Cinematographic Art & Documentation

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1 Hyperion University, The Faculty of Arts, Bucharest Cinematographic Art & Documentation (CA&D) Journal of cinematographic studies, Nr. 7 (11). New series biannual publication Tracus Arte Publishing House Bucharest, 2013 ISSN:

2 Hyperion University, Bucharest Cinematographic Art & Documentation Journal of cinematographic studies, nr. 7 (11), New Series, 2013 ISSN: Editorial Board Editor in Chief Professor DOINA RUŞTI Hyperion University, Bucharest Associate Editors Professor NICOLETTA ISAR Institute of Art History, Department of Arts & Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen Denmark Professor EFSTRATIA OKTAPODA Sorbonne, Paris IV Professor ILEANA ORLICH Arizona State University LINDA MARIA BAROS, Ph.D. Sorbonne, Paris IV Redactors Lecturer IOAN CRISTESCU, Ph.D, Hyperion University, Bucharest Lecturer COSMIN PERŢA, Ph.D, Hyperion University, Bucharest

3 Associate Professor FELIX NICOLAU, Ph.D, Hyperion University, Bucharest Associate Professor RAMONA MIHĂILĂ, Ph.D. Spiru C. Haret University, Bucharest Associate Professor LIANA IONESCU, Ph.D., Hyperion University, Bucharest Lecturer CARMEN DOMINTE, Ph.D, Hyperion University, Bucharest Associate Professor ELENA SAULEA, National University of Drama and Film, Bucharest, "I.L. Caragiale", Bucharest Managing Editor IOAN CRISTESCU Advisory Editors Professor EUSEBIU ŞTEFĂNESCU, Hyperion University, Bucharest Associate Professor IOAN CĂRMĂZAN, Ph.D., Hyperion University, Bucharest, Film Director, vice-president of Filmmakers Union (UARF) MAIA MORGENSTERN, Hyperion University, The National Theatre, Bucharest Associate Professor GEO SAIZESCU, Ph.D., Hyperion University, Bucharest, Film Director, President of IECCCEI (European Cultural Institute for Communication, Knowledge and Education through Image) Professor ION SPÂNULESCU, Hyperion University, Bucharest Cover: EMILIA PETRE Foto: RADU SEBASTIAN DPT&Pre-Press EMILIA PETRE

4 SUMMARY I. Cinematographic Art Liana IONESCU, associate professor, PhD, Hyperion University, Bucharest - Advertising and Screen Proliferation / 5 Ema A. STOIAN, M.A. candidate, Beijing Film Academy China - Feimu, one of China's Greatest Directors Legacy -Between Politics and Aesthetics. / 11 Ileana IACOBESCU, MSc c., University of Edinburgh, UK - Phone Booth: Acousmêtre, De- Acousmatization, and the Visible Acousmêtre / 16 Gabriela ILIUTA, lecturer Ph.D, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest - The 25th Hour Movie as an Act of Identity Rupture / 21 Elena SAULEA, associate professor, Ph.D, National University of Drama and Film, Bucharest, "I.L. Caragiale", Bucharest - Le cinema roumain au sein de la francophonie / 28 Florin GIOROC associate professor Hyperion University, Bucharest - From Silent to Sound. Beginnings of Sound Techniques in Romanian Film / 33 II. Cultural Studies: Women Barbara A. NELSON, professor, University of Bucharest - Re-dressing Identity: Maria Antoinette and Frida Kahlo. / 45 Ramona MIHĂILĂ, associate professor, Ph.D, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest - Reflections on Motherhood and Widowhood in Nineteenth Century Novel. / 52 Rabia REDOUANE, associate professor, PhD, Montclair State University, Enjeux de l écriture dans L excisée d Evelyne ACCAD. / 59

5 ADVERTISING AND SCREEN PROLIFERATION Associate Professor LIANA IONESCU *, PhD, Hyperion University, Bucharest Don t give me any crap, give me something that adds value to my life. Mobile devices owners view Abstract: The present study is about the screen proliferation that has changed the consumers behaviour, and about the initiatives of the marketers to engage their ad campaigns across screens. To analyse how the advertisers integrate in their strategies the new technologies, and develop new platforms in order to win, or to survive, in the so called Battle of the Screens. I agree with, even the marketers cannot ignore the smartphones and the tablets, the classic screens, as cinema and TV, continue to be reliable supports for the advertisers. Finally, the study takes into account some strategies to produce quality content in today s hyper-connected environment. Keywords: online advertising, multi-screens, real-time bidding, storytelling, Cannes Lions. Introduction The number of media consumers and screens is growing rapidly. Just a few years ago, TV was the single screen in our life. Now, screens surround people, and consumers relate differently to each screen. A report on multi-screen advertising solutions, commissioned by Microsoft Advertising, IPSOS and BBDO Worldwide 1 * noticed that if the screen were a person, it would be: TV a friend and a jester, who brings entertainment into the family; PC a sage, who stands for wisdom and sound judgment; mobile phone a lover, or an intimate friend; and tablet PC a wizard, that makes things happen. Customers use different screens anywhere and anytime to get what they want, when they want it. And each type of screens has a personality shaped by its owner s perception, location, and age. In a world of digital marketing, the proliferation of screens feels like a battle * Liana Ionescu, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Journalism, Hyperion University, Bucharest. Areas of research: Communication Theory, Radio/TVjournalism. Books: Adevărul în metaştiinţa contemporană (Bucharest, 2006), România şi integrarea europeană. Logici şi rutine jurnalistice (coauthor), (Bucharest, 2008). 1 Microsoft Advertising, IPSOS and BBDO Worldwide, Meet the Screens, report debated in a seminar at the Cannes Lions Festival ground. Advertisers are struggling to figure out what to do on different platforms and how to get the best results from the budgets. What opportunities are there for advertisers, agencies and publishers to create relevant and powerful experiences for the customer and unleash the full potential of the different platforms available to them? The Interact event organised this year at the end of May in Barcelona under the title The Battle of the Screens. Compete or Collaborate? 2 tries to answer to such kind of questions. During a two-day debate, leading European advertisers, agencies and media owners, regulators and policy makers will put the spotlight on how to respond to the challenge of ever increasing media fragmentation and screen proliferation and help companies deliver a better brand experience to their customers. TV, ad-films and new technologies TV commercials usually abbreviated as TV ads, ad-films, and known in UK as advert, or TV advert make up a huge part of the overall advertising pie. According to the BBDO report cited above, TV is more relevant than ever. It remains a great place to 2 See 5

