Day Four: Film and its Landscapes
I’ve set aside all things visual today to give some consideration to the non-diegetic sound Giovanni Fusco employs in Red Desert. I’m not sure this will be of any use. Still, I’ve enjoyed listening in to the film’s scenes and trying to hear the layers of noise and analogue synthesis Fusco used. I’m not sure of the machinery he would have used in 1963/4?
In his book Film Sound in Italy, Antonella Sisto says that “from playing traditional piano music to accompany silent film, and specifically, as Antonioni put it, performing music to cover the noise of the projector, Fusco arrived at the creation of soundtracks mostly focused on sounds and noise, poetic musical noise. He gave “light” to the films of Antonioni and gave him, as he wanted, music that was not created for the spectator-to induce a given response to the images and craft a relationship between the spectator and the film but music that had, or was in, a relationship with the film: Music that was inside the image and not outside of it as booster or commentary to facilitate the audience’s understanding.”
Regarding the film and its landscapes, Antonioni said that “in the countryside around Ravenna, the horizon is dominated by factories, smokestacks and refineries. The beauty of that view is much more striking than the anonymous mass of pine trees which you see from afar, all lined up in a row, the same colour.” (From Landscapes of Deliquescence in Antonioni’s “Red Desert,” by M. Gandy.)
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