Darius Marder’s fiction debut is a first-class cinematic novel about the ordeal that fate puts the hero of Riz Ahmed (not only an actor, but also a musician-rapper). This is a gripping melodrama, the plot of which was invented by Derek Cianfrance, director of “Blue Valentine” and “The Light between Oceans”. In 2021, the film was nominated for an Oscar in six categories and won two: Best Editing and Best Sound. At the box office “Sound of Metal” will be presented with an original soundtrack and subtitles in Russian, suitable for audiences with hearing impairments.
Blackgammon is the name of a punk metal band formed by drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) and his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke). For a rocker, Ruben is a former drug addict who has got clean and is too much obsessed with a healthy lifestyle. During the performance, Ruben suddenly hears that the drums are not making a proper sound, but a dull rumble; this is the first symptom of unavoidable hearing loss. And Ruben goes to a secluded residence for people with deafness – to “learn to be deaf” himself.
Over eight years ago, two filmmaker friends wrote about a real-life pair of musicians playing metal, and it was an experimental, hybrid documentary. The seed of this project has grown into a film that can be seen now. When the director’s brother Abraham Marder joined the script, the story was enriched with childhood memories of life in one of the religious rural areas of Massachusetts, as well as a dedication to his own grandmother, whom the filmmaker describes as: “She was Jewish, lesbian, photographer and cinephile, and she lost her hearing after taking antibiotics at the age of about 60. Already a loner, she was trapped between two cultures – people who can hear and who are deaf – unable to join either of them. For the rest of her life, she wrote petitions demanding subtitles for all films. This picture is dedicated to her”.
In addition, “The Sound of Metal” is also an inventive picture in terms of sound design. Riz Ahmed, who played Ruben, moved to Brooklyn four months before filming and learned to play drums from scratch. The live performances featured in the film were indeed live. The director noted: “We did not record different musical parts separately, so that later we could cheat and mix them in the studio. We boldly plunged into real experience, not striving for fake glossy perfection”.
Film screenings in Belarus are organized by Visual and Performing Arts Centre “ART Corporation”.
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