In the movie industry all sorts of subject have been treated at length. One of the most common is the end of the world, how will that happen, who will be dying, who will be saved, who will be saving the world, etc. Another well explored topic is love. How will that happen, who will be crying, who will be saved and who will be saving love. Serious stuff.
But I have not seen a movie yet about the pleasure of listening. Until yesterday. Now, if you’ve been following my blogs, you know that’s something very dear to my heart. I enjoy immensely having apparatus on each side of my head that allow me to capture an infinite spectrum of data and pleasures.
So, how does one goes about celebrating the pleasure of listening? Simply by depriving you of it. The hero in the movie I’m talking about goes deaf, and, here’s the party trick, you can hear it! From crystal clear, the sound become muted, muffled, like being under the sea. People talking sound like they’re tied to a wah-wah pedal, the background noise is transformed into a buzzing engine, playing the drums as loud as possible is equivalent to tapping lightly on carboard boxes full of pillows. It is absolutely scary. No more texture, no more clarity, no more nuances. Just low, very low, faint frequencies to try to make sense of the noises around.
I am talking about the movie “Sound of metal”. I leave it up to every one to decide if they like it or not, but I need to mention that it got an Oscar for Best Sound. And it shows. I’ve had my ears clogged up before, not to the extent the hero experiences, but I got a good strong taste of what it’s like to lose your earing. And it sounds exactly the way it’s portrayed.
Also, immediately, the movie makes you understand the psychological weight of it, how isolated you are when someone talks and you can’t grasp a word they’re saying. That would be me when I can’t hear, but that would be anybody in a foreign country with a language they don’t speak. All of the sudden, you’re left with your smile and your resilience to go grocery shopping.
I recommend to see this flick, especially for musicians, just to appreciate how much sound is important.
Oh, and the hero is a drummer, and he plays death metal music. He beats his drums as hard as he can. So, I guess I’ll give the customary word of the wise: protect your ears. You don’t know how much you miss your hearing until it’s gone.