6 tell stories, and consumers relationship with their TV screens is like that with an old friend. A tap of images delivered in real time, TV continues to attract consumers who love to be entertained. And branded entertainment couldn t miss this opportunity. The spots are shorter and shorter, from 30 seconds to even one second! On the other side, the rythm of airing them is more and more accelerated. And the spot is telling a story, it is like a movie. The ugly doesn t exist in. Everything is maggic: the voices, the images, the effects. The spot is in the logic of the dream and desire. Sometimes, the relationship with the produc is no longer obvious as it was. Stories become puzzles, and suggest senses and values: Think different! (Apple), Be yourself! (Calvin Klein), Impossible is nothing! (Adidas). Nevertheless, there are voices that consider commercials irrelevant. In the age of Facebook and Google s personal info and cookie retargeted ads, commercials, they say, are starting to look hopelessly disconnected. Whenever I watch TV, I can t help but be confused that advertisers would spend millions to reach the wrong audience. For all the clamour about return on investment for online ads, brands seem un-phased by the money they burn on the tube, said Josh Constine, a journalist specialised in deep analysis of social products, who graduated Stanford University. 3* He notices that Classically, TV commercials are targeted by mass market and which program they re displayed during. That means everyone in a city watching the same show watches the same ad even if they re in very different demographics. Economy car ads are shown to people too young to buy cars or so rich they d buy a better model. Pet food ads are shown to people who don t own pets. [idem]. Josh Constine underlines that there is a lack of personally targeted commercials. In his opinion, TV commercials must show different ads to different people in the same slot. For example, a car ad for middle-aged 3 Gracenote s Ad Replacement System that Personalizes TV Commercials Will Start in 2013, Dec.2012, at men and a jeans ad for young women. The analyst gives us guaranties that there is a technique solution for this TV problem. The technique is in the logic of the multiplex. Split the screen and telling two different stories, using simultaneously different images. 3D will be the next dimension in advertising. As far as the cinema is concerned and its audiences keep their 3D glasses on, the commercials have to be in 3D too. The digital deployment around the world has been driven by 3D movies since 2010, so the opportunity for 3D ads has exploded as well. When 3D TV finds a mass audience, then advertising too will follow in greater numbers. Cinema the biggest screen Even in the era of logation, cinema continues to be a vehicle of advertising communication. Cinema went from its beginning hand in hand with advertising, the star-system itself being considerate as a authentic advertising technique used for promoting the movies. Super-star is the most brilliant ad image, the magic marketing produce ever made. Far to be archaic, cinema is one of the big model of the economy dominated by marketing, branding and communication. Changes that are made regards the ways of making marketing, internet and mobile phones becoming the kings. Catch line is the ad slogan. Not only stars serve now to promote a movie, but making-offs, even video games and statistics regarding that movie, as well. Mass media speak simultaneously about that movie, regarding it as a big event, not to miss, all these in order to assure the biggest success possible, within the shortest time. It is event-centred cinema, and global cinema. Not only cinema uses more and more the techniques of marketing and advertising, but symmetrically ad industry uses the cinema as vehicle of the communication and marketing. So called product placement integrates a product or a brand into a movie, influencing the ordinary and the luxury consumers as well. The trailers of the movies accessible on the Internet serve also as a mirror for many products and brands. Unlike TV spots that interrupt the watching comfort of the TVspectator, product placement is a part of the 6

7 movie, making the story more credible. It is what Steven Spielberg did by integrated a number of brands in Minority Report [Lipovetsky, Serroy, 2007 : p.229]. Not to say that between 30 seconds for a spot, and one hour and a half to three hours, the duration of a movie, it is a big difference! Marketing via mobile phones Consumers behaviour is fundamentally shifting with the explosion of smartphones and tablets use. Across the globe, smartphones are revolutionizing the way people access and interact with the Internet. Marketers must either adapt advertising strategies to mobile phones and tablets or else be left behind in the mobile marketing race for good. At the end of 2012, almost half of all Americans already own smartphones. 4* That means that every segment of the population, from 13 year-olds to their 83 year-old great grandmothers, are utilizing smartphones. Predictably, younger population segments have even higher percentages of smartphone use. In the 18 to 29 year-old range, 66 % of Americans own smartphones; in the 30 to 49 year-old group, 59 % own smartphones. Marketers cannot ignore mobile devices, and must invest in advertising for them. However, according to the same study, only 12 percent of smart phone users say that they have ever intentionally click on an ad. Intentionally or not, the smartphones users are a target that cannot be ignore by the marketers. Even the consumers are not enough interested in online advertisments, more of them are viewing marketing content via mobile phones. Therefore, marketers must to compete for consumer attention through smartphones and tablets. First of all, they must take into attention the content, that has been king of online marketing. Content that looks good and is easy to use on a small screen. Integrating social media The multi-screen context forces the marketers to adopt new strategies that integrated social media and the new technologies in the online ad campaigns. In 2013, having a social media presence is a marketing practice as mainstream. Over the last five years, social media marketing has grown from a platform of scepticism by brands to an essential tactic of marketing plans. Around 90% of companies now have some type o social media presence. They uses social media to engage with customers and prospects in a strategic and structural way. Not in a ad-hoc way, like some years before. Integration of social media within companies processes is one of the main trends, as companies work to incorporate social beyond marketing and into customer service, sales, and research and development. Many companies integrated social media into the company website: some did so within marketing processes, and some integrated social media into the product development processes. When it comes to the specific social channels are using, Facebook, not surprisingly, tops the list. Small to large-sized businesses use a company Facebook page or engage and post content on relevant Facebook groups. Businesses everywhere are hopping on social media more than any other form of marketing because of its perceived low cost of entry. 5 But, just a few marketers ask what are the expectations of the customers face to the companies. And consumers are looking for from companies mainly freebies, deals, rewards and exclusive content. What marketers think consumers want, however, is more often along the lines of buying insights and improved customer service. And just a few marketers are concerned to close the gap between what's being offered via social media versus what customers actually want. Especially small and mid-size businesses must enhance their social media efforts, and build strong strategies behind their posts, in order to their messages become more effective. The perfect customer profile Online display ads have always allowed for more precise targeting and tracking than 4 Source: Pew Research Center s Projecy for Execellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project, in partenership with the Knight Foundation, Oct Read more at media/why-we-need-to-re-evaluate-social-media #AXfCmDmLs8mdp8lX.99 7

