Film Sound and Silence

Conference: The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film (MediAsia2021)
Title: Film Sound and Silence
Stream: Film Criticism and Theory
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Cedric van Eenoo, NYC, United States


In this study, sound and music are examined for their narrative properties in film, with their influence on generating meaning in concurrence with images. But their absence is the focus of the investigation. The methodology includes case studies of movies that primarily use sound to tell a story, with the analysis of scenes that rely on audio for narrativity, without depending on dialogues and music. Soundtrack can construct the space and time in which the story takes place. It generates the tone of the movie, and by doing so, characterizes the mode of perception of the story. This paper focuses on silence and lack of conversations to create spirit, generate meaning and communicate a sensorial message to the audience. Film sound plays a significant role in communicating emotions. Ultimately, music has the power to manipulate the perception of time. Audio work has the ability to create connections between the different scenes, so that the narrative is granted a sense of development, without necessarily relying on cause-and-effect. Film sound can influence the narrative and its perception by creating an implied dimension to the movie that is created by sound alone. The logic of the storyworld can be conveyed through audio in a suggested manner. In this perspective, the sensorial dimension of storytelling can be directly informed by sound, including rests and gaps. The use of hiatus in the audio can play an essential role in the narrative delivery and its interpretation.

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