Welcome to The Queue — your each day distraction of curated video content material sourced from throughout the net. As we speak, we’re watching a breakdown of what expressionistic sound design appears like in Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman.’
When movie followers consider “expressionism,” a really particular visible fashion 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 Pupil 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 Warfare I, German Expressionism is a particular occasion of a bigger motion that performs quick and free with a broad creative concept: to externally manifest inner psychological states. Whereas expressionism’s definition isn’t explicitly confined to visuals, mutated skylines and theatrical lighting are sometimes what we discuss 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 effective reminder that sound design may also be a software of expressionistic filmmaking. Utilizing 2022’s The Batman for example, the essayist unpacks how the sound design and sound combine mannequin the movie’s soundscapes across the subjective expertise of the characters. In spite of everything, if you find yourself intently specializing in one thing, doesn’t the ticking clock fade into the background? Does the success (or failure) of a date evening 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 Unbelievable”:
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 underneath the identical title. You possibly can observe Thomas Flight and take a look at his again catalog of video essays on YouTube right here. You possibly can observe him on Twitter here.
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