8 other forms of advertising, such as newspaper and television ads. In the past, online advertisers could target narrow audiences based upon rough demographic data provided by the site. Now, things are changing rapidly with the RTB (real-time bidding) advertising. RTB is the latest and greatest innovation of online display advertising. It consists of collecting data, with advertising cookies attached to the browses, about who the users are and what their browsing habits are. For example, advertising cookies might have ascertained that a particular Internet user is Romanian, female, 60 years of age, living in Bucharest and has been recently searching online for dessert recipes. If the next website that she visits has display advertising on it served by RTB ad providers, very rapidly that site will get bids from different advertisers and display the winning ad. Everything happens so quickly that users are never even aware that their attention is being fought over. 6* And RTB advertising is growing at a rapid rate. According to the IDC (International Data Corporation) 7, the realtime bidding advertising marketplace grew by 108 % in 2012 and shows no signs of slowing down this year. And the perfect story Content remains the king of the ads even the audience are migrating toward online, and new principles are governing the content consumption. As audiences began to join more niche networks and demand a higher level of interaction with brands online, creating relevant and valuable content that could be shared and consumed across multiple platforms became the number one objective for brands and businesses. When they say "content is king" they mean that consumers want quality content, a content that adds value to their daily life, and they interact with. The creation and sharing the content to attract users and customers became a do or die for online marketers in Excellent content will continue to trump all other form of online advertising in See more at 7 IDC is a market intelligence research, analysis and advisory firm specializing in information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology, founded in 1964, in Massachusetts, USA. Two are the challenges that marketers are facing on: how to introduce customers to quality content across multiple channels, especially including social media; how to produce content designed in such a way that it displays just as well on a smartphone as it does on a laptop. The marketers who successfully produce valuable content will create "sticky" customers and brand loyalty. The content becomes the online advertising. It can include: videos, slideshows, photos, blog posts, tweets, webinars, pod casts, white papers, e-books and everything else that goes online. But content is not simply what a company puts online. Today s online consumers are inundated with marketing messages and advertising ploys. Storytelling has always been an integral part of any successful content marketing strategy. The technology fuels the storytelling, and the content producers and publishers have evolved the way they tell their stories in today s hyper-connected environment. In today s world where social media rules and instant communications between customers and businesses is the norm, the art of storytelling has evolved. No longer can somebody just tell a great story; he/she needs to engage his/her audience by shifting from one-way storytelling to dynamic storytelling. To build trust and loyalty, marketing experts say brands will need to focus on smaller stories within their overall content strategy to show value to the customer right up front. A good storyteller captivates the people with his enthusiasm and sense of truth in such a way that people get lost in his words. Good content marketers could be able to make that type of connection with their audiences. In 2012, Latitude 8 set out to understand audiences evolving expectations for content experiences, their unmet needs, future desires, and the most promising areas of opportunity for story. Latitude conducted indepth interviews with pioneers in the media space to discuss specific challenges and innovations, and new possibilities for interacting with stories. Participants were 8 Latitude is an international research consultancy helping clients create engaging content, software and technology that harness the possibilities of the Web. 8

9 asked to play the role of producer, choosing a narrative (a book, movie, plot-driven video game, etc.) that they know well, and reinventing the way that audiences might experience that story. Latitude then designed a reliable coding scheme to quantify various themes in participants storytelling concepts. Study participants were ages 12-65, 60% males and 40% females, residing in the United States (78%) and other countries, including Australia, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. More than 3/4 owned and regularly used a smartphone, while 50% were tablet owners (44% were dual owners). Through an analysis of the themes present in the participants concepts, Latitude created the 4 I s of storytelling framework to illustrate key dimensions of good storytelling experiences: Immersion, Interactivity, Integration, Impact. Immersion: Can I go deeper into the storyworld, by learning more about it or by heightening my sensory experience of it? Interactivity: Can I change or influence elements of the story? Can I interact with other people around the story? Integration: Is a cohesive story being told across platforms? Can it interface with the real world in any way? Impact: Does the story inspire me to take action in my own life, such as making a purchase or supporting a g ood cause? According to The Future of Storytelling 9, * here it is what consumers expect in the future of brand storytelling: Immersion: Multi-media and multi-sensory content that creates an immersive experience; Interactivity: Consumers want to be involved / allow them to become a character in the story! Integration: Coherence across platforms. Be consistent and employ ideas that can interface with the real world; Impact: Initiate a call to action. Whether it s a purchase, Like or supporting a good cause, get your audience moving! Expectations of the audiences According to Latitude s study, audiences now expect to shift seamlessly from one device to another to pause a Netflix film on TV and resume watching later on a tablet. 9 A recent study conducted by research consultancy Latitude, which highlights audience attitudes towards branded content. That said, content creators should seek to deepen, not just duplicate, experiences across platforms by leveraging each environment s strengths (think: interactivity on tablets). The desire for differentiation is no longer niche, and soon it will become an expectation. Eighty-two percent of participants wanted more mobile apps that would complement, not just replicate, their TV viewing experiences, while fewer (68%) felt there should be more apps to help them access content they already watch elsewhere. It means that transmedia is more than mediashifting. Because we now have portable, sensorladen mobile devices that go everywhere with us, audiences feel that content in those devices should get smarter, too: by becoming relevant to where we are and what we re doing in the physical world (75%). When asked to develop a new way of interacting with stories, 52% of participants treated the real world as another platform, incorporating networked real-world objects, augmented reality, 3D projected environments, and other technologies that bridge the divide between digital and physical. Younger participants (24 and under) were significantly more likely than their older counterparts (35+) to desire content integration with the real world, ranging from location-aware games to discovering new products. Conclusion: out of the screen, into my world! As the Web becomes more interactive and in real-time, audiences want increased control over their individual content experiences. 79% envisioned interactions that would allow them to alter a storyline, by influencing or becoming a character themselves (56%) or by manipulating plot events directly (37%). Audiences desire instant access to information that deepens their experiences of a narrative, such as added historical or cultural context for a story s setting (e.g., how did people actually live back then? ). So the perfect story would meet basic information needs. Only 12% prefer completely passive media experiences, while more than half crave a lot of interactivity when it comes to making plot decisions, interacting with or influencing characters, and so on. Audiences want their actions in the physical world to impact the larger narrative. 9

10 For example: contribute to battle efforts against another side by having your smartphone register when you re near a particular location or another participating fan, or by importing an object into the storyworld by scanning a real version of it with your phone. Conclusion: converse with the real world! And be long-running! Forget flings; today s audiences want to commit to long-term media relationships. To conclude, the content marketers need to embrace new strategies and techniques or will see their audiences begin to look elsewhere for brands, products and services that interact with them more effectively. XReferences Lehu, Jean-Marc, 2006; La publicité est dans le film, Editions d organisation, Paris. Lipovetsky, Gilles, Serroy, Jean, 2007 ( 2008 trad.); Ecranul global, Polirom, Iaşi. Olins, Wallz, 2006 (trad.); Despre brand, comunicare.ro, Bucureşti. Preda, Sorin, 2011; Introducere în creativitatea publicitară, Polirom, Iaşi. Nagy, Bryan, February 2013, Why we Need to Re-Evaluate Social Media, ***Four Online Advertising Trends to Watch in 2013, *** Microsoft Advertising, IPSOS and BBDO Worldwide, Meet the Screens, festival

