Discussion with Michel Chion
Presented in partnership with Liquid Architecture and in association with MIFF and ACMI.
Born in 1947, Michel Chion is a composer, filmmaker, historian and writer – and arguably the world’s foremost thinker on sound in cinema. In this lecture and conversation, Michel Chion will speak about the language, words, accents and voices of historical and contemporary French cinema. Chion will draw ideas from his recent publication, Le Complexe de Cyrano, in which he argues that language is not just a means of communication but, also, a field of battle.
Michel Chion will be joined in discussion by a group of esteemed guests including Daniel Fairfax (film scholar, writer and editor at Senses of Cinema), James Hewison (Head of Film Programs at ACMI, and former Executive Director of the Melbourne International Film Festival), Isabelle Mangeot-Hewison (Head of Languages at St Michael’s Grammar School), and Anabelle Lacroix (Visual Arts Program at Melbourne Festival and co-curator Michel Chion: The Audio Spectator)
Discussion in English.
Saturday 19 August, 4pm
Alliance Française - Eildon Gallery
In the 1970s Michel Chion was a member of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), the influential collective led by composer and theoretician Pierre Schaeffer dedicated to furthering the art of ‘musique concrète’ through experiments in audiovisual communication, audible phenomena and music in general. It was at the GRM that Chion composed arguably his most famous work, Requiem, a noisy and surreal deconstruction of the Funeral Mass made whilst pondering the “troubled minority of the living, rather than the silent majority of the dead.”
Since the 1980s, Chion has written extensively on the relationship of sound and image in the cinema, publishing in 1990 what many consider the definitive theoretical guide to the subject, Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. In this momentous book, Chion advances a whole new lexicon for describing audio-visual concepts, via the works of Jacques Tati, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard and others. On reading, film scholar Claudia Gorbman was moved to name him “a poet in theoretician’s clothing.”
Michel Chion’s visit to Australia for the first time is an historic and unlikely-to-be repeated occasion.
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