Sight and sound

Harmony in counterpoint?

in Alain Robbe-Grillet
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Robbe-Grillet admits to a strong interest in film soundtracks and the possibilities that these offer for experimental approaches. He argued in his early theoretical essays that writers are drawn to work in film precisely because it is a medium that combines both dimensions. This chapter examines the innovative manipulation of sound and vision. It first examines his approach to the visual medium of film and how he works creatively at this level. Robbe-Grillet's use of sound and musical effects is, unsurprisingly, of a piece with his identity as a modern artist for whom improvisation, spontaneity and the random selection of disparate objects and sounds creates new meanings. Use of music will no doubt be more successful, although there are notable exceptions. The visual and audial scaffolding of the films is probably best experienced on a sensorial rather than an intellectual level.

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