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Punch drunk love 5

Punch-Drunk Love en boekpresentatie De Sound Track

Film composer Rens Machielse presents his latest book, ‘De Sound Track’, on the power of sound in film, in conversation with Caspar Nieuwenhuis, director of HKU University of the Arts. Music & Technology students at HKU provide a new score for the opening scene of Punch-Drunk Love by way of illustration, followed by the screening of the original 35mm print of the film. An evening on film music, sound design and all it involves.  

Poster punch drunk love

How crucial the soundtrack can be for the experience of film, is evident from Paul Thomas Anderson”s Punch-Drunk Love. Even though his tale of socially anxious Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) and beautiful Lena (Emily Watson) was meant as a mainstream rom-com, the cinematic resources are anything but conventional.

nervy improv

Anderson”s approach is unique: artificially reinforced ambient sounds, dialogues drowned by loud percussion beats, nervy pieces of improvised music – the sound underscores the emotions of the characters, but has no time for Hollywood clichés.

To mark the launch of “De Sound Track” (co-published by International Theatre & Film Books (ITFB) and HKU Press), Music & Technology students at the HKU – where Machielse served as director – provide two alternative scores for the opening scene of Anderson”s film; afterwards, Machielse talks about the effect of sound in film.

Punch-Drunk Love (US 2002 95”)

Comedian Adam Sandler is Barry Egan, a dealer in drain plungers who is bullied by his seven sisters and suffers from sibling-induced fits of rage. Lena (Emily Watson) seems to understand him, even when Egan desperately starts hoarding vast amounts of pudding to gain maximum frequent flyer miles. On top of all this, Egan is harassed by a sex hotline supervisor (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

A dark romantic comedy revolving around mysterious events and sweeping from comedy to slapstick, from suspense to romance.

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Eye on Sound

What would Sergio Leone’s films be without Ennio Morricone’s world-renowned scores? And what remains of Blade Runner without Vangelis’ unworldly synthesizers? Who doesn’t immediately think of Miles Davis’ languid nocturnal jazz in the case of Ascenseur pour l’échafaud? Music and sound are an essential part of the cinematic experience. In fact, they are vital to the experience of film.

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Eye on Sound: live music in Eye's arena
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