Friday, 28 December 2012

The Shining - Horror in Voice + Dolar Thoughts

Thought I'd link my posts on voice here, I posted them on my other blog because I didn't want to clog Vocalities up too much with my own stuff. But seeing as all I think about is voice they are kinda relevant, extrinsic ;-) - I've been watching a lot of horror films recently and thinking about voice in horror: clicky for my thoughts

A few of the essays coming up are about cinema so I'm really looking forward to revisiting those with a few horror scenes in mind. - If anyone has a particularly 'eerie' example of V∅ICE in a film scene please let me know. The holiday is a great time to binge on films.

I Re-watched Kubrick's The Shining the other day -  spectral and split subject voices are in almost every scene - kinda felt that the terror, the horror, in that film comes from the uncertainty of it being always either spectral/hotel haunting or a subjective possession - can the Overlook Hotel possess a man or is it just haunting? Is Jack going mad or is he possessed? Is Danny's ESP real or not? Tony is presented as a part of Danny's psyche - a visible split subject voice, his most inner turmoil is flexed inside out for the viewer to see.... but this is against the backdrop of a building that haunts - a haunting that (in the first parts) is reserved only to Danny. By the end of the film the question of the location of the terrors (be it physical, psychological or architectural) actual locations does not actually matter - but it is this uncertainty that maintains such a satisfyingly taut tension for the first two thirds of the film.

Surrounding all this is a soundtrack of (I think mostly in the film it is Ligeti - right?) cacophonies of dissonance. Etherial, ghoulish wafts of pneumacentric presence (choirs) blow through the corridors and up the stairs. Seducing and possessing you - just like the Overlook's resonating corridors (Bronchi and Bronchiole) and room 237 (larynx) did to Jack.. Was he possessed or was he just weak? In an odd way I'd like to think of jack as a failed Orpheus - when he heard the voices he tried to beat them by playing his weapon of logos (the typewriter rather than the lyre), he played it more and more: "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy". But in the end he succumbed to the Siren call - the unseen presence - an unseen that's ambiguity of location (subjective/objective - past/present) only amplifies the uncertainty, the horror to relish.

Also - the 1920's bar tender is obviously the blue-print for that possession from the future Drink Drive advert:

the original had no sound

edit - sorry, got carried away with that film, mean't to post my old thoughts on Dolar - I wanted to let the dust settle on that essay for a while before linking my very subjective comments!

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