Sound: An Acoulogical Treatise
Michel Chion is a composer, filmmaker, teacher, researcher, and the author of several books, including
James A. Steintrager is Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and European Languages and Studies at the University of California, Irvine; he is the author, most recently, of
The Audiovisual Couple in Film: Audio-Vision
This chapter looks at some of the specific ways that sound and vision interact in the cinematic medium. Film is often approached as essentially visual, with the role of sound devalued, ignored, or misapprehended. This happens in large part because certain effects, feelings, and significations are attributed to the image and appear to emanate directly from the image when they are in fact produced by sounds. We project powers onto the cinematic image, clearly contained and framed in a way that sound is not, which in actuality are the work of sound, which often surreptitiously provides value added. Audio-videogenic effects include those of rendering (creating sensations of energy, texture, etc.), of scenography or the construction of imaginary space, and of temporal phrasing (suspense, anticipation, relaxation, etc.). While sound and image are often synchronized in cinema, audiovisual dissonance also has its comic and serious uses.
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