Hannah Bayley

Keele Music Forum: Sound and Techno-Horror: Kairo and Pulse

Since the release of Hideo Nakata’s 1998 urban ghost film Ringu a number of films have followed adopting a similar genre trend depicting specifically Japanese cultural and ideological conceptions of the ghost. Fascination with the films’ aesthetic approaches to ghosts and spirits has provided a wealth of interpretations as to how Japanese cultural perceptions of the ghost are explored through cinematic image and sound, with further questions of representation being triggered by a number of film remakes outside Japan. In the rise of the digital age, these interpretations have pushed the boundaries of the ghostly into cinematic explorations of technophobia, social struggle and viral outbreaks in the digitised realm, as well as exploring distortion between biology and machine. Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s 2001 film Kairo and its 2006 American remake, Pulse, based on Kurosawa’s screenplay, are examples of films regenerating questions of not only how sound and music are used to highlight specific cultural representations of the ghost, but also the role of sound and music in transnational film adaptation. This research seminar will argue that by examining the use of sound effects and the music score of Pulse in comparison to Kairo, we can gain a greater understanding of the culturally specific representations of the ghost portrayed in the contemporary digital landscape. The seminar will also address how these representations work to reconfigure narratives of mediation in the global remake market.


Event date
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Clock House Lecture Room, Keele University
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01782 734340

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