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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathMarker

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background in mind, film analyst Michel Chion gave this phenomenon a name in his pioneering study, Voices in the Cinema. He states more precisely that the sound does not actually exist. Instead, the problem is basically that of localizing incarnations of acoustic phenomena, the audible quality of the voice in particular spatial contexts. In contrast to the visual, which is incomplete and directional, the audio is «omnidirectional,» meaning that it exceeds, or better, outdoes the visual in every direction and aspect. Here, Chion recalls the early stages of the unborn child; its experience of the mother is an audible one that was established long before the child has a visual image of her. A voice can therefore be disquieting when it sounds as if it is drifting through space, so that the listener is not able to pinpoint a specific act of speech or a particular speaker. The inner voice captures the audience, guides the fantasy outside of the imaginary film setting. This replacement of the inner voice with the outer can already be noticed during the transition from silent to sound film, or as Chion writes: «So it is not silence the absence of voices that the sound film destroys. Before the advent of sound, it was up to


the audience to imagine the voice and that is what the sound film eradicated.«[14] Opening with a criticism of the neglect of the voice (which sometimes threatens to be lost in the general term «sound,» but which is also often reduced to simply «speech«), Chion reconstructs a «vococentric» development of film, which begins with various phenomena of hearing without seeing. Chion calls the basic phenomenon of vocality (strictly separated from the visual or in a pure, vocal state) acousmatic («présence acousmatique»). He refers to the acousmatics as a Pythagorian sect. For them, the greatest revelation of truth was connected to the fact that the priest who spoke remained hidden behind a curtain (the model for a certain more contemporary divan setting in which the moment of truth also remains hidden from the eyes of the listener).[15] By the way, Chris Marker has always been regarded as a contemporary representative of the Pythagorian school. The question here in film analysis is not just about the relationship between sound and image. It also asks if the source of the voice will be visible or not meaning the voice as an almighty, all-knowing, omnipresent aspect that sees or knows

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