Arthouse Garage Podcast

Podcast Transcript for Episode 51: Sound of Metal & The Father

Read the Podcast Transcript for Episode 51: Sound of Metal & The Father

Read the transcript below:

Andrew Sweatman 0:08
Hello, hello and welcome to Arthouse Garage, the snob free film podcast where we make arthouse indie classic and foreign cinema accessible to the masses. I’m Andrew Sweatman and today filmmaker Johnnie Brannon is joining the podcast to discuss the best picture nominated film, Sound of metal. Plus, we’ve got a review of Best Picture nominee, The Father. Stick around.

Unknown Speaker 0:40
[The Father trailer audio]

Andrew Sweatman 2:09
That was a bit of the trailer for the film The Father starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. The film has been nominated for Best Picture as well as Best Actor in a Leading Role for Anthony Hopkins, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Olivia Colman, Best Adapted Screenplay, best editing and Best Production Design. The film tells the story of Anthony, that’s Anthony Hopkins, who is aging and starting to experience the effects of dementia. This leads him to feel very confused and fearful and paranoid. And he acts out in a number of ways, making life harder for his daughter and that’s Olivia Coleman, as she tries to care for him and make arrangements including at home care. A few months ago on this podcast, we discussed another 2020 film that tackled the subject of dementia and Alzheimer’s and explored the topic by looking at a father daughter relationship affected by the disease. That film is the documentary dick Johnson is dead. Though the two films couldn’t be more different in terms of tone. One is a true story and attribute in many ways to a real man dick Johnson, as his daughter Kirsten Johnson. Also, the film’s director, tries to come to terms with the reality that her beloved father won’t live forever. So the father clearly shares some common DNA, looking at family dynamics in similar situations. But the father is different in some key ways. Aside from the fact that it’s a narrative film, it also shifts the perspective. Deke Johnson is dead is mostly from the daughters point of view. Well, in the Father, we as the audience are in the head of the aging parent, director, Florian Zeller puts the viewer directly into Anthony’s headspace, and we understand the world just as he does. So when Anthony feels scared or confused, we’ve just seen the same things he has, and we feel scared or confused right along with him. In that way, the film plays out almost like a psychological thriller, but one filled with emotion and empathy. We at once completely understand Ann’s frustration that her father is lashing out at family members and can’t seem to keep a caretaker because of his erratic behavior. While at the same time we empathize with Anthony because the world he’s experiencing is incredibly confusing. We begin to understand how devastating it is when you can’t trust your own mental faculties. This affects Anthony’s sense of self over time, and it wears on and as things seem to only be getting worse, despite all the efforts he puts in. Ultimately, it’s a very strong film that is certainly deserving of the praise it’s getting the psychological thriller elements serve to set it apart from similar films. But it’s also unlike any psychological thriller I’ve seen. Because of the deep empathy created by the film’s unique vantage point. The whole time, we as the audience are trying just like Anthony to put the puzzle pieces together. But ultimately, the puzzle is not the point. The film works on that level of trying to solve the mystery of what’s going on. But it also transcends that with the emotional experience of deeply empathizing with the lead character and the particular suffering caused by demand. Writer Director Florian Zeller wrote the screenplay, adapted from play He also wrote, and it’s phenomenal. The direction and the production of the film are also among the strongest of the year. And you couldn’t hope for better performances than those given by Anthony Hopkins, and Olivia Coleman, this film is absolutely worth your time. And you may just come away with a new appreciation for the aging people in your life. The father is now playing in theaters and available on demand to watch at home.

Unknown Speaker 5:31
[The Father trailer audio]

Andrew Sweatman 6:03
It’s time for today’s discussion, we’re looking at Best Picture nominee Sound of Metal. This film focuses on Ruben, a metal drummer who has a happy life with his girlfriend and bandmate Lou, they live in an RV and travel around the country performing. Their lifestyle is thrown into jeopardy when Ruben starts to lose his hearing. Ruben suddenly finds himself with almost no hearing and unable to perform musically. Lou takes them to a deaf community where he begins to learn to live with his hearing loss. This is my absolute favorite film of 2020. And it’s very deserving of the awards it’s nominated for I’m very excited to see how well it performs at the Oscars in a few weeks time. Today’s guest is filmmaker Johnnie Brannon. You may remember him from the Doctor Sleep episode a couple years back, Johnnie has been making films in Central Arkansas for many years. And he also runs Made in Arkansas, a film organization that encourages local filmmaking. The Made in Arkansas Film Festival is coming up in May and Johnny tells us all about it in this conversation. Notably Johnnie is also a musician, which is part of why he’s the perfect guest to discuss Sound of Metal. Johnnie Brannon, welcome back to the podcast. How are you?

Johnnie Brannon 7:13
Doing great How you doing?

Andrew Sweatman 7:14
I’m doing really well. You know what? I guess we’re kind of nearing hopefully the end of some quarantine stuff, maybe somewhat seeing light in the tunnel. But it’s it’s been interesting, you know, year and a half as quarantine been terrible for you. You’ve been able to work on some things I’ve been seeing online.

Johnnie Brannon 7:33
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, I’ve been, you know, I guess a year ago, this time, instead of, you know, working on film stuff, I started working on music. Had putting that off for a couple years. You know, I did launch the solar project, many moons ago. And then few years later, I started one of us, you know, started getting to the filmmaking, side of things started scoring, you know, going down that route. And then I took a break. And then last year, once, everything kind of got shut down, I started back on my music project and actually started writing music again, and it just felt pretty nice to be able to, you know, just focus on that and not worry about anything else.

Andrew Sweatman 8:20
Yeah, that’s another theory. Right? Is that Yeah, yes. Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 8:27
Yeah, thank you. It’s a, I started it back in the early 2000s. And when I first moved a little rock, I, you know, music was my thing. And I was, you know, I’ve kind of get my neck, you know, trying to get my name out there. And everything. I actually played several shows locally, between 2004 2006 and then took a break, and then start working on movies, and then eventually picked up another keyboard again, and I got to get back to this. And it’s, it’s pretty amazing. I missed it. I missed it terribly actually.

Andrew Sweatman 9:01
Well, that’s essentially when I wanted to talk about sound of metal. I thought, who do I know that’s a filmmaker and does music stuff as a musician? And then you came to mind with what that would be perfect. So let’s get ready to talk about this one. Oh, speaking of filmmaking stuff, I’ve been seeing some of the stuff you’ve been doing online. Tell us what your latest projects are.

Johnnie Brannon 9:19
well lately, right now I’m, I got my focus on the main Arkansas Film Festival, and that’s going to be may 13. Through the 15th. We’re not sure I mean, we will probably end up going virtual again, but I’m waiting to get back with the Gaston Robinson theater to see what’s what, what we can do and but most likely will probably go virtual. If we do go virtual, there’s a possibility that we can extend, you know, the dates. Last year, it worked out great. We were able to take more films that way. Yeah. But this year? Yeah, I don’t know. I think maybe last year But filmmakers, you know, kind of got, you know, held down because the COVID. So they weren’t able to make a lot of films, I suspected that, you know, that could be a possibility it could actually hurt us this year. And we got some really good films and brought now but, you know, we still got three more days left, and I’m kind of hoping that we’ll get an apple for now, I told them, You know, I get it that a lot of filmmakers right now are, you know, are in post productions. Like, if you guys want to submit your films as a work in progress, that is a totally cool and so. So that way, they still get their shot of, you know, of possibly, you know, getting screened this year. But, yeah, so that that’s actually kind of a big thing. And then I just, you know, you know, finished working on a chariot, man.

Andrew Sweatman 10:49
Yeah. Tell us a little bit about the chariot,

Johnnie Brannon 10:51
chariot. It’s a feature film that they shot here and what a rock. It was. It was brought here out actually from, from, I think, the producer to producers from Northwest Arkansas, he’s one of the producers. And he got with another producer who was trying to bring a film into Oklahoma, and this is just what I’ve been told, you know, from scenes and that, you know, some things didn’t really work out. So they wanted to bring a movie to Arkansas, and they, you know, met with this filmmaker, Adam Sigel. And, and you had to kind of get it all worked out, and they ended up coming here to Iraq and shooting for 20 days. And it has john malkovich in it. Yeah. JOHN markavitch. Thomas Mann, who was in me, was one was that me Earl and the Dying Girl. Interesting enough. I think Olivia Cooke that’s in Santa metal, you know, was in your own that in a day? Yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 11:53
Interesting. Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 11:54
And so. And then it’s also got Rosa Salazar who played alita Battle Angel. Oh, yes. Yeah. It was it was it was Wow. Yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 12:03
that’s an impressive cast here in Arkansas. I’m really excited about that. That’s funny, I saw I was following some of the news around that. And not long after that. My wife and I, we were at a restaurant, like on a patio sitting outdoors at this restaurant. And I looked across the way I was like, is that john malkovich? It was like, I knew he’s been in town. But like, I don’t know if that’s him. And like, the whole dinner I kept looking over, like, maybe that is him. And my wife is like, I don’t think so. And finally, I got close enough to here and I you know, john Mach, which has such a distinctive voice, like, it’s definitely not like it was a week after go grabs, I’m sure it was definitely not him. But that’s my funny john malkovich story.

Johnnie Brannon 12:40
That’s hilarious. Yeah, he was here only for five days, I think it was like, the first week of shooting. And that’s a he was such a nice. I mean, he’s, you know, such a gentleman, such a nice guy, and everybody on set, just, you know, we had nothing but great things to say about him, because it was such a common human being, and he wanted to come to Arkansas. That’s why he accepted the role of this film. And it’s, it’s a small supporting role, but it’s very us centric, and it’s definitely gonna stand out for sure.

Andrew Sweatman 13:12
That’s great. I can’t wait to see that one. I’m sure that’ll be some months before that’s out and about, but that that’ll be fun to follow. Well, cool. Any other big film stuff going on? Right now that you want to talk about? Oh, would you tell us about your YouTube channel?

Johnnie Brannon 13:25
Oh, yeah. Well, I started a YouTube channel back in January. And basically, what I’m doing is just, you know, introducing tips and tutorials to new filmmakers, people who are, network people aren’t who aren’t, you know, who are, you know, thinking about doing it, and not sure how to do it, you know, from both the acting side and the filmmaking side. So, right now, you know, scheduled and kind of crazy, so haven’t been able to really put as much content out, you know, as of late, but I do have some acting tips up there, how to get networked in your film community, whether it doesn’t matter where you’re at, you know, just kind of laid out the groundwork of what you can do to kind of look in your own, you know, your own neighborhood, to find people who will share with you people who will work with you, and how you can get cast in your, in your local film scene. And then, I’m also sharing older films that I’ve worked on kind of doing like a little kind of doing a little thing called short film theater. And basically, I just kind of talk about the background of how we made a film and people are part of the project and the shorter film, and it’s like, you know, maybe two minutes of the introduction, and, you know, just kind of laying that out there. And so that’s part of it. And yeah, yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 14:42
that’s really cool. You know, where else I’ve been seeing you hits on Tick Tock actually posting little things about, you know, this film breaks this rule of editing and like just the funny little things like that, but it’s all like film related stuff. So yeah. That’s cool. I’ll link to all that stuff. If any One security is to follow any of that, especially that YouTube channel sounds like a great resource for you for like young filmmakers. So, yeah, that’s really great. Yeah. Well, alright, I guess if there’s nothing else let’s let’s talk about sound of metal.

