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Some Notes on the Use of Voice-Over

Some Notes on the Use of Voice-Over NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS ROGER CRITTENDEN Some Notes on the Use of Voice-Over In his book of essays, Consciousness and the Novel, David Lodge devoted a section to the limitations of film. Lodge claims that however intelligent a script, however brilliant a director and however skilled the actor, film can only ever be skin deep. However, I would assert that, ironically, when film borrows from literature it can combine that brilliant surface with a deeper impression of humanity. I want to consider one such device: that of voice-over. As with all devices derived from literature, purists dismiss the use as a pollution of cinema. But there is always more than one way to apply elements of style. When Debbie Reynolds is dubbing the awful voice of the character Lina Lamont played by Jean Hagan in Singin’ in the Rain, what we hear is Jean Hagan’s mellifluous voice dubbing Debbie Reynolds not so wonderful voice dubbing Jean Hagan. This is perhaps the most extreme example of the way voices have been used in films to take advantage of the fact that we can separate the function of the image from the use of sound. It is fascinating to examine who actually http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The New Soundtrack Edinburgh University Press

Some Notes on the Use of Voice-Over

The New Soundtrack , Volume 8 (2): 8 – Sep 1, 2018

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2042-8855
eISSN
2042-8863
DOI
10.3366/sound.2018.0128
Publisher site
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Abstract

NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS ROGER CRITTENDEN Some Notes on the Use of Voice-Over In his book of essays, Consciousness and the Novel, David Lodge devoted a section to the limitations of film. Lodge claims that however intelligent a script, however brilliant a director and however skilled the actor, film can only ever be skin deep. However, I would assert that, ironically, when film borrows from literature it can combine that brilliant surface with a deeper impression of humanity. I want to consider one such device: that of voice-over. As with all devices derived from literature, purists dismiss the use as a pollution of cinema. But there is always more than one way to apply elements of style. When Debbie Reynolds is dubbing the awful voice of the character Lina Lamont played by Jean Hagan in Singin’ in the Rain, what we hear is Jean Hagan’s mellifluous voice dubbing Debbie Reynolds not so wonderful voice dubbing Jean Hagan. This is perhaps the most extreme example of the way voices have been used in films to take advantage of the fact that we can separate the function of the image from the use of sound. It is fascinating to examine who actually

Journal

The New SoundtrackEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2018

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