Sound in the films of Michael Haneke from the perspective of phenomenological aesthetics

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The philosophical and aesthetic ideas of phenomenology have been present in cinema theory since the silent period. Methods of phenomenological theory can be found in the analysis of the visual aspects of films or the artistic style of their authors. The essay analyses signs of phenomenological thinking in the audiovisual aspects of films - a little studied but significant area of directorial aesthetics. Its theoretical and methodological foundation includes the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and elements of phenomenological aesthetics in the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Roman Ingarden. Taking the work of a significant representative of auteur cinema, the Austrian director Michael Haneke, the author explores cinematic variations of the concept of phenomenological reduction, the method of “perfectly clear apprehension of the essence” and the layered semantic structure of the film. Conclusions are drawn about the presence of typological signs of phenomenological thinking in the work of other filmmakers, such as Robert Bresson and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Visually, this presence is expressed in the tendency towards asceticism and documentarism in the choice of artistic devices; towards the disclosure of cinematic phenomena (“facts”); and aurally, in the tendency to minimize off-screen music and get rid of the expressiveness in the actor's speech, towards greater semantic significance of intra-frame music, individual sounds, pauses and non-sounds.

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Mikheeva Julia V.

Doctor of Art Studies, Professor, Department of Sound Engineering, Sergei Gerasimov All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography

All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography named after S.A. Gerasimova
, Vilgelma Pika, 3, Moscow city, 129226

Author for correspondence.


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Frame from the film "Funny Games" (1997)

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2. Shot from the film “The Pianist” (2001)

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3. Shot from the film “Love” (2012)

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Copyright (c) 2019 Mikheeva J.V.

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