Unknown Speaker 15:51
[Sound of Metal trailer audio]

Andrew Sweatman 17:42
Alright, let’s talk about sound of metal. So this is an Amazon original, Best Picture nominee nominated for I think six Oscars actually. So it’s it’s been winning lots of things. And it’s it’s really quite a quite a film. I really, really like it. structure by darious, martyr, and stars raise Ahmed and Olivia cook, and tells the story of Reuben, that’s Reza meds character. He’s a metal drummer, and he and his girlfriend, Lou, that’s Olivia cook, are in this kind of metal duo. And he he’s the drummer. And one night, the very beginning of the film, he started to lose his hearing very suddenly. And he, you know, obviously relies on that for his his career. They’re touring around just the two of them in their RV. They have this this little life together that they really love. And so this comes out of nowhere and kind of threatens all of that. And basically, the film follows him through what does he do when he learns that this hearing is it has suddenly become greatly impaired? And there’s not much chance of it coming back? What do you do? What’s his, what’s his life going to be now. And it goes in really interesting directions with that. But and we’re we we will talk spoilers at the end, I’ll give a spoiler warning before we get into spoilers. But I came away from this film thinking this is one of my my favorite things of the year. Really, really found it moving. I’m so excited to talk to you about it, Johnny. So, sound of metal is among other things. It’s a story about a musician and kind of the drive to create. Ruben in the film, he feels kind of desperate to try and get back to his life as a musician. So Johnny, as a creator yourself, as a filmmaker and musician. I’m wondering if you felt that you could identify with him at all? Or if there’s ever been something that’s kind of come between you and and your ability to be creative? Like Like what he experiences in the movie?

Johnnie Brannon 19:39
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And him being a musician and just living music. Before I started doing film, you know, any type of filmmaking that’s what I just engulfed myself in was music and there wasn’t a moment during the day where that wasn’t working, that I just go home and just start you know, playing and I’m not a self taught musician. So I don’t know how to Music and I can’t, you know, you know, he that he that stuff, so I’d go home and just kind of, you know, listen to it, then all the other other bands and whatnot that I listen to, to come inspired me that just kind of the direction on when but I totally understood and related with, you know, like music at one time it’s just my life and of course, I was in a band before I went solo and you know, we’d always talked about Yeah, you know, we make it you know, like any any indie, you know, band or whatever, you know, like, when these days we’re going to go out and get a record deal and yada yada yada. And now the day is, you know, there’s so many indie bands, so many indie bands, like what, you know, this man in this film was that are doing that and you know, going to some you know, indie shows, you know, you’ll see where they get the little merge table up and all that stuff. And, and I can totally, I totally get that, you know, I totally understand, like, the struggle that the only way they’re gonna make money is to play, you know, they can, you know, they can’t stop what they’re doing. And, you know, the, you know, I felt his desperation at the, towards the beginning of the film of whenever he, you know, when his hearing started, whenever he started losing his hearing, you know, the, the not sure, like, is this really happening to me? No, I mean, like that, when you’re watching that. And, you know, and I, it’s just like, wait a minute here, maybe this isn’t really happening. Maybe it’s like, you know, but that since a desperate, you know, I kind of strike at least for me for as a as a, as a person who’s watching this film, I, I started kind of feeling a little bit desperate that this is just gonna pass, you know, for him, you know, maybe he’ll but you know, as, you know, being a musician and stuff like that, you know, my, my obstacles were, you know, like, paying bills and stuff, cuz there’s, like, I got to sell equipment in order to make it on. So, you know, back when I first started playing a little rock, I had a complete PA system, I had keyboards, I had a computer, I mean, all my stuff through I played shows here at various clubs. And then, you know, I went through a period where I actually had to get rid of it. And I have none of that equipment. From my, you know, that time

Andrew Sweatman 22:16
as financially, you had to get rid of it.

Johnnie Brannon 22:18
Yes, yeah. I knew the sacrifices I was making. And, you know, it was it sucked. But, yeah, but I, I totally understand, like, you know, once you if you if you lose that, you know, what, really what the app except for listening to listening to music, you know, yeah. So it’s, yeah, I, I get it. I mean, I totally, you know, totally understood that.

Andrew Sweatman 22:44
Yeah, yeah. And this is not depicted in the film. But you can imagine, like, how he got that, that life setup with he and his girlfriend, you know, and, and how much struggle that must have been to, like, make that all work. And then this thing comes in and is threatening all of that, that you worked so hard for? And yet, like, I didn’t even think about the fact that like, yeah, they probably barely scraping by, you know, selling their t shirts. You know, it shows the merch table. And that’s like, such a familiar feeling, if you’ve ever been to a concert is kind of kind of what they’re doing there. But, but yeah, it’s it, he seems like he’s, they’ve been doing this, I think for four years or something. He mentioned that that’s kind of the life they’ve been living. Or at least that’s how long we’ve been together. Maybe that’s what it is, but, but it’s been going on for a while, it seems, but it also kind of makes you think, like, who knows, who knows how fragile our lives really are, and kind of the things we have set up. And he’s kind of living his dream, in a way it seems like but it turns out to be more fragile than, than he thought.

Johnnie Brannon 23:42
Yeah, well, absolutely. And he just nailed it there. I mean, like, this, the things that he’s sacrificing to, you know, do what he loves, you know, it’s like what anybody, you know, whenever you’re making an independent film, and you know, you’re not, you know, a second, there’s so many filmmakers out there, that you aren’t really, you know, as that, you know, successful. You know, when I say successful, that means, you know, like, I got a bunch of money here that now I don’t have to worry about anything, you know, because you got to keep making your art to pay the bills, but, you know, like, from where he’s at, you know, you know, just being, you know, putting everything into it. And it’s only way he’s gonna be able to make a living for himself and support, you know, he and his band, which is, you know, his girlfriend. You know, it’s, you know, a lot of artists out there just kind of pinned on that lack of, you know, I think I was reading an article about Patti Smith the other day, and Patti Smith, you know, she’s famous for all the music, she’s done back in the 70s in the 80s. And she’s, you know, kind of inspired a generation of musicians and, and there was a time, you know, that she, you know, only had like, $30,000 you know, she’s like, you know, I do For that love the art. And you know, I got things like that I do that kind of helps me pay the bills, but I’m by far this is not like, I’m not gonna be a millionaire off of this. Yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 25:12
yeah. Wow. Well, that’s super interesting. Thanks for sharing all that. What did you think about the movie in general? Are you a fan of this movie?

Johnnie Brannon 25:20
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, this is this is crazy. But as a filmmaker and an artist, it’s really because I’m working on making my own art is kind of hard to sit down and, and, you know, take in films, and if I haven’t done a better job lately, but with COVID and stuff, it just made things going to make going to the theater much so much harder. Yeah, I lost track on what was coming out. And so, but whenever I heard about this film, and all the praise was getting, and bam, it was on Amazon, take some time out to watch it. And it just blew me away. It totally, totally blew me away. Because it’s such a simple film as far as like, indie film, it looks like it’s on a very, very low budget. They, you know, probably didn’t have to pay that much. As far as like, you know, you only got a couple of actors. And a lot, I think, I think several the actors were almost like, they were like real people. You know, they actually had real people. And yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 26:19
a lot of the deaf actors. Yeah,

Johnnie Brannon 26:20
yeah. And so. But the, you know, it just goes to show that a film like this that’s made on such a small budget. Yeah, I mean, you could tell a story, you know, an incredible story on top of that, with you know, that’s all you need is good script. And the script was, was right on, you know, it’s pretty, pretty spot on.

Andrew Sweatman 26:45
I completely agree with all that. He gets interesting with, with like, award season this year, so many things are streaming, because of COVID, that theaters have been closed and everything. There’s it’s kind of a silver lining that you know, I can watch all these things at home, without too much trouble. But But yeah, I really love this movie. When I first heard about it, I thought that sounds like something I’ll enjoy. And I really, really did. Actually, I’ve been calling this my favorite movie or 2020. I’ve since I watched it, I’ve seen some other really good things. That’s, it’s hard to say. But it’s it’s way, way up there. For me, I found it. So moving. You’re right, that it’s so simple, and the way that it’s in yet, it’s a really straightforward story. But it’s so creatively put together performances are so good. The script is so good. And we’ll talk about the sound design in a minute. But that plays a big part in it too. You’re like, you just tell like they put a lot of care into the craft of making this. something so simple became so kind of transcended for me I really, really liked it. A few things I really like about it one I like how it It highlights Deaf culture in a way that like I did not expect at all, you know, I thought maybe he’ll interact with deaf people since he’s, you know, becoming deaf. But I didn’t think it was gonna and that’s basically the rest of the movie. Like, there’s so much of that. And it teaches so much it’s educational about that culture without ever feeling like, you know, here’s our cause we’re gonna like, you know, raise awareness. Exactly, you know, it just it feels really organically part of the story. And I really like that about it. We’ll talk about the ending once we get to the spoiler time, but I really love the ending of this, I thought that was really profound and kind of breathtaking. And then I like to have this, this movie kind of focuses on personal wellness in a way. So when Ruben so he starts to lose his hearing. And then he goes to it’s it’s like a it’s a deaf community for people who are kind of learning how to be deaf. But it’s also a little bit ambiguous to me, but I think it’s also an element of it is for people who have been addicts, like himself. So at some we learned about Ruben early on is that he was previously like, he’s a recovering addict, and, and also that his relationship is a big part of him being clean and staying clean. And also kind of his lifestyle. It seems like he’s, you know, he’s, he’s very regimented. And yeah, he he gets up and makes this particular breakfast every day. And they have their time together in the morning, and then they play their shows at night. And then they drive across the country that it’s great. Seeing them driving and just talking about all kinds of things and you get a sense of their kind of their relationship. But so when he gets to this Deaf community, and he is kind of learning all these things, his mentor and sort of the leader there’s named Joe and that’s he’s played by Paul racy, and he’s also Oscar nominated for this movie. And he, at one point when when Reubens really struggling, tells him to a basically tells him to journal and meditate and he says, I want you to go in this room and just write it doesn’t have to be good. No one’s gonna read it. And when you’re not writing, just sit there and be still. And I think that’s that’s essentially like, like telling him, you go journal and meditate and that’s going to help you kind of get through some of this in Asheville here. That kind of thing in movies very often. So I like that it focuses on that. And that that ends up playing into the story some too, which we’ll talk about maybe in the spoiler talk as well. But anyway, and that’s not to mention how great all the performances are. I think they’re really good. Riz Ahmed has been nominated for Best Actor. For this. I mentioned Paul racy. What do you think of Riz Ahmed? In this his performance? Are there any standout moments in it for you?

Johnnie Brannon 30:26
Well, I think I think at the beginning, whenever he was, you know, whenever he was not sure if he was losing his hearing, just kind of getting you know, because I think with anything, like when your your Heck, even if you have a health scare, you just kind of like take against it. Like, is this just serious? Or it is coming? Is this really happening? or? Yeah, I thought he did a tremendous job on, you know, like, you know, wait a minute here, something’s not right. And then just kind of playing it off before he actually got down to like, wait a minute, something is wrong here. Yeah. That was That was great. You know, it’s something about you know, about films like this that are that are smaller budget, you don’t get lost in all the big, you know, like, the Hollywood big Hollywood stuff, you know?

Andrew Sweatman 31:15
Yeah, there’s no gimmicks in this movie. Really? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 31:18
And this is a, you know, just, I think, you know, like, an actor, like Riz Ahmed, who’s a good actor, you know, on and, you know, he can go out and perform in any film, and it would, he would be considered good you want I mean, but you take, you take, you take him out of that equation, you’re like, we’re gonna give him a shot of leaving and leaving a film and to see how, how much depth he’s got. And, you know, something, you know, so many actors out there like that, you know, people, even people who’ve been doing this forever, you know, just kind of forget that, you know, this is one of the professional actors, and I thought he was, I thought he was fantastic. Now, Paul, racy, on the other hand, really blew me away. He was such a natural actor in this and very believable, and I think he was an alcoholic. I think his character in this film was an alcoholic. That’s kind of you know, about the addicts, you know, that kind of being ahead extent. It, I think, yeah, you’re right, you know, just kind of wasn’t really as I guess, explained during that, but they did such a good job of like, you just you’re, you didn’t have to think too hard about what you want. I mean,

Andrew Sweatman 32:34
because it goes to a what seemed like an A a meeting or like a, for one part of it and everyone there’s deaf, but then there’s also like a school for deaf kids there. And so it’s like a whole community. And that’s just one piece of it is my understanding of it, I think. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s right. That’s awesome. Yeah, it just, it never just lays out exactly what’s going on. You just kind of learn as you go.

