Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

Marguerite Duras's Aural World: A study of the mise-en-son of India Song

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2007), 1, (2), 123–139.

Abstract

This essay examines Duras's use of the soundtrack in India Song, and proposes a new term under which, the author hopes, its innovative complexity and also its primordial importance in regards to authorial intention can be better illustrated. The term 'mise-en-son,' borrowed from theatre, not only evokes the notion of cinematic sound as a human endeavour, premeditated orchestration, but may shed new light on our understanding of Duras's multi-disciplinary oeuvre in general. The author also offers a new explanation of the voix off and connects it to a pre-diegetic space, a fourth space distinct from those traditionally analysed in film theory (on-screen space, diegetic space, and the spectator's space). This fourth space, it is argued, corresponds to Duras's radical gesture of voice-centred narrative that brings the fictional characters and the film spectator together.

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Liang, Dong