Film Rhythm after Sound: Technology, Music, and Performance by Lea Jacobs

By Lea Jacobs

The probably easy integration of sound, stream, and enhancing in movies of the overdue Thirties stands in brilliant distinction to the awkwardness of the 1st talkies. movie Rhythm after Sound analyzes this evolution through shut exam of significant prototypes of early sound filmmaking, in addition to modern discussions of rhythm, pace, and pacing. Jacobs appears on the rhythmic dimensions of functionality and sound in a various set of case experiences: the Eisenstein-Prokofiev collaboration Ivan the poor, Disney’s foolish Symphonies and early Mickey Mouse cartoons, musicals through Lubitsch and Mamoulian, and the impeccably timed discussion in Hawks’s movies. Jacobs argues that the recent diversity of sound applied sciences made attainable a miles tighter synchronization of track, speech, and flow than were the norm with the dwell accompaniment of silent movies. Filmmakers within the early years of the transition to sound experimented with varied technical technique of reaching synchronization and hired quite a few formal concepts for growing rhythmically unified scenes and sequences. song usually served as a blueprint for rhythm and pacing, as was once the case in mickey mousing, the shut integration of tune and circulate in animation. notwithstanding, through the mid-1930s, filmmakers had additionally received sufficient keep watch over over discussion recording and enhancing to make use of discussion to speed scenes independently of the song music. Jacobs’s hugely unique examine of early sound-film practices offers major new contributions to the fields of movie tune and sound reviews.

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Nevertheless, a group of early musicals, part of a set that Kurt London dubbed the “sound-film operetta,” approximated the early sound cartoon in its elevation of music as a structuring rhythmic principle. London singled out Wilhelm Thiele’s Die Drei von der Tankstelle (September 1930), with music by W. R. ”46 In chapter 4 a close examination of Rouben Mamoulian’s Love Me Tonight (August 1932) and Ernst Lubitsch’s Monte Carlo (September 1930) and One Hour with You (February/March 1932) examines their distinctive formal experiments in synchronizing action and dialogue to music.

46 In chapter 4 a close examination of Rouben Mamoulian’s Love Me Tonight (August 1932) and Ernst Lubitsch’s Monte Carlo (September 1930) and One Hour with You (February/March 1932) examines their distinctive formal experiments in synchronizing action and dialogue to music. Chapter 5 returns to the consideration of dialogue scenes without music, the bête noir of the early talkie, the problem identified by filmmakers and Introduction / 23 critics and discussed at length in Variety in the early 1930s.

Copyright © 1987 Cambridge University Press. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. 36 / Chapter 2 way that shot composition depends on editing on one hand and figure movement on the other. Given the director, it is not surprising that there are many striking changes of shot composition at the cut: in these cases visual accents are necessarily synched with shot transitions. Moreover, the actor’s gestures are often hard to reduce to a single sync point as the notion of “visual accent” implies: the movement evolves over time, across a number of beats, and sometimes over cuts.

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