Johnnie Brannon 32:54
Yeah. No, I was I was, I think rafter watched us, I went back and look and see what race he was in. And he’s just, it’s just, you know, same thing. You know, he had all these little small roles, and he really hasn’t done a whole lot, you know, over the years, but I guess I think last year he made was back. Well, we can hear us 2013. So you have that much time in between, and maybe work on some projects here and there. Oh, yeah, he came out and pretty much just nailed it, you know. And now he’s now this film was probably gonna give him a pretty big career, you know, much more than what he what he’s had so far. You know? Yeah. Man. And I think that he, because he was read somewhere that I don’t know if his parents were deaf, and that’s how he knew sign language already or something. Again, I’m

Andrew Sweatman 33:47
not I’m not clear that or whether he’s actually deaf, I think he might be let me know. I’ll kind of look that up. As you go here.

Johnnie Brannon 33:56
I’m looking at right now. He was raised by his head, deaf parents, fluent in sign language, and he was so good at that, and everything and you know, just being natural and being very fluid with his performance. It. It really stood out and I would be I mean, of course, I’m gonna be a little biased here. But I’d be really surprised if he doesn’t win. I mean, I think he he has good shot, but who else is the nominee this year for the

Andrew Sweatman 34:23
supporting actor? Let me let me have a look. Yeah, I didn’t realize till just now that he actually is here yet says in his Wikipedia, he’s the hearing son of Deaf parents. So that that definitely adds an interesting layer to that. That’s, that’s fascinating. Let me pull up the Oscar nominations really quick. And I’ll tell you we’ve got Paul racy is up against Sacha Baron Cohen in trial, Chicago, seven, Daniel Kuya, and Judas in the black Messiah. Leslie Odom, Jr. in one night in Miami and then lucky Stanfield. Also in Judas in the black Messiah. This is the the weird category where it feels like Daniel kuliah probably should have been in The bleeding category because he’s kind of the central figure of that film. And honestly, he I think he’s so amazing that movie that I think he might win, it would be very happy if Paul racy Winslow to you. They’re both fantastic.

Johnnie Brannon 35:17
Yeah, you’re right. He did such a great job of Judas and like Messiah tell you about Yeah, yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 35:21
I forgot to, because he really doesn’t belong in that category. It’s so strange. But just for context to for resentment, and so he’s up for Actor in a Leading Role against Chadwick boseman, for more, and he’s black bottom, Anthony Hopkins and the father, Gary Oldman in manque. And Steven un in menari. In this one, you know, I would be very happy if it was on that one. I think this one is going to be Chadwick boseman. Just have to because it’s a posthumous since he passed away. Yeah, in his performance is very, very good in that film, too. That’s that’s not to take away from his performance, because I think it would be very deserving. But I tend to think that he’ll probably win. The voters will probably go that way. But so throw the reason that is nominated the two. Yep. Yep.

Johnnie Brannon 36:03
I agree. I totally agree with you. It’s, it’s like if it was any other year, you know, yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 36:08
Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 36:09
But the cool thing is, is that they are nominated with some incredible performances. Yeah. That brought along you should definitely be noted for sure. Yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 36:20
Yeah, there’s really not a bad Not a bad performance in that. But I guess that makes sense. It’s, it’s the what, but, but yeah, I really, I really love Riz Ahmed, in this film, I think his performance, he’s very physical, like, he starts out on the drum kit and the very opening of the film. And he’s obviously getting his whole body into that. But later, when he’s signing, you know, that’s I listened to Riz Ahmed on fresh air on NPR. And he talked about learning American Sign Language for this role, and realizing how physical it is, because you’re kind of using your whole body to communicate. And he talked about, I thought this was really interesting. You know, when you learn different languages, sometimes different sides of your personality come out. Which I don’t know, I don’t really know more than a handful of words in any language, besides English. So that was interesting to hear. And then he talked about what sign language he felt like he was more emotionally expressive in a way. Yeah, that that makes sense. That kind of comes through in the performance. And you know, because you’re using your whole body to communicate that way. I thought that was super interesting. I think my favorite moment, in his performance is probably a couple things. But the one that really stands out is when lou is leaving, it’s towards the beginning. It’s like, he, he’s they visited, he’s like, I’m not sure about this. But she really believes strongly that it’s the best thing for him. So she’s gonna leave. Yeah. And he’s in the parking lot. And she gets in this cabin is driving away. And you can kind of feel like this is it feels like a rock bottom moment for him. Like he’s, he’s really setting in that this is really happening. It’s happened so suddenly that like, you’re saying, like, is this really a serious issue? Is this going to go away? It’s kind of finally setting in like, this is really seriously affecting my life right now. And he’s, he’s very kind of animated, but obviously so upset. In that moment. I think that’s a really, really good one. And then another one that I like, said this, something I didn’t really note, the first time watching it, but I was listening to podcasts and things and they noted this on a podcast called film spotting that I really liked to listen to. It’s a moment where he, it’s the first time he goes to this, this room to do his journaling and meditating or his, you know, his writing. And he has a coffee and a doughnut. And when he first sits down, he just smashes the hell out of this doughnut. He’s so angry. He’s got all this pent up rage, and then he smashes and smashes it. And then what’s so interesting is that then the next thing he does is he tries to put it back together. And like he, they said, They noted on this other podcast that it just like pointing to he’s always trying to fix things like he feels like he has this drive to like, get things back to how they’re supposed to be. So here’s a mess he just made he’s gonna try to piece this donut back together, which obviously it’s not gonna happen. But I thought that was a nice touch that they noted on that and I thought I’d bring that up here.

Do you love arthouse movies and blockbusters you get excited about the power of cinema and you want more people to watch more movies? Perfect. Tell the world right from your T shirt with some official art house garage mirch. We’ve got shirts declaring movies are for everyone. We’ve got comfy beanie hats with the art house garage logo. And we’ve even got clothing that encourages people to watch weird movies or watch old movies. Who knows maybe someone will see your T shirt that says watch old movies and be inspired to go home and watch Citizen Kane for the first time. Get all your art house garage gear today and show your support by going to art house garage, comm slash shop. qc I’m trying to fix up the whole time and that’s when Paul raci tells him character’s name is Joe tells him to do this go riding thing is because he’s he just starts fixing the gutter on the house with without him telling him he’s like you don’t have to fix anything next stop trying to fix everything. And of course, he’s, you know, he’s wanting to fix his life to get back to where he was as a musician, and that’s fixing stuff in big ways, but then also constantly trying to just fix things around them. And yeah, maybe that’s kind of speaks to the addict. side of him. Like, he has to be in control and make sure everything’s okay. Which is Yeah, it’s really interesting. Well, this movie is also been nominated for best sound. The sound design is really interesting. And it plays into the deaf community stuff as well. So fun, kind of throw it out there. What did you think about the sound design? Anything? Anything interesting there?

Johnnie Brannon 40:47
If you watch, if you see anything that’s a nominee for an Academy Award, usually, it’s like something like, you know, a Marvel film or something that’s like Star Wars or something that, you know, where you got million, like all these like little sounds, you know? Yeah. And you’re, like, the lasers are going off, and you got like, you know, 2030 of those things just can’t find past yet. And, but nobody really thinks that something is subtle, you know? Yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 41:12
Well, I can talk about a couple moments that stick out. For me, it’s really it’s the moments when we we kind of go in his head, and we hear what he’s hearing. Especially like as he’s starting to lose the hearing and getting this muffled sound. And then when we talk about spoilers, there’s another sound thing I’ll talk about. But when I think it’s I read, I looked up some stuff about that, like, how do they record that? The sound designers name is Nicholas Becker. And he, yeah, it’s like when we are in his headspace with that we’re hearing like this muffled sound, it’s almost like we’re underwater. It’s kind of what it sounds like. And like, he goes to the pharmacy, and he can’t communicate, and we’re kind of hearing those things. And then that that scene when he goes to the doctor, and we’re kind of hearing what he’s hearing, as the doctors testing his hearing and realizing Okay, yeah, this is really, it’s pretty bad. And then the doctor, of course, explains how bad it is. And so I thought that was that was fascinating, was a good, interesting choice to like, let us hear. And like, even when it first happens, like during the show, and it’s just like the ringing, you know, he can’t like make out anything specific. But in this interview, I read with a sound designer, he talks about like, it’s like when we’re underwater or like, when we hear that kind of muffled sound. Often what we’re hearing is like the the inner sounds of our own bodies, like that’s all we can really hear is things that are in within us. So that was interesting. And so what they did for part of this record, is they actually put like mics all over raise Ahmed’s body some kind of special microphone to capture his body sounds. So when we were hearing that we’re actually literally hearing Riz, Ahmed’s body, which is interesting. That’s I thought that was fascinating. But yeah, I’ll link to that interview. Cuz there’s some more interesting stuff in there in the show notes, but yeah, the sound is the sound is quite fascinating. And so before we talk more about that, I think it is probably time for spoilers. Are there any other non spoilery thoughts you want to mention before we jump into the end of this movie?

Johnnie Brannon 43:16
No, no, no, I think so. And no, but no. Touching. Really? Click on that. Yes, you’re right. Whenever he was, you know, whenever he started to lose a sound, and it does someone’s like, is the sound itself just kind of turned inside out? You know, I mean,

Andrew Sweatman 43:32
yeah. And

Johnnie Brannon 43:34
that’s, that’s actually pretty fascinating that that’s what we hear. And maybe, maybe, maybe if we think about it, you know, maybe his maybe he does have a whole lot of, you know, turmoil that’s going on through his head. And maybe that’s why, you know, we’re hearing so much noise throughout this, you know, like, you know, what he’s hearing I guess, you know, like, whenever we’re listening to what he’s, you know, like what he did here?

Unknown Speaker 44:00
Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 44:02
Yeah, maybe that maybe that’s what that is. I don’t know. But I do, but it does feel it’s a claustrophobic feel. Like, you know, it’s kind of very, obviously unnerving. But it does feel like I look a little bit claustrophobic whenever, anytime I had to hear it through. There is.

