Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 228: Turn down the sound . . .

The first part of the Harry Potter seventh book film is just out.  I'm a long time Harry Potter fan, having read all the books and seen all of the films to date.  So it is with some anticipation that I joined the lines to see the film on the opening weekend.  Check out the YouTube trailer.  It is a dark, dark film in every way.  It seems as if all of the color has been drained from the film in the way that the Death-eaters try to drain the life from Harry and the good guys.  It's a hard film to watch and an even harder film to listen to.  Hard in that the sound levels in movie theaters these days is deafening.  One is assaulted during the previews of coming attractions with clip after clip of wild action: things blowing up, glass breaking, worlds exploding, cars turning over, violence, violence, violence . . . all at ear splitting decibels.  This is an extension of what happens in all of commercials.  To get our attention the sound bite has to be loud, the colors must be bright and the action explosive.  Their money depends upon this. Getting attention gets harder and harder.  But usually after the loud, loud previews one can settle in to the film itself with some safety.  Not Harry Potter this time, I'm sorry to say.  When the bad guys begin attacking and chasing our heros (and this happens over and over in this part of the book) all hell breaks loose and the sound track is turned up to 10 or whatever the top number is.  I have to put my fingers in my ears to stay in the movie house.  Others in the theater seem not to mind.  Have we all lost our hearing?   What ever happened to a straightforward story?  There seems no way to reverse this trend.  I fear for the auditory health of future generations.  Is anybody listening?

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