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Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: PN1993
This thesis develops an approach to analyse how film soundtracks are used to signify characters’ subjective experiences of altered states that may distort or exceed their ordinary experience of reality through dreams, memories, intoxication, etc. Its aim is to contribute to critical audio-visual literacy by using Van Leeuwen’s sound semiotic theory (1999) in conjunction with film sound theory in order to investigate how characters’ subjective experiences of particular states of mind (dreams, memories and flashbacks, intoxication, terror and insanity) are signified in narrative fiction cinema by the soundtrack. Its central questions are:\ud 1. How are sound and music used to signify characters’ subjective experiences and what makes these uses of sound apt signifiers for signifying these states of mind?\ud 2. Is it possible to investigate this issue using a multidisciplinary approach that combines film theory and sound semiotics?\ud This study focuses on how characters’ subjective experiences of altered states are signified by eliminating either atmosphere or realistic sound effects or by the mixture of reality and unreality (e.g. intoxication where voiceovers and music are used to signify characters’ subjective experiences). It will explore how sound semiotics and film sound theory can be used to understand how soundtracks are used to signify filmic characters’ subjective experiences of altered states as well as investigating the most appropriate terminologies and transcription methods that may be used for this purpose. It will also discuss how film directors, such as Hitchcock, have created innovative solutions for conveying subjective modality in cinema.
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