Faustian Ethos and Vocal Ambitus:

The Vocal Style of Actors Playing Faustian Situations


1. Trust : It depends…

I am here to talk about voice because my expertise is in the analysis of intonation – vocal style, or "phonostylistics"[1]. With it, I try to situate my work within a broader cognitive semiotic approach to theater and cinema reception based on empirical analysis, with references to scholars such as Marco DeMarinis and Josette Féral[2].

Voice and trust, risk, civility. I am tempted to start this reflection without defining the terms. Instead, I’ll refer to an expression that is often found in comments about one's tone of voice or style in writing, or or about the ways of an actor, when they inspire the intuition, when they give the feeling they are truthful, trustworthy, that there is nothing risky about them : this expression is "an accent of sincerity". "Accent de sincérité", "Accento di sincerità" -- the expression is similar in French and Italian, and means the same thing. It is used to praise a person or a character, a performance, a poem, even a piece of music.

But does an "accent of sincerity" have a real phonostylistical existence ? Pierre Léon, for one, does not mention it in his Précis de phonostylistique[3]. Personally,I think it is possible to say that people find a voice sincere when it does not show the features of a lying voice[4] – which doesn't say much, because good liars are hard to catch (lie-detection for law enforcement is based on multi-sensory analysis, which will probably include in the near future the micro vibrations of the voice, in addition to sweat and heartbeat monitoring.) Outside of that, features of reflexiveness, such as a slower pace, a lower pitch ; and features of eroticism and close contact  like some breathiness and low intensity, are also chiefly compatible with the identification of sincerity. Typically, in classical cinema, those features are found in love scenes like this one, from the 1941 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde[5].

What is interesting when we take a concrete example like this one is that an abstract feature like "sincerity" suddenly becomes a case, a case from a class of occurrences that we feel to be virtually present to our mind, even though, when we stop to think about it, we may not dispose of any other similar case in our exploitable memory. Still, we are always quick to accept that someone is "the kind who will…" or, "no, that one, he is not the type who could…" something. So now, after this one example, we all have a sense of our expectations for this kind of scene, be them phonostylistical, gestural, or of any other aspect of this art. Given a certain state of the spectator's expectations regarding sincerity, playing the same scene differently by tampering with its equilibrium will result in one of two things : the character will seem less trustworthy, or the acting less effective. Please, bear this in mind when you watch this other Dr. Jekyll love scene, filmed 10 years before my previous example : Sincere love[6].

Too loud for sincerity, no? This is often what happens when today's spectators watch the first talking movies. Actors back then played too mechanically or theatrically by contemporary standards (and there are of course historical reasons for that), but we could easily get used to it. –Human aural attention is highly efficient in canceling out informational and stylistical noise or redundancy. I have another example, from the same movie : this young girl[7], who was to sound sincere, by 1931 standards. Obviously, her intonations, together with the ecstatic look of her eyes, make the scene intolerably naïve, which in turn dissolves any possible "accent of sincerity".

Similarly, one could think of a thousand situations where a character will be delivering a truthful, transparent message using phonostylistical features coherent with the action but which have little to do with any preconceived "standard" accent of sincerity . Calling for help, voicing a strong refusal, imploring a superior, or simply crying can all be sincere trustworthy conducts associated with other principal vocal features. Still, an author could write realistically that any of those conducts was performed "with an accent of sincerity".

In the three types of cases we have seen so far -- the sincere love scene, the poorly acted scene, and the irrelevant scene -- we can see that the presence of a true "accent of sincerity" is less a question of objective factualism than the result of a judgment call : it involves trust in the hermeneutical evaluation of the association of a voice, a body, a personality and a pragmatic situation. In a movie, those judgment calls are seldom left for the audience to freely make alone. A spectator taking the liberty to retain his trust, as we just did, is more or less abandoning his suspension of disbelief  in favour of critical thought. But, in normal Hollywoodian cases, the director should know, line by line, who among all his characters and his ideal spectator, is entitled to rightfully trust any assertion made on the screen.

Here, an other girl[8], from a more recent movie. She has been raped and is supposed to sound sincere to us, the audience, and to the lawyer, who's burying his own feelings to attack her. But not to the jury. They will make the mistake of listening to him and believe that she has been fabricating stories about her teacher. Her "accent of sincerity" is misunderstood, and trust is lost. And she loses, too.

