The Sunday Cult film Corner: “The Shout (1978)”

16 Jan

Phew! I Feel rather bloated as if I’ve just wolfed down a onimbus in the form of a very large burger from Hamborgarafabrikkan and now i’M sitting here all slack-jawed and drooling. And i actually fancy some chocolate as well…

So to help my intestinal muscles and juices get into gear, i should watch a movie. And because it’s sunday, that means it’s time for the SUNDAY CULT FILM COOOOONEEEEER!! (Wooo-ooo)

And this evening i introduce a film that will be a delight for all those people out there that are interested in the power and quality of sound. I give you THE SHOUT,  a quasi mystical thriller from 1978, directed by Jerzy Skolimowski,

the film stars Alan Bates as a mysterious brooding stranger who while in a psychiatric hospital, tells his doctor in flashback mode, how he worms his way into the lives of a couple (John Hurt, Suzannah York) , and proceeds to cause merry havoc, seducing York and claiming to Hurt (who plays a sound engineer) that he has a mystical voice that can kill anyone who listens to it. But is he telling the truth? And what did happen to the couple, who have since disappeared?

This is a weird, eerie adult fairy tale  that  brims with sexual tension and wolf like menace (thanks to a great performance from Bates). But the real star of the film is the sound. To emphasise the films main precis of the wonder and power of everyday sounds, a huge amount of work has gone into the sound editing. You can hear the grunts of cricket players, the full-blooded “whack” as the ball hits wood, the sound of the sand dunes moving and the sea crashing into the shore. There is also a wonderful scene where Hurt is working to create new sound compositions using Musique Concrete techniques. And then of course there is “the Shout” of the film as well. Make sure your speakers are up when that happens…

So get your tea and cookies and prepare to have your aural sense pummeled by a man and his scream….


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Posted by on January 16, 2011 in Film


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