Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blog Post #2: Sound-Image and Image-Image Relationships

The scene that I chose is from a Twin Peaks episode by David Lynch. In the scene the detective is entering a strange room which has an allover black and white zigzag floor and red curtains all around instead of walls. The visual impact of the images is very compelling. The red color is very dominant and evokes an intense mysterious feeling. The overall color scheme is of red, white and black, which gives a sense of a dark and hunting place, and the zigzag pattern of the floor creates as well a sense of tension and unrest.

As the detective enters and walks down the corridor we hear his footsteps and some music is starting to play in the background. The music has a slow beat and is dramatic, and establishes as well the general mood in the scene, which is a strange, serious, and puzzling one. The music has vocals too and we hear a performer singing about sycamore trees. While the sound of the footsteps is realistic, diegetic and composes a literal sound/image relationship, the background music seems rather metaphorical of the strange mood in the scene.

We see the detective entering a room which has a few armchairs, and then a little man dressed in red emerges as well from behind the curtains and starts walking and dancing slowly and crossing the room till he reaches a chair and then sits in it. During all this time the music is still playing in the background, we don’t hear the little man’s footsteps, just the music, and the light in the room is flickering. The detective is just standing at the edge of the room observing.

As the small man sits down he is looking over to the side, and then we see a performer holding a mic, singing along with the lyrics. At this point, the music stops from being non-diegetic sound and becomes diegetic and literal, as it seems to be part of the performance in the room. Or is it not?...

The approach to storytelling in this scene is a synthetic one, as the narrative is mostly conveyed through the sequence of the shots as a whole, and the cuts are visible. All the shots relate strongly with regard to composition, color, and movement, as they seem to take place in the same space and time, in addition, they all deliver the same sense of mystery. The music as a sound element is very dominant and important in this scene, as the shift from a non diegetic sound to a diegeric one creates yet another puzzling aspect, which is part of the overall theme in the scene.