viewer.© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 17
  18. 18. Hinting at Secrets• As new information is presented, itforeshadows the answer to future mysteries.• Dialogue and voice-overs are part of thesehints.• Offscreen sound withholds the payoff of eachman’s greatest trick by keeping the camera onthe reaction, not the illusion itself.18© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. The Opening• Sound is used to reveal and conceal storyinformation from the start of the film with thevoice-over and the apparent illusion gonewrong.• The two magic tricks ask us to make aconnection between them, and the voice-overcommentary provides the answer.19© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. The Opening• The voice-over introduces central themes ofthe film, major characters, time shifts, and thetight image/sound synchronization that willpropel the plot.• The commentary also provides hints.• The first few shots of the film also encompassnarrative themes and motifs in the film suchas self-sacrifice, death, and the methods usedin the illusions.20© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
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