Making fictions sound real - On film sound, perceptual realism and genre
AbstractThis article examines the role that sound plays in making fictions perceptually real to film audiences, whether these fictions are realist or non-realist in content and narrative form. I will argue that some aspects of film sound practices and the kind of experiences they trigger are related to basic rules of human perception, whereas others are more properly explained in relation to how aesthetic devices, including sound, are used to characterise the fiction and thereby make it perceptually real to its audience. Finally, I will argue that not all genres can be defined by a simple taxonomy of sounds. Apart from an account of the kinds of sounds that typically appear in a specific genre, a genre analysis of sound may also benefit from a functionalist approach that focuses on how sounds can make both realist and non-realist aspects of genres sound real to audiences.
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