11 FEIMU, ONE OF CHINA'S GREATEST DIRECTORS LEGACY -BETWEEN POLITICS AND AESTHETICS- EMA A. STOIAN *, MSc c. Beijing Film Academy China The * left-wing cinema movement is usually regarded as a golden age in Chinese film history, with a considerable number of valuable works. For its special historical background, the relation between politics and aesthetics in these films has been widely discussed, along the years. Fei Mu, as the leading figure of left-wing cinema movement in 1930s, was a little-known name in the West, but on the evidence of even a few films, it was clear that he was one of the finest working anywhere during the 1930s and 1940s (Pang, Laikwan: 2002). Born in Shanghai, Fei Mu was considered by many to be one of the major film directors, prior to the communist revolution in Known for his artistic style and costume dramas, Fei made his first film, Night in the City 城 市 之 夜 at the young age of 27, receiving both critical and popular acclaim. Continuing to make films with Lianhua, Fei Mu directed films throughout the 1930s and became a major talent in the industry, with 1934`s A sea of Fragrant Snow 香 雪 海 and Life 人 生. His first worldwide acknowledgement came along with his 1935 s new production called Song of China 天 倫, which was the first full-length Chinese feature film to have general release in the US ("Song of China, aka Filial Piety (Tianlun)". UCSD Chinese * Ema A. Stoian ( ) is currently undergoing her Master Studies in Film Directing at Beijing Film Academy China. In 2009, she has graduated from Media University Bucharest, with a Bachelor Degree in Arts- Film and TV Directing while in 2010 she graduated the National College of Defense, the National School of Political and Administrative Studies and a Masters in Communication and PR. President of the Romanian League of Students, China Branch (LSRS China) since 2010, she has dedicated her activity to promoting Romanian cultural and educational values in China. She is best known for the short films Where do silent thoughts go?, The Dark Sun and Butterflies. Cinema Web-Based Learning Center Retrieved ). The movie was also the first, in a long and blooming career of FeiMu`s films, dedicated to a return to traditional morality, bringing him in line with China`s New Life Movement. The directors at that time had a tendency to use understated and realistic filmmaking methods like everyday settings, naturalistic performances, relevant social themes, etc. in order to distance themselves from what they thought of as the decadence of the society s elite and to get closer to the truth of real lives. With Japan invading Manchuria in 1931, most of the filmmakers opposed the invasion, also thanks to Chang Kai Shek s Nationalist reaction to it. When a bloody civil war broke out between the Communists and their bitter Nationalist rivals, the realism of the 1930s films started showing an increased interest in the underclass and a compassion for ordinary people. FeiMu next movies incorporated that in his own film s aesthetics. Co-directed with Luo Mingyou, the theme of 天 倫 was filial piety in the Confucian tradition. The story embodied the Confucian principle of family and honor, using a simple plot which followed a linear continuity in the sequence of actions in time and space: To fulfill his father`s deathbed wish, a businessman moved his extended family from the city to the countryside, and opened a school for poor children and a sanctuary for childless elders. But his adult children missed the urban life and rebelled. The containment of the form was found in the montage of the classical film leaving nothing without resolution and thus permitting FeiMu to control its meaning. Therefore, it gave the spectators a more accurate understanding of the author s interpretation, leaving them with a clear and obvious opinion about the movie s artistically 11

12 meaning: the drama of fast changing society and the gap between the generations, that can only be overcome through the fundamental values of the confucianist philosophy applied to the society of that time. All Fei Mu films showed the variety and flexibility of his craft. Onstage, Backstage was shot in 1936 and depicted a drama of theatre life, its fluid figure movement in depth recalling the style and atmosphere in Renoir`s paintings. Very different was the expressionistic allegory Nightmares in Spring Chamber (1937), an episode in the portmanteau film called Lianhua Symphony. With Japanese invasion increasing, National Defense Films ( 囯 防 電 影 ) appearing, the glorificiation of traditional values played more and more an important part in FeiMu`s stories. 1936's Blood on Wolf Mountain ( 狼 山 喋 血 記 ), often seen as an allegory on the war with Japan (Time Magazine: 1977). was part of the New Life Movement. In 1936 the Lianhua Film Company (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/lianhua_film_ Company) got together and made a goal of making a film that would promote China and still have it pass the censor boards. During this time, the Japanese had started to take a hold on Shanghai and the film industry. Fei Mu s new movie Blood on Wolf Mountain tackled the story of a small village that was repeatedly attacked by local wolves. The story of Blood on Wolf Mountain is simple and it can be told in two lines or less. But besides the simple telling of a story, it is the way the story is told and the deeper meaning behind it that gives it so much value. Thus are identified three aspects of narrative: causality, time and space. The characters are identified as the agents of cause and effects. Within the community there were two factions: the old generation that said the more one fights the wolves the more they attack you, and the other faction that said the only way to get rid of the wolves was to kill as many as possible, before they take over the whole land. By creating and reacting to events, characters play roles within the film's formal system. In a FeiMu s film, characters are constructed beings written with the connotations about the Japanese that were slowly making their way into China. The narrative relies on the stability of these traits to ensure its continuity. The time and space of the narrative are subjected to the logic of the action. The events are organized in the chronological order offering the clearest understanding of their causality. Before the film went out, they labeled it with a much milder name of Brave Hunters, so that the film could pass through the Censor Board. Even though the Chinese officials could sense that the wolves represented the Japanese, decided not to say anything until they saw the reaction of the Japanese officials. Fortunately, the Japanese officials either didn`t notice or didn`t think that the wolves in the film represented the Japanese and their threat to China and allowed the film to pass. In 1937 the Sino-Japanese war had already broke out and in November of that year, Shanghai was occupied as an isolated island. In December, Nanjing the capital city of Guomindang government was captured and Wang Jingwei established the puppet regime. Under such a circumstance, explicitly patriotic films were dangerous, and so a tendency to displacement by historical allegory in critical work was generated. The making and screening of Fei Mu s next films were undertaken in such a harsh environment. Martyrs of the Northern Front 北 戰 場 精 忠 錄 Gold-Plated City 鍍 金 的, also known as the Gilded City, Murder in the Oratory 斬 經 堂, were all films that took the structure of the traditional Chinese opera. Nightmares in Spring Chamber 夢 斷 春 閨, was part of an Episode in Lianhua Symphony and it was directed and written by both FeiMy and Chusheng Cai in 1937, featuring Qing Jiang in the main role. This explicitly showed how critical the situation was and how the most representative artists and filmmakers felt the urge to resist on all fronts against the Japanese hegemony. Confucius was urgently made by FeiMu in , as a patriotic propaganda to serve the people during the war, manifesting the director's worries and anxieties about the future of the nation under such a disaster and the paradoxical attitude of his generation toward Chinese traditional culture. Fei Mu really believed that the best way to resist such difficult times was by reestablishing the traditional human and 12

