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      The Primacy of Sound in Robert Bresson’s Films


      RE:SOUND 2019 – 8th International Conference on Media Art, Science, and Technology (RE:SOUND 2019)

      Media Art, Science, and Technology

      August 20-23, 2019

      Bresson, Sound, Image, Music, Voiceover, Inner Monologue, Diegetic, Non-Diegetic

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          Sound and Image, in ideal terms, should have equal position in the film. But somehow, sound always plays the subservient role to the image. In fact, the introduction of sound in the cinema for the purists was the end of movies and the beginning of the talkies. The purists thought that sound would be the ‘deathblow’ to the art of movies. No less revolutionary a director than Eisenstein himself viewed synchronous sound with suspicion and advocated a non-synchronous contrapuntal sound. But despite opposition, the sound pictures became the norm in 1927, after the tremendous success of The Jazz Singer. In this paper, I will discuss the work of French director Robert Bresson, whose films privilege the mode of sound over the image. Bresson’s films challenge the traditional hierarchical relationship of sight and sound, where the former’s superiority is considered indispensable. The prominence of sound is the principle strategy of subverting the imperial domain of sight, the visual, but the aural implications also provide Bresson the opportunity to lend a new dimension to the cinematographic art. The liberation of sound is the liberation of cinema from its bondage to sight.

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          Most cited references 5

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          Notes on the Cinematographer

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            What is Cinema?

             A. Bazin,  Hugh Grey (1967)
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              Cinema Eye, Cinema Ear: Some Key Film-Makers of the Sixties

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                Author and article information

                August 2019
                August 2019
                : 36-42
                School of Visual Arts

                209 E 23 rd St, New York, NY 10010
                © Sinha. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of RE:SOUND 2019

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                RE:SOUND 2019 – 8th International Conference on Media Art, Science, and Technology
                RE:SOUND 2019
                Aalborg, Denmark
                August 20-23, 2019
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Media Art, Science, and Technology
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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