The voice of anxiety : affect through tone in filmic narration and voice-over

GENT, Susannah (2016). The voice of anxiety : affect through tone in filmic narration and voice-over. In: Performance and performability: actualities and futures, Leeds Humanitied Research Institute, University of Leeds, 15 June 2016. (Unpublished)

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Unhomely Street, a recent essay film by filmmaker Susannah Gent explores the Derridian concept of hauntology, both in terms of its original context taken from Spectres of Marx where Derrida suggested that ‘time is out of joint’ and that we are haunted by spectres of those dead and those not yet born, as well as Mark Fisher's interpretation of the term which mourns the lost futures of the twentieth century, suggesting we are live in a time of mental illness, unable to envisage a future that is different to current times. The film is comprised of a multi-layered narrative, a central storyline follows a woman, performed by Gent, lost in a fugue following a head injury as she navigates an alienating city. Other contributors discuss capitalism and what they see as being wrong with the world today, snippets of recollections that enter the narrative as remembered conversations. Another narrative strand revisits human atrocities of the last century. The stories are told from third person narration; the voice of authority, first person accounts of mental illness, including the vocalisation of affect, cold recounting by factual voiceover of historical accounts, and personal statements. Through this film Gent considers the various registers of vocal presentation and the point of departure from language to tone where the quality of delivery communicates over and above the linguistic content, where emotion in the voice expresses the anxiety and illness which the speech describes, as well as issues of authenticity, affect, and mimicry in acting, performance and presentation. Gent draws on Michael Chion's idea of the screaming point as an element of timeless punctuation, and explores R. D. Laing's statement that ‘we can indicate by language why language cannot say what it cannot say’.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Depositing User: Susannah Gent
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2016 10:49
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 23:20

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