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Documentaries > Touch the Sound (Thomas Riedelsheimer, 2006)

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message 1: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10496 comments Eveline Glennie – Touch the Sound

Eveline Glennie is a percussionist, born in Scotland in 1965 and has played throughout the world with many great musicians, orchestras and chamber ensembles. What is unique about Ms. Glennie is that she is extremely hearing impaired and relies on a varieties of other senses to guide her musical effort.

I saw Touch the Sound recently and thought it not up to the level of Rivers and Tides, Thomas Riedelsheimer's film on Andy Goldsworthy (in terms of clarity or erudition), but it was enjoyable nonetheless. One of the most intriguing scenes, where Glennie is talking to a student and they are discussing the relationship between dynamics and touch was something I wish she had commented on more. For me, that was something totally unique to her experience and yet it was left (for the most part) unexplored.

The few performances in the film were nice. The autobiographical fragments were OK but drifted a bit. I especially liked her performance on snare drum in Grand Central Station - a captivating scene!

As much as I enjoyed the film and wished there were more like it out there, I couldn't help but feel the film lacked a clear focal point (I think more attention to the element I mentioned in the 1st paragraph would have allowed the film to succeed on this level).

Upon further reflection, I wondered if the tone and pace of the film was trying to pull the viewer further into Ms. Glennie's world - a world that may read a bit un-tethered due to her hearing impairment. I can appreciate this desire on the part of the filmmaker (if indeed he considered it), but the final product may not have succeeded having made that stylistic distinction/decision.

But hey, how many films can you say are made about great, off the beaten path musicians? I'm glad I saw it and would encourage anyone on the list to check it out. I hope it did well enough to keep Thomas Riedelsheimer's in good favors with film financiers; he certainly deserves to keep at it (and you know how fickle film financiers can be).


message 2: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Thank you Phillip, this film looks so interesting! For some reason, you evoked a memory from my subconscious of Glenn Gould: have you ever seen the Francois Girard film 32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD? My friend owns the out-of-print DVD and I highly recommend (if you can find a copy), though I seemed to have changed your subject.


message 3: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10496 comments oh yeah, gould is someone that fascinates me. i've read a few biographies, and have seen the film a few times. it's a great documentary on the subject of genius; albeit a rather tortured one.


message 4: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Feb 08, 2009 07:30AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments These films would make a great triptych with Ken Russell's MAHLER, touching upon the madness of the creative spirit and the beauty of the human condition.


message 5: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10496 comments i haven't seen mahler in decades. have you seen it lately? i remember it being really overwrought...and i don't feel that way about this film or the gould film. they do all deal with the same theme, you're right. i'd have to see mahler again....i think it's pretty hard to find those 70's ken russell films. you can find tommy floating around, but i haven't seen lizstomania or mahler in the video stores.


message 6: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Feb 08, 2009 03:06PM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments MAHLER is out of print on DVD and goes for about $100 on eBay...if you can find a copy! My Cinementor owns it but the DVD is Full Frame w/mono soundtrack; a really awful presentation. It needs to be redone (hello, Criterion?) with some cool extras. The film is most definately overwrought and bugfuck crazy, laugh-out-loud insanity...almost like a Terry Southern novel. My friend is a Mahler aficionado and though it's not meant to be a documentary, it captures the zany creative spirit and hubris: maybe more of Russell than Mahler:)


message 7: by Steve (last edited Feb 09, 2009 07:48AM) (new)

Steve | 957 comments Lisztomania is great...not sure where I saw it, I guess on a VHS years and years ago. I also took a class called "Film and History" in college, in which we watched Russell's "The Devils." It was pretty scandalous b/c I went to a Catholic college and the class was taught by a priest who happened to be a real movie buff. One or two of the overly sensitive students filed complaints about the professor. Luckily the school is very liberal despite being run and operated by the Holy Cross order.

Gotta love Ken Russell!


message 8: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10496 comments the devils is probably my favorite ken russell movie. whoa, that's a wild ride!

i remember liking mahler, but because i like his music so much, i was a little annoyed that is was "more russell than mahler", as alex pointed out. i'd like to see it again....it's been years.


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