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Movies about sound or field recording (nature/ambience)


Bogdan
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Sound on.

My first post...

I've been searching for films that convey the life of a sound recordist, especially focused on natural environments and ambient sounds. I imagine an adventurous traveller recording mysterious sounds in obscure, silent places.   0 results. Unacceptable! :)

The "closest" I got was Berberian Sound Studio (2012), a film I saw in an empty, silent cinema in Edinburgh in 2012 :) This is almost the opposite of what I am looking for, as it's based in a studio :P

Another inspiration was Upstream Color (2013). Here there is this strange guy recording pigs and other unconventional natural sounds. He then uses the sounds in a synth instrument.

I'm sure there are many films that have at least some good references to what I've mentioned, but I will let you guys come up with amazing movies that inspired you in this respect ( maybe even to become a sound designer/recordist/engineer etc.)

Please focus on films expressing the art of listening/recording (natural) sounds or music.  You can mention films with great sound designs, especially those using organic sounds creatively, but only if you really must :).

Please contribute. I will make a list :)

May the sound of silence enlighten us!

 

Edits (contributions):

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Into the Wind (2017) BBC 4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08lvxxs

Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie (2004http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424509/?ref_=ttrel_rel_tt

Notes on Blindness (2016) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5117222/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Blow Out (1981) : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082085/

Microcosmos (1996) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117040/

Lisbon Story (1994) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110361/?ref_=nv_sr_1)

In a World (2013) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294677/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3

The Conversation (1974) : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071360/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The Lives of Others (2006) (recorded on nagra and central character is recording the lives of others : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405094/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Concerning Violence (2014) (which is not directly about sound recording but it has a picture of a nagra operator in a fantastic pair of flares on the poster)  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3263690/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics -BBC documentary- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08h06tq

Murke's Collected Silences by Heinrich Böll

Most films made by Nick Broomfield (as he likes to get himself in shot with a nagra and 416 ;-)

The Brave One (2007) (iirc Erica {Foster} is using a sound devices 7 series) : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0476964/

Double Indemnity (this is very tenuous but I include it for the recorded confession - which despite my sins and access to the hardware i've never felt compelled to do ;- ) 

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P.S. I'm about to embark on a loooong journey, in a van, doing exactly this (I will start with Europe). I joined this community after an extensive research regarding what equipment I need to record natural sounds, especially in quiet environments in remote places. I will also record videos on my DSLR to capture more of the beauty of our planet.  I will then share my results to inspire those who need this perspective. Possibilities are endless.

P.S.2   I am interested to buy an used Sound Devices recorder (any would do) at a good price...preferably in Europe, to avoid 20% custom fees. I know you have some :).

 

 

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1 hour ago, MondoBurger said:

Notes on Blindness is a beautiful movie with quite a bit to say about listening, especially in how it relates to cognition and alternative ways of knowing.

The rain scene in particular is stunning

 

It would have been better without the background music.

 

 

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The following might not quite be what you're thinking of but you decide.

'Blow Out' (despite some of the creative licences taken with the technicalities) : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082085/

'The Conversation' : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071360/?ref_=nv_sr_1

'The Lives of Others' (recorded on nagra and central character is recording the lives of others : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405094/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

'Concerning Violence' (which is not directly about sound recording but it has a picture of a nagra operator in a fantastic pair of flares on the poster) : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3263690/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Science programme about sound (a bit lightweight) : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08h06tq

Most films made by Nick Broomfield (as he likes to get himself in shot with a nagra and 416 ;-)

'Brave One' (iirc Erica {Foster} is using a sound devices 7 series) : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0476964/

'Double Indemnity' (this is very tenuous but I include it for the recorded confession - which despite my sins and access to the hardware i've never felt compelled to do ;- ) : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405094/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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Thanks! It's a great list... saw most of them. Not exactly what I am looking for, you're right, but definitely close and relevant!

Edit: your last link is broken :P You mean the 1944 film?

Edited by Bogdan
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Good list so far...only additions that come to mind right now:

It's a written short story (and IIRC later a BBC radio play...or reading), but it's worth reading and thinking about...

Murke's Collected Silences by Heinrich Böll

Also actual (well, fictional) films:

Lisbon Story by Wim Wenders (not his best film, but interesting)

In A World by Lake Bell (the main characters are voice-over artists and voice coaches; a nice fun and funny film)

 

Fun topic Bogdan!

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One of the great films has to be "Microcosmos". Philippe Barbeau and Bernard Leroux did an incredible job on sound. The film took 3 years to make and is still probably the most ambitious film of its type to this day. Have you ever heard an ants footsteps? Watch this film! It's a marvel from both visual and sound perspectives.

