Great World of Sound

"Very Good"

Great World of Sound Review


The two twits at the center of Craig Zobel's Great World of Sound don't buy into the thievery of the music industry, but they are more than happy to be the tiny sprockets that help the machine rumble. One of them is a white weenie named Martin (Pat Healy) who has never had ambition outside of what his girlfriends do. His partner is Clarence (Kene Holliday), a big huff of a man who walks into a room and sells himself as if he were 50 bucks a pound on the open market. They report to a second-rate confidence man (John Baker) who sends them on the road to sign salt-of-the-earth musicians in the southern states.

The musicians enter a small hotel room and play for Martin and Clarence and then, after being told how they are endangering culture by keeping their talents hidden away, are asked to fork over thirty percent of the recording cost or whatever they can spare really. Clarence has a knack for selling the American dream: the idea of a huge payoff from doing very little. Martin has the sincerity of a true music fan, pouring his heart out when he actually believes in an artist. As a team, they are lethally charming and rarely lose the talent's confidence.

An old friend of junior auteur David Gordon Green (who serves as producer here), Zobel put ads in local papers to get real amateur musicians in the rooms, ostensibly going the same route as the characters in the film. The result is a wholly authentic feel of low-grade excitement from these encounters; nervy enthrallment without the barrier of performance. For Clarence, this becomes an engaging aspect of his job: being able to match their excitement and then ease them into the monetary "reality." But for Martin, it's an act of erosion both of his belief in music and in his confidence in humanity.

Martin's belief in music gets tested repeatedly but it's only when he meets the luminous Gloria (Tricia Paoluccio), who croons Joanna Newsom's showstopping "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie" that he finds himself no longer able to do the work. Healy's tender performance plays nicely off of Holliday, who I am positive didn't have to do a lot of acting to fill in Clarence. Martin and Clarence's bond slowly evolves into that everlasting artistic dichotomy: ingenuity vs. profit. Clarence needs a job and is well aware of the con he is implicit in, but Martin hasn't a clue until the last trip in which they encounter Gloria, who almost ends up in bed with Martin.

Great World of Sound reminds one of those great indie charmers that were the basis of the 1990s indie movement. Zobel's designs on friend and producer Green are felt in the scrappy detailing of the South, but there are also hints of Altman and Soderbergh felt in both the crafty screenplay and the work with the actors. Martin's return from his devastating adventures on the road to his soulful girlfriend Pam comes on like one of the great redemptive moments in cinema this year, sitting down to paint knick-knacks as she goes to get them some tea. Zobel's smart enough to know that the con won't end, but he also knows that people won't stand it forever, and that gives his film character.



Great World of Sound

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th March 2007

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 34 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Craig Zobel

Producer: Craig Zobel, Melissa Palmer, , Richard A. Wright

Starring: as Martin, Kene Holliday as Clarence, John Baker as Shank, as Layton

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.