嗨 我是托尼 欢迎观看《一帧一画》
Hi, my name is Tony, and this is Every Frame A Painting.
Let’s take a drive.
Today’s subject is Martin Scorsese and the art of silence.
Even though Scorsese is famous for his use of music,
one of his best traits is actually his deliberate and powerful use of silence.
In interviews he’s credited Frank Warner for helping him do this in Raging Bull.
”After a while we had so many sound effects that
after a while we always talked about pulling them out of the track
and letting things go silent.”
Again, like a numbing effect, as if you were hit in the ear too many times.
Here’s a famous moment where Jake Lamotta sets himself up for almost a religious slaughter.
If you go through Scorsese’s filmography,
there’re lots of interesting variations on this concept.
and you can actually compare him directly to others.
For instance, in the original Infernal Affairs,
this crucial story moment plays with music.
But for the remake…
Regardless of which film you prefer,
there’s a full-course worth of study material if you watch and compare these two films.
Sometimes Scorsese builds the entire film to a climax of sound.
And then silence.
This example is actually kind of extreme
because the loudest moment in the entire movie is immediately followed by the quietest.
Other times the silence is the central dramatic beat of the scene.
How the fuck am I funny? What is the fuck is so funny about me?
Tell me. Tell me what’s funny.
Get the fuck out of here, Tommy.
If you go back through all 50 years of his career,
you’ll actually find a lot of fascinating ways of using silence
to highten the subjectivity of a moment,
make a creepy scene even creepier,
to show us love at first sight,
and to bring our happiness to a screeching halt.
Well, maybe not a total halt.
I’m not fucking leaving.
I think, best of all, all of these sound design choices derive specifically from character.
Characters here are all making important choices that will have consequences:
choosing to take the money, choosing not to fight back,
choosing to hide their emotions, choosing not to trust someone,
choosing to wait out the discomfort,
choosing to get back in the game, choosing to ignore that they aren’t wanted.
And because these moments are repeated sparingly and deliberately in each movie,
the silence feels different and it’s tied to a different theme.
It also lets the director build a full cinematic structure around the use of sound.
For instance, in Raging Bull,
almost every fight scene is actually preceded by a quieter, domestic moment.
This lets him do certain things like harsh cuts in the punches.
But it also underscores the theme of the film,
which is that the violence in the ring is just an extension of the violence at home.
By the time he’s attacking his own brother, you actually hear the same sounds
that you heard in the ring.
And it’s not just Scorsese who does the kind of cinematic structure.
For instance, Saving Private Ryan is bookended by two long battles.
And in each battle, we get a moment like this.
At the beginning of the movie, we don’t know any of these people;
and at the end, we know all of them.
Now you might disagree with my interpretation here,
but I’m convinced this character knows he’s going to die,
and in both of these moments, he’s accepting that and continuing to fight.
And I think this is a great example of using sound as an overall cinematic structure for the whole film.
I do wanna point out
this stuff isn’t just a matter of good sound mixing,
though there is that.
The sound mixers can’t do this stuff if you design the movie with wall-to-wall-dialogue effects in music.
”I don’t have anything against
a film being loud for a moment or two or a short period of time.
I think that’s completely appropriate.
But if you have a sequence that’s loud for 20 or 30 minutes,
you’ve forgotten what’s like to be quiet,
and so nothing really seems loud because everything is loud.”
In popular cinema, writers and directors have moved away from having any silence at all
or misusing the silence that they do have.
And this is something that gets appreciably worse each year.
You might find that a little bit cheesy
but at least this movie is willing to use silence to make us feel the character’s loss.
And it’s willing to stay with him through that entire silence.
Meanwhile, in 2013.
This might seem silent, but there’s always music underneath.
More importantly, the not-quite silence is used to reward the character.
He murdered someone and gets a hug for it.
But if you watch the whole movie, literally every time there’s silence he gets a hug.
So consider your silences and deploy them deliberately.
Don’t cheapen them by overusing them for any dramatic scene.
If you can build the film, structure it,
so that the silence derives from your characters and what they’re feeling,
then you get something better than just silence
—an emotional reaction.
Which would be worse,
to live as a monster,
or to die as a good man?
嗨 我是托尼 欢迎观看《一帧一画》