Tom Whittaker
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The sounds of José Luis López Vázquez
Vocal performance, gesture and technology in Spanish film
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This chapter explores the transition from post-synch to direct sound in Spanish cinema through a particular emphasis on José Luis López Vázquez’s voice. This chapter shows the ways in which sound design marked a shift in register from a gestural and presentational acting style to a more Stanislavskian mode of performance that stressed interiority and the unspoken. It further argues that direct sound shaped and transformed Spanish performance, reconfiguring the relationship between body and space in cinema. The analysis of López Vázquez’s vocal performance thus casts a light on the limits between the embodiment and disembodiment of performance and sound, as well as providing a means of tracing the emerging acting styles of the 1970s. The presence (and absence) of López Vázquez's voice in his performances, and how these were determined by the synchronisation of sound in post-production, provide a valuable opportunity to understand how technology and acting are linked in complex ways.

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