Touch the Sound

"Good"

Touch the Sound Review


Momma always said never touch the sound!

Sorry, but that kept running through my head during the entire running time of this movie. And yet it's completely serious, thoughtful, and meant to be touching: It's about a nearly deaf woman named Evelyn Glennie who, despite her handicap, is a percussionist.

Part street performer, part performance artist, Glennie is quite good at what she does, whether playing a drum kit, a single snare, or a makeshift violin-thingy that looks like a giant's claw. Throughout the near-constant footage of Glennie performing, we're treated to her backstory (she slowly became deaf as a child; her hearing was nearly gone by age eight). We also watch Glennie as she in turn watches in amazement as other performers show off with different instruments and dazzle her with their musical genius.

All of this should by every right be heartfelt, and yet there's something about the movie that feels off, forced, or just not quite right. Maybe it's Glennie's wilfull antiestablishment arrogance, the snooty look on her face that implies that She Is An Artist and that we must respect her grandiose vision. Turns out, unfortunately, there really isn't much of one. Glennie is deaf and she plays the drums, and in the film this ends up coming across almost like a gimmick. It's at its worst when she attempts to teach a deaf child how to play a bass drum, encouraging her to pull the sound out of the drum. The effect is the same as a mime pulling on an invisible rope. It doesn't help when Glennie tries to elucidate her feelings about nature and music in holistic, broad strokes that border on nonsense.

There's another problem here, and that's that the world of the deaf and music has been thoroughly explored in the mass media over the last few decades. This kind of story is just a bit old hat now, and Glennie doesn't bring anything new to the table.

Director Thomas Riedelsheimer, whose swooping camera work and unique style are unique in the doc space, hit a solid triple with his last film, Rivers and Tides, but the subject of that documentary was a fascinating guy who's doing unfathomably complex art with an impossibly huge scope. Touch the Sound, like it or not, is about a lady beating a drum in the street. You do the math.

DVD extras include deleted scenes and more info about Glennie.



Touch the Sound

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 4th November 2004

Distributed by: Celluloid Dreams

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 44 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Trevor Davies, Leslie Hills, Stefan Tolz

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

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.