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In a New Light: The Sound of American Cinema followed by a screening of Taxi Driver

In a New Light is returning for a third season, starting in September 2019.This course consists of 6 lectures, each lecture being followed by a movie screening. In the lectures,we look at the techniques used by the great film-makers such as Hitchcock and Scorsese, we look at the effect of new technologies on cinematic style in The Art of Widescreen Cinema,we consider how cinema both reflects and influences the cultural and political status quo, with Russian Cinema of the 1950's, and the Cinema of Palestine,and we look at an icon of World Cinema, with a feature on Jeanne Moreau. Each lecture is followed by the screening of a movie which illustrates and enriches the lecture content.

In his lecture, Martin will explore the evolution of sound in American cinema, spanning a period from the 1970s through to the present day.

As a representative of the sound of American Cinema, Taxi Driver is not an obvious choice. It is not grand, glamorous and polished, rather scratchy and edgy. However, closer inspection and in reference to more archetypal American films, we can see how it brings together two themes that have guided the development of American cinema sound since the 1930s; a desire to convey something that appears to be objectively real, while at the same time attempting to convey psychological subjectivity as if it is also a reality.

 Taxi Driver, one of the great American films, was written by Paul Schrader, who based it on his own personal struggles with insomnia and depression; he insisted that the relatively-unknowns Martin Scorsese and Robert de Niro direct and lead respectively, because he was so impressed with Scorsese/de Niro's Mean Streets (1973). Taxi Driver was also the last movie scored by Bernard Herrman.

Lecture: The Sound of American Cinema (Martin Parker) - 1.30pm
Film: Taxi Driver (Scorsese) - 2.45pm
Year: 2019
The Maltings is operated by The Maltings (Berwick) Trust Registered Charity No: 701194