Samstag, 26.03.2005

Repräsentationsprobleme, extreme cases

One theater in America was showing a film with a scene of a man dying of TB, in which his wife kisses the dying man. At this point the manager asked the drummer to imitate the sound of the kiss. The drummer wrote to a trade paper to complain: „Of course the people laughed – they always laughed when a kiss is imitated – and I think it spoiled the picture, because the scene was a sad one.“ Sounds for kissing scenes became quite an issue. Apparently some effects men would imitate the kissing sounds by whacking the top of a barrel with a board, while in some theaters the rowdier element would imitate the effect themselves with a chorus of lip-smacks. Young Fullilove was allowed to do much the same: „I would also kiss the back of my hand to represent screen kisses, and in extreme cases pull a cork from an empty bottle!“.

(Stephen Bottomore: „The Story of Percy Peashaker: Debates about Sound Effects in the Early Cinema“; in: Abel/Altman (Hg.): The Sounds of Early Cinema. Bloomington, 2001).

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