Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989): Naturalistic vs Theatricality
> Represents racial tensions at opening scene with red colours, foreshadows the upcoming
conflicts. Lighting is theatrical showing an angry vibe. Boxing gloves (violent). Low key
lightingexpresses gentle character traits and calm environment of the scene. Red wall
behind the three men represent their anger toward police, Korean store and Italian pizzeria.
Scene in storage room swinging light establishes conflict.
Rules of The Game (Jean Renoir, 1939)
M (Fritz Lang, 1931): The image as Presence. The image as Representation
Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975): Subjective vs. objective point of view
Breathless (JeanLuc Godard, 1960): French new wave of disjunctive editing
Singin' in the Rain (Donen and Kelly, 1952)
The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
Blow Up, (Michaelangelo Antonioni, 1966)
Nanook of the North (Robert Flaherty, 1922)
Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)
Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio de Sica, 1948)
The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925): soviet montage, the use of pictures
Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)
Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)
A Trip to the Moon (Méliès, 1902)
Thelma and Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991)
The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)
Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai, 1994)
Atanarjuat/The Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk, 2001)
1. History of Sound Technology in The Cinema
-tradition of melodrama: most relevant use of sound in early cinema
-popularized in 18 century france
-literally mean “music drama” – combined spoken text with music
-became increasingly popular in 19 century and dominatedAmerican stage
Edison’s phonograph introduced, impacted public – first recorded sound
-Sound experiment (1895)– plays violin into megaphone as two others dance
“silent drama” –used to distinguish film from stage drama using spoken language
-musicals soon displaced many silent screen’s most beloved stars
Transition to synchronized sound – 1927-1930
- relationship of cinema to radio, theatre and vaudeville
-two studios actively competed with sounds tech. Warner Bros. and Fox
Transiton to sound was not entirely smooth
-1930 silent films no longer being produced other than individual filmmakers such as Cahrlie
Late 1950’s -Stereophonic Sound, 1970’s- Dolby and surround Sound, 1990’s-digital sound –
correspond with historical shifts in films social role–tv home vid. and comp Digital sound – attract audiences today to theatrical exhibition
Asynchronous – does not come from a visible onscreen source
v. synchronous – comes from a visible onscreen source (moving lips)
parallelism – when the soundtrack and image “say the same thing”
counterpoint – (contrapuntal sound) ^opposite - two different meanings implied
diegetic- has a source in the narrative world of film
non diegetic – does not belong to the character’s world.
(Diegesis – refers to the world of the film’s story – shown and implied)
can the characters hear the sound? If not- likely to be nondiegetic
source music – diegetic music such as a band performing at a party
semidiegetic – voiceovers not spoken aloud to other characters (thoughts of a character) are arising
from narrative world of the film
sound designer – plan and direct overall sound throughout
sound recording- takes place simultaneously with filming of a scene
clapboard – snapped at beginning of each take is used to synchronize sound recordings and camera
Direct sound – sound captured directly from its source
Reflected sound – captured as sounds bounce from the walls of sets.
Postproduction sound – includes sound editing (rhythmic relationships, connect between sound
and onscreen sources, smooth transitions)
Sound bridge – when sound carries over a visual transition in a film
Spotting - director consults with sound editor to determine points of music + effects
Postsynchronous sound - recorded after the fact and synchronized with onscreen sources
Automated Dialogue replacement (ADR) – actors watch the footage and re record lines to be
dubed into soundtrack (also walla assembling extras to approximate sound of crowd, room tone
recording aural properties of a location- both used to cover any patch of pure silence)
Soundtrack – voice, music and sound effects: three elements of film soundtrack
Sound perspective – apparent distance of a sound source
Overlapping dialogue- mixing characters’ speech simultaneously (used to approximate everyday
experience of hearing more than one voice at a time).
Singin’ in the Rain – Lina Lamont moves her head and every other word is caught (early solutions
to the miking of actors)
Voice-off – voice can be seen to originate from on screen speaker or is inferred to be present but not
Voiceover – voice-off but the characters within the diegesis cannot hear the latter ( used in
documentaries as narrator)
Talking-heads – on camera interviews, usually shot in medium close-up, tell the documentary’s
Synchronization – visible coordination of the voice with the body which it is emanating. Strive for
Music – crucial element to the film experience, provides rhythm, deepens emotion
Movies of every genre, event silent films have always relied on music
Narrative music – music is only element of cinema that is nondiegetic Underscoring - background music
Cue- music composed for a particular place in a film
Stingers – sounds that force us to notice something significant onscreen
Mickey-mousing–overillustrating the action, pairing tiptoe with beats
Sound effects – mimetic impression. clear enhancement “unrealistic” if we pay attention. Sense of
naturalness is ironic because in life we do not usually notice such sounds – but are added to achieve
Sound Montage – film is built up of bits and pieces, soundtrack is not continuous gush of sound
from the real world – but can be manipulated and reflected upon.
‘images and sound communicate on two different levels – montage calls attention to what each
2. Narration – The language of Film
screenplay – part of historical shift, movies’ narratives became dependent on script
-standardized structure of film scripts.
Intertiles – printed words inserted between the images
Sound impacted cinema, but most importantly enabled film narratives to create more intricate
characters, intern compel more complex plots
Art Cinema (1950-1980) – trauma of WWII gave rise to art cinema in Europe, questioned cultural
perspectives and values existent before the war.
-influenced new-wave cinemas such as New German cinema and New Hollywood cinema
Story – subject matter or raw material of a narrative, actions and events ordered chronologically
focused on one or more characters – individuals who motivate events. Plot – orders the events and
actions of the story according to particular temporal and spatial patterns. Selecting some events
while omitting others.
Narration - emotional, physical or intellectual perspective through which the characters, events
and action of the plot appear.
-associated with action of camera and selection of images
third-person narration – narration assumes more detached stance, seeing events from outside the
Characters- evolved rom amusing human bodies to figures with specific narrative functions.
Today, digitalized figures threaten to replace real life actors. Remain one of the most immediate
dimensions of the movies.
Narratology- study of narrative structure
- plots proceed through limited number of actions or functions
Classical film narrative- one action or event leads to or causes another action or event.
Characters with a blend of both ordinary and extraordinary features – creates characters that are
recognizable and exceptional that make us interested in them.
Character coherence – the product of different psychological, historical or other expectations that
see people. Evaluate a characters coherence according to one or more of the 3: values – coheres in
terms of one or mose abstract values , actions –character acts our logically in regards to mental life
and visible actions, and behaviours – normal or abnormal behavior.
Character depth – unique characters with personal mysteries that deepen the layers of a complex
personality. Can separate this person from other characters in the film, question their ways
Character grouping – social arrangements of characters in relation to one another (one or two
protagonists and one or two antagonist) Character Types - share distinguishing features with other similar charcacters and are prominent
with particular narrative tradition (fairy tales, genre films, comics)
Archetype – reflection of abstract state or process, such as representing evil or oppression (femme
fatale, nurturing woman, redeemer, hard-boiled detective)
Stereotype – film reduces otherwise realistic character set of static traits that identify him in terms
of social physical or cultural category.
Character development – patterns through which characters move from one mental, physical or
social state to