The voice is something that I am very interested in looking at in cinema, so much so I have arranged and deciding on studying this topic for my final dissertation. That being said I feel unready and unread to start delving into the depths of voice as I haven’t had the time to place my full attention on the study, which I feel will be needed to grasp the full content. Although this is so I can still discuss the basics of voice in A Journey To Paradise as well as reasons why behind creative decisions.
Man as Creator
When first hearing the character had to change from female I thought nothing of it, it wasn’t until I started unearthing my theory and idea around the mother ship carrying its child in the womb, that I began to look further. Although the ship is classes in my mind as the ‘Mother ship’ it is still man-made, its metal is man-made, it’s bolts were man-made, it creator was man-made. I started taking this further by realising that Bea was not only discovering who she was, but also trying to escape this man-made space, thriving to get back to mother nature, the true mother.
Both me and Andrew liked this idea, but how was to show it. It’s a fun fact for me and Andrew to know but we wanted to share this in the film. I have already talked and showed my ideas behind the womb. One major sound was missing however, that was the voice.
During the scene there is an automated voice alarming the ship (and Bea) that the spacecraft is going to crash, originally this was your bog standard female alarm. I wanted to change this however as I felt we could use it in a more interesting way. Carrying on from Walter Murch’s words about the mother being separated from their child as a result of voice. I wanted to establish this straight away.
Once Bea becomes somewhat conscious I wanted the male voice to fade in, in doing this I was setting both her disconnection with her surroundings as well as establishing that she, along with everything else is man-made. Resulting in adding to the narrative in Bea’s attempt to reconnect with her mother.
Chion talks about the machine and voice and how it can create a sense of separation. This was and still is key throughout the story, although she discusses it with her former self, it’s in this one significant voice where we learn the world she lives in.
Recently watching the film Locke (Locke, 2013) only made me feel like the separation can not only be felt in one’s voice but also heard. It’s through the tremble of Tom Hardy’s voice and the distance that the other characters get a sense of something not being right. And as all the other senses have become useless because of where he is, they rely on the voice which has become something they have long forgotten.
Not only is Locke a masterclass in script writing, it shows the power of voice within cinema. The power it has to hold the grip of an audience, not only a tool to explain a narrative and emotions but to play with the process of it. Using voice to manipulate internal feelings, this can be seen when Hardy is finally alone and his true internal voice speaks to his dead Father.
Now this statement is out there, I briefly mentioned this in my presentation and seemed to get a few concerned/confused faces. I have spoken about Lacan and his mirror image before (year one) and I was fascinated on how he revealed the first signs of independence and disconnection from mother. You can see this within A Journey To Paradise visually as Bea talks to her mirror image. That being said I can’t help but wonder that other senses are being overlooked.
If we know that sound is the first and important sense we master, shouldn’t it be through sound that we get our disconnection. It’s not only through living in the world for a number of years that sight becomes king of all others, whilst sound has already adapted to both inside the womb and out, the eyes are playing catchup. I question Lacan’s mirror stage as being the fundamental stage of finding ones disconnection and would perhaps say this is in the loss of the mother’s voice.
At this moment I stand back and try not to become to involved as I have yet to complete more research, that being said I can’t help but believe I may have touched upon something that could help me in my final year, and many years to come.
Locke. (2013). [film] United Kingdom: Steven Knight.