Macquarie University
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Living narrative(s): cinematic corporeality, sonicity and negotiating the cinesomatic experience

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posted on 2022-03-28, 09:25 authored by Alison Walker
This study seeks to translate the cinematic into the cinesomatic through a discussion of cinema sound design. Sound is an ideal starting point to rethink the binary opposition of film and spectator, and to examine sonic storytelling in specifically corporeal terms. It is only in recent decades that film scholarship has begun to address the palpable ‘absence’ of the body in theory. Prior to this, many studies applied psychoanalytic and linguistic frameworks for analysis, which often bypassed the role and position of the body in the creation of meaning. While a large number of scholars have identified this lapse, and developed new paradigms for analysing the body, it is observable that these attempts are still overwhelmingly ocular in their focus. Media scholars such as Vivian Sobchack, Laura Marks and Jennifer Barker, among many others, have drawn on phenomenology to analyse perception and bodily affect within the context of media texts; however, Iargue that this has been overwhelmingly drawn from visual cues. There is considerable scope within the studies of film sound to address this lack. Living Narrative(s) seeks to analyse film sound via the body. Specifically, it asks: what is the relationship between film sound, narrative and the body of the ‘audience’ member? How can we understand the audience’s experience of the filmic narrative as ‘lived’ via the sound design? Can we reframe the experience of sitting in the cinema, and walking away afterwards, as having embodied sonic value? How does film sound consummate the lived experience of self, past and present, with the cinematic narrative? How can we hear, and conceptualise, the resonating intersections between spaces, memories, bodies and amplitudes of intersensory fusion? By conducting an analysis of Gravity (Cuarón, 2013) and Wild (Vallée, 2014) this study seeks to contribute to investigations into sonic cinematic bodily experience, and participate in the theoretical movement towards articulating and validating creative somatic realities.


Table of Contents

Introduction : lend an ear to the flesh -- Chapter One. Sounding out bodies : towards a theory of embodied film sound -- Chapter Two. Sonic space and echoes of the flesh : textual and phenomenal readings of Gravity -- Chapter Three. The walking cure : a sonic pathway to self in Wild -- Conclusion : from the cinematic to the cinesomatic.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 77-90

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Nicole Matthews

Additional Supervisor 1

Catherine Simpson


Copyright Alison Walker 2015. Copyright disclaimer:




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