Jasmine, in this weeks lectorial, talked about sound which got me thinking about sound within film and tv and how it’s utilised. Sound for me, as an aspiring filmmaker, has always been a difficulty that I find hard to overcome. I’ve talked about this on the blog before, but even though I am confused by the technicalities of sound, I do find it very interesting – especially when it’s been manipulated by filmmakers to have particular meaning or to put their audience in a particular position. I also find it very poignant and very masterful when filmmakers utilise silence. Sometimes, when silence is used, it can have a more dramatic effect than having the scene or sequence filled with sound.

When thinking of films that use silence in a masterful way, my mind always goes to Tom Tykwer’s 2002 film Heaven. This film has minimal sound and when it is used it is quiet and creates a world of suspense. The final scene of this film is particularly tense – it has little to no sound. It begins with the background sounds being muffled so that all that can really be heard is the sound of the helicopters propellers and the gunshots. As the closing sequence progresses, however, sound itself is completely omitted and it compliments the stillness of the camera shots. I feel this is a powerful use of silence and really draws the audience to be sitting on the edge of their seat. The audience is focussed in a state of suspense as the silence makes the viewers wait for something else to happen.


If I’m being entirely honest, I don’t really enjoy this film. I do think, however, it is made beautifully and I very much enjoy how Tykwer has developed and enhanced the narrative of the film through the use of sound.

  • Mr. Mister. (2009). Heaven (Tom Tykwer – 2002) – leading up to the Final Scene. [Online Video]. May 24th 2009. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDLNnCwq4dQ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Skip to toolbar