Abstract and Keywords
This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics edited by John Richardson, Claudia Gorbman, and Carol Vernallis. Film sound has been recruited to the à voir, the ‘to-be-seen’ in an appropriation of the audible into the visible. This chapter attempts to characterize the principles of excess represented by sound and to account for sound’s seeming unaccountability of in cinema. Vision fixes, but sound expands and dissolves. It is not natural to identify “points of audition” the same way that we naturally identify point of view. Where cinematic seeing is reflexive, cinema sound lacks this quality, because sound always seems added to film, suggesting that even the talking cinema remains deaf to its sounds. Vision is always framed and contained; film sound is not. Cinema sound is always bodily, but the body is always diffuse and intermittent. Cinematic vision is an order of correlation; sound implies the mutative commixture of substances. Sound is the warrant of cinema’s capacity to come to life, bringing to life an hors-corps, the body of a body-beyond-cinema.
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