Heavy weather: Michelangelo Antonioni, Tsai Ming-liang, and the poetics of environmental sound

Birtwistle, A. (2014) Heavy weather: Michelangelo Antonioni, Tsai Ming-liang, and the poetics of environmental sound. Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 32 (1). pp. 72-90. ISSN 1050-9208.

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Abstract

While recent scholarship has done much to address the long-standing visual bias of film studies, there is perhaps one aspect of the film soundtrack that has remained relatively neglected by critical enquiry: namely, the use of sound effects, and in particular ambient or “atmos” sound. My aim in this article is to explore the cinesonic deployment of envi- ronmental sound through a comparative study of the work of Michelangelo Antonioni and Tsai Ming-liang—two directors who, I will argue, make significant use of this particular resource in articulating a shared concern with the conditions of modernity. In considering the ways in which environmental sound plays through the films of these particular direc- tors, my concern is not only to situate this aspect of the soundtrack in relation to matters of authorship, but also to frame the cinesonic use of environmental sound within a discussion of the poetics of noise. Thus I argue that, when auditioned within the context offered by politico-aesthetic formulations of noise, the environmental sounds of Antonioni and Tsai’s films communicate significant differences in the world-views of two directors whose work is often thought to share many similarities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Michelangelo Antonioni; Tsai Ming-liang; film sound; environmental sound; sound effects; soundtrack; modernity; wind; rain
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Media Art and Design
Depositing User: Dr Andy Birtwistle
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2015 08:27
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015 08:27
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/13700

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00