I've just programmed a season of films highlighting the crucial relationship between image and sound in cinema. Which movies exemplify this best for you?

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  • Comment number 219. Posted by riverexplorer

    on 9 Aug 2012 07:18

    The brilliant documentary 'Babies' has no narration and a very subtle score - features which draw the viewer into hearing every last sound in a scene. It is not until the whitewashing music is removed that you realise what has been masked from you all this time. Music may enhance particular emotions in a scene but true experience is to be found in the subtlest of sounds, not booming bass scores.

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  • Comment number 218. Posted by Gile

    on 8 Aug 2012 15:32

    I liked how you said "can't believe that same guy who directed wall-e directed John carter" so for next blog you could start a theme what you and ask people which directors surprised them in bad way, they mad great movie and then they made a piece of cr...

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  • Comment number 217. Posted by bobboxx

    on 7 Aug 2012 02:53

    Blow Out is the palm-to-forehead film you're missing here.

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  • Comment number 216. Posted by Mr Blonde

    on 6 Aug 2012 21:46

    Once Upon a Time in the West.

    I once read/heard the movie being described as like listening to a dying man's last few breaths. Watching the film many times since then I am always captivated by the soundtrack and sound effects and, although I can't exactly put my finger on a reason why, I have to agree with the suggestion. I've lost count of the number of times I've just watched the opening section of the film, listening to the soundscape building (along with the tension) to the inevitable shoot out on the railway platform. Stunning.

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  • Comment number 215. Posted by Wricious

    on 1 Aug 2012 20:48

    Just want to apologise for a couple of errors, it was Johann Strauss II who composed Blue Danube not Richard Strauss who directed the signature song which is Also Sprach Zarathustra

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  • Comment number 214. Posted by Sam Shaw

    on 1 Aug 2012 12:50

    Suspiria

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  • Comment number 213. Posted by djphilla

    on 1 Aug 2012 09:09

    Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. First film I can remember which the score was pretty much made up of a wildly inventive selection of classic songs and riffs. I remember being blown away by the sheer audacity of the opening 'Madonna' scene, completely dialogue, expertly crafted and executed then to be hit by 'Little Green Bag' by George Baker. The epitome of Sounds & Vision to clearly establish the films credentials. Then you could go on to numerous other scenes in the movie using music as a metaphor. 'Stuck in the Middle with You' with Mr Blonde, classic.

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  • Comment number 212. Posted by Bill Kirk

    on 31 Jul 2012 11:30

    Jacques Tati.

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  • Comment number 211. Posted by Radiosonde

    on 31 Jul 2012 09:44

    Interestingly, a lot of posters have opted for examples of the use or music, or of films with a lot of silence. But I think one of the most obvious uses of sound in film is being overlooked: the sound of the human voice, usually captured as dialogue.

    With this in mind, I'd nominate The Social Network as a very clever example of how filmmakers can marry sound and image, and in turn provide depth to the narrative and its wider themes.

    Allegedly the actors were instructed to read their lines quickly so as much of Aaron Sorkin's verbose script as possible could be conserved within a reasonable running time. If so, that is yet another of art's many "happy accidents."

    The speed at which Eisenberg's Zuckerberg speaks reflects his character, and the emerging new media industry he represents. He fires reams of words at his interlocuters, like a boxer landing flurries of blows, even turning date-night small talk into a bout. And this is the world he is striving to lead, an high-paced, frenetic, one of instantaneous mail and mobile capital, where one can make millions one day and be ruined the next, a world of endless links and likes (notably, it is with the only other character who understands this world as well as Zuckerburg, Sean Parker, that the protagonist struggles to get a word in edgeways.)

    The following scene illustrates what I'm talking about. A gravel-voiced lawyer speaking in a steady, assured rhythm, keeping time and emphasising his questions by tapping on the table, is confronted with a distracted Zuckerberg who looks away to the rain falling outside, who then turns back and explains his position: his mind is only partially there, really he is back at Facebook, leading a revolution beyond the ken of anyone on the opposite side of the table. The new world confronts old, old money meets the internet billionaire. The lawyer comes from a world as solid and reliable as the table he taps on, as certain and predictable as the cadences of his voice.

    In the scene, the subtle but ominous score, the sound of the falling rain, and most importantly the sounds of the characters' voices, combine to provide weight and depth to the central drama: a confrontation between the old school, old boys' club business world and the new one represented by Zuckerberg.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFFtpd8VNN0&feature=player_detailpage

    PS: On Saving Private Ryan, mentioned by some above, I was particularly impressed by the attention-to-detail inherent in that film's soundscape. At the end of the scene in which the doctor is shot down and the characters argue over whether or not to execute the machine-gunner responsible, the camera cuts back to an image of the machine gun itself, and the crackle of the gun barrel cooling is audible. Just a minor thing, but it was a neat little touch, and shows just how much research and thought the makers put into creating a realistic depiction of warfare in WW2 (but I would say it's a shame not as much thought went into the story and characters!)

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  • Comment number 210. Posted by delarrn

    on 30 Jul 2012 12:27

    Without a doubt for me it would be the Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western trilogy of A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

    Not only do they each have an exquisite soundtrack be Ennio Morricone, which in many ways still define the concept of a western soundtrack, but they were of course shot as silent movies with all of the voice acting and sound effects later added in the studio.

    This combined with the powerful score combines to render every single piece of audio in the movie to be there for the sole purpose of creating drama, tension, depth. The result is breathtaking.

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