The first audio that I reflected on this week was the Touch of Evil opening shot. The restored version begins with theme music almost right off the bat, with a rhythmic drumming in the background. In the original shot, there is no extra audio at all in the beginning except for the street sounds. Then, a rhythmic drumming begins around 22 seconds in that speeds up as the scene goes on. In my opinion, I think the silence and simplicity of the original version creates more suspense at the beginning of the shot.
As the scene progresses, the restored version is paced with a bustling tune that really gives no indication about what is going to happen. On the other hand, the original version boasts a slower, more dramatic build up of low bass sounds with the drumming continuing in the background. The restored version has abandoned the drumming at this point. While the build up of the original version puts the listener on the edge of his seat more, the misleading audio of the restored version may create more of an element of surprise in the coming moments.
As the scene nears its climax, the jaunty tune of the restored version tapers off and is replaced by dialogue until the explosion. The music of the original version tapers off as well, although the drumming continues until the explosion. Overall, I prefer the audio of the original version because of the eerie build up. The restored version does surprise you a bit more but it makes the car bomb not mean as much to you because you were not worrying about it for the last few minutes.
The next thing I did was read “The Ambience of Film Noir- Soundscapes, Design and Mood”. This reading discussed audio in films noir, and used several examples to show how sound has shaped the style of film noir. I was very interested to learn about the so-called “soundscape”, and the different characteristics and uses of keynote sounds, signal sounds, and soundmarks. I was also amazed to hear about the extent of sound layering that happens in film noir, such as the fact that as many as 12 sounds can be played at once. There were some concepts that I didn’t fully understand, such as the “point of audition”. Overall, I was wholly convinced of the power of the “soundscape” to control the mood and style of films noir.
The final audio I will reflect on is ds106 radio. On Tuesday night I listened, and tweeted along to a broadcast of “The Maltese Falcon”. I was very impressed by how the audio drew me in and kept me 100 percent informed of the happenings of the story, which of course is immeasurably important in a radio broadcast where there is no visual. This particular audio created a sense of suspense, and shady-ness that is classic noir.
Let’s take a look at some of my tweets. I was a bit disoriented when I first tuned in!
And it turns out I wasn’t the only one off-put by the music.
Once we got into the meat of the story, I really started getting into it!
What you wouldn’t have guessed is that “The Maltese Falcon” is almost as quotable as “Mean Girls”.
I definitely enjoyed my peers’ sense of humor.
As we got to the climax of the story, I was on the edge of my seat.
And when it was all said and done, I was sad to sign off.