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  • Author: Kathrin Fahlenbrach x
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Kathrin Fahlenbrach

This article discusses the ways sound design in film guides the emotional affect of both sound and pictures on the viewer. Following the theory of conceptual metaphors, the article proposes an approach to "audiovisual metaphors," analyzing emotional and embodied aspects of film sound. It states that pictures and sound have to share emotional and physical characteristics that can be merged by sound designers conceptually and metaphorically in order to improve the emotional and physical affects of a fictional character or object in a film. Thus it argues that the synchresis (audiovisual fusing) of pictures and sound is most effective when embodied image schemata are used by sound design that guide, on an unconscious level, our perception of film. In audiovisual metaphors, image schemata as "force" or "balance" are projected on sound and pictures that create an audiovisual and emotional gestalt of the objects. Using examples from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish, the article shows how the emotional attributes of fictional character, spaces, and objects can be conceptualized metaphorically, via their very materiality, by sound design—attributes that are perceived prominently on a presymbolic and preconscious level by the viewers but that communicate complex cultural and narrative meanings.

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Kathrin Fahlenbrach and Barbara Flueckiger

Although some research has been done about narrative functions of title sequences in television series, this article focuses on their affective implications for viewers. Concentrating on immersive styles in trailer sequences of quality series, the article discusses diverse strategies of their affective priming, asking: How do immersive openers prime the viewers' affective appraisal of the show to follow? And how do they prepare them for the leading “feeling tone” (Plantinga 2009: 166) and mood of a series' world? Using the popular openers of the series Dexter, Six Feet Under, and True Blood, the article analyzes in three in-depth analyses successful immersive strategies for affective priming. They argue that these immersive title sequences use embodied metaphors, and symbols of collective imagery to create ambivalent affective cues that even tend to create mixed feelings in the viewers.