Sounds Like (Anderson, 2006)

Highly pertinent subject matter; director Brad Anderson (The Machinist) excavates the layers upon layers of sound (technological and man-made) which could be driving us slowly insane. Larry Pearce (Chris Bauer), a middle-aged white man who has heightened hearing, ironically works as a manager for a Computer Support Center, monitoring calls and cutting them off if needed. The guy hears everything, for better or worse. Past this setup, Anderson does very little with plot, repeating variations on Pearce’s slow dissent into madness instead of pitting his character within a grander story. I admire this minimalist approach, which does provide ample amounts of brilliant sound design. There isn’t much else though, kind of a hollow narrative shell covered in complex audio cues. I couldn’t help cringe and feel sorry for Larry as his hearing gets stronger, becoming aware of so much bullshit in the world and not being able to do a damn thing.

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