13 cultural values. Given that Confucius was the most influential sage and philosopher of Chinese civilization, the plot of FeiMu s movie dramatizes the ineffectuality of the sage s ideals of civic virtue by showing how power players of his era ignored or undercut his teachings. Scenes from Confucius life alternate with scenes of political and military strategy, as warlords and statesmen debate tactics and, not incidentally, calculate how to eliminate Confucius. As Confucius migrated across China, he was unable to halt the continuous warfare among various factions. His disciples left or died. Just before his death he had only his grandson to care for him. A great educator, thinker, and philosopher, Fei Mu wrote in an essay, Confucius was doomed a victim of the politics of his time. (1998) The style of cinematic expression is quite different from today s historical epic spectacle and the Hollywood films with historical subject in 1930s. The movie is more like an action by action theatrical staging film according to the historical events. Some of the fragments show bits of violence in the wars, but the film as a whole relies on dialogue. Although some scenes unfold in natural exteriors, Fei Mu often employs theatrical tableaus, completed with painted landscapes, where occasionally the actors cast shadows on the backdrops. The cutting is often axial, simply enlarging a chunk of space as actors declaim their dialogue. The nearly square Movietone frame enhances the symmetry of the compositions, which often featured a window or some other aperture. Between sequences, the intertitles of quotations from different historical document were inserted, to supplement the background information and enforce the narrative. However, the movie differs from Fei Mu s fluid poetic realism in Spring in the Small Town, using an alienate effect of the historical sphere to treat the rigid style of the film as a deliberate artistic choice: it was not a dramatic representation, but to create a sense of of the pastness distancing from us. 3. The second golden age and FeiMu s last tribute paid to China s film legacy Fei remained active in this so-called "Second Golden Age" and also directed 1941 s Children of the World 世 界 兒 女 made in collaboration with the Austrian director-couple Jacob and Luise Fleck. It was the only collaboration between Chinese and foreign film artists prior to the foundation of the People's Republic of China, and premiered on 4 October 1941 in the Yindu Theatre in Shanghai. Afterwards, FeiMu continues his series of patriotic and Beijing opera style films with The Beauty 國 色 天 香, Songs of Ancient China 古 中 國 之 歌, 1946 s The Magnificent Country, 1948 s The Little Cowheard 小 放 牛 and China's first color film Remorse at Death (1948), which incorporated Beijing Opera and starred Mei Lanfang (Zhang Yingjin: 2004, p. 101). Meanwhile, companies like the Wenhua Film Company ("Culture Films"), moved away from the leftist tradition and explored the evolution and development of other dramatic genres. Wenhua's romantic drama Spring in a Small Town (1948), a film by director Fei Mu shortly prior to the revolution, is often regarded by Chinese film critics as one of the most important films in the history of Chinese cinema, with it being named by the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2004 as the greatest Chinese-language film ever made. 1* Spring In a Small Town is a lyrical depiction of the intense psychological rivalry between two friends for the love of one woman. Directed by Fei Mu and based on a short story by Li Tianji, the film dramatizes the emotional entanglement of four people conveying an intense eroticism that is powerful and haunting. The result is a world of stasis and intimacy that bears the physicalness of the natural world. The aesthetics of the film has an elegance and intimacy that cannot be found in any of its remakes. Honesty and simplicity arising from honoring the complexity of human-ness are what set Fei Mu` s film apart. The movie depicts the essence of love itself, so different from any western style, so close to the chinese society, yet so universal! A chinese love story during the war, that is so well constructed and so clear about all the values and principles of that time. But Spring 1 "Welcome to the 24th Hong Kong Film Awards". 24th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards. Retrieved

14 in a Small town is also about the gravitas of war. The texture of the film is made of parts that are hierarchically organised according to their relevance to the narrative. By depicting events from YuWen`s point of view and adding a poetic voiceover, Fei Mu`s film brings its viewers much closer to the characters. The film is an example of narrative that can rely on the characters traits to play a causal role to further the action, because the characters have fixed traits. However, the undecidability of the character personality shapes the narrative: endlessly revolving around a blind spot. The principles of analysis do not stand apart from each other: they are necessarily interlocked. The narrative is not just a genre in FeiMu s possible cinematic expressions, it is the dominant form of the medium. Spring is one of the most beautiful of all films, with a dreamlike structure because the things of beauty, sensuality, love, the natural world are more akin to hints than expressions. The treatment of light and darkness, clearness and unclearness easily transposes to the different types of relationships built up in the story. This leads to the consideration of the realistic, expressionist and moralistic content of light and darkness in depicting the complicated feelings of each of the characters involved. They all have their own hopes, desires and unexpressed feelings. It s like a continuous feeling of melancholy. A breeze, spring sunshine, plants, the moon, water, fire are almost unnoticeably present, as are glimmering lights in an interior stillness. And all this bears more weight because of the period between war and change, which seemed to create a profounder environment. One in which the destruction of towns and persons was experienced in say the town`s depopulation or the mild husband`s bitterness and self-defeat. Yes, buildings and lives were equally vulnerable in Fei Mu`s somewhat inconsolable world. Finally, the film displays strong degrees of closure at the end. Leaving no loose ends unresolved, the film seeks to end its causal chains with a final effect. We learn the fate of each character, the answer to each mystery, and the outcome of each conflict. The movie Spring in a Small Town did not receive immediate critical acclaim when it was released and Feimu was labeled rightist. Ironically, it was precisely its artistic quality and apparent lack of "political grounding" that led to its labeling by the Communists as rightist or reactionary, and the film was quickly forgotten by those on the mainland following the Communist victory in China in However, the movie is an extraordinary work, anticipating Antonioni in its slow unfolding of an erotic situation, treated with a mixture of sympathy and austerity. It also reminds us of the later French new wave movie: Truffaut`s Femme d`a cote which is of the similar topic. The Japanese invasion of China, in particular their occupation of Shanghai, ended this golden run in Chinese cinema. All production companies except Xinhua closed shop, and many of the filmmakers fled Shanghai, relocating in Hong Kong, Communist and Nationalist-controlled regions, and elsewhere. Following the Communist revolution in 1949, Fei Mu fled to Hong Kong too, where he founded along with many other artists and intellectuals the Longma Film Company ("Dragon-Horse Films") with Zhu Shilin and Fei Luyi and produced (under the Longma name) Zhu Shilin's The Flower Girl (1951). But he would never direct any other films again. He dies in 1951 in Hong Kong, at the age of 45, without having the chance to witness the true recognition of his entire life s work. Following his death, Fei Mu and his work fell into obscurity, as much of his filmography was forgotten or ignored on the Mainland, rejected by leftist critics as indicative of rightist ideologies (Li, Cheukto: 2000). However, with the China Film Archive's re-opening after the Cultural Revolution, a new print was made from the original negative, allowing Spring of the Small Town to find a new and admiring audience and to influence an entire new generation of filmmakers. Now many critics consider it the greatest Chinese film ever made, and nobody can argue with that! 4. Conclusion Only by going through the historical background of those times, could we judge the achievement of what was then considered to be a filmmaker unsuitable for those times 14