Andrew Sweatman 44:20
And it really jumps in there a few times. It’s like, we mostly can, you know, stay outside of him and understand what he’s going through. But then those few moments that we like, we jump into his head and his his ears, I guess. And then it’s, yeah, we realized how frustrating This is and how scary This is for him. Well, let’s get into spoiler talk. So if you have not watched the sound of metal and you don’t want to be spoiled for the ending, which I would encourage because I think the ending especially if you don’t know what’s gonna happen, I think it’s a really powerful ending. So jump out now and go watch the movie. It’s on amazon prime. Alright, let’s talk about spoilers. So, towards the end of this movie, I guess the The final third or so, I think what kind of incites it is Paul Raci’s character, Joe start saying, you know, what’s the long term, maybe you should stick around here because he started to get more comfortable. He’s becoming more fluent in ASL. And he’s like giving back and teaching the kids how to play drums. And he started to kind of enjoy himself and kind of get used to this. And then when he when Joe asked him about long term, I think, I think that’s what causes him to kind of spiral and decide, now’s the time to do something drastic. And so he sells his RV to pay for the cochlear implant surgery, when he goes and gets that surgery. And the next scene, like when he confronts or when he tells Joe and Joe kind of confronts him about that. Is, is one of my other favorite scenes of this movie. It’s really, I think that for Paul racy, that’s the, that’s the his moment that he really shines. And so let’s talk about that scene a little bit, because I really like it. So it’s, I think Paul raci’s superpower as an actor, at least in this movie, is he does this thing where he just sits very, very still and just kind of stares at the person he’s talking to. He does it a few times before this, but then in this scene, he does that it’s so powerful, I think, because you can feel how disappointed he is. And like he feel like he’s on the verge of tears. And like his, his face is just so storied, and it’s really, really good. But it also this is kind of where we get into the Deaf culture stuff about cochlear implants. So the movie doesn’t really explain exactly what the cochlear implants are. But it’s, you know, he understands it as a way to get his hearing back. So he can go back to, you know, doing whatever he wants to do. And so, I’m gonna give a little context here. And actually, I talked to a deaf friend about this, because I thought was really interesting. I’ve learned maybe a couple of years ago, just just a little bit about kind of Deaf culture, and found out that there are a lot of deaf people who do look down on implants like this. And, and they kind of learned about the difference between, you know, deafness, versus like capital D Deaf culture, and its its own kind of subculture. And that was news to me. Yeah, a few years back. But so this is these are people who are claiming, you know, deafness as their identity and saying, you know, my lack of hearing isn’t in this movie, he says, isn’t a handicap. But you know, I can live and communicate and live a vibrant life without hearing and you know, it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. And so here’s the quote from Paul racy in that scene. As he explains that I thought it was really just really moving. He says, you know, as you know, everybody here shares in the belief that being deaf is not a handicap, it’s not something to fix. And that gets back to his, his need to fix everything. That’s pretty important around here, all these kids, all of us need to be reminded of it every day. And so that’s why he, you know, he’s like, you can’t stay here anymore because of that. But I thought that was really a powerful way to understand it, and kind of, to bring that empathy and show that side of it in a way that I never really quite understood that, you know, I mean, especially for the kids here, what we’re trying to teach them that they don’t need a way out of this situation that they are in, they are whole and complete as they are. And so for you to get this surgery is completely ruining that and you have to leave. So I thought that was so interesting. So you understand, you know, his his view on that. I think it’s such a powerful scene. As soon as I finished this movie, the first time I watched it, I texted my friend who’s deaf. Anytime I see any, like deaf, anything in pop culture, I talk to her about it, because she usually knows about it. And she did. she’d already seen this movie and she really liked it. So I just asked her what what she thought about it, what is the deaf community saying? And she talked about the cochlear implants and the controversy around that just to provide some context that I found very interesting. It really is–people are pretty split on it. My friend herself is not opposed to them. She thinks they can be really helpful in some situations. She’s married, her wife disagrees. Her wife is very anti the implants so I thought that was just interesting that it’s it’s that much of a thing that’s that’s talked about. And actually my friend is considered getting them because she also has tinnitus. So she has like a ringing sounds so there are some times or medical reasons for them.

But the problem she explained is is like when people treat them like glasses like okay, my visions messed up, I’ll fix it with these glasses. It’s not the same thing. And that’s what Reubens trying to do. And so I think ultimately, he’s having to like learn that lesson over the course of this movie, so I thought that was really interesting. I’m glad she was able to to bring that info. I asked her if I could share on the podcast and she said yeah, yeah, yeah, I thought that was pretty interesting.

Johnnie Brannon 49:39
Yeah, I think that you know, it’s it’s kind of explains a little bit well, his character is pretty intense you know, he’s a he’s and and to me pleased metal you know, and people like that that’s kind of got a little bit in part of that too, is probably because he was an addict as well. You know, just kind of enhances That short views, you know, I mean, sure. So. So I think that, yeah, it was unfortunate that that’s that’s kind of how it went. But yeah, but you know, it’s this is like, you know if your word with great power comes great responsibility. Yeah, or irresponsibility, and, you know, just you can look at it like, this is the same thing, you know, you know, maybe he found himself after he lost his hearing on, you know, becoming one who will let people help you home or from others, you know, he obviously he learned from from a community and everything. And then whenever we got to the point where he could, he thought that the best way, man, would there is a resolution here. Yeah, I think that’s human nature, because he’s, he wasn’t born deaf, you know what I mean? Right? So human nature, you know, it’s like, if I can, if I lost my hand, you know, if there’s a, if I can get a surgery or something like that, where I can actually have another hand or something where I could still be so bad, wouldn’t? What would I be willing to do to get that again, because obviously, I would be able to, you know, work on films and work on, you know, music, you know, again, and, and so, and being a musician, you know, I kind of I kind of understood that part of it, you know, that, although, although, you know, the heart of me is like, you know, you think this is where you belong, you don’t I mean? Like this isn’t, yeah, even you can still make music, you can still you can be right here with with this group, and still, you know, be able to work on music and stuff like that, and maybe try something and do something different, you know, that, you know, there’s multiple ways of, you know, but we only got, what, two hours of this film, and, and his story, unfortunately, that’s that’s kind of where it went. But I totally get that though. The, the desperation of, yeah, I can fix this. And I want to see if I can I want to see what could and,

Andrew Sweatman 51:58
yeah, yeah, I think you’re right. I think it the film, totally, you totally understand why he would want to go back, you know. But then you also have completely understand Joe’s point of view, and, you know, kind of learning about why this is so important to him. And so it’s really, it’s a really well done kind of clash there. I think you’re right. There’s such a dramatic irony, because we as the audience, I think at least I was like, you had to let that go. Like even early on, like, you have a new normal, you got to accept that. But then the question is, is he going to and he’s, he takes forever to kind of come to terms with them. And so I wanted to mention, too, so he though he goes and gets the implants. And the sound design of the cochlear implants is another thing. That’s really interesting. And I, in that interview that I’ll link to, he talks about kind of haggis, he researched the sound designer, the hearing person, obviously. So he’s never been able to hear what it’s like to have cochlear implants. But through secondhand accounts and things, he tried to recreate that. And I watched this movie with headphones on. So it kind of felt like, like, this is really in my head, you know, you’re hearing what this is like, I thought that was really fascinating. And it’s also clear why he would be disappointed like, this is not the same. How can I play the drums Like this? Like, is this gonna work? So you can kind of feel, feel all that just in the in the way they they kind of put that together. And so then he goes to this party, he goes, find his girlfriend, and there’s a party and she sings with her father. And I think in that scene, my understanding, like we really focus on his face. And like, as he’s watching her sing, I think like he’s moved by hearing her sing again. But also, I think he’s kind of coming to terms with like, this is not the same. It’s not going to be the same. And so then I really love the scene. Again, we’re in spoiler territory. But the breakup scene, I think is really well done. So they’re, they’re like, they’re about to go to bed. And he starts talking about another aspect of this is like, so she’s helped him get clean. And then it seems like he’s helped her with some issues, too. It’s not exactly clear. But at one point, he says something like, Oh, you stop scratching. And I think early on, we see some scars on her arm or something like that. Yeah, so maybe there’s like a self harm or something going on. But he starts talking about Okay, yeah, we got to get back to it, we got to get our album go and get your tour going. And we can kind of sense that she’s pretty happy where she is. She’s doing some solo music and all that kind of stuff. But as he starts talking about this, she starts scratching her arm, and like kind of instinctively, and that’s just the kind of look at worry. And then you watch him react to that just without any words, seeing on his face, like realizing, Oh, she doesn’t want that. And like this wouldn’t be good for her. And kind of realizing that and then coming to terms with it, and so then completely wordless and then he just says, It’s okay. It’s okay. And like he he accepts that in that moment. And then she kind of comes to that realization to you and I thought that was so well done to be able to perform that without any dialogue and like I understood in that moment, okay. They’re breaking up like this is this is the end of that and Yeah, really moving really powerful. I really, really like that scene.

Johnnie Brannon 55:04
Absolutely. And, you know, it’s just, it’s just one of those things like, you know, as far as like, the story goes, it’s like, like, because of this, you know, not just, you know, not being able to hear it’s gonna change his life, but so much more. That’s, that’s just gonna unravel, you know, and, and it is, it’s pretty amazing. Like, he just wrote who wrote this and darious? Matt martyr?

Andrew Sweatman 55:32
Yeah, keep it directed. It’s here.

Johnnie Brannon 55:34
Yeah. Derek says what? I can’t say his last name, Sam, Sam, France, say France. Now, it’s just I mean, it’s it’s been such been such a simple film, it’s also got those complications in there, too. Where were things like, this is just, you know, like you said, you know, you don’t have to have a whole lot of dialogue in it. And, you know, it’s all in the eyes. And that’s where the power comes from. Now, at the very end of it, I mean, do you

Andrew Sweatman 56:03
talk about the very end? Go ahead. I was gonna say next, what do you think about the very, very ending? A bunch of stuff to say about it, but

Unknown Speaker 56:11
I think that, uh,

Johnnie Brannon 56:12
I don’t know, part of me is like, I hope he goes back, you know, to,to the community, although I don’t think he will.

Andrew Sweatman 56:21
So you’re you think you’re reading is that he’s gonna continue to try to do music and stuff? I don’t know.

Johnnie Brannon 56:27
I really don’t know. Yeah, I don’t know.

Andrew Sweatman 56:29
Yeah. Okay, I’ll give you all my thoughts. Just my thesis. I wrote an essay in my notes here. So I’ll try to keep it brief. But the way I read the ending is that he’s kind of finally coming to terms with it. And like, so he, so what happens is, he’s on the street, he sits on the bench, there’s a lot of noise. And then he just pulls up and pulses implant off like a unplugs it, and it’s just in the silence. And so I take that to mean like, here’s this final step towards accepting that, like this new life like this, it’s not gonna go back to the way things were. Now, whether he not he goes back to the deaf community, I don’t know. But I think he’s going to kind of accept the, the deafness and, and live, you know, without trying to relive his old life. That’s kind of the way I read that. And, and I, when I first watched it, I like kind of took my breath away. So here’s, here’s another side, side thing, and I’m gonna go off on a tangent, I’m sorry. So I’ve kind of had this feeling for a long time, that, that cinema can be a very spiritual thing. And it’s kind of hard to explain, like what I mean by that. But I had that experience with this movie, and specifically with the ending. And I guess what that means is kind of like, when like my brain and my emotions are kind of in sync. And like, basically, I come away from it feeling like I’ve grown as a person like this, this, this movie kind of changed me a little bit, is kind of the feeling that I have. And so at the end of this movie, that’s kind of what happens for Ruben too, in the way I read it is that he’s, he’s finally coming to some acceptance of this. And like self acceptance, maybe you’re expecting this new, this new normal, this new paradigm that he’s kind of found himself in. And so he’s, you know, he sits there, and he’s so overwhelmed by the noise, it seemed like and then he, he reached reaches up and unplugs up, and he’s finally able to sit and just be still until like the last I don’t know how long that last shot last, but it’s just silent. And it’s just on his face. And it seems like he’s he’s experiencing that stillness that, that Paul races character talked about. So it’s a few levels to them. So So one is that the spiritual experience that I felt while watching this, when I watched it a second time, I realized, so that the main noise that he’s hearing is church bells actually said like, there’s these loud church bells, and there’s all these kids around and stuff. But then there’s this long shot on this church too. And so I think I almost wonder if the filmmaker wants us to bring a connection there to think like, some in some way, this is a spiritual experience for him that kind of bringing in the church in that way. So that’s just a theory. I don’t know. But then I think it does call back to a couple things in the movie. So one is with Joe with Paul races character. When that during that confrontation scene, he also says, during all this time that you’ve been sitting and writing, have you ever been able to really be still unexperienced this stillness? And then he talks more about it and says, Those moments that you can really feel stillness, like this world is crazy. This world will beat you up, like all these things, can be really crappy place, but when you can really sit and be still. He says the exact phrase he says, that’s the kingdom of God. I thought that was really interesting. And so I think that also is like, here’s here’s Ruben finally being still and then another thing is that it calls back to when he first loses his hearing, and they’re sitting in his diner. And his girlfriend Lou calls his sponsor, because he’s had a cigarette for the first time which he continued smoking throughout the movie, to which may That’s a sign that he’s like, not doing well this whole time. Like he’s, he’s still not accepting, you know, everything. But so he has a cigarette outside this diner. So Luke calls a sponsor. And he’s kind of hollering at the phone because he can’t hear, right. He’s like, I can’t hear what you’re saying. But here’s what you would probably say, like, are you? Are you okay? Yeah, like, are you? And he said, He’s kind of like, throwing out all these things that his sponsor would probably be saying, and he’s kind of annoyed, and he’s like, but I’m good. I’ve got this, it’s fine. I’m gonna fix it, whatever. Well, one of the things that he says, and that his sponsor would probably say, Yeah, I wrote this down, because I didn’t realize this till the second time. But it’s serenity is something you get when you stop wishing for different paths. And that exactly nails. The ending for me, too, is that like, he finally has serenity now. Because he’s, he’s stopped wishing for something different for his life. So that was a really sneaky little foreshadowing right at the very beginning of the movie, that really kind of explains exactly what’s going to happen here is like he has to get to this place. And you know, sometimes you hear the same kind of mantra, you learn this lesson over and over, but you don’t really learn it or understand it until you like, feel it, I guess, and that it feels like an experience of that, like, finally, this came together for him. Anyway, I really like that ending. I think, too. There are certain movies that can can really use the like the fade to black or the cut to black in a really powerful moment. Like I think about

the movie before sunset. The second one in the before trilogy has a great fade out like I there’s certain endings that I just think about, like when it comes to black and you weren’t exactly expecting it. And how great that is. This is one of those endings for me too, is that it is sitting there and I think, is this gonna be the end? And then it just cuts and it’s like, oh, that was a great, final moment. Anyway, all those things came together. I really, really liked the ending of this movie. But yes, I’ve talked to plenty. No, no, no,

Johnnie Brannon 1:01:51
you’re absolutely right. Yeah, I had to think about that. And but yeah, yeah, I guess is less or less part of him where he’s just, you know, sitting in silence. And now it does. And you can you can see it in his eyes that, you know, he’s just, you know, it’s like that, you know, is that performance, you know, as as being such a strong actor that, yeah, you can relate that you can put you can put, you know, push that towards, you know, the viewers, and it gives you a sense of calm, you know, but you know, he’s at peace with this. And so, yeah, yeah, very subtle, but very, very, very effective and pretty powerful at the same time.

