Welcome to The Queue — your each day distraction of curated video content material sourced from throughout the online. As we speak, we’re watching a breakdown of what expressionistic sound design seems like in Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman.’
When movie followers consider “expressionism,” a really particular visible type instantly involves thoughts. We’re speaking stark lighting, lengthy shadows, jagged mise-en-scène, and absurd angles. That is, after all, a really particular taste of expressionism: German Expressionism, to be precise. The pre-war cinematic motion is primarily recognized by its placing visuals: from the psychologically troubling doubling of 1913’s The Scholar of Prague to warped gravity and jutting, distorted rooftops of Fritz Lang’s The Cupboard of Dr. Caligari (1920).
Bred out of Germany’s relative artistic isolation within the lead-up to World Battle I, German Expressionism is a selected occasion of a bigger motion that performs quick and free with a broad inventive concept: to externally manifest inside psychological states. Whereas expressionism’s definition isn’t explicitly confined to visuals, mutated skylines and theatrical lighting are sometimes what we speak about once we determine the cinematic motion within the wild. Even when talking about German Expressionism’s progeny (for example, the movies of Alfred Hitchcock, Brian DePalma, and Tim Burton), we have a tendency to take action in visible phrases.
The video essay beneath is an efficient reminder that sound design can be a software of expressionistic filmmaking. Utilizing 2022’s The Batman for instance, the essayist unpacks how the sound design and sound combine mannequin the movie’s soundscapes across the subjective expertise of the characters. In any case, when you’re intently specializing in one thing, doesn’t the ticking clock fade into the background? Does the success (or failure) of a date night time have any impact on how the sound of rain feels to you?
Headphones are inspired, and beware mild visible spoilers for The Batman.
Watch “Why ‘The Batman’ Sounds Unimaginable”:
Who made this?
This video essay on the expressionistic sound design in Matt Reeves’ The Batman is by Virginia-based filmmaker and video editor Thomas Flight. He runs a YouTube channel below the identical identify. You’ll be able to observe Thomas Flight and take a look at his again catalog of video essays on YouTube here. You’ll be able to observe him on Twitter here.
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