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Voicing the CinemaFilm Music and the Integrated Soundtrack$
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James Buhler and Hannah Lewis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043000

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043000.001.0001

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The End(s) of Vococentrism

The End(s) of Vococentrism

Chapter:
(p.278) Chapter 15 The End(s) of Vococentrism
Source:
Voicing the Cinema
Author(s):
James Buhler
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252043000.003.0016

This chapter examines the concept of vococentrism proposed by Michel Chion and developed at length by David Neumeyer. The first part looks at the system of vococentrism as it was codified in the early 1930s to replace the original rule of mimetic synchronization, with its emphasis on the act of recording. Vococentrism was by contrast focused on placing the voice in a narrative representation. Vococentrism essentially reconciled the soundtrack to the continuity system, transformed music into its customary role of underscore, and ensured that the soundtrack served as the voice of narrative. The second part examines vococentrism in the age of intensified continuity, David Bordwell’s term for the stylistic system that has dominated filmmaking since the 1980s. The author concludes that whereas intensified continuity has given greater emphasis to the face in the visual field, it has displaced the voice from its central position on the soundtrack. Intensified continuity has ushered in the end of vococentrism, which in a sense recognizes how marks of identity and subjectivity in contemporary cinema have given way to figures of gesture and affect.

Keywords:   Vococentrism, intensified continuity, soundtrack, film, classical cinema, postclassical cinema

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