Andrew Sweatman 1:02:28
We’re gonna do that is sound of metal there. Do you have any other thoughts? Before we wrap up? I think we’ve we’ve made it to the end of the movie. I guess. We should stop talking at some point. But

Johnnie Brannon 1:02:37
there’s a it’s really interesting, because, you know, you think sound of metal and you think, well, it is about a heavy metal group. But at the same time, it’s like, you know, it, it can mean so many different things. But yeah, this is definitely This is an excellent film, and, and I’m definitely going to revisit and looking forward to it. So anybody out there is listening, for sure. Definitely. Definitely check out this film. I think you’ll watch it.

Andrew Sweatman 1:03:05
Yes, highly recommend it as well. And I think you’re right that the title is almost a double meaning, even like the sound of the cochlear implant is like a metallic kind of sound or like the the ringing that he’s hearing sometimes. So I think you’re right that it’s like, it’s kind of pointing to that too. Yes. Clever title. Very good movie. Sound of metal streaming now on amazon prime. Thank you so much, Johnny, for coming back on the podcast. Always a pleasure. It was a really great conversation. I appreciate it.

Johnnie Brannon 1:03:31
Absolutely. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Andrew Sweatman 1:03:33
Of course.

Johnnie Brannon 1:03:34
I love the show. And thanks again

Andrew Sweatman 1:03:38
Well, I’m so excited for made in Arkansas in a few weeks down the road here. So I’ll be definitely tuning into that. And I’ll be linking to everything on Facebook that I can for my listeners to, to tune into that as well. But all right, well, thanks so much again, and I guess we can say bye bye for now. I’ll talk to you soon.

Johnnie Brannon 1:03:58
Thank you.

Andrew Sweatman 1:03:59
Thanks again to Johnnie Brannon for being here. It’s always a pleasure to talk movies with that guy. Do keep your eyes peeled for more info on the Made in Arkansas Film Festival coming up in May. If it ends up going virtual the silver lining is that you don’t have to live in Arkansas to attend. I’ll share out everything I can on social media. On the next episode of art house garage, we’ve got an Oscars preview, plus a discussion of Best Picture nominee Minari I’m joined by filmmaker Andrew camera Hello for that conversation. And thank you so much for listening to arthouse garage. We’ve got a few years worth of episodes and you can hear all of those in your podcast app of choice. Our theme music is by composer Paul Huenefeld. Learn more at www.apaulingproductions.com or find the link in the show notes. If you want to support arthouse garage, leave a rating or review in your podcast app or you can buy an art house garage t shirt at arthousegarage.com/shop. stay in the loop about art house garage and the films we’re covering by subscribing to our email newsletter by going to arthousegarage.com/subscribe or you can email me directly Andrew@arthousegarage.com And of course follow on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and letterboxed just search @arthousegarage in all those places or find links in the show notes. And that will do it for this episode. Thank you again so much for listening, and until next time, keep it snob free!

Andrew Sweatman 0:08
Hello, hello and welcome to Arthouse Garage, the snob free film podcast where we make arthouse indie classic and foreign cinema accessible to the masses. I’m Andrew Sweatman and today filmmaker Johnnie Brannon is joining the podcast to discuss the best picture nominated film, Sound of metal. Plus, we’ve got a review of Best Picture nominee, The Father. Stick around.

Unknown Speaker 0:40
[The Father trailer audio]

Andrew Sweatman 2:09
That was a bit of the trailer for the film The Father starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. The film has been nominated for Best Picture as well as Best Actor in a Leading Role for Anthony Hopkins, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Olivia Colman, Best Adapted Screenplay, best editing and Best Production Design. The film tells the story of Anthony, that’s Anthony Hopkins, who is aging and starting to experience the effects of dementia. This leads him to feel very confused and fearful and paranoid. And he acts out in a number of ways, making life harder for his daughter and that’s Olivia Coleman, as she tries to care for him and make arrangements including at home care. A few months ago on this podcast, we discussed another 2020 film that tackled the subject of dementia and Alzheimer’s and explored the topic by looking at a father daughter relationship affected by the disease. That film is the documentary dick Johnson is dead. Though the two films couldn’t be more different in terms of tone. One is a true story and attribute in many ways to a real man dick Johnson, as his daughter Kirsten Johnson. Also, the film’s director, tries to come to terms with the reality that her beloved father won’t live forever. So the father clearly shares some common DNA, looking at family dynamics in similar situations. But the father is different in some key ways. Aside from the fact that it’s a narrative film, it also shifts the perspective. Deke Johnson is dead is mostly from the daughters point of view. Well, in the Father, we as the audience are in the head of the aging parent, director, Florian Zeller puts the viewer directly into Anthony’s headspace, and we understand the world just as he does. So when Anthony feels scared or confused, we’ve just seen the same things he has, and we feel scared or confused right along with him. In that way, the film plays out almost like a psychological thriller, but one filled with emotion and empathy. We at once completely understand Ann’s frustration that her father is lashing out at family members and can’t seem to keep a caretaker because of his erratic behavior. While at the same time we empathize with Anthony because the world he’s experiencing is incredibly confusing. We begin to understand how devastating it is when you can’t trust your own mental faculties. This affects Anthony’s sense of self over time, and it wears on and as things seem to only be getting worse, despite all the efforts he puts in. Ultimately, it’s a very strong film that is certainly deserving of the praise it’s getting the psychological thriller elements serve to set it apart from similar films. But it’s also unlike any psychological thriller I’ve seen. Because of the deep empathy created by the film’s unique vantage point. The whole time, we as the audience are trying just like Anthony to put the puzzle pieces together. But ultimately, the puzzle is not the point. The film works on that level of trying to solve the mystery of what’s going on. But it also transcends that with the emotional experience of deeply empathizing with the lead character and the particular suffering caused by demand. Writer Director Florian Zeller wrote the screenplay, adapted from play He also wrote, and it’s phenomenal. The direction and the production of the film are also among the strongest of the year. And you couldn’t hope for better performances than those given by Anthony Hopkins, and Olivia Coleman, this film is absolutely worth your time. And you may just come away with a new appreciation for the aging people in your life. The father is now playing in theaters and available on demand to watch at home.

Unknown Speaker 5:31
[The Father trailer audio]

Andrew Sweatman 6:03
It’s time for today’s discussion, we’re looking at Best Picture nominee Sound of Metal. This film focuses on Ruben, a metal drummer who has a happy life with his girlfriend and bandmate Lou, they live in an RV and travel around the country performing. Their lifestyle is thrown into jeopardy when Ruben starts to lose his hearing. Ruben suddenly finds himself with almost no hearing and unable to perform musically. Lou takes them to a deaf community where he begins to learn to live with his hearing loss. This is my absolute favorite film of 2020. And it’s very deserving of the awards it’s nominated for I’m very excited to see how well it performs at the Oscars in a few weeks time. Today’s guest is filmmaker Johnnie Brannon. You may remember him from the Doctor Sleep episode a couple years back, Johnnie has been making films in Central Arkansas for many years. And he also runs Made in Arkansas, a film organization that encourages local filmmaking. The Made in Arkansas Film Festival is coming up in May and Johnny tells us all about it in this conversation. Notably Johnnie is also a musician, which is part of why he’s the perfect guest to discuss Sound of Metal. Johnnie Brannon, welcome back to the podcast. How are you?

Johnnie Brannon 7:13
Doing great How you doing?

Andrew Sweatman 7:14
I’m doing really well. You know what? I guess we’re kind of nearing hopefully the end of some quarantine stuff, maybe somewhat seeing light in the tunnel. But it’s it’s been interesting, you know, year and a half as quarantine been terrible for you. You’ve been able to work on some things I’ve been seeing online.

Johnnie Brannon 7:33
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, I’ve been, you know, I guess a year ago, this time, instead of, you know, working on film stuff, I started working on music. Had putting that off for a couple years. You know, I did launch the solar project, many moons ago. And then few years later, I started one of us, you know, started getting to the filmmaking, side of things started scoring, you know, going down that route. And then I took a break. And then last year, once, everything kind of got shut down, I started back on my music project and actually started writing music again, and it just felt pretty nice to be able to, you know, just focus on that and not worry about anything else.

Andrew Sweatman 8:20
Yeah, that’s another theory. Right? Is that Yeah, yes. Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 8:27
Yeah, thank you. It’s a, I started it back in the early 2000s. And when I first moved a little rock, I, you know, music was my thing. And I was, you know, I’ve kind of get my neck, you know, trying to get my name out there. And everything. I actually played several shows locally, between 2004 2006 and then took a break, and then start working on movies, and then eventually picked up another keyboard again, and I got to get back to this. And it’s, it’s pretty amazing. I missed it. I missed it terribly actually.

Andrew Sweatman 9:01
Well, that’s essentially when I wanted to talk about sound of metal. I thought, who do I know that’s a filmmaker and does music stuff as a musician? And then you came to mind with what that would be perfect. So let’s get ready to talk about this one. Oh, speaking of filmmaking stuff, I’ve been seeing some of the stuff you’ve been doing online. Tell us what your latest projects are.

Johnnie Brannon 9:19
well lately, right now I’m, I got my focus on the main Arkansas Film Festival, and that’s going to be may 13. Through the 15th. We’re not sure I mean, we will probably end up going virtual again, but I’m waiting to get back with the Gaston Robinson theater to see what’s what, what we can do and but most likely will probably go virtual. If we do go virtual, there’s a possibility that we can extend, you know, the dates. Last year, it worked out great. We were able to take more films that way. Yeah. But this year? Yeah, I don’t know. I think maybe last year But filmmakers, you know, kind of got, you know, held down because the COVID. So they weren’t able to make a lot of films, I suspected that, you know, that could be a possibility it could actually hurt us this year. And we got some really good films and brought now but, you know, we still got three more days left, and I’m kind of hoping that we’ll get an apple for now, I told them, You know, I get it that a lot of filmmakers right now are, you know, are in post productions. Like, if you guys want to submit your films as a work in progress, that is a totally cool and so. So that way, they still get their shot of, you know, of possibly, you know, getting screened this year. But, yeah, so that that’s actually kind of a big thing. And then I just, you know, you know, finished working on a chariot, man.