2. Risk: It comes from under

Now lets imagine another example. It would be very close to the irrelevant type, but I want to look at it differently : [a sitcom teenage character arrives in the kitchen, opens the refrigerator, says "Hi Mom" normally and drinks some milk"]. Well, even there, even in contexts like this one, where trust and sincerity apparently have little or no relevance at all to what's happening, they are still there, in the background, as a general presumption we have about what people usually say and do.

In Conversation Theory, sincerity is but one of the many rules that structure the ethics of a civilized conversation. Coming after Austin, Grice, Searle, Lakof, Ducrot and the many others of that field, the French Linguist Catherine Kerbrat-Orecchioni made a sound exposition of those rules in her 1986 book, L'Implicite[9]. We know that these rules deal with cooperation between speakers (turn taking, etc.) and the many assumptions speakers make about truth, relevance, politeness, sincerity, efficiency, modesty, and so on. It is easy to break those rules with a tone of voice -- for example, by being rude by by talking too loud, or insolent by quoting the other speaker but changing the contour to turn an assertion into a question. It would be interesting to think of all the ways in which voice quality, intonation and rhythm can contribute to following or breaking those rules, one by one. That would make for a nice account of voice and civility.

But I would rather take my idea of civility a bit further and speak, not about sincerity, not about civilized conversations, but about the limits where voice risks losing all of its civility. Where the truth is different, and where theater and cinema sometimes take us because, by representing human behaviours not only artistically, but also physically with people present on the stage, they manifest strongly our being civilized, the fact of our collective existence with others.

Now, of all the tools given to the actor, the most civilized tool he has may well be his vocal apparatus. Why ? First of all, because the vocal apparatus is not just one organ, but a complex system composed of many parts: the torso, the neck and the head, the nose, lips, teeth, tongue, hard palate, soft palate, pharynx, diaphragm, lungs… Second, because the vocal apparatus only functions as such if each of those elements is diverted from its original function. Learning to talk is learning to tame all those organs which, "in the wild", were first used to breathe, bite, chew and swallow. Only as one of the very last steps in its evolution has our species domesticated those anatomical features to impose on them all the subtle and highly synchronized tricks by which we talk, whisper, sing, address foreigners with their own barbarian set of tricks or impersonate someone else. Isn't that being civilized?

Yes, but this civility is sure to let us down once in a while, to reveal and let hear the trickster, the maverick beneath the surface: eructation, sputtering or bad breath enliven kindergarten potty humour and give nightmares to any chief of protocol. On a less trivial line of thought, voice quality and intonation often act as disobedient servants threatening to disclose otherwise well-concealed feelings or intentions, such as, for instance, the stage fright of an actor. And, on a more metaphysical line of thought, while opposing soul to body as a parallel to the opposition of good and evil, our occidental culture has a long tradition of identifying specific vocal features with either good or evil. Clear soprano voices seem angelic, whilst evil is associated with features recalling low-pitched sounds, grunts for example, made by pigs, goats, bears or other large mammals. From eructation to concealed emotion, to metaphysical axiology, civility is always deeply at stake whenever we do what only humans do: speak.

Of course, the control people have (and may lose) over their body is not limited to the vocal apparatus. But only in the mouth do body and language meet through such an essential connection. Only there do we risk so much, so often.

Now let me take you to the human conduct I think of as the far end limit of vocal civility: the scream. Because extremes are often more easily perceptible[10] ; and because specially interesting phenomenons often take place at the end of a scale[11]. First I want to wake you up, and maybe stress you out a little: Screams.[12]

Have you ever screamed ? Not like what we just heared, but more like Munch's[13] "Scream": to the point, to the level where it is no longer the same thing, when it gets out of hand? Some people have. From Artur Janov's "primal scream" (which can be a sob, or a cry, and requires the patient "to lose control into his/her feelings, leading to places the therapist cannot imagine because he won’t let himself lose control"[14] –says Janov's Center literature) ; to the esoteric Japanese martial art named kiai jutsu, vaguely known in Occident by its more famous "shout that  kills" ; to the Greek god Pan, who used his terrible scream against the Giants, and made them flee as they were taken by what we now rightfully call "pan-ic", there are plenty of cultural constructs, from different times and places, that attribute dreadful control-lessening powers to extraordinary screams. In La Fin de Satan, Victor Hugo imagined that when Lucifer was sent to fall in Hell, he shouted a word, "Death", and that this word, like a seed, later became a person : Cain[15]. Death giving birth, giving birth to an assassin. Well, these are all constructs, myths, ways for Man to structure, rationalize, narrate something essentially unknown to rational thought, and frightening. Because, in my mind at least, the Final scream, the one that looks like Munch's painting, is what we fear the most : we know it would melt us. I will even go a step further. Panic, lethal, primal, this scream is at the horizon of each and every little fear we have tasted  tasted, through life, art and dreams. 

