Non-Diegetic Sound In The Public Enemy

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The Public Enemy (1931) is one of the earliest of the gangster films in the 30’s. The Public Enemy was directed by William Wellman and is a production of the Warner Brothers Studio. It is also a sound film, which was released, in the early sound and gangster era, 1931. A sound film is a moving image/motion picture sequence with synchronized sound. “The creation, recording and reproduction of sound is an integral aspect of film production and exhibition” (Kuhn and Westwell, 2012, p.385). “Sound is a powerful film technique for so many reasons. For one thing, it engages a distinct sense mode…Sound helps to shape our imagination of film and also direct our attention to the film. Sound film could be a mixture of dialogue, music and noise” (Bordwell and Thompson, 2013, pp.267-270).…show more content…
Sometimes it is very easy to tell that sound is diegetic or non-diegetic in a film “but some films tend to blur the distinctions between diegetic and non-diegetic sound…Diegetic sound is sound that has a source in the story world. The words spoken by the characters, sounds made by objects in the story, and music as represented as coming from instruments in the story space are all diegetic sound…Alternatively, there is non-diegetic sound which is represented as coming from a source outside the story world. Music added to enhance the film’s action is the most common type of non-diegetic sound [sound effects and soundtracks perhaps]…Most non-diegetic sound has no relevant temporal relationship to the story. When mood music comes up over a tense scene, it would be irrelevant to ask if it is happening at the same time as the images, since the music has no existence in the world of the action” (Bordwell and Thompson, 2013,

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