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All in the Game: Mapping and making sense of the urban through sound, language, and codes on HBO’s The Wire

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All in the Game: Mapping and making sense of the urban through sound, language, and codes on HBO’s The Wire

Campbell, Lindsey (2013) All in the Game: Mapping and making sense of the urban through sound, language, and codes on HBO’s The Wire. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The Wire has been praised for its particular realist aesthetic style that is a radical departure from the traditional television police procedural and that takes many of its cues from the film noir. The Wire’s unique use, and functioning, of sound extends beyond the limits of visual representation which privileges audio detail. It relies on listening as its central thematic to propel the story while obscuring the gaze. The series explores the specificities of Baltimore’s West Side vernacular and how its use complicates power, knowledge, and meaning while simultaneously remapping its urban spaces. It expertly demonstrates how complex vernacular, along with foreign languages, codes, dialects and accents, can complicate listening and understanding.
The Wire’s representation of urban spaces and experiences allows for meaningful consideration of Edward Dimendberg’s seminal work on the representation of the city in the film noir, as well as Michel Chion’s work on film sound studies. Employing Dimendberg’s framework, and considering Henri Lefebvre’s concept of modern spatial practices, I analyze representations of The Wire’s urban spaces and experiences, taking into account the crucial role that sound and surveillance play in constituting its urban spaces and lived experiences. Employing Chion’s work, I explore how The Wire’s use of sound demands the active perception of its complex acousmatic imaginary, in order to achieve a rich understanding about different spaces within the same city. The Wire invites active engagement in order to promote complex understanding about modern American urban.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Campbell, Lindsey
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Film Studies
Date:8 June 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Wasson, Haidee and Rist, Peter and Straw, Will
ID Code:977684
Deposited By: LINDSEY Campbell
Deposited On:25 Nov 2013 17:32
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:45
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