In his fiction debut, Darius Marder explores the gradual loss of hearing with unprecedented attention and close collaboration with members of the deaf and hard of hearing community. Garage screens Sound of Metal with an audio description and subtitles.
A recovering drug addict and drummer in a metal duo Ruben (Riz Ahmed), starts losing his hearing. Concerned about his health and worried that he might relapse, Ruben's girlfriend and vocalist Lou (Olivia Cooke) persuades him to move into a shelter for deaf recovering addicts to undergo an adaptation course run by Joe (Paul Raci), a former alcoholic and Vietnam veteran, whose method is based on complete isolation from the outside world, a search for inner peace and learning sign language. Ruben agrees to stay but continues to live in denial, focused on getting cochlear implants and returning to the stage with Lou.
At the facility, he discovers a new kind of community of deaf and hard of hearing people of all ages, races, and gender identities. With deaf actors and the incredible Paul Raci—a hearing child of deaf parents—involved in the making of the film, Marder and his team have created an elaborate sound design that has allowed them to convey the discomfort of gradual hearing loss, as well as the sounds of the world as they appear through cochlear implants. The outstanding sound design by Jaime Baksht and Michelle Couttolenc (BAFTA nominees for Pan's Labyrinth) is the result of ten years of research and preparation.
Darius Marder's explosive debut in fiction, co-written with Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines), premiered at Toronto Festival in 2019 and was listed among the ten best films of 2020 by the American Film Academy. The leads, Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci have collected a number of awards, including from the National Society of Film Critics (USA).
Emmy winner for his role in the mini-series The Night Of, British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed spent seven months preparing for the role: along with drumming lessons and learning American Sign Language, he took up intensive physical training to be able to convincingly play a strong man who has lost everything: his loud music, his girlfriend, and his camper van.
The picture will be screened with an audio description for blind and visually impaired visitors, as well as subtitles for deaf and hard of hearing visitors. The audio description and subtitles were prepared by Garage’s Inclusive Programs department and the Garage Screen team.
The film will be screened in English, French, and American Sign Language with Russian subtitles.
CoolConnections will release this film in Russia in June.
Sound of Metal
Director: Darius Marder
USA, 2019. 120 min. 18+