Andrew Sweatman 10:49
Yeah. Tell us a little bit about the chariot,

Johnnie Brannon 10:51
chariot. It’s a feature film that they shot here and what a rock. It was. It was brought here out actually from, from, I think, the producer to producers from Northwest Arkansas, he’s one of the producers. And he got with another producer who was trying to bring a film into Oklahoma, and this is just what I’ve been told, you know, from scenes and that, you know, some things didn’t really work out. So they wanted to bring a movie to Arkansas, and they, you know, met with this filmmaker, Adam Sigel. And, and you had to kind of get it all worked out, and they ended up coming here to Iraq and shooting for 20 days. And it has john malkovich in it. Yeah. JOHN markavitch. Thomas Mann, who was in me, was one was that me Earl and the Dying Girl. Interesting enough. I think Olivia Cooke that’s in Santa metal, you know, was in your own that in a day? Yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 11:53
Interesting. Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 11:54
And so. And then it’s also got Rosa Salazar who played alita Battle Angel. Oh, yes. Yeah. It was it was it was Wow. Yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 12:03
that’s an impressive cast here in Arkansas. I’m really excited about that. That’s funny, I saw I was following some of the news around that. And not long after that. My wife and I, we were at a restaurant, like on a patio sitting outdoors at this restaurant. And I looked across the way I was like, is that john malkovich? It was like, I knew he’s been in town. But like, I don’t know if that’s him. And like, the whole dinner I kept looking over, like, maybe that is him. And my wife is like, I don’t think so. And finally, I got close enough to here and I you know, john Mach, which has such a distinctive voice, like, it’s definitely not like it was a week after go grabs, I’m sure it was definitely not him. But that’s my funny john malkovich story.

Johnnie Brannon 12:40
That’s hilarious. Yeah, he was here only for five days, I think it was like, the first week of shooting. And that’s a he was such a nice. I mean, he’s, you know, such a gentleman, such a nice guy, and everybody on set, just, you know, we had nothing but great things to say about him, because it was such a common human being, and he wanted to come to Arkansas. That’s why he accepted the role of this film. And it’s, it’s a small supporting role, but it’s very us centric, and it’s definitely gonna stand out for sure.

Andrew Sweatman 13:12
That’s great. I can’t wait to see that one. I’m sure that’ll be some months before that’s out and about, but that that’ll be fun to follow. Well, cool. Any other big film stuff going on? Right now that you want to talk about? Oh, would you tell us about your YouTube channel?

Johnnie Brannon 13:25
Oh, yeah. Well, I started a YouTube channel back in January. And basically, what I’m doing is just, you know, introducing tips and tutorials to new filmmakers, people who are, network people aren’t who aren’t, you know, who are, you know, thinking about doing it, and not sure how to do it, you know, from both the acting side and the filmmaking side. So, right now, you know, scheduled and kind of crazy, so haven’t been able to really put as much content out, you know, as of late, but I do have some acting tips up there, how to get networked in your film community, whether it doesn’t matter where you’re at, you know, just kind of laid out the groundwork of what you can do to kind of look in your own, you know, your own neighborhood, to find people who will share with you people who will work with you, and how you can get cast in your, in your local film scene. And then, I’m also sharing older films that I’ve worked on kind of doing like a little kind of doing a little thing called short film theater. And basically, I just kind of talk about the background of how we made a film and people are part of the project and the shorter film, and it’s like, you know, maybe two minutes of the introduction, and, you know, just kind of laying that out there. And so that’s part of it. And yeah, yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 14:42
that’s really cool. You know, where else I’ve been seeing you hits on Tick Tock actually posting little things about, you know, this film breaks this rule of editing and like just the funny little things like that, but it’s all like film related stuff. So yeah. That’s cool. I’ll link to all that stuff. If any One security is to follow any of that, especially that YouTube channel sounds like a great resource for you for like young filmmakers. So, yeah, that’s really great. Yeah. Well, alright, I guess if there’s nothing else let’s let’s talk about sound of metal.

Unknown Speaker 15:51
[Sound of Metal trailer audio]

Andrew Sweatman 17:42
Alright, let’s talk about sound of metal. So this is an Amazon original, Best Picture nominee nominated for I think six Oscars actually. So it’s it’s been winning lots of things. And it’s it’s really quite a quite a film. I really, really like it. structure by darious, martyr, and stars raise Ahmed and Olivia cook, and tells the story of Reuben, that’s Reza meds character. He’s a metal drummer, and he and his girlfriend, Lou, that’s Olivia cook, are in this kind of metal duo. And he he’s the drummer. And one night, the very beginning of the film, he started to lose his hearing very suddenly. And he, you know, obviously relies on that for his his career. They’re touring around just the two of them in their RV. They have this this little life together that they really love. And so this comes out of nowhere and kind of threatens all of that. And basically, the film follows him through what does he do when he learns that this hearing is it has suddenly become greatly impaired? And there’s not much chance of it coming back? What do you do? What’s his, what’s his life going to be now. And it goes in really interesting directions with that. But and we’re we we will talk spoilers at the end, I’ll give a spoiler warning before we get into spoilers. But I came away from this film thinking this is one of my my favorite things of the year. Really, really found it moving. I’m so excited to talk to you about it, Johnny. So, sound of metal is among other things. It’s a story about a musician and kind of the drive to create. Ruben in the film, he feels kind of desperate to try and get back to his life as a musician. So Johnny, as a creator yourself, as a filmmaker and musician. I’m wondering if you felt that you could identify with him at all? Or if there’s ever been something that’s kind of come between you and and your ability to be creative? Like Like what he experiences in the movie?

Johnnie Brannon 19:39
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And him being a musician and just living music. Before I started doing film, you know, any type of filmmaking that’s what I just engulfed myself in was music and there wasn’t a moment during the day where that wasn’t working, that I just go home and just start you know, playing and I’m not a self taught musician. So I don’t know how to Music and I can’t, you know, you know, he that he that stuff, so I’d go home and just kind of, you know, listen to it, then all the other other bands and whatnot that I listen to, to come inspired me that just kind of the direction on when but I totally understood and related with, you know, like music at one time it’s just my life and of course, I was in a band before I went solo and you know, we’d always talked about Yeah, you know, we make it you know, like any any indie, you know, band or whatever, you know, like, when these days we’re going to go out and get a record deal and yada yada yada. And now the day is, you know, there’s so many indie bands, so many indie bands, like what, you know, this man in this film was that are doing that and you know, going to some you know, indie shows, you know, you’ll see where they get the little merge table up and all that stuff. And, and I can totally, I totally get that, you know, I totally understand, like, the struggle that the only way they’re gonna make money is to play, you know, they can, you know, they can’t stop what they’re doing. And, you know, the, you know, I felt his desperation at the, towards the beginning of the film of whenever he, you know, when his hearing started, whenever he started losing his hearing, you know, the, the not sure, like, is this really happening to me? No, I mean, like that, when you’re watching that. And, you know, and I, it’s just like, wait a minute here, maybe this isn’t really happening. Maybe it’s like, you know, but that since a desperate, you know, I kind of strike at least for me for as a as a, as a person who’s watching this film, I, I started kind of feeling a little bit desperate that this is just gonna pass, you know, for him, you know, maybe he’ll but you know, as, you know, being a musician and stuff like that, you know, my, my obstacles were, you know, like, paying bills and stuff, cuz there’s, like, I got to sell equipment in order to make it on. So, you know, back when I first started playing a little rock, I had a complete PA system, I had keyboards, I had a computer, I mean, all my stuff through I played shows here at various clubs. And then, you know, I went through a period where I actually had to get rid of it. And I have none of that equipment. From my, you know, that time

Andrew Sweatman 22:16
as financially, you had to get rid of it.

Johnnie Brannon 22:18
Yes, yeah. I knew the sacrifices I was making. And, you know, it was it sucked. But, yeah, but I, I totally understand, like, you know, once you if you if you lose that, you know, what, really what the app except for listening to listening to music, you know, yeah. So it’s, yeah, I, I get it. I mean, I totally, you know, totally understood that.

Andrew Sweatman 22:44
Yeah, yeah. And this is not depicted in the film. But you can imagine, like, how he got that, that life setup with he and his girlfriend, you know, and, and how much struggle that must have been to, like, make that all work. And then this thing comes in and is threatening all of that, that you worked so hard for? And yet, like, I didn’t even think about the fact that like, yeah, they probably barely scraping by, you know, selling their t shirts. You know, it shows the merch table. And that’s like, such a familiar feeling, if you’ve ever been to a concert is kind of kind of what they’re doing there. But, but yeah, it’s it, he seems like he’s, they’ve been doing this, I think for four years or something. He mentioned that that’s kind of the life they’ve been living. Or at least that’s how long we’ve been together. Maybe that’s what it is, but, but it’s been going on for a while, it seems, but it also kind of makes you think, like, who knows, who knows how fragile our lives really are, and kind of the things we have set up. And he’s kind of living his dream, in a way it seems like but it turns out to be more fragile than, than he thought.

Johnnie Brannon 23:42
Yeah, well, absolutely. And he just nailed it there. I mean, like, this, the things that he’s sacrificing to, you know, do what he loves, you know, it’s like what anybody, you know, whenever you’re making an independent film, and you know, you’re not, you know, a second, there’s so many filmmakers out there, that you aren’t really, you know, as that, you know, successful. You know, when I say successful, that means, you know, like, I got a bunch of money here that now I don’t have to worry about anything, you know, because you got to keep making your art to pay the bills, but, you know, like, from where he’s at, you know, you know, just being, you know, putting everything into it. And it’s only way he’s gonna be able to make a living for himself and support, you know, he and his band, which is, you know, his girlfriend. You know, it’s, you know, a lot of artists out there just kind of pinned on that lack of, you know, I think I was reading an article about Patti Smith the other day, and Patti Smith, you know, she’s famous for all the music, she’s done back in the 70s in the 80s. And she’s, you know, kind of inspired a generation of musicians and, and there was a time, you know, that she, you know, only had like, $30,000 you know, she’s like, you know, I do For that love the art. And you know, I got things like that I do that kind of helps me pay the bills, but I’m by far this is not like, I’m not gonna be a millionaire off of this. Yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 25:12
yeah. Wow. Well, that’s super interesting. Thanks for sharing all that. What did you think about the movie in general? Are you a fan of this movie?

Johnnie Brannon 25:20
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, this is this is crazy. But as a filmmaker and an artist, it’s really because I’m working on making my own art is kind of hard to sit down and, and, you know, take in films, and if I haven’t done a better job lately, but with COVID and stuff, it just made things going to make going to the theater much so much harder. Yeah, I lost track on what was coming out. And so, but whenever I heard about this film, and all the praise was getting, and bam, it was on Amazon, take some time out to watch it. And it just blew me away. It totally, totally blew me away. Because it’s such a simple film as far as like, indie film, it looks like it’s on a very, very low budget. They, you know, probably didn’t have to pay that much. As far as like, you know, you only got a couple of actors. And a lot, I think, I think several the actors were almost like, they were like real people. You know, they actually had real people. And yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 26:19
a lot of the deaf actors. Yeah,

Johnnie Brannon 26:20
yeah. And so. But the, you know, it just goes to show that a film like this that’s made on such a small budget. Yeah, I mean, you could tell a story, you know, an incredible story on top of that, with you know, that’s all you need is good script. And the script was, was right on, you know, it’s pretty, pretty spot on.

