Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Moving Image Studies

First Advisor

Angelo Restivo

Second Advisor

Alessandra Raengo

Third Advisor

Calvin H. Thomas

Fourth Advisor

Akira Mizuta Lippit

Abstract

Synchronization has been the key to audiovisual harmony since the advent of sound in cinema. Contemporary global cinemas have been challenging this harmony by playing with the thresholds between audibility and inaudibility in novel ways. Existing film sound literature remains insufficient to explain certain moments in which radically disrupted synchronization demands new modes of listening in films such as Lady Vengeance (Park, 2011), The Revenant (Iñárritu, 2015), Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Ceylan, 2011), Nénette et Boni (Denis, 1996), and Moonlight (Jenkins, 2016). To correct such a problem, this dissertation entitled Sounding Anew: Anasonicity in Contemporary Global Cinemas theorizes anasonicity as that which is sonic in nature but inaudible (related conceptually to the notion of “avisuality” developed by Akira Lippit in Atomic Light). This concept allows me to generate a new film sound terminology to address the emerging sound techniques that transform conditions of audibility (or inaudibility) in the current second century of cinema. Through close analyses in my case study chapters, I reveal how contemporary global films constantly unsettle synchronization as they traverse the thresholds between the audible and the inaudible. Quietness, as opposed to silence, plays a significant role in these moments when synchronization is off. These films render sounds of the past, the present, and the future indiscernible; more than anything, they demand us to resonate with their philosophical contemplations through the innovative image and sound relations they create. Sounding Anew responds to the sonic experiments in these films that clearly disrupt synchronization and hence a linear understanding of time through a “listening through” modeled on the rigorous “reading through” in Derrida. In addressing the new sound techniques, this dissertation also performs deconstructive gestures playing with the notions of origin, presence, echo, voice, and flashback among others.

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