The connection between the images and sound in Fritz Lang’s “M”

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The connection between the images and sound in Fritz Lang’s “M” is extremely important to the overall feelings and how the film is experienced. Sound can be used to link, separate and enhance the imagery of a film. By using a combination of background music, off screen sounds and silences, Fritz Lang molds sound into an effect that is just as captivating and interesting as the visuals used. In the beginning of the film, children are grouped in a circle playing a game and singing a song which, given the predatory like angle, is rather chilling. Lang is foreshadowing the death of one of the children as they happily sing a song about the murderer. Then later, when Elsie’s mother is calling for her, there is a series of images all of which are connected by the sound of her calling. Simply by using these effects a death is implied without showing an actual body. Lang also uses long stretches of silence and isolated off screen sounds, which create eerily, and intense scenes in which you only rely on visual information. In “police procedures and their inefficiency” dialogue is continuously spoken while the camera move to each place the officers search. By placing the sound of the conversation over the images of the policemen searching he simultaneously gives a huge amount information to the viewer in a shorter amount of time and with great affect on the responses and emotions taken from the film. It also connects each scene with common dialogue and moves the film forward. Lang also uses dialogue to connect the conversations that both the police chief and crime leader were having at the same time. Using editing he cut the dialogue to start at the police organization and then ended it in the crime organization he creates parallels in both scenes that move the story forward even in the absence of much visual imagery. Sound can also be used to influence the audience’s reactions and responses to the film. The tune that the killer whistles when he sees a victim is...
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