Now I want to bring your attention to a scientific hypothesis that could explain part of the fascination that Munch's Scream has over us. It is the idea that emotion processing and memory is hard-wired in our brain and maybe even stored throughout our body (here I can name Candace Pert, the neuroscientist who wrote the controversial Molecules of emotion in 1997[16], or Joseph LeDoux, with his Emotional Brain[17]). Following this, fear would be felt, known and remembered by the body before being processed by consciousness. This somatic knowledge of emotion, on which hard science is now working, has already been hypothesized for a long time by theater practitioners. Stanislavski for instance, in Building a Character, in 1938, explained that spectators could even understand an actor who plays in a foreign language unknown to them, as long as the actor’s words and sounds still carry their own material dynamics, emotions are passed directly from the actor's embodiment to the spectator's somatic knowledge. In the Stanislavski tradition of play direction, an actor should so totally lend his person to his character that a sort of possession should arise. The actor should, in effect, be in a sort of trance that has its roots in the bodily experience of playing the character from the inside.

According to this system, an artist can find the right physical expression for an emotion if he is able to truly recall that emotion for himself, using his own subjective "affective memory". Lee Strasberg's method, used at the famous Actor's Studio in New York, dwells on the same tradition and postulates the same homogeneity of the emotional experience, from the body to the soul. This leads actors to ignite even the less civilized, the deepest aspects of their humanity. Alternating nightly between, say, hot-blooded lust and violent rage not only tires one, it can even exhaust a person and, from concentration to trance to delirium, plunge a person into true mental illness, or "possession syndrome" as it is referred to nowadays. Such cases are not frequent, but they do exist: Glenn Wilson mentions some in his Psychology for Performing Artists[18].

I am not advocating for or against the pedagogical virtues of this type of method for preparing actors.  –There exist totally opposite theories praising mechanical acting, convincing theories, dating back very far (think of Diderot's Paradoxe sur le comédien or the whole kathakali tradition). My point is simply that, if somatic cognition exists, and if its functioning differs from exclusively verbal communication, then panic-, lethal- or primal-screams probably fall into the somatic cognition category. And just as anyone fears screaming the Big scream for real, any actor may fear "losing it" to their character. Because of that bodily part of themselves they have felt to be common to them and the character, they risk discovering a foreign continuation of themselves, one that is truer because it starts in their body. So I am here again: beneath one’s voice lies a body, uncivil, that risks taking over.

3. Civility: Between limits

 In a book titled Performance Theory, Richard Schechner, who is also behind New York's Living Theater, says that

as Lévi-Strauss has shown, the basic transformation from raw to cooked is a paradigm of culture making : the making of the natural into the human. At its deepest level this is what theater is "about," the ability to frame and control, to transform the raw into the cooked, to deal with the most problematic (violent, dangerous, sexual, taboo) human interactions[19].

In Schechner's mind, theater converts the raw, problematic aspects of life into culturally acceptable performances. To him, somatic cognition (which could seem to fall into the raw paradigm) has its place in a successfully "cooked" performance, without breaking Lévi-Strauss' raw-to-cooked, nature-to-culture axiology. On the contrary: Schechner was among the first scholars to extend the definition of "performance" so as to include in it all sorts of rituals or special social situations that have almost nothing to do with Occidental text-theater, and which may rely entirely on non-verbal, bodily conducts. In fact, his focus is more on defining what a performance is, and less on verifying whether the raw-cooked paradigm of culture would rightfully apply, as he's put it, between, on one side, a theater that "frame[s] and control[s]" and, on the raw side, "human interactions" that are "violent, dangerous, sexual, taboo". Personally, I am not sure this raw-interaction to framed-cooked theater works, because, however "taboo" they be, human interactions are never "natural" but always, necessarily, already "human" – in other words, they are always civilized in some way. So, the raw-to-cooked scheme would rather be a cooked-to-cooked-again process – an idea that resembles intertextuality as it is put forward in literary studies, by Kristeva for instance. But here, the linking process we are thinking of should also include somatic cognition.

