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Explore the Sound Design of John Ford’s ‘Stagecoach’ and ‘My Darling Clementine’ In New Video Essay

Written by on August 29, 2016 

Stagecoach john ford

The primary means of thinking through John Ford‘s cinema tends to be visual — which, yes, is only fair when his mastery of blocking, cutting, and pacing are never not something to marvel at. But let’s take a moment to consider something that’s generally undervalued: the sound design, how he’d come to evolve before and after World War II, and how time documenting the conflict might have changed his perception of realism.

These matters are explored thoroughly yet efficiently in a new video essay by Will Ross, one that contrasts clips from two of his best-known westerns, Stagecoach and My Darling Clementine, with audio charts to map the specifics of how Ford weighs action’s processes. This sounds complex, yet, like one of the director’s great films, it illustrates a many-headed thing by including only that which is essential. And you get a little history lesson, too!

Have a look below (via MUBI), and read our essay on My Darling Clementine:

Stagecoach is currently streaming MUBI, for free with our 30-day trial.


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