Body Mats & Super Slams

Sport, Sound & Violence

unpublished notes from talk presented at the 4th Cinesonic: International Conference on Film Scores & Sound Design, Melbourne, 2001


1. Contextualize 'sport'
2. Explain 'net' of references used in the talk

FLASHDANCE - 1983 d. Adrian Lynne

1. The body liberated - degravitized by the atmosphere of air being energized by music
2. Reference Leni Reifenstahl's OLYMPIA (1938 - Winter Olympics - Song of Youth)
3. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly - their relation to objects; their percussivity as they sound everything within the dance space


1. Asynchronism Extenuation of contact points
2. Strategic bodily contact and management
3. Audience disembodiment


1. The arena for spectatorship
2. Impossibility of contact = the thrill of contact
3. Energy pulses and energy flows which block contact Audience waves of asynchronism 'prelay' as they surge like wind over a wheat field 4. The G-Spot of mass tactility -Goal!
5. The idealization of contact, reduced to the node of impossibility

JASON & THE ARGONAUTS - 1963 d. John Chaffey (spfx Ray Harryhausen)

1. The giant on land - the leg/foot as tom and the land as drum skin
2. The negation of sound-through-air by sound-through-ground
3. The listener as tree receiving root frequencies


1. The tuning of the skin + the feedback of harmony
2. Evelyn learning salsa for Rio Carnivale by holding a cheap portable cassette recorder
3. The myth of sophistication via the ear - body-hearing is a skill as well


1. The ring as drum skin
2. The ring as theatre - the origins of the amphitheatre and its audience
3. The amped ring as grotesquerie in sync with bodily excess

GODZILLA VS. KING KONG - 1962 d. Ishiro Honda

1. Toho monsters as tag-team wrestling
2. The land as ring - a la Sumo giants
3. The stamping as sonic marking; the sumo ring as inverted perimeters of the western wrestling ring
4. Toho witness-and-commenator functions as characters commentate
5. Mention how Kong was captured via live drums miced live to him while he sits atop the imperial palace


1. Current state of WWF - extreme theatre and grotesque artifice
2. Note collapse between real and fake due to the bodily skills required - compare this to the bombast of percussive incidents which dramatically pinpoint something that may be entirely of no organic consequence (ie via the predetermined narrative of the game)
3. Mention shift from original MTV-cartoon style 80s WWF into the post-Rock'N'Wrestling


1. Drama and violence: detailing points of impact
2. Western notions of synching temporal envelopes with moral envelopes - censorship rules of relish, etc.
3. Japanese 60s genre cinema and the fusion of graphic points of physical impact with heightened dramatic curves and envelopes
4. Zato Itchi and The Blind Swordsman cycle
5. Notions of Bluntness in Japanese violence

LADY WHIRLWIND - 1973 d. Feng Huang Starring Angelo Mao

1. Outline plot and 'deep thrust' technique (original title)
2. Note reverberant sfx - indoors outdoors - perhaps the sound inside the body
3. Reference reverb and psychobilly snare - pre western containment of sound via modern recording technologies

FIST OF THE NORTH STAR - 1986 d. Ashida Toyoto (from Burosnon & Tetsuo Hara manga c. 1984)

1. Mystical psycho-punch - beyond time and space Bodily scale and bodily damage

NO.1 CONTENDER - Technohead 1995
RAMBO GOES IN - DJ Bomber 1995

1. Teutonic body beat - mega super slam sfx Mention oompah music and soccer hooliganism
2. Note tempo and collapse of speed into body punches a la FIST OF THE NORTH STAR
3. Note layers of distortion - 808 boom, digital sample clipping, fuzzbox, compression
4. Mention end-point of Gabba as the launch of digital abstraction (glitch, etc.) as shards from Techno and Gabba's decimation.

Text © Philip Brophy. Images © respective copyright holders.