Student Name: Ai He
Couse Code: LT121
Tutor Name: Jeffrey Geiger
Analyse the uses, strategies, and meanings generated by ONE of the components of modern cinema (choose from A or B below), drawing on specific examples from TWO films on the module:
b) light AND/OR colour.
The component of modern cinema that I chose to write for this essay is sound, and the two films that I am going to use as examples are Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952) and Ring (Hideo Nakata, 1998). Admittedly these two films are vastly different from each other, no matter in the respect of the time of production, the narrative or the film genre. However, despite the distinct differences between them, there is one common point is that sound takes an essential part in these two films.
In order to discuss the uses, strategies and meanings of the sound in these two films, we need to define 'sound' as a film term first. The sound in film normally can be divided into two kinds – diegetic sound and non-diegetic sound. The diegetic sound is also called actual sound, it is the sound whose source is within the frame, and most of the diegetic sound can be heard by characters. The diegetic sound includes voices of characters (dialogues), sounds made by objects or characters (footsteps, objects dropping etc.), and music that is presented from the scene space, for example a character playing a CD or listening to a concert. In the case of the non-diegetic sound, which is also called commentary sound, it is the sound from outside the screen and normally cannot be heard by characters, such as voice-overs (internal monologue), sound effects that are added in post-production and the music that are added for constructing mood.
Due to the rapid development of techniques and the foley art, comparing to the silent cinema age, sound is taking more and more important part in the modern cinema nowadays. The importance of sound can be seen through following aspects: Firstly, it sets the thematic style of the film, for example if we hear pop music in a film, we can assume that it is a relatively mainstream film, on the contrary, if we hear opera in a film we can sense that the film style would be relatively independent. Additionally, the theme music of some classical films can directly remind audiences of the film, for example the theme music of Once Upon a Time in America (Sergio Leone, 1984). Secondly, sound contributes to construct the atmosphere and the mood. In certain stage of the film narrative, especially in the stage of emotional climax. Thirdly, the sound, in particular the voice of characters is essential to shape the character. The character Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain is a character mostly constructed by her voice. From the beginning Lina Lamont speaks in high voice and it is not very comfortable to listen to, thus from the first sight of this character, audiences already had a rather negative impression of Lina Lamont. Last but not the least, the...