Broken Silence: The Acoustic Language of Sound in Cinema

I recently completed a dissertation focused on sound in cinema via the films of Fritz Lang. The first chapter is a literature review which attempts to establish a historical and theoretical foundation of the topic, my work on Lang’s cinema then picks up after this. 

Take a look at my essay thesis below, and, if interested, click the link at the bottom of this page to read the entire piece.   

Keep engaged in film viewing, theory, and criticism. Cinema is one of the most important arts of expression we have at our disposal – in times such as the modern age, we must never forget that!

Thesis:

How did the inclusion of ‘noise’ and ‘the voice’ together as sound transform the aesthetic qualities of the visual silent cinema? How does sound inform filmic space, create presence and meaning, or even establish a connection from the film’s spectator and characters to emerging sound technologies as devices of influence and power? Upon the death of silence, in defiance of early critics and technical complications, how did the language of cinema grow and transform from an art form dependent on visual imagery to one constructed of audio- visual elements working collectively to form a cause of expressive unity?

In this paper, I shall attempt to answer these encompassing questions within two smaller filmic case studies, each directed by the pioneering German film director, Fritz Lang. Lang began his filmmaking career within the silent cinema, directing influential and innovative films such as Metropolis (1927) and Woman in the Moon (1929), yet what makes Lang essential to this study is his highly successful transition to sound cinema, which he not only found success within, but also helped expand creatively.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. beetleypete says:

    Nice to see you back, Darrell. I will read the complete link later, but from what I have seen so far, I am guessing your degree is in the bag!
    Best wishes, Pete.

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