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About this book

What You See Is What You Hear develops a unique model of analysis that helps students and advanced scholars alike to look at audiovisual texts from a fresh perspective. Adopting an engaging writing style, the author draws an accessible picture of the field, offering several analytical tools, historical background, and numerous case studies.

Divided into five main sections, the monograph covers problems of definitions, history, and most of all analysis. The first part raises the main problems related to audiovisuality, including taxonomical and historical questions. The second part provides the bases for the understanding of audiovisual creative communication as a whole, introducing a novel theoretical model for its analysis. The next three part focus elaborate on the model in all its constituents and with plenty of case studies taken from the field of cinema, TV, music videos, advertising and other forms of audiovisuality.

Methodologically, the book is informed by different paradigms of film and media studies, multimodality studies, structuralism, narratology, “auteur theory” in the broad sense, communication studies, semiotics, and the so-called “Numanities.”

What You See Is What You Hear enables readers to better understand how to analyze the structure and content of diverse audiovisual texts, to discuss their different idioms, and to approach them with curiosity and critical spirit.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Defining and Classifying Audiovisual Texts

Abstract
This part lays out the general contents of the book and partly sets its tones. The part opens with what have been called “the basic dilemmas” of audiovisuality (Sect. 1.1): the dualism between realism and fiction (Sect. 1.1.1), and that between description and prescription (Sect. 1.1.2), both exemplified through the analysis of Walt Disney’s classic Bambi (Sect. 1.1.3). After that, Sect. 1.2 introduces the basic taxonomy of texts that will be dealt with in the book: media (Sect. 1.2.1), formats (Sect. 1.2.2) and genres (Sect. 1.2.3). Sect. 1.3 will conclude this part of the book through a schematic but hopefully exhaustive history of audiovisuality.
Dario Martinelli

Chapter 2. Understanding Audiovisual Communication

Abstract
This part presents a general overview the concept of communication (Sect. 2.1), as applied to audiovisuality in particular, and then introduces the main novelty provided by this book: an analytical model for audiovisual creative communication that is here called M.A.P., as in “Means”, “Axes” and “Properties”, but also playing with the concept of “mapping” (Sect. 2.2). Section 2.1 approaches communication mostly through the interfaces of semiotics, linguistics and communication studies, outlining the foundations of communication as a phenomenon (Sects. 2.1.1 and 2.1.2), and then focusing on codes, channels, modes (Sect. 2.1.3) and functions (Sect. 2.1.4). The analysis is implemented by a case study on the 2011 TV series The Borgias (Sect. 2.1.5). Section 2.2 traces the M.A.P. in its general constituents, setting the basis for the next three chapters of the book. The goal is to sort out the complexity and the articulation of the whole phenomenon of audiovisual creative communication.
Dario Martinelli

Chapter 3. Axes: Time and Space

Abstract
This chapter inaugurates a deepened analysis of the three areas of the M.A.P., starting from the “A” (axes): time and space. The task is implemented by discussing three important dichotomies and then by focusing on the main notions related to time and space, that is, narration and montage. (Sect. 3.1 addresses the dichotomy “diegesis and non-diegesis”, through typological distinctions (Sect. 3.1.1) and the case study of the movie The Truman Show (Sect. 3.1.2). The second dichotomy is “steadiness and unsteadiness” (Sect. 3.2), with a focus on spectatorship (Sect. 3.2.1), interpretation (Sect. 3.2.2) and the case study of the movie The Birds (Sect. 3.2.3). The third dichotomy is “foreshadowing and sideshadowing” (Sect. 3.3), dealt with respectively in Sects. 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.3 (foreshadowing) and in Sect. 3.3.4 (sideshadowing). The case study (Sect. 3.3.5) focuses on the filmography of the Italian director Roberto Benigni. Narration is dealt with in Sect. 3.4, with a specific discussion on its relation with archetypes (Sect. 3.4.1) and a case study on the movie Star Wars: A New Hope (Sect. 3.4.2). Finally, “montage” (Sect. 3.5) is addressed through its main theories (Sect. 3.5.1) and the case study of the national branding commercial “Dynamic Korea” (Sect. 3.5.2).
Dario Martinelli

Chapter 4. Means: Sound, Image and Language

Abstract
This chapter focuses on the “M” of the model: the “means”—sound, image and language. “Sound” (Sect. 4.1) is addressed in relation to sound design (Sect. 4.1.1) and soundtrack (Sect. 4.1.2), with a case study on the movie Back to the Future (Sect. 4.1.3). “Image” (Sect. 4.2) is analyzed with a particular attention towards the significance of colors (Sect. 4.2.1), and towards camera shots, angles and movements (Sect. 4.2.2). The case study is the movie King Kong (Sect. 4.2.3). “Language”, finally (Sect. 4.3), is approached via the spoken (Sect. 4.3.1) and the written (Sect. 4.3.2) forms, with a case study on rhetoric and dialogues in different audiovisual texts (Sect. 4.3.3).
Dario Martinelli

Chapter 5. Properties: Taxonomy, Culture, Thematicity, Performance, Technology

Abstract
This chapter focuses on the “P” of the model: the “properties”—taxonomy, culture, thematicity, performance and technology. “Taxonomy” (Sect. 5.1) is the expression used to discuss media, formats and genres, as introduced in Chapter I. The case study is the western cinematographic genre as a whole (Sect. 5.1). “Culture“ (Sect. 5.2) is here meant as an umbrella term for various social, political and cultural processes. The case study is the rhetoric and stereotypical forms of representation of vegans and vegetarians in movies and TV series (Sect. 5.2.1). “Thematicity” (Sect. 5.3) is an expression that covers themes, values and archetypes. The case study is the audiovisual representation of the city of Marseille, with a particular focus on the movie Borsalino (Sect. 5.3.1). “Performance” (Sect. 5.4) applies here to any form of execution of any audiovisual task in accordance with a more or less defined plan, The case consists of three Beatles’ music videos: “I Feel Fine, “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” (Sect. 5.4.1). Finally, “technology” (Sect. 5.5) covers all the various tools, devices and platforms employed in audiovisual creative communication. The case study in the notion of “screen” (Sect. 5.5.1).
Dario Martinelli

Backmatter

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