This is close to what Michel de Certeau posits in The Practice of Everyday Life, although he reserves one little exception (and it interests me very much). In this book, he explains that man transforms everything, absolutely everything he touches, into signs, into instruments of cognition and socialization. Elaborating on a concept, "arts de faire", that covers even more humanity than Schechner's performance, he writes:

À [la] passion d'être un signe, seul s'oppose le cri, écart ou extase, révolte ou fugue de ce qui du corps échappe à la loi du nommé. Peut-être toute l'expérience qui n'est pas cri de jouissance ou de douleur est-elle collectée par l'institution. Toute l'expérience qui n'est pas déplacée ou défaite par cette extase est captée [...] et utilisée par le discours [...]. Elle est canalisée et instrumentée.[...] Aussi faudrait-il chercher du côté des cris ce qui n'est pas « refait » par l'ordre de l'outilité scripturaire[20].

I like to present this "arts de faire" concept as an all-encompassing rampart of civilization, outside of which not much "raw" material is left out in the wild. Outside the walls, says de Certeau, all that remains are screams of pain and pleasure. That is his only exception. The only thing Man will not, cannot,  make into an instrument, civilize, would be a true scream. The only human conduct foreign to culture. Forever raw.

That idea seemed like a challenge to me, and I asked myself if I really knew any "true, forever raw scream". Did that concept really make sense, or was it just some intellectual wild card? Well, if you followed me so far, you understand that introspection, or, more precisely, psycho-somatic introspection, is the activity that seemed required at that point. That led me but to an optimistic "maybe".

So then I turned to theater and cinema. And that did not take long. In my humble repertoire, I knew right away where to look for the strongest scream I had ever heard. The burning scene in The Devil's Advocate, a U.S. blockbuster movie with Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron.

The plot is simple: Lomax, a young successful married lawyer, is framed by Milton, the mysterious owner of a law firm (who happens to be his unknown father, and the devil!) -he is set up to be attracted to a beautiful woman (who happens to be his unknown sister). Evil Milton wants them to make love on an altar to conceive the Antichrist. But all Lomax knows is that the firm starts paying him lots and lots of money. Among numerous bad deeds, Milton seduces, rapes and injures Lomax's wife at a moment when both men are also elsewhere together, so Lomax does not believe his wife when she tells him her story. In the end, Lomax understands he is being set up and, out of free will, commits suicide at the very last minute, just when everyone thinks he is about to mate with his sister. Milton then experiences a spectacular crisis: he bursts into flame, screams like hell and transforms himself back into Lucifer, with wings and all. Lomax, who should be dead, is taken back in time, far enough so that he will be able to act differently and avoid the same trap. But the last scene shows us Satan as Milton preparing to pull a new trick on Lomax

In our culture, Evil has often been represented as a highly civilized character who tries to deceive Faustian risk-takers but ends up revealing his true bestial self. In his civilized guise he can be an elegant, confident, off the cuff, soft talker, like here, when Al Pacino enacts the seduction[21] of Charlize Theron. His effortless countenance is built upon a low-pitched voice uttered with lots, lots of air, very slowly, and, most of all, with vowels vocalized with a very limited number of cycles, which is the key to sounding in control. This voice has more than an accent of sincerity, it does not need sincerity, it is pure, bodily connotated, civilized might. We all trust him. Not one hair of the beast is visible.

And then, at another point of the story, almost at the end, you get to hear it… unleashed, his other brutal personality totally taking over. Lets hear Al Pacino screaming in the vest of Milton[22], revealing the devil in himself.

