Review of The Ear 2

Sean Redmond does a fantastic job here of bringing the un-initiated viewer up to speed on the subject matter and how it intersects with sound design.  His piece begins provocatively - with a simple attention getter - but it also exhibits Redmond’s knowledge that videographic criticism is not an academic article simply read over a clip reel.  It is its own unique form of rhetoric - one that too often falls prey to the flat delivery of a conference paper.  Redmond’s script is incredibly dynamic in how he quickly and effectively prompts the viewer to pay attention to film in a way she might not typically be accustomed: by listening to details embedded in a scene from Road to Perdition (2002).  

After the attention getter, Redmond provides a quick and concise review of literature in a way that does not rely on a familiarity with the sub-discipline and its jargon, and that is quickly and effectively substantiated through his use of clips ranging from The Apu Trilogy and Interstellar - an inspired juxtaposition given the use of grass to link the two films, though this results in a rather jarring cut from a lower-resolution black and white 4x3 image to a higher-resolution widescreen color image.  When he segues into tying sound studies to eye tracking, the clip from The Conversation does an effective job of visualizing the idea he’s driving for when he’s explaining how sound encourages the construction of visual hypotheses.  In other words, where Redmond’s piece succeeds most impressively is in finding dynamic ways to present his argument in an audiovisual form.  At no point does the voice over feel untethered to the video track - they lean on and support one another poetically, economically, and clearly.