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Hymns for the FallenCombat Movie Music and Sound after Vietnam$
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Todd Decker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520282322

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520282322.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Nothing Sounds Like an M-16

Nothing Sounds Like an M-16

Chapter:
(p.125) 6. Nothing Sounds Like an M-16
Source:
Hymns for the Fallen
Author(s):

Todd Decker

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520282322.003.0007

This chapter details how sound effects are used by combat filmmakers to tell coherent battlefield stories. The narrative potential of individual weapons’ sounds—such as grenades and RPGs—and the use of sound effects to direct the audience to particular plot, character, or thematic ends is described in extended analyses of battle sequences from The Pacific, Saving Private Ryan, Zero Dark Thirty, and Platoon. Sound effects prove important to directing viewer engagement during combat scenes along a spectrum between immersion in the immediate danger of battle and reflection on the experience of war for the individual soldier. Episodes of subjective sound prove important, as does the use of explosions to punctuate combat narratives and effect sonic transitions. In all these ways, sound effects work towards the making of meaning in serious Hollywood war films. Select battle scenes using music are also discussed.

Keywords:   grenades, sound effects, subjective sound, combat scenes, The Pacific, Saving Private Ryan, Zero Dark Thirty, Platoon, battle sequences, RPGs, immersion, reflection

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