Michel Chion’s landmark Audio-Vision has exerted significant influence on our understanding of sound-image relations since its original publication in 1994. Chion argues that sound film qualitatively produces a new form of perception. Sound in audiovisual media does not merely complement images. Instead, the two channels together engage audio-vision, a special mode of perception that transforms both seeing and hearing. We don’t see images and hear sounds separately—we audio-view a trans-sensory whole. In this updated and expanded edition, Chion considers many additional examples from recent world cinema and formulates new questions for the contemporary media environment. He takes into account the evolving role of audio-vision in different theatrical environments, considering its significance for music videos, video art, commercial television, and the internet, as well as conventional cinema. Chion explores how multitrack digital sound enables astonishing detail, extending the space of the action and changing practices of scene construction. He demonstrates that speech is central to film and television and shows why “audio-logo-visual” is a more accurate term than “audiovisual.” Audio-Vision shows us that sound is driving the creation of a sensory cinema. This edition includes a glossary of terms, a chronology of several hundred significant films, and the original foreword by sound designer, editor, and Oscar honoree Walter Murch.
Michel Chion is well known in contemporary film studies for his innovative investigations into aspects of cinema that scholars have traditionally overlooked. Following his work on sound in film in Audio-Vision and Film, a Sound Art, Words on Screen is Chion's survey of everything the seventh art gives us to read on screen. He analyzes titles, credits, and intertitles, but also less obvious forms of writing that appear on screen, from the tear-stained letter in a character's hand to reversed writing seen in mirrors. Through this examination, Chion delves into the multitude of roles that words on screen play: how they can generate narrative, be torn up or consumed but still remain in the viewer's consciousness, take on symbolic dimensions, and bear every possible relation to cinematic space. With his characteristic originality, Chion performs a poetic inventory of the possibilities of written text in the film image. Taking examples from hundreds of films spanning years and genres, from the silents to the present, he probes the ways that words on screen are used and their implications for film analysis and theory. In the process, he opens up and unearths the specific poetry of visual text in film. Exhaustively researched and illustrated with hundreds of examples, Words on Screen is a stunning demonstration of a creative scholar's ability to achieve a radically new understanding of cinema.
Digital interactive audio is the future of audio in media - most notably video games, but also web pages, theme parks, museums, art installations and theatrical events. Despite its importance to contemporary multi-media, this is the first book that provides a framework for understanding the history, issues and theories surrounding interactive audio. Karen Collins presents the work of academics, composers and sound programmers to introduce the topic from a variety of angles in order to provide a supplementary text for music and multimedia courses. The contributors cover practical and theoretical approaches, including historical perspectives, emerging theories, socio-cultural approaches to fandom, reception theory and case study analyses. The book offers a fresh perspective on media music, one that will complement film studies, but which will show the necessity of a unique approach when considering games music.
French critic and composer Michel Chion argues that watching movies is more than just a visual exercise?it enacts a process of audio-viewing. The audiovisual makes use of a wealth of tropes, devices, techniques, and effects that convert multiple sensations into image and sound, therefore rendering, instead of reproducing, the world through cinema. The first half of Film, A Sound Art considers developments in technology, aesthetic trends, and individual artistic style that recast the history of film as the evolution of a truly audiovisual language. The second half explores the intersection of auditory and visual realms. With restless inventiveness, Chion develops a rhetoric that describes the effects of audio-visual combinations, forcing us to rethink sound film. He claims, for example, that the silent era (which he terms "deaf cinema") did not end with the advent of sound technology but continues to function underneath and within later films. Expanding our appreciation of cinematic experiences ranging from Dolby multitrack in action films and the eerie tricycle of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining to the way actors from different nations use their voices and words, Film, A Sound Art showcases the vast knowledge and innovative thinking of a major theorist.
First published in French in 1998, revised in 2010, and appearing here in English for the first time, Michel Chion's Sound addresses the philosophical, interpretive, and practical questions that inform our encounters with sound. Chion considers how cultural institutions privilege some sounds above others and how spurious distinctions between noise and sound guide the ways we hear and value certain sounds. He critiques the tenacious tendency to understand sounds in relation to their sources and advocates "acousmatic" listening—listening without visual access to a sound’s cause—to disentangle ourselves from auditory habits and prejudices. Yet sound can no more be reduced to mere perceptual phenomena than encapsulated in the sciences of acoustics and physiology. As Chion reminds us and explores in depth, a wide range of linguistic, sensory, cultural, institutional, and media- and technologically-specific factors interact with and shape sonic experiences. Interrogating these interactions, Chion stimulates us to think about how we might open our ears to new sounds, become more nuanced and informed listeners, and more fully understand the links between how we hear and what we do.
Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory breaks new ground by redirecting the arguments of foundational texts within film theory to film sound tracks. Walker includes sustained analyses of particular films according to a range of theoretical approaches: psychoanalysis, feminism, genre studies, post-colonialism, and queer theory. The films come from disparate temporal and industrial contexts: from Classical Hollywood Gothic melodrama (Rebecca) to contemporary, critically-acclaimed science fiction (Gravity). Along with sound tracks from canonical American films including The Searchers and To Have and Have Not, Walker analyzes independent Australasian films: examples include Heavenly Creatures, a New Zealand film that uses music to empower its queer female protagonists; and Ten Canoes, the first Australian feature film with a script entirely in Aboriginal languages. Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory thus not only calls new attention to the significance of sound tracks, but also focuses on the sonic power of characters representing those whose voices have all too often been drowned out. Understanding Sound Tracks Through Film Theory is both rigorous and accessible to all students and scholars with a grasp of cinematic and musical structures. Moreover, the book brings together film studies, musicology, history, politics, and culture and therefore resonates across the liberal arts.