Short clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76R2EKEnoJQwAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfUf5IawJ30

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117040/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcosmos_(film)

 

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14 hours ago, Jim Feeley said:

Good list so far...only additions that come to mind right now:

It's a written short story (and IIRC later a BBC radio play...or reading), but it's worth reading and thinking about...

Murke's Collected Silences by Heinrich Böll

Also actual (well, fictional) films:

Lisbon Story by Wim Wenders (not his best film, but interesting)

In A World by Lake Bell (the main characters are voice-over artists and voice coaches; a nice fun and funny film)

 

Fun topic Bogdan!

Awesome, thanks. Seen both films you mentioned. I love the atmosphere in Lisbon Story. It's very inspiring. In a world was a good watch as well.

13 hours ago, Dutch said:

One of the great films has to be "Microcosmos". Philippe Barbeau and Bernard Leroux did an incredible job on sound. The film took 3 years to make and is still probably the most ambitious film of its type to this day. Have you ever heard an ants footsteps? Watch this film! It's a marvel from both visual and sound perspectives.

Short clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76R2EKEnoJQwAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfUf5IawJ30

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117040/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcosmos_(film)

 

It looks fantastic. It probably sounds even better :)It's on the list! Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I just watched Tim Dee's TV programme which Daniel pointed out earlier this week on BBC4, Into the Wind.

Half an hour following a bloke with a rycote across The Wash. Delightful. And you'll probably come away from it wanting to use a Nagra Seven (unless it was an LB?)

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6 hours ago, Jim Feeley said:

Ha! Great review. 

Ha! I thought the same!! :))

 

7 hours ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

Well I just watched Tim Dee's TV programme which Daniel pointed out earlier this week on BBC4, Into the Wind.

Half an hour following a bloke with a rycote across The Wash. Delightful. And you'll probably come away from it wanting to use a Nagra Seven (unless it was an LB?)

Hmm...

I somehow missed "Into the Wind". In daniel's BBC link I could only find "Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics". I'll have a browse.

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Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie (2004)

Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie Poster
A documentary which explores the connections among sound, rhythm, time, and the body by following percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who is nearly deaf.

Director:

 
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1 minute ago, daniel said:

Just watched this on iplayer. Kind of wish I'd not posted about it - not my sort thing at all :-)

Yea..I stopped watching after 5 minutes or less... :)) I hope I will continue at some point.

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Just now, Bogdan said:

Yea..I stoped watching after 5 minutes or less... :)) I hope I will continue at some point.

Imho, not worth it. Less 'Into the Wind' more a guy gassing on about himself while camera op does his best to make a flat landscape look interesting. I kept thinking about Casper David Fredericks for some reason I'm not sure I could explain - maybe as there seemed to be an aspiration to encompass some meditative romantic element but it never got there for me. I don't even remember noticing much about the wind recording except for a bit at the end which faded into music (yergh!)

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22 hours ago, daniel said:

Imho, not worth it. Less 'Into the Wind' more a guy gassing on about himself while camera op does his best to make a flat landscape look interesting. I kept thinking about Casper David Fredericks for some reason I'm not sure I could explain - maybe as there seemed to be an aspiration to encompass some meditative romantic element but it never got there for me. I don't even remember noticing much about the wind recording except for a bit at the end which faded into music (yergh!)

I did enjoy it, and am familiar with Tim's radio docs. I actually took the programme to be more tongue in cheek and pretty funny, in the 'style' of 1970s / 80s classic BBC2 / early Channel 4 than today's tendency to take Sound Art SERIOUSLY.

J x

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  • 4 weeks later...

Touch of Evil

The final sequence where Charleston Heston puts an rudimentary radio mic on an informant to catch Orson welles' character confessing. Brilliant use of sound, and the poor performance of the wireless places a critical role. 

Not quite what you're after, but worth mentioning.  I find all the old Orson welles movies pretty interesting from a sound perspective. 

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From the VO world, there is a doc called "I know That Voice" that was produced by John Di Maggio. I was lucky to work with many of the people in this trailer, and it's a great look into the VO world for animation and video games (the world I lived in for a while). A lot of these people did video games as well. 
 

 

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"Diva," which chronicles a young French man obsessed with an American opera singer who has never been recorded live in performance.  He tapes her surreptitiously with a Nagra IV-S (I think).  We never see the mic(s).  That sets the stage for a mistaken-identity plot line.  Good (revised: indeed, cheesy as hell) film.

Edited by Corbin
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1 hour ago, Corbin said:

"Diva," which chronicles a young French man obsessed with an American opera singer who has never been recorded live in performance.  He tapes her surreptitiously with a Nagra IV-S (I think).  We never see the mic(s).  That sets the stage for a mistaken-identity plot line.  Good film.

Cheesey, but I do like this film. Cythia Hawkins not recording her performances stands out in our time where everyone wants to be recorded. The sound track is great. 

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