The Voice in Cinema

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Columbia University Press, 1999 - Performing Arts - 183 pages
4 Reviews

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 Cinema

User Review  - 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 Cinema

User 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

Contents

ONE THE ACOUSMÉTRE
17
TWO THE SILENCES OF MABUSE
31
THREE THEIVOICE
49
FIVE THE SCREAMING POINT
75
SEVEN THE MUTE CHARACTERS FINAL WORDS
95
EIGHT THE SIRENS SONG
109
NINE THE VOICE THAT SEEKS A BODY
125
TEN THE CONFESSION
154
Index
175
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About the author (1999)

Michel Chion is a composer of musique concrète, a filmmaker, an associate professor at the Université de Paris, and a prolific writer on film, sound, and music. His other books with Columbia University Press are Film, A Sound Art and Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen.Claudia Gorbman is a film studies professor at the University of Washington, Tacoma. She is the author of Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music (1987), the editor of several books, and the author of many articles on film sound and film music. She is also the translator of Michel Chion's Film, A Sound Art, Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen, and 2001: Kubrick's Cinema Odyssey.

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