In the dramaturgical language, such moments are called recognitions, and recognitions almost always include a phonostylistical contrast between the two personas. We do not have time to analyze the sequence in detail (it is worth it), but I need to acknowledge how overwrought everything is, from the acting to the visual and sound effects: after the gunshot, the audio has the screams of Milton and the girl, bells, violins, a choir, and special synthesized effects that follow the flames' bursting. The visual has Milton, four kinds of flames dancing, a grey living sculpture with two subjects, nude, and a young undressed woman getting up from the altar. All that gives a sense of overfill to the sequence, a quality that could seem baroque, but I don't think "baroque" says it all. In my mind, what happens here is that the wealth of esthetic devices, this "sur écrire" as Philippe Lejeune would say[23], hides the simple fact that the plot calls for a very deluded Milton, not necessarily for this new full-scale damnation of Satan. Nonetheless, this is what the audience gets, and to render this in a contemporary movie, the sole body and voice of an actor, even one as great as Pacino, cannot suffice. A “mortal” voice alone is not enough to render the mythical consequences of Lomax's suicide, not to describe the drastic shift that brings him from risking his soul, like Dr. Faust, to now gambling on God, like Jansenist Blaise Pascal. The narrative stakes rank so high in our Occidental metaphysical axiology that this movie must scream  with voices, bodies, fire, choreography and music.

But think of it the other way around. Listen again and again to the clip, like Proust going back to his "petite madeleine". Listen[24]. Starting from this shout, many things are known. Such as the assurance that no director will ever trust the shout of Milton to a “good guy”, not even the director of a French film that would normally shun a Hollywood ending. There is epic and evil in this scream. Can you imagine a drama character screaming like that? Woody Allen, Tom Hanks? Maybe yes -- but only if he was weak and looking death in the face, like the rest of us sinners. Think of Zeffirelli's Jesus on the cross: is he a man? One thing is sure, when facing death, Zeffirelli makes him utter a whole sentence. He speaks, but he does not scream. He was made into a good Christian with a good conscience. But I don't think a good conscience is really human, not in the bodily part of us. And I even have a counter-example[25] : one of a more-than-human good conscience made into a scream, a sceam that is not of evil death, nor of human fright, but of divine triumph : it is Jeanne d'Arc’s battle cry.

When thinking about risk, trust, civility, one must beware that these are what I would call “liminary” concepts, meaning that each of them presupposes a treshold between two contextually defined situations. For risk, it could be winning or losing; for trust, it could be hostility or cooperation; for civility, barabarism and utopia, or other similar oppositions. These liminary concepts are also teleogically oriented following some universal axis that goes from chaos to order, with victory, cooperation and utopia being on the side of order. In our culture, from Plato to the Fathers of the Church, what our body knows of the scream is most probably at the other end of the axiological spectrum[26]. It ignites us, it tastes of possession, trance or ectasy.

4. Prominence and Ambitus

Now, to name the somatic-cognitive effect of the multimedia aesthetical emphasis found in Milton's scream, I would like to propose using the word "prominence". In phonetics, the prominence is "the degree to which a sound or syllable stands out from its phonetic environment"[27]. In phonostylistics, I find prominence can be a question of frequency, amplitude, duration, rhythm, articulation or voice quality. Here, I see no reason to limit the list of causes that contribute to our hypothetical somatic-cognitive prominence because, although its epicenter is obviously still Al Pacino's body in the powerful unleashing of a scream, the artistry of a small army was necessary to produce this scene, every one of them manipulating many variables. So, for the time being, this prominence will have to be defined more from the side of the reception, than from that of its genesis.

In conclusion, I will throw away (but telegraphically) intuitions that aim to sketch the mapping of this concept with regard to some fundamental epistemological categories.

Substance : the substance of this prominence will not be easily denoted in words. It is of the nature of what literature still refers to as pleasure, trauma, libido, dream content, mood, tone. It is composed of what the body remembers. But it is not the colors, the shapes, the movements or the soundwaves themselves. One extreme example is found in this scene, from Jeanne d'Arc, when God answers[28] her prayer.

Cognition : knowledge of prominence is more somatic, less rational. More animal. More Hyde, less Jekyll ; more bat, less dandy, more grunts[29] than of talking.

Communication : probably something as described in Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience (Time and free Will), when Bergon says that artists establish an esthetic communication that transits from the manifestation of his sentiment to the spectator's body, without being filtered through rational mediations[30]. In the last example, the uneasiness of the film crew right after Shreck's first grunts: it travels in the room and sets in through this kind of communication among the characters.

