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Playing with Sound

by Isaac Rooks

An effective sound mix will often not draw attention to itself, even while its subtle complexities are critical to the film's success. After students watch this clip, have them discuss the way the various components of the soundtrack (verbal, musical, sound effects/natural sound, and silence) are used. Some observations they might make: It features incongruous diegetic music, which contrasts with the scene's violence and which highlights the capacity for casual cruelty of Jackson's character. Note also how the music comes and goes at strategic moments. As the car drives off, there is tense quiet, broken by the mundane natural sounds and eventually the car returning to frame. Chris Tucker's voice is also abruptly cut off - first for comedic effect and then suddenly by the loud gun shots, which give way to silence and then, once more, the music.

Jackie Brown - Sound Mix

Subtle manipulation of the various sound track components increases the buildup and impact of this suspenseful sequence.

from Jackie Brown (1997)
Creator: Quentin Tarantino
Distributor: Miramax
Posted by Isaac Rooks