Blog 4 Sound

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I chose to analyze a particular scene from the movie The Dark Knight. The movie follows the caped-crusader Batman as he protects Gotham City from evil villains. This movie focuses on one of Batman's arch nemesis, the Joker. I found this movie particularly interesting in its use of sounds because of the way the director balances sound with silence.
The scene I chose is from the opening of the movie. So many directors, especially in action movies, begin their movies with a grand music score or an exciting series of sounds. Conversely, director Christopher Nolan sets up the whole movie with tension and suspense by using silence throughout most of the opening titles. The silence forces us to tense up in anticipation of how the silence will eventually be broken. The silence is then literally broken by the sound of shattered glass as we get introduced to our first set of villains. From this point on there is mostly a focus on diegetic sounds of cars and dialogue. In addition to seeing the skyscrapers, the sound of cars helps establish the outer orientation of the scene by telling the audience this is a bustling city. The dialogue serves its usual informational function of introducing the main villain the Joker by having his partners talk about the Joker.
With the exception of the low beat of a drum at the very beginning of the opening title sequence, we hear very little music during the first minute of the video. As the scene begins with the opening view of the city, we hear a quiet drumbeat and a single string note. The single note becomes progressively louder as the camera zooms in on the buildings, most likely to build suspense. For the rest of the scene, the music cuts in and out intermittently and becomes most noticeable three minutes into the scene as the drama of the bank robbery reaches its peak. Later in the clip, the music subsides to a quieter level and is broken again by the sound of a bus crashing into the entrances of the bank.

4 Comments

I really love this movie and the way that sound is executed throughout it. The use of silence in this movie makes it so much better. They really use silence as a noise and it makes the big explosions and other drum sounding noises even more intense. Definitely a great clip showing great sound.

Amazing movie. I really like how Nolan decided to do things like this with the sound. He also did it during the chase where Batman is riding the bike and chasing Joker throughout the city. The silence really does make everything seem more real and intense. Nice choice.

Awesome choice of scene, The Dark Knight was an excellent film. I agree completely that the scene definitely makes you tense up in the sense that people get super edgy when they are anticipating something. The sudden burst and the anticipation function as a good sound hook for the entry to the film, good stuff.

What an incredible movie. The bank robbery scene was ingenious! Speaking of sound, if you listen carefully to the Joker talking to the other clowns with the masks on you can tell it is him, but I am sure you would have had to scene the movie before to be able to catch such small details.

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This page contains a single entry by foot0064 published on February 14, 2013 10:52 PM.

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