BordwellThompson/Sound (Discussion)

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Diegetic and nondiegetic sound

  1. First, a review question, from the chapter on narrative form: what is a diegesis?
    • So, what is diegetic sound?
  2. Bordwell/Thompson's Table 7.2 "Temporal Relations of Sound Cinema" (p. 295, 9th edition; p. 289, 8th edition) divides film sound into diegetic and nondiegetic categories. Then it divides the diegetic/nondiegetic categories into different uses of time (hence, "temporal"). This results in six different ways in which time, diegetic space and sound interact (listed below). Provide an example from a film we've seen (or just make up an example) for each.
    1. Group 1: Diegetic nonsimultaneous, sound earlier than image.
    2. Diegetic simultaneous.
    3. Group 2: Diegetic nonsimultaneous, sound later than image.
    4. Group 3: Nondiegetic nonsimultaneous, sound earlier than image.
    5. Nondiegetic simultaneous.
    6. Group 4: Nondiegetic nonsimultaneous, sound later than image.
  3. Considering the categories above, what types of sound are in the Traffic example?


  1. David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, 9th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010).

External links

  1. Classical Hollywood sound examples
  2. Film Art examples