Structure : the contrast between prominence and non-prominence suggests the corollary hypothesis of a positively described second term. This binarity of prominence vs non-prominence can apply to the description of diachronic structures, successions of different qualities and intensities; and of synchronic structures, based on the co-presence of harmony or unharmonic discrepancies between characters, and between the audience and the characters. For example, in this scene, the configuration of prominence and non-prominence between the two characters takes the interesting form of a chiasmus[31] : when he shouts, she whines; when she screams, he whispers ; when he shouts, she is diminished; when she shouts, he is ashamed.

Evolutionary ethology : probably useful, as an archeology.

Social and comparative ethology : big question, I have the feeling we are testimonies of a general crescendo of prominences, or maybe is it just an inflation, that makes music louder, movies more strenuous, erotism more pornographic, etc.

Method of enquiry : phenomenological.

Context : Prominence  can stand out in a movie or a play, and be simultanedous with the dramaturgical climax or "clou du spectacle"; or it can stand out in single dialogue, or a monologue ; or can spring forth out of a collection of many movies and plays, just like The Devil's Advocate came to my mind.

 I have a word that I would like to proposed to name the structural context of prominence. The word is "Ambitus".

This Latin word designated space surrounded by walls or fences. This recalls de Certeau's idea thatthe scream belongs outside of culture : since I study prominence in movies where the supernatural, the extra-human, is given beautiful artistic audiovisual signifiers, I find my object to be intra-cultural (even if it alludes to the Unknown, and even if I posit it is chiefly somatic).

"Ambitus" has also meant a space between two buildings, and now, for musicians, it denotes something like the tessitura, the tonal range  of an instrument, of a singer or of a piece of music. Prominence is necessarily in relation to such a range. Think of a battle movie where people fight da capo a fine -- from beginning to end.  In a sense, the ambitus is civility for prominence : it grounds it.

-Which takes me to the last meaning I found for the word "ambitus", in Larousse's first, gigantic and not always reliable Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle : "In the middle ages, ambitus was said of a consecrated ground surrounding a church, ordinarily filled with tombs, and serving as a safe-haven."[32] I like to see voice's civile ambitus always dwelling over silenced bodies ; the prominence like a trembling tower ; the play or the movie, like a surrounding safe haven ; and something above to reach at with voices like bells.


Sébastien Ruffo

Queen's University



[1] Online, see RUFFO, Sébastien, "Studying the Voice of the Dramatic Character", Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, vol. 4, n. 2, juillet 2003. http://www.aber.ac.uk/tfts/journal/archive/ruffo.html  and

RUFFO, Sébastien,  "Vers une critique comparatiste de la voix au théâtre", Études françaises, vol. 39, n. 1, 2003, pp. 99-110. Multimedia version : http://www.erudit.org/revue/etudfr/2003/v39/n1/006902ar.html.

[2] See her website at http://www.josette-feral.org/ .

[3] LÉON, Pierre, Précis de phonostylistique, Paris, Nathan, "Nathan Université", 1993, 335 p.

[4] This hypoythesis seems compatible with the one put forward by Paul Bouissac whe he says that : "evolution has provided the human primate with a toolkit of trust assessment that is both fast and robust but operates by default, that is, by using an algorithm of the following form: if not a, b, c, n… then trust." BOUISSAC, Paul,  "What is a Trustworthy Face?" in Position Papers of "Risk, Trust and Civility : A Pluridisciplinary Symposium", PDF document, Toronto,Victoria College, May 6-8, 2005, p.3.  In-site hyperlink to the document: http://www.semioticon.com/virtuals/risk/Trustworthyface.pdf.

[5] In-site hyperlink to the video file LOVE.mov, from :

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Victor Fleming (director), Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner (actors),Warner Home video, DVD, Region 1 encoding, 2004 for this 1932-1941 versions double feature DVD (first released by MGM, 1941).

Video clips are in Quicktime format. Free player available at


[6] In-site hyperlink to the video file 2LOVE.mov, from :

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Rouben Mamoulian (director), Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart (actors),Warner Home video, DVD, Region 1 encoding, 2004 for this 1932-1941 versions double feature DVD (first released by Paramount, 1931, 1932 for this uncut long version).

[7] In-site hyperlink to the video file CANDO.mov, op. cit.

[8] In-site hyperlink to the video file HOG.mov. from :

The Devil’s Advocate, Taylor Hackford (director), Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron (actors), Warner Studios, DVD, Region 1 encoding, 2004 (first released 1997).

