The sound of sunlight

Cubitt, Sean (2010) The sound of sunlight. Screen, 51, (2), Summer Issue, 118-128. (doi:10.1093/screen/hjq005).


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In films as disparate as Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Greenaway, 1975) and Sunshine (Danny Boyle, 2007), sunlight is given an aural presence of considerable distinction. Perhaps only the tradition of the nocturne – ‘a dreamy musical piece’, as the OED has it – has acquired such a recognizable audio palette. This essay began as an investigation into an oddity in film sound: the sonification of an essentially silent phenomenon. It has become instead a little journey into the curious relations between sound, subjects and an environment hostile to both, the desert, as it has been represented in three films – The Garden of Allah (Richard Boleslawski, 1936), Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962) and Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, 2005) – over a seventy-year period.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1093/screen/hjq005
ISSNs: 0036-9543 (print)
1460-2474 (electronic)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions : Faculty of Business and Law > Winchester School of Art
ePrint ID: 300144
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2012 14:17
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:23

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