A fascinating story about Hollywood sound, from King Kong’s roar and the crackle of macarons to «Ride of the Valkyries» and Batman’s voice.
Sound in cinema is an art that remains outside the shot (literally). We know very little about who creates it and how. The director of Making Waves, Midge Costin, knows everything there is to know: she worked as a sound editor on films by John Waters and Tony Scott and was nominated for several Oscars. Her debut tells the story of how Hollywood sound design was born and its momentous journey from the voice of Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer and the leopard’s roar recorded by Murray Spivack for King Kong in 1933 to the space battles in Star Wars and the psychedelic acoustic landscapes of Apocalypse Now.
The director’s view is not focused on composers (music is, of course, mentioned, but, as sound directors say, referencing John Cage, noise and silence are also music) and nor is she obsessed with the technical side of things. The film features David Lynch, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, and Sofia Coppola, who talk about their vision of sound in film. This story has its own trade secrets (many things can imitate the crackle of a broken macaron or the crunch of starch), its own heroes and villains, and even moments of triumph, when stunning work by the director coincides with no less magnificent work by the sound director. This is how sounds appear that we will always remember and that help us immediately identify the film, be it Chewbacca’s bellow or the helicopter attack accompanied by «Ride of the Valkyries.»
The film will be screened in English with Russian subtitles.
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
Director Midge Costin
USA, 2019. 94 min. 18+