In Gravity (2013), Alfonso Cuarón introduced a fully three-dimensional sound design approach that was originally termed by Idrovo and Pauletto (2019) as ‘immersive point-of-audition’. More recently, in Netflix’s Roma (2018), Cuarón not only perfected such treatment of sound, but consolidated an audio-visual style that stands out for its capacity to enhance our sensation of ‘presence’ in the narrative world, a style that is referred here to as immersive continuity. Grounded on the spatiotemporal continuity of the long take, Cuarón’s immersive continuity allows sound objects to flow all around the 3-D space, and hence opens a giant window of opportunity for the exploitation of Dolby Atmos. Through an extensive analysis of Roma, this article describes the aesthetics of such audio-visual style, and beyond, it explores the methods and workflows that permitted Cuarón’s sound team to fully exploit sound three-dimensionality. Finally, I discuss the growing adoption of Netflix as one of the major challenges that the theatrical cinema industry has to face; and argue that embracing immersive continuity may be a powerful weapon for attracting audiences to a cinematic experience that cannot be found at home.


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pp. 167-193
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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