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Rethinking art, media, and the audio-visual contract
Author: Ming-Yuen S. Ma

There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.

Music and malandragem in the city
Lorraine Leu

order. 6 This context goes some way towards explaining the memorialising of malandragem in Brazilian cinema during the Estado Novo , which combined nostalgia for traditional lifestyles with visions of a modernising society, and frequently expressed this tension in spatial terms. Image and sound worked together in the 1940s and 1950s to enact these tensions. Samba was the obvious choice as the soundtrack to cinematic

in Screening songs in Hispanic and Lusophone cinema
Post-pop politics
Steve Redhead

 59 3 Soundtracks from the global hypermarket: post-​pop politics In the first two Chapters we have examined the case for subcultural theorists’ explanations of post-​ punk pop music culture. Subcultural theory has been found wanting in such accounts; it is more than likely that it was similarly inadequate in its analysis of pre-​punk subcultures, too. Moreover, the notion of Style Culture, which dominated subcultural politics of pop in the early part of the decade, was seriously misleading. Where it retained lasting value –​ for instance in its links with the

in The end-of-the-century party
Lorraine Yeung

This article investigates the emotive potency of horror soundtracks. The account illuminates the potency of aural elements in horror cinema to engage spectators body in the light of a philosophical framework of emotion, namely, the embodied appraisal theories of emotion. The significance of aural elements in horror cinema has been gaining recognition in film studies. Yet it still receives relatively scarce attention in the philosophical accounts of film music and cinematic horror, which tend to underappreciate the power of horror film sound and music in inducing emotions. My investigation aims both to address the lacuna, and facilitate dialogue between the two disciplines.

Film Studies
Julius Caesar
Maria Wyke

In studio publicity, trade papers, reviews, articles, and educational materials, Joseph L. Mankiewiczs Julius Caesar (1953) was described and accepted as a faithful and mostly pleasing adaptation of Shakespearean drama to the Hollywood screen. As Variety accurately predicted, it achieved four Oscar nominations, one award for art direction and set decoration, high grosses, a hit soundtrack album, and several subsequent revivals. With the content more or less given, contemporary discussion focussed closely on how the verbal had been visualised, on how theatre had been turned into cinema – in short, on the film‘s style. It is with contemporary and subsequent readings of the film‘s style that this article is concerned, where, following David Bordwell, style is taken to mean ‘a films systematic and significant use of techniques of the medium’. But whereas Bordwell analyses film style directly in terms of an aesthetic history he considers to be distinct from the history of the film industry, its technology, or a films relation to society, I explore interpretations of one film‘s style that are heavily invested with socio-political meaning. If, in Bordwell‘s organic metaphor, style is the flesh of film, these readings of style explicitly dress that flesh in socio-political clothing. This analysis of Julius Caesar, then, is not another contribution to debates about adaptation, theatre on film, or Shakespeare on screen, but about the politics of film style.

Film Studies
Master of spectacle
Editors: Susan Hayward and Phil Powrie

Excess and stylisation are the two major hallmarks of Luc Besson's films. Despite Besson's stature as a popular filmmaker during the late 1980s and 1990s, there was during this period little major academic work on his films. This book supplements the pioneering work by covering a broad range of issues in Besson's films, which have not yet been substantially covered by academic analysis; and, moreover, wherever possible, to use analytical tools developed in Film Studies during the same period as Besson's work. Because of the primacy of the visual for theorists of spectatorship, music emerged as a concern from the work devoted to the soundtrack. Besson's films are good examples of the way in which music is a key component of the film. His films, often considered as flashy videoclips, have musical scores which guide audience reception: actions on screen are paralleled by a musical response on the soundtrack. The book maps the evolution of Eric Serra's compositional style over the span of his collaboration with Luc Besson. It brings together inbetweenness, violence, gender and costume, starting from an examination of the development of certain key costumes worn by male characters in Luc Besson's feature films. The challenges around sexuality and gender performativity that Le Cinquieme element puts on display mark the film as contestatory of dominant ideology, are discussed. The book also presents three approaches to explain the infatuation of millions of cinemagoers and videotape buyers as a result of Le Grand bleu's success.

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Moments in television

In television scholarship, sound and image have been attended to in different ways, but image has historically dominated. The chapters gathered here attend to both: they weigh the impact and significance of specific choices of sound and image, explore their interactions, and assess their roles in establishing meaning and style. The contributors address a wide range of technical and stylistic elements relating to the television image. They consider production design choices, the spatial organisation of the television frame and how camera movements position and reposition parts of the visible world. They explore mise-en-scène, landscapes and backgrounds, settings and scenery, and costumes and props. They attend to details of actors’ performances, as well as lighting design and patterns of colour and scale. As regards sound, each chapter distinguishes different components on a soundtrack, delineating diegetic from non-diegetic sound, and evaluating the roles of elements such as music, dialogue, voice-over, bodily sounds, performed and non-performed sounds. Attending to sound design, contributors address motifs, repetition and rhythm in both music and non-musical sound. Consideration is also given to the significance of quietness, the absence of sounds, and silence. Programmes studied comprise The Twilight Zone, Inspector Morse, Children of the Stones, Dancing on the Edge, Road, Twin Peaks: The Return, Bodyguard, The Walking Dead and Mad Men. Sound and image are evaluated across these examples from a wide range of television forms, formats and genres, which includes series, serial and one-off dramas, children’s programmes, science fiction, thrillers and detective shows.

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Author: Neil Sinyard

This book explores why Jack Clayton had made so few films and why most of them failed to find a large audience. It examines the kind of criticism they generated, sometimes adulatory but sometimes dismissive and even condescending. The book hopes to throw light on certain tendencies and developments within the film industry and of film criticism, the British film industry and film criticism in particular. The fact that Clayton's films fit David Bordwell's paradigm of the art film is one explanation why producers had difficulty with him and why mainstream cinema found his work hard to place and assimilate. Clayton's pictorial eye has sometimes antagonised critics: they often take exception to some aspect of his mise-en-scene. Clayton had come to prominence with Room at the Top, around the time of the British 'Free Cinema' movement and immediately prior to the so-called British 'new-wave' films of the early 1960s from directors such as Tony Richardson and John Schlesinger. Thorold Dickinson's evocation of the Russian atmosphere and, in particular, his use of suspenseful soundtrack to suggest ghostly visitation undoubtedly had an influence on Jack Clayton's style in both The Bespoke Overcoat and The Innocents. The critical controversy concerning the status of Jack Clayton as director and artist is probably at its most intense over The Pumpkin Eater. Clayton stressed the importance of an opening that established right away the situation of 'a woman in crisis' but wanted to delay the Harrods scene so as to build up an atmosphere of suspense.

Alison Tara Walker

Even though studies of medieval films include articles, books and entire conferences, critics tend to be silent on the subject of music in films about the medieval period, even though music is a conventional part of narrative cinema. Films use their soundtracks to engage audiences’ emotional responses, to sell CDs and to provide a musical counterpoint to the images on screen. This chapter highlights

in Medieval film
Lisa Shaw

for carnival songs, chiefly sambas and marches ( marchas or marchinhas ), with the film studios predicting the hits of the forthcoming carnival for inclusion in the soundtrack, and the release of the films coinciding with the annual carnival celebrations. From the beginning of the 1950s, however, these carnival songs were performed alongside an increasingly heterogeneous mix of imported and regional rhythms, such as the

in Screening songs in Hispanic and Lusophone cinema