The Temporal Disruptions of Marguerite Duras

Marguerite Duras was never keen to allow cinema an easy route out. Adapting her own stories into feature films, it seems that the writer, rather than compromise the ghostly qualities of her books, experimented and destabilised the narrative aspects of film form to suit her needs. Like her contemporary, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Duras made many attempts to transplant the elements of voice from her work into … Continue reading The Temporal Disruptions of Marguerite Duras

Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.

This article contains narrative spoilers. From its very earliest occurrences, electronic instrumentation and music has been used in cinema to signpost various aspects of mental health problems and issues within diegetic characters.  Alongside its uses in creating alien worlds, electronic instrumentation seems to, at least in the eyes of the films’ creators, have an ability to go deep within the human psyche as well as … Continue reading Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.

The Night Of The Hunter (1955) And The Death Waltz – Charles Laughton.

One of the best and most underrated moments from Charles Laughton’s The Night Of The Hunter (1955), the scene that captures the murder of Willa (Shelly Winters) after a prolonged period of brainwashing by Preacher Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), is not only one of the most important and powerful moments in the film but one that sums up the more interesting end of thematic audio-visual … Continue reading The Night Of The Hunter (1955) And The Death Waltz – Charles Laughton.

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 3).

Part 1. Part 2. Belief And Ritual. The power of belief and its will in the distortion of reality is one of Valerie‘s more crucial cinematic aspects.  This isn’t simply a belief in the sense of a religious doctrine and all of the aesthetics that accompany it, but the moral belief of the main character whose fantasies dictate the narrative ruptures within the film.  However, … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 3).

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 2).

Part 1. Innocence and Sexuality. As already suggested, Valerie is first and foremost about the links, barriers and cross-over between innocence and sexuality.  Whilst some characters (for example, the religious fundamentalists), believe there to be a strict differentiation between the two, the film and Valerie herself know that this is not the case; if anything, it is the watermark of the patriarchy that such a … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 2).

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 1).

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision. Jaromil Jireš’ Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) is a cornucopia of images and sound.  Its vision is of a complex blossoming of sexuality amidst the visual and thematic realisations of a Freudian dreamscape, driven primarily by the lack of understanding and misinterpretation caused by social naivety.  The narrative rarely ascends to … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 1).

The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 9 (Conclusions).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Part 8. Conclusions. “If its central characteristics remained immune to change, the ghost story did keep pace with the times through progressive modernization of settings and language.” – Cox (xix, 1991). From analysis of the BBC Ghost Stories, it is clear that the narrative function of the supernatural has a natural … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 9 (Conclusions).

The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 8 (The Signalman).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. The Signalman And Aural Paranoia Over Dickensian Technology. “For those who look back on it, the Victorian age seems to be invested with a peculiar quality of difference – heightened by its relative proximity in time – that is reflected in its ghosts.  It was an age shaped, perhaps more than any … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 8 (The Signalman).

The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 7 (Haunted Objects).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. “The Ghost In The Machine”: The Haunting Nature Of Unnatural Diegetic Sound. “M.R. James’ objects are imbued with our deepest fears, deepest terrors and resonances.  The whistle can bring up a storm or bring a monster from the deep.  The crown, that if you touch, its guardian will tear you to pieces.” – … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 7 (Haunted Objects).

The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 6 (Excavation).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Human Interaction With The Landscape And Its Soundscape. “The wind was bitter from the north, but was at his back when he set out for the Globe.  He quickly rattled and clashed through the shingle and gained the sand, upon which, but for the groynes which had to be got over every few yards, the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 6 (Excavation).