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Touch the Sound (Unrated)

Release Date: September 7th, 2005 (NYC-IFC Center) by Shadow Distribution.
Directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Evelyn Glennie, a Grammy award-winning percussionist who is deaf.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: It is amazing how remarkable Glennie's talent for sound is despite that she is 80% deaf. Every time she strikes a drum, she feels the vibrations of every tap. Director Riedelsheimer does a very good job of turning this film into a work of art. He documents many different daily sounds that are often taken for granted, such a flag blowing in the wind and people's feet stomping on the ground. There is one particularly effective scene in an airport with all the sounds of luggage being dragged. Glennie says that sound and music is all around us, even during quiet moments. The cinematography is very impressive, especially with a shot of sand blowing away in the wind as if it's in the desert. There is also a well-shot scene as drops of water slowly fall down and make tiny sounds---it is evident that Reidelsheimer is enamored by nature. With his well-chosen interviews, he makes Glennie into a someone full of charisma, energy, liveliness and, above all, the talent of genius. This is the kind of film where your eyes and, especially, your ears are glued to the screen from beginning to end.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: It is very inspiring and moving to watch Glennie devote her time to teach a deaf high school girl who to feel the vibrations of sound just like she does. It is difficult to walk out of this film without listening to the sounds of life in a new way: even the sounds of nature are musical. The basic message is that music is inescapable even if the ears don't hear it. In many ways, your body feels--or touches--sound in what is like a sixth sense. With this sixth sense, there is no way to get bored with life for even a split second. Glennie's joy and excitement for the small things in life is very contagious.



THE BOTTOM LINE: A very inspirational and moving documentary that truly demonstrates the simple beauty of sounds while showing how lucky the music world is to have Evelyn Glennie. Her passion, courage, and talent is nothing short of genius.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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