January 23, 2007

Sundance. The Great World of Sound.

The Great World of Sound "One of the best narrative features I've seen here is also one of the smallest," writes Salon's Andrew O'Hehir. "Craig Zobel's The Great World of Sound is an intimate character study of two guys clinging to the gritty underside of capitalism.... Morally ambiguous, subtly crafted, resolutely free of cliché and made with almost no money, The Great World of Sound is under-the-radar independent filmmaking in the Jarmusch-Cassavetes mode, both noble and ruthless in spirit."

The Reeler interviews Zobel.

Updates, 1/24: "[T]riumphs over the boundaries of constrained budgets and crew by way of fascinating filmmaking prowess," blogs Eric Kohn for the New York Press. "If the top third of Sound feels vaguely like a matured cousin of NBC's The Office (not a negative comparison, in my eyes), the rest of the movie enters the Twilight Zone of the music business, applying an anecdotal approach to an unexpected career-from-hell turn of events. A great feel-bad movie with noble intentions, this sound deserves to get heard."

"A kind of American Idol meets Borat - without the pranky cultural warfare," suggests ST VanAirsdale at the Reeler. "[T]his movie deserves every accolade it has coming to it."

Update, 1/26: "It wasn't the typical approach to casting supporting characters in an independent film - even one shot on a shoestring budget by a novice writer-director who earned his professional bona fides working low-level jobs in reality TV," writes Chris Lee, who talks with Zobel for the Los Angeles Times. "The movie combines elements of cinema verité, unscripted drama, guerrilla filming and conventional narrative to examine the lengths people will go to attain fame - as well as the methods of those who would prey upon such aspirations."

Update, 1/29: Eric Kohn: A "beautiful investigation into the desire for fame and the sacrifice of integrity for the sake of financial gain."

Update, 2/5: David Bordwell notes that "for The Great World of Sound, director Craig Zobel has created a website. Nothing new in that. But Zobel also provides a website for a fictional company in the film."

Coverage of the coverage: The Park City Index.

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Posted by dwhudson at January 23, 2007 1:28 PM