The Voice in Cinema
How can a voice whose source is never seen--such as Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey or the mother of Norman Bates in Psycho--have such a powerful hold on an audience? When does "synchronized sound" fail to link bodies to their voices, and how do such great stylists of sound film as Jacques Tati, Kenji Mizoguchi, and Marguerite Duras deploy the power of the voice?
In this brilliant essay, Michel Chion, internationally cited authority on the history and poetics of film sound, examines the human voice in cinema. The Voice in Cinema begins with the phenomenon of film's hidden, faceless voices and their magical powers, particularly in the context of Lang's Testament of Dr. Mabuse. Chion then explores subjective voices, bonding and entrapment by telephone, voice-thieves, screams (male and female), siren calls, and the silence of mute characters-all uniquely cinematic deployments. In conclusion, Chion considers "the monstrous marriage of the filmed voice and body" as embodied in Norman Bates. Claudia Gorbman's fluent translation retains Chion's sophisticated and accessible style, introducing readers to a distinct and paradigm-changing voice on film.
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Review: The Voice in CinemaUser Review - Yuri - Goodreads
Many nice insights into the voice and sound in cinema. I have read other books which focused more on the words (either in script or in dialogue), but less on the voice. In this aspect, this is the first time I'm reading about sound through this scope. Read full review
Review: The Voice in CinemaUser Review - Matt Micucci - Goodreads
My enthusiasm for cinama and original cinematic prose and theory was partially let down by the uninteresting style of writing of Michel Chion, whose theories of the voice in cinema are quite original ... Read full review