Metal Skin and the cinema of noise

Goldsmith, Ben (2000) Metal Skin and the cinema of noise. Senses of Cinema, 9.

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In traditional communication and information theory, noise is the demon Other, an unwelcome disruption in the passage of information. Noise is "anything that is added to the signal between its transmission and reception that is not intended by the source...anything that makes the intended signal harder to decode accurately". It is in Michel Serres' formulation, the "third man" in dialogue who is always assumed, and whom interlocutors continually struggle to exclude. Noise is simultaneously a condition and a by-product of the act of communication, it represents the ever present possibility of disruption, interruption, misunderstanding. In sonic or musical terms noise is cacophony, dissonance. For economists, noise is an arbitrary element, both a barrier to the pursuit of wealth and a basis for speculation. For Mick (Jeremy Sims) and his mate Kev (Ben Mendelsohn) in David Caesar's Idiot Box (1996), as for Hando (Russell Crowe) and his gang of skinheads in Geoffrey Wright's Romper Stomper (1992), or Dazey (Ben Mendelsohn) and Joe (Aden Young) in Wright's Metal Skin (1994) and all those like them starved of (useful) information and excluded from the circuit - the information poor - their only option, their only point of intervention in the loop, is to make noise, to disrupt, to discomfort, to become Serres' "third man", "the prosopopoeia of noise" (5).

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ID Code: 78434
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Australian cinema, Geoffrey Wright, sound in film, acousmetre, Michel Chion
ISSN: 1443-4059
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Cinema Studies (190201)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Screen and Media Culture (200212)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Senses of Cinema Inc.
Deposited On: 05 Nov 2014 22:44
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2014 22:44

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