Andrew Sweatman 26:45
I completely agree with all that. He gets interesting with, with like, award season this year, so many things are streaming, because of COVID, that theaters have been closed and everything. There’s it’s kind of a silver lining that you know, I can watch all these things at home, without too much trouble. But But yeah, I really love this movie. When I first heard about it, I thought that sounds like something I’ll enjoy. And I really, really did. Actually, I’ve been calling this my favorite movie or 2020. I’ve since I watched it, I’ve seen some other really good things. That’s, it’s hard to say. But it’s it’s way, way up there. For me, I found it. So moving. You’re right, that it’s so simple, and the way that it’s in yet, it’s a really straightforward story. But it’s so creatively put together performances are so good. The script is so good. And we’ll talk about the sound design in a minute. But that plays a big part in it too. You’re like, you just tell like they put a lot of care into the craft of making this. something so simple became so kind of transcended for me I really, really liked it. A few things I really like about it one I like how it It highlights Deaf culture in a way that like I did not expect at all, you know, I thought maybe he’ll interact with deaf people since he’s, you know, becoming deaf. But I didn’t think it was gonna and that’s basically the rest of the movie. Like, there’s so much of that. And it teaches so much it’s educational about that culture without ever feeling like, you know, here’s our cause we’re gonna like, you know, raise awareness. Exactly, you know, it just it feels really organically part of the story. And I really like that about it. We’ll talk about the ending once we get to the spoiler time, but I really love the ending of this, I thought that was really profound and kind of breathtaking. And then I like to have this, this movie kind of focuses on personal wellness in a way. So when Ruben so he starts to lose his hearing. And then he goes to it’s it’s like a it’s a deaf community for people who are kind of learning how to be deaf. But it’s also a little bit ambiguous to me, but I think it’s also an element of it is for people who have been addicts, like himself. So at some we learned about Ruben early on is that he was previously like, he’s a recovering addict, and, and also that his relationship is a big part of him being clean and staying clean. And also kind of his lifestyle. It seems like he’s, you know, he’s, he’s very regimented. And yeah, he he gets up and makes this particular breakfast every day. And they have their time together in the morning, and then they play their shows at night. And then they drive across the country that it’s great. Seeing them driving and just talking about all kinds of things and you get a sense of their kind of their relationship. But so when he gets to this Deaf community, and he is kind of learning all these things, his mentor and sort of the leader there’s named Joe and that’s he’s played by Paul racy, and he’s also Oscar nominated for this movie. And he, at one point when when Reubens really struggling, tells him to a basically tells him to journal and meditate and he says, I want you to go in this room and just write it doesn’t have to be good. No one’s gonna read it. And when you’re not writing, just sit there and be still. And I think that’s that’s essentially like, like telling him, you go journal and meditate and that’s going to help you kind of get through some of this in Asheville here. That kind of thing in movies very often. So I like that it focuses on that. And that that ends up playing into the story some too, which we’ll talk about maybe in the spoiler talk as well. But anyway, and that’s not to mention how great all the performances are. I think they’re really good. Riz Ahmed has been nominated for Best Actor. For this. I mentioned Paul racy. What do you think of Riz Ahmed? In this his performance? Are there any standout moments in it for you?

Johnnie Brannon 30:26
Well, I think I think at the beginning, whenever he was, you know, whenever he was not sure if he was losing his hearing, just kind of getting you know, because I think with anything, like when your your Heck, even if you have a health scare, you just kind of like take against it. Like, is this just serious? Or it is coming? Is this really happening? or? Yeah, I thought he did a tremendous job on, you know, like, you know, wait a minute here, something’s not right. And then just kind of playing it off before he actually got down to like, wait a minute, something is wrong here. Yeah. That was That was great. You know, it’s something about you know, about films like this that are that are smaller budget, you don’t get lost in all the big, you know, like, the Hollywood big Hollywood stuff, you know?

Andrew Sweatman 31:15
Yeah, there’s no gimmicks in this movie. Really? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 31:18
And this is a, you know, just, I think, you know, like, an actor, like Riz Ahmed, who’s a good actor, you know, on and, you know, he can go out and perform in any film, and it would, he would be considered good you want I mean, but you take, you take, you take him out of that equation, you’re like, we’re gonna give him a shot of leaving and leaving a film and to see how, how much depth he’s got. And, you know, something, you know, so many actors out there like that, you know, people, even people who’ve been doing this forever, you know, just kind of forget that, you know, this is one of the professional actors, and I thought he was, I thought he was fantastic. Now, Paul, racy, on the other hand, really blew me away. He was such a natural actor in this and very believable, and I think he was an alcoholic. I think his character in this film was an alcoholic. That’s kind of you know, about the addicts, you know, that kind of being ahead extent. It, I think, yeah, you’re right, you know, just kind of wasn’t really as I guess, explained during that, but they did such a good job of like, you just you’re, you didn’t have to think too hard about what you want. I mean,

Andrew Sweatman 32:34
because it goes to a what seemed like an A a meeting or like a, for one part of it and everyone there’s deaf, but then there’s also like a school for deaf kids there. And so it’s like a whole community. And that’s just one piece of it is my understanding of it, I think. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s right. That’s awesome. Yeah, it just, it never just lays out exactly what’s going on. You just kind of learn as you go.

Johnnie Brannon 32:54
Yeah. No, I was I was, I think rafter watched us, I went back and look and see what race he was in. And he’s just, it’s just, you know, same thing. You know, he had all these little small roles, and he really hasn’t done a whole lot, you know, over the years, but I guess I think last year he made was back. Well, we can hear us 2013. So you have that much time in between, and maybe work on some projects here and there. Oh, yeah, he came out and pretty much just nailed it, you know. And now he’s now this film was probably gonna give him a pretty big career, you know, much more than what he what he’s had so far. You know? Yeah. Man. And I think that he, because he was read somewhere that I don’t know if his parents were deaf, and that’s how he knew sign language already or something. Again, I’m

Andrew Sweatman 33:47
not I’m not clear that or whether he’s actually deaf, I think he might be let me know. I’ll kind of look that up. As you go here.

Johnnie Brannon 33:56
I’m looking at right now. He was raised by his head, deaf parents, fluent in sign language, and he was so good at that, and everything and you know, just being natural and being very fluid with his performance. It. It really stood out and I would be I mean, of course, I’m gonna be a little biased here. But I’d be really surprised if he doesn’t win. I mean, I think he he has good shot, but who else is the nominee this year for the

Andrew Sweatman 34:23
supporting actor? Let me let me have a look. Yeah, I didn’t realize till just now that he actually is here yet says in his Wikipedia, he’s the hearing son of Deaf parents. So that that definitely adds an interesting layer to that. That’s, that’s fascinating. Let me pull up the Oscar nominations really quick. And I’ll tell you we’ve got Paul racy is up against Sacha Baron Cohen in trial, Chicago, seven, Daniel Kuya, and Judas in the black Messiah. Leslie Odom, Jr. in one night in Miami and then lucky Stanfield. Also in Judas in the black Messiah. This is the the weird category where it feels like Daniel kuliah probably should have been in The bleeding category because he’s kind of the central figure of that film. And honestly, he I think he’s so amazing that movie that I think he might win, it would be very happy if Paul racy Winslow to you. They’re both fantastic.

Johnnie Brannon 35:17
Yeah, you’re right. He did such a great job of Judas and like Messiah tell you about Yeah, yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 35:21
I forgot to, because he really doesn’t belong in that category. It’s so strange. But just for context to for resentment, and so he’s up for Actor in a Leading Role against Chadwick boseman, for more, and he’s black bottom, Anthony Hopkins and the father, Gary Oldman in manque. And Steven un in menari. In this one, you know, I would be very happy if it was on that one. I think this one is going to be Chadwick boseman. Just have to because it’s a posthumous since he passed away. Yeah, in his performance is very, very good in that film, too. That’s that’s not to take away from his performance, because I think it would be very deserving. But I tend to think that he’ll probably win. The voters will probably go that way. But so throw the reason that is nominated the two. Yep. Yep.

Johnnie Brannon 36:03
I agree. I totally agree with you. It’s, it’s like if it was any other year, you know, yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 36:08
Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 36:09
But the cool thing is, is that they are nominated with some incredible performances. Yeah. That brought along you should definitely be noted for sure. Yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 36:20
Yeah, there’s really not a bad Not a bad performance in that. But I guess that makes sense. It’s, it’s the what, but, but yeah, I really, I really love Riz Ahmed, in this film, I think his performance, he’s very physical, like, he starts out on the drum kit and the very opening of the film. And he’s obviously getting his whole body into that. But later, when he’s signing, you know, that’s I listened to Riz Ahmed on fresh air on NPR. And he talked about learning American Sign Language for this role, and realizing how physical it is, because you’re kind of using your whole body to communicate. And he talked about, I thought this was really interesting. You know, when you learn different languages, sometimes different sides of your personality come out. Which I don’t know, I don’t really know more than a handful of words in any language, besides English. So that was interesting to hear. And then he talked about what sign language he felt like he was more emotionally expressive in a way. Yeah, that that makes sense. That kind of comes through in the performance. And you know, because you’re using your whole body to communicate that way. I thought that was super interesting. I think my favorite moment, in his performance is probably a couple things. But the one that really stands out is when lou is leaving, it’s towards the beginning. It’s like, he, he’s they visited, he’s like, I’m not sure about this. But she really believes strongly that it’s the best thing for him. So she’s gonna leave. Yeah. And he’s in the parking lot. And she gets in this cabin is driving away. And you can kind of feel like this is it feels like a rock bottom moment for him. Like he’s, he’s really setting in that this is really happening. It’s happened so suddenly that like, you’re saying, like, is this really a serious issue? Is this going to go away? It’s kind of finally setting in like, this is really seriously affecting my life right now. And he’s, he’s very kind of animated, but obviously so upset. In that moment. I think that’s a really, really good one. And then another one that I like, said this, something I didn’t really note, the first time watching it, but I was listening to podcasts and things and they noted this on a podcast called film spotting that I really liked to listen to. It’s a moment where he, it’s the first time he goes to this, this room to do his journaling and meditating or his, you know, his writing. And he has a coffee and a doughnut. And when he first sits down, he just smashes the hell out of this doughnut. He’s so angry. He’s got all this pent up rage, and then he smashes and smashes it. And then what’s so interesting is that then the next thing he does is he tries to put it back together. And like he, they said, They noted on this other podcast that it just like pointing to he’s always trying to fix things like he feels like he has this drive to like, get things back to how they’re supposed to be. So here’s a mess he just made he’s gonna try to piece this donut back together, which obviously it’s not gonna happen. But I thought that was a nice touch that they noted on that and I thought I’d bring that up here.

Do you love arthouse movies and blockbusters you get excited about the power of cinema and you want more people to watch more movies? Perfect. Tell the world right from your T shirt with some official art house garage mirch. We’ve got shirts declaring movies are for everyone. We’ve got comfy beanie hats with the art house garage logo. And we’ve even got clothing that encourages people to watch weird movies or watch old movies. Who knows maybe someone will see your T shirt that says watch old movies and be inspired to go home and watch Citizen Kane for the first time. Get all your art house garage gear today and show your support by going to art house garage, comm slash shop. qc I’m trying to fix up the whole time and that’s when Paul raci tells him character’s name is Joe tells him to do this go riding thing is because he’s he just starts fixing the gutter on the house with without him telling him he’s like you don’t have to fix anything next stop trying to fix everything. And of course, he’s, you know, he’s wanting to fix his life to get back to where he was as a musician, and that’s fixing stuff in big ways, but then also constantly trying to just fix things around them. And yeah, maybe that’s kind of speaks to the addict. side of him. Like, he has to be in control and make sure everything’s okay. Which is Yeah, it’s really interesting. Well, this movie is also been nominated for best sound. The sound design is really interesting. And it plays into the deaf community stuff as well. So fun, kind of throw it out there. What did you think about the sound design? Anything? Anything interesting there?