15 and see it with the nowadays perception in order answer the question. But to approach the question of the value in FeiMu s art systematically, one ought to ask: for whom? For the artist? For the audience? For the Chinese society back then, for the society at large, and/or for individuals beyond the audience? Is his "value" of art different in each of these different contexts? Many goals have been argued for art, and aestheticians often argue that some goal or another is superior in some way. We must sweep and clean. Affirm the cleanliness of the individual after the state of madness, aggressive complete madness of a world abandoned to the hands of bandits. (Tristan Tzara, Sept Manifestes Dada ) claimed the Romanian Dadaist Tristan Tzara. If we take the romanian Dadaist Tristan Tzara s perspective on the function of art, then FeiMu s entire life s work has been entirely dedicated to that, to the superior spiritual and political goals of that time, serving his own country and fighting with his own artistic instruments against the horrors of the war. Fei Mu`s universalism came from the feeling of love for what he was, where he came from and what he could bring to China and the world. Although he embraced different types of European cinemas, that only brought him closer to his own chinese essence and roots. Even though many people misjudged his work and interpreted it as being inappropriate for the chinese society, all his movies expressed a deep faith in the chinese tradition, thought and spirit, leaving an important legacy to the entire world s cinema history. FeiMu made you empathize with him, rather than ask you to recognize the feelings and relations he implied. He knew how to go deep to the essence of culture and history, and express it just how it was beautiful and simple, against all the odds! And this was the hardest thing to do, and at the same time the biggest praise one could ever bring to his culture and to his own country. FeiMu never meant anything else but to express his own feelings about what s right and true in life. He had it inside him and it was there already, he just treated it with so much care and sensitivity, because for him anything that was from his past was glorious and saint. Maybe leaving the country was what it took to realize that what he was looking for, had been there already. Maybe he got the chance to miss it so much and to realize, above all, that the most important thing for him was to be back to his country again. All his movies unveil the deepest of FeiMu- the man who cherished his traditions, his principles, the country and the culture he was born in. Because whatever describes best the essence of one s culture, lays in the way we love. And FeiMu loved film, he loved China, and he loved everything that came along with it. I still can t figure out what his secret was, and from what I have read and heard nobody ever did. But maybe understanding FeiMu is just like understanding FeiMu`s movies- we should just feel him, and not try to understand and analyze him. References 1. Fei Mu 費 穆. Kongzi jiqi shidai 孔 子 及 其 時 代 (Confucius: His Life and Times), in Wong Ain-ling(ed) 2. 黃 愛 玲 編, Fei Mu: shiren daoyan 費 穆 : 詩 人 導 演 (Fei Mu, Poet Director), Hong Kong: xianggang yingpingren xiehui, 1998 (originally published in the special brochure of Confucius 孔 夫 子 影 片 特 刊, 1940) 3. Fei Mu 費 穆. Da Fangdian Ying Weimin de qiwang yu kongfuzi 答 方 典 應 衛 民 的 期 望 於 孔 夫 子 (Response to Fang Dian and Ying Weimin), in Wong Ain-ling(ed) 黃 愛 玲 編, Fei Mu: shiren daoyan 費 穆 : 詩 人 導 演 (Fei Mu, Poet Director), Hong Kong: xianggang yingpingren xiehui, 1998 (originally published in the special brochure of Confucius 孔 夫 子 影 片 特 刊, 1940) 4. Pang, Laikwan (2002), Building a New China in Cinema: The Chinese Left-Wing Cinema Movement, , Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., ISBN X 5. "A Blue Apple in a City for Sale". Time Magazine Retrieved Zhang Yingjin. (2004) Chinese National Cinema, (London: Routledge Press. 7. Li, Cheuk-to (2000), "Spring in a Small Town: Mastery and Restraint", Cinemaya Artificial-Eye.com staff. "Then and Now: Two Versions of Springtime in a Small Town". Artificial-Eye.com. Archived from the originalon Retrieved

16 PHONE BOOTH: ACOUSMÊTRE, DE-ACOUSMATIZATION, AND THE VISIBLE ACOUSMÊTRE ILEANA IACOBESCU*, MSc c. University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom Abstract: The present study is about the filmic acoustical being, or acousmêtre, its specificity to the cinematic medium, its characteristics gained through the use of sound, and the influence it has over the film s characters and narrative. This paper focuses primarily on the notion of de-acousmatization, as theorized by Michel Chion, and whether or not the acousmêtre loses its powers upon entering the space of the screen. For this purpose, I shall introduce to this discussion the 2002 film Phone Booth (Dir. Joel Schumacher), which presents an acoustical being as main character. Keywords: acousmêtre, de-acousmatization, visible acousmêtre, film sound, Phone Booth Written * by Larry Cohen and starring Colin Farrell (Stu), Kiefer Sutherland (The Caller), and Forest Whitaker (police Captain Ramey), most of the mystery/thriller s action unfolds inside and around a public phone booth. Stu receives a call from an unknown man, who systematically psychologically tortures him, preventing him from leaving the booth by threatening his life and that of those around him. Paul Curtis is supervising sound editor, and the original music is by Harry Gregson-Williams. So who or what is an acousmêtre, how does it become deacousmatized, and what role does it play in the film? Firstly, we notice the terminology, as used by Chion in French: he cites Pierre Schaeffer on the term acousmatic, implying a sound that is heard without its cause or source being seen ; to this, Chion adds être, which translates to being (1999: p.18). So acousmêtre would literally mean acoustic being. An unseen acoustic entity could be anything from a voice heard on the radio, or on the telephone, or even inside a theater, but what distinguishes the acousmêtre from these is that it is specific to sound film. A voice on * Ileana Iacobescu is an MSc candidate in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK. She has been awarded an M.A. in Audiovisual Communication from the National School of Political Science and Public Administration in Bucharest, Romania, for a thesis with the title Spaţiul Urban în Noul Val Românesc, in In 2010, she has received a B.A. in Communication and Public Relations for the thesis Stereotipuri în Serialul Român de Televiziune, also from the NSPAS. Articles/Books: Urban Space in the Romanian New Wave, in Cinematographic Art & Documentation. Journal of Cinematographic Studies, Nr. 6(10)/2012, Victor Publishing House, 2012, pp the radio does not benefit from the flexibility to be shown or partially shown, because the medium only allows the transmission of sound. Similarly, we cannot talk about an acousmêtre in the context of silent film, since the transmission of sound (specifically, the human voice) in synchronization with the image is not yet available. Hence, we can only discuss the acousmêtre in the context of sound film, where it is defined in terms of diegetic sound. Furthermore, the acousmatic voice manifests itself within the same timeframe as the diegesis. As Buhler & Neumeyer note, narration is necessarily after the fact, even when the voice of the narrator is also that of a character in the diegesis (2010: p. 88). Secondly, one must note the distinction between an off-screen voice, a voice-over, and an acousmatic being. As the term suggests, an off-screen voice is defined as one who belongs to a character who does not appear (visually) on the screen (Metz 2004: p.367) This may be a character involved in the diegesis, who has already been visualized or established in context, but is temporarily not included in the film frame. As Mary Ann Doane explains, He/she is "just over there," 'just beyond the frameline," in a space which "exists" but which the camera does not choose to show (1980: p. 37). A voice-over is also off-screen, in the sense that it is not shown within the frame, the difference being that it does not belong to the narrative space. The voice-over could come from a narrator who is not a character within the story, but merely an observer, or an artifice employed to efficiently explain certain events or emotions within the frame, which might otherwise raise problems of 16

