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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media edited by Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson. This essay analyzes the Bourne trilogy and discusses how both image and soundtrack are symptoms of an underlying cultural trauma. An introduction considers the relationship of soundtrack rendering to digital aesthetics. The essay then examines how music underscores the basic duality of Jason Bourne, a duality born of this trauma and which music elevates to myth. Next, the essay looks at the intersection between the striking visual techniques and the sound design in The Bourne Ultimatum and argues that the audiovisual style matches the film’s thematics. In the concluding section, the essay returns to the issue of trauma and explores the law of action that regulates the action genre and the social trauma that it attempts to conceal.

Keywords: rendering, action film, Bordwell, intensified continuity, trauma, shakycam, sound design, explosion point

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