[9] KERBRAT-ORECCHIONI, Catherine, L'Implicite, Armand Colin, 1998 [1986], pp.194-239.

[10] A fondamental premise of Paul Bouissac's leuco-signal hypothesis : "[for trust assessment algorithm] to be adaptive […] information must be as unambiguous as possible, that is, be of a binary nature and based on a maximal contrast. This is why it makes sense to look first at the leuco-signals as a source of such crucial information. The white of the sclera and the teeth maximizes the reflectance of light and can be perceived even in poor luminosity".

[11] Vocal gesture is evidently produced and received as a scalar conduct : we spontaneously evaluate the amount of energy used by any phonation. In Roland barthes' language, that scalar aspect of its semiotic structure  could be said to be bathmological : "La bathmologie, ce serait le champ des discours soumis à un jeu de degrés. Certains langages sont comme le champagne : ils développent une signification postérieure à leur première écoute, et c'est dans ce recul du sens que naît la littérature."  BARTHES, Roland, "Lecture de Brillat-Savarin" in Le Bruissement de la Langue, Seuil, 1984, p. 285.

[12] In-site hyperlink to the audio file CRI.mov. Scream files downloaded from http://screaming.lucyjordan.com/, with reference to free sites from XOOM and http://www.eventsounds.com.

[13] In-site hyperlink to the graphic file MUNCH.JPG, from the WebMuseum, at http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/munch/.

[14] Janov's website: http://www.primaltherapy.com/CORES/warningCore.htm

[15] "Il tombait foudroyé, morne silencieux,  / Triste, la bouche ouverte et les pieds vers les cieux,  / L'horreur du gouffre empreinte à sa face livide. / Il cria : - Mort! - les poings tendus vers l'ombre vide.  / Ce mot plus tard fut homme et s'appela Caïn." HUGO, Victor, La Fin de Satan, 1886. Available at http://abu.cnam.fr/cgi-bin/go?satan1.

[16] PERT, Candace, Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine, Scribner, 1997.

[17] LEDOUX Joseph, The Emotional Brain, Touchstone, 1996.

[18] WILSON, Glen D., Psychology for Performing Artists, Second edition, London, Whurr, 2002, p.32.

[19] SCHECHNER, Richard, Performance Theory. New York, Routledge, 1988 [1977], p.191.

[20] M. de Certeau, L'invention du quotidien 1. Arts de faire, Gallimard, 1990 [1979], p. 219.

[21] In-site hyperlink to the video file NECK.mov from The Devil’s Advocate, op.cit.

[22] In-site hyperlink to the video file MILTON.mov from The Devil’s Advocate, op.cit.

[23] LEJEUNE, Philippe, Le pacte autobiographique, Seuil, coll. "Poétique", 1975, p.191.

[24] In-site hyperlink to the video file MILTON.mov from The Devil’s Advocate, op.cit.

[25] In-site hyperlink to the video file DRAW.mov, from

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Luc Besson (director), Milla Jovovich, Dustin Hoffman, John Malkovich (actors), Columbia TriStar Home Video, DVD, Region 1 encoding, 2001 (first released by Gaumont. 1999).

[26] For a discussion of this, see RUFFO, Sébastien, "La Voix prisonnière : phonostylistique de l’extase", in  « La Clôture » -Actes du Colloque Interdisciplinaire et International tenu à Bologne et à Florence les 8, 9 et 10 mai 2003 – Préface de Claude Thomasset, réunis par L.-X. Salvador,  Bologne, CLUEB, 2005, "Heuresis strumenti", pp.203-214.

[27] Oxford English Dictionary.

[28] In-site hyperlink to the video file YELLING.mov, from The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, op. cit.

[29] In-site hyperlink to the video file SCHRECK.mov, from

The Shadow of the Vampire, Elias Merhige (director), John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe (actors), Universal Studios, DVD, Region 1 encoding, 2001 (first released 2001).

[30] BERGSON, Henri,Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience , PUF, 1985 (1927), pp.13-14.

[31] In-site hyperlink to the video file YOUDO.mov from The Devil’s Advocate, op.cit.

[32] LAROUSSE, Pierre,  Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle, Tome premier, 1866. My translation.