Cinema's spectral sounds: Memory, history and politics

Lovatt, Philippa (2011) Cinema's spectral sounds: Memory, history and politics. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Expanding on Robert Stam’s idea that sound and image tracks in film can ‘mutually jostle, undercut [and] haunt…each other’ creating what he calls a ‘heterochronic… cinema , this thesis argues that close analysis of a film’s sound design can sometimes reveal a break in the seamlessness of a film’s narrative and formal structure when sound and image are used asynchronously. Synthesising Stam’s formal approach with the theoretical framework of temporal critique put forward by Bliss Cua Lim in her study of the ghost film, this study demonstrates how, like the ghost figure, this use of ‘unruly’ sound can similarly disrupt the concept of time as linear and the nation-state as a stable, homogenous entity. Analysing the use of ‘spectral sound’ in a group of important films produced in cultures of censorship by Bahman Ghobadi, Jia Zhangke and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the thesis argues that film form can itself be political – creating a sense of temporal dislocation that ‘makes the present waver’. Alert to the ethical possibilities of listening to film, ‘Cinema’s Spectral Sounds’ argues that film sound can also play a crucial restorative role in that it can reposition oppressed memories and experiences centrally within the discourse of the present.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: cinema, sound, memory, history, politics, censorship, Thailand, Iran, China
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Lovatt, Dr. Philippa
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Dr Philippa Lovatt
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-3494
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2012
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2021 14:07
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.3494

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