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Echoes of the city

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Echoes of the City
Staging the Urban Soundscape in Fiction Film
PROEFSCHRIFT
Ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor aan de Universiteit Maastricht, op gezag van de
Rector Magnificus, Prof. dr. L.L.G. Soete, volgens besluit van het College van
Decanen, in het openbaar te verdedigen op vrijdag 13 december 2013 om 10.00 uur.
door
Jasper Frederik Willem Aalbers
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements 6
1. Introduction: Echoes of the City 8
1.1 The myth of the cinematic city 8
1.2 Soundscapes of the urban past in fiction film 11
1.3 Theoretical rationale 14
1.4 Corpus selection and method of analysis 17
1.5 Setting the stage 21
1.6 “Enhanced echoes” of the city 23
2. Practice in Theory, Theory in Practice: Developments in Film Sound
Technology and Film Culture, 1927-2010 26
2.1 Introduction 26
2.2 The introduction of film sound and debates between
formalists and realists 27
2.3 “New Hollywood,” new film sound and new theories 32
2.4 Theorizing the digitization of film sound 37
2.5 Conclusion 42
3. Big Village or Small City? The Soundscape of Amsterdam-in-film 44
3.1 Introduction 44
3.2 Traffic sounds, background sounds and the reality-effect 45
3.3 The soundmarks of Amsterdam-in-film 51
3.4 Amsterdam-in-film: a glocal village? 57
3.5 Conclusion 60
4. Berlin Part I: City under Construction (1926-1945) 64
4.1 Introduction 64
4.2 Symphony and cacophony of a big city 67
4.3 The soundscape of Fritz Lang’s Berlin 75
4.4 The sounds of “class struggle” and “Kampfzeit” 77
4.5 Conclusion 83
5. Berlin Part II: City under Reconstruction (1946-2001) 86
5.1 Introduction 86
5.2 Reconstructing the city-in-film 87
5.3 “New Cinema,” new politics and new realism 94
5.4 All quiet in the border zone? 99
5.5 Unbordering Berlin and the city as a dance party 103
5.6 Conclusion 109
6. The Soundscape of the Lived City: Staging Sonic London 112
6.1 Introduction 112
6.2 Arriving in London 115
6.3 Traveling in London 122
6.4 Living in London 127
6.5 Leaving London and the end of the metropolis 133
6.6 Conclusion 135
7. Conclusions 138
7.1 Representing the city: variations on a theme? 138
7.2 Representing cities in image and sound 140
7.3 The sound of silence 144
7.4 Echoes, resistance and play 145
7.5 Creative encounters: Sound Studies and Film Studies 147
7.6 New (sound) perspectives 149
Annex A: Filmography (corpus) 152
Annex B: Films set in London, categorized by genre 168
Annex C: Other films discussed 170
Annex D: Tables 172
Bibliography 175
Samenvatting 187
Curriculum Vitae 194

Eigen beheer/Proefschrift/Dissertatie 2013, paperback, 194pp, als nieuw