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Audiovisuality and the city of Marseille, France: creativity, communication, representation

    Dario Martinelli Affiliation

Abstract

The Wicked City (director Peter Mak, 1992), House on the Waterfront (director Edmond T. Gréville, 1955), The French Connection (director William Friedkin, 1971), the obvious Borsalino (director Jacques Deray, 1970)… up to the recent Netflix series Marseille (creator Dan Franck, 2016–2018): when browsing the titles of the most important audiovisual representations of Marseille, one immediately notices how this city seems to (be made to) communicate a few recurrent topoi: the frontier city, site of mostly illegal activities and inhabited by a multi-ethnic (or rather stateless) community of gangsters, sailors, adventurers and prostitutes – ingredients often mixed with an abundant amount of charm and nostalgic fascination. Mostly informed by the theories and methodologies of film studies, musicology, creativity studies and communication studies, the present article aims to emphasize the consistence of significations conveyed by both visual and musical sources. As a case-study, the article shall focus on Borsalino, possibly – at the same time – the most famous film placed in Marseille and the most famous soundtrack (by jazz composer Claude Bolling) – both, it is argued, perfect syntheses of the above-mentioned topoi.


Santrauka


Marselis minimas filmuose Pavojingas miestas (režisierius Peteris Makas, 1992), Namas ant jūros kranto (režisierius Edmond’as T. Gréville’s, 1955), Prancūziškas ryšys (režisierius Williamas Friedkinas, 1971) ir, žinoma, Borsalino (režisierius Jacques’as Deray, 1970). Iki šiol rodomas Netflixo serialas (kūrėjas Danas Franckas, 2016–2018). Naršant internete ir ieškant pačių svarbiausių Marselio audiovizualinių reprezentacijų pavadinimų, krinta į akis tai, kad šis miestas komunikuoja kai kuriuos pasikartojančius topoi: pasienio miestas, pačios nelegaliausios veiklos, banditų, jūreivių, nuotykių ieškotojų ir prostitučių daugiaetnės bendruomenės apgyventa vieta. Jos gyventojams dažnai būdingas didelis žavesys ir patrauklumas. Šiame straipsnyje, remiantis kino studijų, muzikologijos, kūrybiškumo studijų ir komunikacijos studijų teorijomis bei metodologijomis, siekiama pabrėžti reikšmių įvairovę, kurią perteikia tiek vizualiniai, tiek muzikiniai šaltiniai. Kaip atvejo tyrime, straipsnyje susitelkiama į Borsalino, kuris yra bene pats garsiausias filmas, nufilmuotas Marselyje. Tai filmas su žymiu garso takeliu (kurį sukūrė džiazo kompozitorius Claude’as Bollingas). Abiem atvejais tobulai, kaip teigiama, sujungiami pirmiau minėti topoi.


Reikšminiai žodžiai: audiovizualinė komunikacija, Borsalino, Marselis, muzikologija, filmo muzika, kino studijos, semiotika.

Keyword : audiovisual communication, Borsalino, Marseille, musicology, film music, film studies, semiotics

How to Cite
Martinelli, D. (2019). Audiovisuality and the city of Marseille, France: creativity, communication, representation. Creativity Studies, 12(1), 166-182. https://doi.org/10.3846/cs.2019.5440
Published in Issue
Jun 7, 2019
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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