17 representation. For example, the voice of a male narrator offers statistical information about mobile phone usage in New York, in the first minutes of Phone Booth. This is the narrator s only contribution in the film, and could have been substituted by intertitles or character dialogue, which might have disrupted the filmic illusion, or required an additional set-up or story, respectively. A classic example of voice-over is the narrator of a documentary film, or a newsreel. Before analyzing the presence of the acousmêtre in this film, I shall briefly address the notion s importance within the wider context of (sound) film theory. In 1982, Chion theorized the notion of the acousmêtre, a disembodied voice that affects the visual component, yet remains a primarily aural entity, thus bringing sound to the centre of a theoretical pursuit without wholly separating it from image. Kristi McKim writes (2002): The acousmêtre does not have as its unspoken premise a decision to ignore the image; rather, the hyper-presence of voice correlating with an absence of image necessitates a simultaneous seeing-hearing that originates with sound. Chion later revisits his definition of the acousmêtre in light of the changing cinematic apparatus and development of new surround sound technology, extending it to visible acousmatic beings. With increase in auditory spatialisation and the possibility for the viewers to locate the voice behind or around them, in a way previously impossible with monophonic and even stereo sound, visible bodies now gain the powers associated with the acousmêtre. As Randolph Jordan points out, this quality of the acousmêtre hiding behind the speaking body is the case with ALL speaking figures in the cinema because the human voice has no organ. Although the acousmêtre hiding behind the image of the average film character does not share the powers associated with its earlier cousin, it does point the way towards a new way of thinking about the speaking body in the cinema (2009: p.58). I agree with this statement and add that the introduction of, and maintained interest towards this phantom character has contributed to the understanding and theorizing of sound-image as a whole, rather than an image to which sound is subordinate. I also feel it is important to mention the mute, which is similar to the acousmêtre in the sense that it can only be discussed in the context of sound film, but acts by withholding the voice, rather than the image of its source. But what are the powers of the acousmêtre, and how do they diminish or disappear when its body, or the source of its voice, becomes visible? I suggest that the super-power of the acousmatic being is its contribution to the narrative, through its ability to create tension, suspense, mystery etc. by concealing its corporeal identity, or rather, by postponing its revelation. An entire image, an entire story, an entire film can hang on the epiphany of the acousmêtre. Everything can boil down to a quest to bring the acousmêtre into the light (Chion 199: p.23). This is the case with Phone Booth. Stu calls his would-be mistress from a public phone booth, so as not to be discovered by his wife. He barely ends his call that the phone starts to ring. He picks up without hesitation. A male voice, coming from all channels, very close to the microphone, is heard saying: Isn t it funny? You hear a phone ring, and it could be anybody. But a ringing phone has to be answered. After these first lines, one might think we are dealing with a narrator, similar to the one we heard minutes before. Although this voice is different from the previous one, we are given no indication that the person speaking would be involved in the diegesis, and assume that we are hearing from an observer situated outside the borders of the frame. Stu is listening attentively to the receiver, but we do not hear any voice that sounds like it would be coming from it. We expect a specific texture, low-quality, where medium-high frequencies predominate, perhaps some distortion, positioned in the mix in such a way as to appear far away. At this point, given the previous fragment containing voice-over narration, and the attributes of the male voice being heard, one would assume that these words are meant to introduce Stu s interlocutor, or the topic of their discussion. What!? the protagonist asks, as the viewer anticipates they are about to receive the expected information. However, this anticipation is not gratified, as we hear the off-screen voice say: I hope you realize how you ve hurt my feelings. Who the f- is 17

