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Notes on sound
 by Robert Bresson

Sight and Hearing 

To know what business that sound (or that image) has there. 

  • What is for the eye must not duplicate what is for the ear.
  • When a sound can replace an image, cut the image or neutralize it. The ear goes more toward the within, the eye toward the outer.
  • A sound must never come to the help of a image, nor an image to help the of sound.
  • If a sound is the obligatory complement of an image, give preponderance either to the sound or to the image. If equal, they damage or kill each other, as e say of colors
  • Image and sound must not support each other, but must work each in turn through a sort of relay.
  • The eye solicited alone makes the ear impatient, the ear solicited alone ,makes the eye impatient. Use these impatiences. Power of the cinematographer who appeals to the senses in governable way. Against the tactics of speed, of noise, set tactics of slowness, of silence

* And vice versa, if the ear is entirely won, give nothing to the eye. [Back

Film Sound - theory and practice (p 149) 

3/5 1997 

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