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date: 20 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. Focusing on noise in films associated with European New Extremism, this article considers the function and impact of a specific sound effect (the low-frequency drone) in an acoustic era defined by clarity and precision. The technologies associated with Dolby digital surround sound eradicate or at least mute interfering noise; yet, in films such as Antichrist, Trouble Every Day, and Sombre, noise is added back into the mix in persistent, critical, and, most importantly, corporeal ways. This last point is crucial: stressing low-frequency sound, the drone influences the viewer’s body in direct ways, a power that renders its impact haptic as well as thematic or stylistic. This article contends that the recurring drone in the violent and body-centered films of New Extremism asks us to interrogate noise, silence, purity, and corporeality.

Keywords: noise, sound, silence, haptic, noise, Dolby, digital, European New Extremism

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