straight down the line

Two Touches of Evil.

In watching the two versions of the opening of Touch of Evil and comparing and contrasting them, I was amazed to see just how much detail there is when it comes to film noir. I got a little taste of having to pay attention to such detail with all the various Audio Assignments of the week, but it was interesting to hold the two different versions side by side to get a really stripped down understanding of how different aspects of a story create something magical.

In both versions, the exposition of the story was set up nicely, just in different ways. I am normally one who really feels a lot of feelings from the utilization of music in movies, and when there wasn’t any at all in this first version of the opening, I felt like something was amiss. So instead, I pretended that the sounds themselves were the music to better discern what kind of mood they would create.

Seeing the kitchen timer-bomb being set and then hastily placed into the car helped me immediately realize that for someone, time was about to run out for good. The low rumble of the car made me feel as though the driver was stalking the couple going out on the town, and I was wondering if it would be the man or the woman who was literally running out of time. When the police man kept stopping the car, I thought, “Good, okay, maybe there’s hope!” But then the car kept inching forward bit by bit, and the panic of the woman who thought she had a “ticking in her head” directly mirrored the panic I was feeling due to the building tension. It all culminated in one big, literal BOOM.

When I watched the version with the theme music, I found that I could not hear the street sounds as well, and that I missed out on some of the details because of the swell of the music. Though the theme music built tension for me in the same way that the street sounds did, I would have preferred a little less of it to better get a feel for the surroundings of the setting This is important for me to note since I rely so heavily on music as a storytelling agent. I will have to take care to not let it drown out the many equally as important audio details.


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