18 this?! Stu promptly replies, in conformity with the thoughts of the viewer. It is on this moment that we are presented with the acousmêtre, and realize that it is the powerful, authoritative male voice that is at the other end of the phone line. It is also at this moment that we are faced with the danger of breaking from the filmic illusion the viewer realizes that the voice does not sound like it is coming from the phone. Mary Ann Doane, and later Chion, talk about the disruption of the filmic illusion when de-acousmatization occurs (of course, only Chion employs this specific term). Upon seeing the voice as coming from a character s lips, and realizing that the voice-over is actually superimposed onto the image in post-production, and does not organically originate from that source, Doane (1980: p 37) suggests that the spectator becomes aware of the cinematic apparatus. We find a similar, yet reversed situation in the mentioned scene, in the sense that the viewer has previously accepted the cinematic apparatus, and the disruption is caused by the denial of synchronized sound-image and known filmic conventions. Don t you dare leave the phone booth, The Caller s voice orders Stu, implying that this is not a prank, but a very serious call. For the viewer, this translates to: you must accept this plot point of the film as reality. Wrong number, pal, Stu replies, as the viewer might think: I am not accepting this, it is just a film, it is not real. The caller then mentions the perfectly delicious pizza which a man tried to deliver to Stu in the phone booth moments earlier, as it was meant to keep your strength up for what s coming next. Even though implausible, the pizza, or plot point, is part of something extraordinary that is about to happen, as The Caller begins to intrigue Stu, and draw the audience s attention, by establishing that he has control, knowing both the past and the future. As Stu re-enters the phone booth, and the spectator begins to accept the filmic reality again, it is revealed that The Caller is omnipresent, has the power of panopticism, omniscience, and omnipotence. These are the four powers of the acousmêtre, as Chion (1999: pp ) defines them. Omnipresence is explained by the fact that the voice comes from everywhere and nowhere. Radio, or in this case, the telephone, is a vehicle of this ubiquity. However, given the attributes and texture of the voice, we can consider it almost prophetic or God-like. The caller sees all: what Stu is wearing, what hand gestures he is making, what goes on around the phone booth. It is soon revealed that the acousmêtre s panopticism comes in the form of a highly magnified telescopic image, provided by the state of the art tactical scope mounted on his rifle. The Caller also appears to be omniscient, as he knows Stu s name, the phone number of his female friend, his occupation, home address, his wife s phone number, and even the address and phone number of her workplace. Like the previous powers, the Caller s omniscience is also due to technology, specifically a listening device installed in the toll phone. The acousmêtre s omnipotence is completed by one more piece of equipment, a sniper rifle. The caller is hidden behind one of hundreds of windows, has access to all information, past and future, sees everything that goes on at street level, and is holding a powerful gun, which he loads from time to time, making a distinct sound. All of these attributes, but especially the mechanical sound of the gun, confirm that the situation is serious, and that Stu must conform, for he is at the mercy of this God-like character. It is interesting to note that the mentioned sound effects add to the power of the acousmatic voice, together with non-diegetic music that is discretely employed to emphasize suspense. Given the capacities to see and know all, and kill without consequence, I would name The Caller an acous-maître (fr. master), as he controls and corrects Stu s every action. Another interesting aural aspect that I would like to note is the use of the megaphone. After The Caller shoots a man that was trying to remove Stu from the booth in order to use the telephone. The police arrive at the scene, and based on witnesses declarations, believe that it is Stu who was the shooter. Captain Ramey initiates negotiations with Stu, who is instructed by The Caller to remain in the phone booth and refuse cooperation with the authorities, at the risk of his, or by-standers lives. Ramey maintains a distance from the phone booth, and uses a loud speaker to communicate with Stu. It is a strong contrast with the method of 18

19 communication employed by The Caller, in terms of representation and effect. We have already discussed the characteristics and authority of the acousmêtre s voice, which has complete power over Stu. Captain Ramey s voice, on the other hand, has very little authority when filtered through the amplifying device. Its texture is as expected, a low-quality, distorted, unnatural sound. It seems almost ridiculous that Ramey s voice goes through so much strain to reach Stu, who is just a short distance away, while The Caller s voice is so loud, clear, and powerful, although situated at a much bigger, unknown distance. As the plot unfolds, the acousmêtre s powers are constantly re-confirmed, and emphasized by invisibility: the phone signal used is so well coded, hidden, that the police technicians arrived at the scene cannot access the network and establish its source. After following another lead, the police finally discover the source of the signal a hotel room - and move in for The Caller s apprehension. The viewer is now expecting to see the mysterious Caller, and a deacousmatization is anticipated to reveal the character s body, but also the cinematic apparatus. Indeed, an apparatus is shown the technical equipment used for concealing the signal. A body is also shown, lying lifeless in a pool of blood. This is identified as that of the pizza delivery man from earlier, and for a brief moment, the de-acousmatization is complete: loss of all powers, even life, and exposure of part of the cinematic apparatus. Everyone that had gathered in the street witnesses it: people, reporters, and shop window TV-displays, which play back the events as news footage. However, it is only moments later that Stu is administered a sedative in an ambulance, and in his impaired visual state, finds himself face-toface with the real Caller. Camera movements and focus mirror Stu s vision, as he catches blurry, shaky, doubled glimpses of the acousmêtre s face, and his lips synchronously articulating his voice. The aural quality of the acousmêtre is altered, becoming slightly closer to Stu s point of view, more anchored on streetlevel. However, it acquires a dream-like quality, determined by reverb and delay effects, to match the visual ones. The Caller s last words to Stu, before disappearing, unmasked and unaccountable, are an incentive for his newfound honesty to last: Because if it doesn t, you ll be hearing from me. We note that the threat is, once again, that of the voice to be heard, but not seen. Through this promise, the acousmêtre s powers are reinstated, even though he is now partially visible. As The Caller walks away from the ambulance, past the phone booth, unnoticed by police officers and other characters present, we hear his first words again. The voice is not synchronized to his lips, and seems to come from all the channels once more. Isn t it funny? You hear a phone ring, and it could be anybody. But a ringing phone has to be answered, doesn t it? Doesn t it? The latter sentence is whispered, rather than spoken, faded away. Unlike the first time we hear this speech, it is accompanied by music, piano and strings, which gets abruptly interrupted by the ringing of a phone. The ringing sound is mixed in coordination with the voice, so that it does not appear to be coming from the telephone we see in the frame, but from another, distant one. The ringing is sustained for a few seconds, allowing time for meditation: perhaps if Stu hadn t answered the phone, none of the events shown would have unfolded. However, it becomes evident that the true purpose of this repetition is to suggest that the acousmêtre is not only following Stu, but has moved on to discipline another person, as the phone is picked up, and we hear a man saying: Hello? In closing, I would like to insist upon the importance of the acousmatic presence to the narrative. As Chion has stated, an acousmêtre is powerful and intriguing enough to sustain the plot of the film, but this does not mean that it undermines other characters and the relationships between them. In Phone Booth, the acousmêtre provides the unusual situation necessary for the evolution of the plot and characters. Its powers and mysterious presence creates, in my opinion, a more intense and lasting impression on the thriller film viewer, than an embodied, fully visible antagonist would. The deacousmatization and reappearance as visual acousmêtre provide a semi-resolution and plot twist. I would also add that they offer the opportunity and pretext for a sequel, should the filmmakers and audience desire one. 19

20 References Buhler, James. Neumeyer, David. Deemer, Rob (eds.) (2010). Hearing the Movies: Music and Sound in Film History, New York: Oxford University Press Chion, Michel (1999[1982]). The Voice in Cinema, Claudia Gorbman (trans.) New York: Columbia University Press Doane, Mary Ann (1980). The Voice in Cinema: Articulation of Body and Space. in Yale French Studies. 60. Cinema/Sound, pp Jordan, Randolph (2009). The Visible Acousmêtre. Voice, Body and Space Across the Two Versions of Donnie Darko. Music, Sound and the Moving Image Spring, pp McKim, Kristi (2002). Impassioned Aesthetics. Seeing Sound and Hearing Images in Michel Chion's Audio-Vision. in Film Philosophy March Mwtz, Christian (2004). Aural Objects. in Mast & Cohen (eds.). Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. New York: Oxford University Press, pp Phone Booth (2002). Fox 2000 Pictures. Dir. Joel Schumacher. Written by Larry Cohen. Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker 20

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