Johnnie Brannon 40:47
If you watch, if you see anything that’s a nominee for an Academy Award, usually, it’s like something like, you know, a Marvel film or something that’s like Star Wars or something that, you know, where you got million, like all these like little sounds, you know? Yeah. And you’re, like, the lasers are going off, and you got like, you know, 2030 of those things just can’t find past yet. And, but nobody really thinks that something is subtle, you know? Yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 41:12
Well, I can talk about a couple moments that stick out. For me, it’s really it’s the moments when we we kind of go in his head, and we hear what he’s hearing. Especially like as he’s starting to lose the hearing and getting this muffled sound. And then when we talk about spoilers, there’s another sound thing I’ll talk about. But when I think it’s I read, I looked up some stuff about that, like, how do they record that? The sound designers name is Nicholas Becker. And he, yeah, it’s like when we are in his headspace with that we’re hearing like this muffled sound, it’s almost like we’re underwater. It’s kind of what it sounds like. And like, he goes to the pharmacy, and he can’t communicate, and we’re kind of hearing those things. And then that that scene when he goes to the doctor, and we’re kind of hearing what he’s hearing, as the doctors testing his hearing and realizing Okay, yeah, this is really, it’s pretty bad. And then the doctor, of course, explains how bad it is. And so I thought that was that was fascinating, was a good, interesting choice to like, let us hear. And like, even when it first happens, like during the show, and it’s just like the ringing, you know, he can’t like make out anything specific. But in this interview, I read with a sound designer, he talks about like, it’s like when we’re underwater or like, when we hear that kind of muffled sound. Often what we’re hearing is like the the inner sounds of our own bodies, like that’s all we can really hear is things that are in within us. So that was interesting. And so what they did for part of this record, is they actually put like mics all over raise Ahmed’s body some kind of special microphone to capture his body sounds. So when we were hearing that we’re actually literally hearing Riz, Ahmed’s body, which is interesting. That’s I thought that was fascinating. But yeah, I’ll link to that interview. Cuz there’s some more interesting stuff in there in the show notes, but yeah, the sound is the sound is quite fascinating. And so before we talk more about that, I think it is probably time for spoilers. Are there any other non spoilery thoughts you want to mention before we jump into the end of this movie?

Johnnie Brannon 43:16
No, no, no, I think so. And no, but no. Touching. Really? Click on that. Yes, you’re right. Whenever he was, you know, whenever he started to lose a sound, and it does someone’s like, is the sound itself just kind of turned inside out? You know, I mean,

Andrew Sweatman 43:32
yeah. And

Johnnie Brannon 43:34
that’s, that’s actually pretty fascinating that that’s what we hear. And maybe, maybe, maybe if we think about it, you know, maybe his maybe he does have a whole lot of, you know, turmoil that’s going on through his head. And maybe that’s why, you know, we’re hearing so much noise throughout this, you know, like, you know, what he’s hearing I guess, you know, like, whenever we’re listening to what he’s, you know, like what he did here?

Unknown Speaker 44:00
Yeah.

Johnnie Brannon 44:02
Yeah, maybe that maybe that’s what that is. I don’t know. But I do, but it does feel it’s a claustrophobic feel. Like, you know, it’s kind of very, obviously unnerving. But it does feel like I look a little bit claustrophobic whenever, anytime I had to hear it through. There is.

Andrew Sweatman 44:20
And it really jumps in there a few times. It’s like, we mostly can, you know, stay outside of him and understand what he’s going through. But then those few moments that we like, we jump into his head and his his ears, I guess. And then it’s, yeah, we realized how frustrating This is and how scary This is for him. Well, let’s get into spoiler talk. So if you have not watched the sound of metal and you don’t want to be spoiled for the ending, which I would encourage because I think the ending especially if you don’t know what’s gonna happen, I think it’s a really powerful ending. So jump out now and go watch the movie. It’s on amazon prime. Alright, let’s talk about spoilers. So, towards the end of this movie, I guess the The final third or so, I think what kind of incites it is Paul Raci’s character, Joe start saying, you know, what’s the long term, maybe you should stick around here because he started to get more comfortable. He’s becoming more fluent in ASL. And he’s like giving back and teaching the kids how to play drums. And he started to kind of enjoy himself and kind of get used to this. And then when he when Joe asked him about long term, I think, I think that’s what causes him to kind of spiral and decide, now’s the time to do something drastic. And so he sells his RV to pay for the cochlear implant surgery, when he goes and gets that surgery. And the next scene, like when he confronts or when he tells Joe and Joe kind of confronts him about that. Is, is one of my other favorite scenes of this movie. It’s really, I think that for Paul racy, that’s the, that’s the his moment that he really shines. And so let’s talk about that scene a little bit, because I really like it. So it’s, I think Paul raci’s superpower as an actor, at least in this movie, is he does this thing where he just sits very, very still and just kind of stares at the person he’s talking to. He does it a few times before this, but then in this scene, he does that it’s so powerful, I think, because you can feel how disappointed he is. And like he feel like he’s on the verge of tears. And like his, his face is just so storied, and it’s really, really good. But it also this is kind of where we get into the Deaf culture stuff about cochlear implants. So the movie doesn’t really explain exactly what the cochlear implants are. But it’s, you know, he understands it as a way to get his hearing back. So he can go back to, you know, doing whatever he wants to do. And so, I’m gonna give a little context here. And actually, I talked to a deaf friend about this, because I thought was really interesting. I’ve learned maybe a couple of years ago, just just a little bit about kind of Deaf culture, and found out that there are a lot of deaf people who do look down on implants like this. And, and they kind of learned about the difference between, you know, deafness, versus like capital D Deaf culture, and its its own kind of subculture. And that was news to me. Yeah, a few years back. But so this is these are people who are claiming, you know, deafness as their identity and saying, you know, my lack of hearing isn’t in this movie, he says, isn’t a handicap. But you know, I can live and communicate and live a vibrant life without hearing and you know, it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. And so here’s the quote from Paul racy in that scene. As he explains that I thought it was really just really moving. He says, you know, as you know, everybody here shares in the belief that being deaf is not a handicap, it’s not something to fix. And that gets back to his, his need to fix everything. That’s pretty important around here, all these kids, all of us need to be reminded of it every day. And so that’s why he, you know, he’s like, you can’t stay here anymore because of that. But I thought that was really a powerful way to understand it, and kind of, to bring that empathy and show that side of it in a way that I never really quite understood that, you know, I mean, especially for the kids here, what we’re trying to teach them that they don’t need a way out of this situation that they are in, they are whole and complete as they are. And so for you to get this surgery is completely ruining that and you have to leave. So I thought that was so interesting. So you understand, you know, his his view on that. I think it’s such a powerful scene. As soon as I finished this movie, the first time I watched it, I texted my friend who’s deaf. Anytime I see any, like deaf, anything in pop culture, I talk to her about it, because she usually knows about it. And she did. she’d already seen this movie and she really liked it. So I just asked her what what she thought about it, what is the deaf community saying? And she talked about the cochlear implants and the controversy around that just to provide some context that I found very interesting. It really is–people are pretty split on it. My friend herself is not opposed to them. She thinks they can be really helpful in some situations. She’s married, her wife disagrees. Her wife is very anti the implants so I thought that was just interesting that it’s it’s that much of a thing that’s that’s talked about. And actually my friend is considered getting them because she also has tinnitus. So she has like a ringing sounds so there are some times or medical reasons for them.

But the problem she explained is is like when people treat them like glasses like okay, my visions messed up, I’ll fix it with these glasses. It’s not the same thing. And that’s what Reubens trying to do. And so I think ultimately, he’s having to like learn that lesson over the course of this movie, so I thought that was really interesting. I’m glad she was able to to bring that info. I asked her if I could share on the podcast and she said yeah, yeah, yeah, I thought that was pretty interesting.

Johnnie Brannon 49:39
Yeah, I think that you know, it’s it’s kind of explains a little bit well, his character is pretty intense you know, he’s a he’s and and to me pleased metal you know, and people like that that’s kind of got a little bit in part of that too, is probably because he was an addict as well. You know, just kind of enhances That short views, you know, I mean, sure. So. So I think that, yeah, it was unfortunate that that’s that’s kind of how it went. But yeah, but you know, it’s this is like, you know if your word with great power comes great responsibility. Yeah, or irresponsibility, and, you know, just you can look at it like, this is the same thing, you know, you know, maybe he found himself after he lost his hearing on, you know, becoming one who will let people help you home or from others, you know, he obviously he learned from from a community and everything. And then whenever we got to the point where he could, he thought that the best way, man, would there is a resolution here. Yeah, I think that’s human nature, because he’s, he wasn’t born deaf, you know what I mean? Right? So human nature, you know, it’s like, if I can, if I lost my hand, you know, if there’s a, if I can get a surgery or something like that, where I can actually have another hand or something where I could still be so bad, wouldn’t? What would I be willing to do to get that again, because obviously, I would be able to, you know, work on films and work on, you know, music, you know, again, and, and so, and being a musician, you know, I kind of I kind of understood that part of it, you know, that, although, although, you know, the heart of me is like, you know, you think this is where you belong, you don’t I mean? Like this isn’t, yeah, even you can still make music, you can still you can be right here with with this group, and still, you know, be able to work on music and stuff like that, and maybe try something and do something different, you know, that, you know, there’s multiple ways of, you know, but we only got, what, two hours of this film, and, and his story, unfortunately, that’s that’s kind of where it went. But I totally get that though. The, the desperation of, yeah, I can fix this. And I want to see if I can I want to see what could and,

Andrew Sweatman 51:58
yeah, yeah, I think you’re right. I think it the film, totally, you totally understand why he would want to go back, you know. But then you also have completely understand Joe’s point of view, and, you know, kind of learning about why this is so important to him. And so it’s really, it’s a really well done kind of clash there. I think you’re right. There’s such a dramatic irony, because we as the audience, I think at least I was like, you had to let that go. Like even early on, like, you have a new normal, you got to accept that. But then the question is, is he going to and he’s, he takes forever to kind of come to terms with them. And so I wanted to mention, too, so he though he goes and gets the implants. And the sound design of the cochlear implants is another thing. That’s really interesting. And I, in that interview that I’ll link to, he talks about kind of haggis, he researched the sound designer, the hearing person, obviously. So he’s never been able to hear what it’s like to have cochlear implants. But through secondhand accounts and things, he tried to recreate that. And I watched this movie with headphones on. So it kind of felt like, like, this is really in my head, you know, you’re hearing what this is like, I thought that was really fascinating. And it’s also clear why he would be disappointed like, this is not the same. How can I play the drums Like this? Like, is this gonna work? So you can kind of feel, feel all that just in the in the way they they kind of put that together. And so then he goes to this party, he goes, find his girlfriend, and there’s a party and she sings with her father. And I think in that scene, my understanding, like we really focus on his face. And like, as he’s watching her sing, I think like he’s moved by hearing her sing again. But also, I think he’s kind of coming to terms with like, this is not the same. It’s not going to be the same. And so then I really love the scene. Again, we’re in spoiler territory. But the breakup scene, I think is really well done. So they’re, they’re like, they’re about to go to bed. And he starts talking about another aspect of this is like, so she’s helped him get clean. And then it seems like he’s helped her with some issues, too. It’s not exactly clear. But at one point, he says something like, Oh, you stop scratching. And I think early on, we see some scars on her arm or something like that. Yeah, so maybe there’s like a self harm or something going on. But he starts talking about Okay, yeah, we got to get back to it, we got to get our album go and get your tour going. And we can kind of sense that she’s pretty happy where she is. She’s doing some solo music and all that kind of stuff. But as he starts talking about this, she starts scratching her arm, and like kind of instinctively, and that’s just the kind of look at worry. And then you watch him react to that just without any words, seeing on his face, like realizing, Oh, she doesn’t want that. And like this wouldn’t be good for her. And kind of realizing that and then coming to terms with it, and so then completely wordless and then he just says, It’s okay. It’s okay. And like he he accepts that in that moment. And then she kind of comes to that realization to you and I thought that was so well done to be able to perform that without any dialogue and like I understood in that moment, okay. They’re breaking up like this is this is the end of that and Yeah, really moving really powerful. I really, really like that scene.

Johnnie Brannon 55:04
Absolutely. And, you know, it’s just, it’s just one of those things like, you know, as far as like, the story goes, it’s like, like, because of this, you know, not just, you know, not being able to hear it’s gonna change his life, but so much more. That’s, that’s just gonna unravel, you know, and, and it is, it’s pretty amazing. Like, he just wrote who wrote this and darious? Matt martyr?

Andrew Sweatman 55:32
Yeah, keep it directed. It’s here.

Johnnie Brannon 55:34
Yeah. Derek says what? I can’t say his last name, Sam, Sam, France, say France. Now, it’s just I mean, it’s it’s been such been such a simple film, it’s also got those complications in there, too. Where were things like, this is just, you know, like you said, you know, you don’t have to have a whole lot of dialogue in it. And, you know, it’s all in the eyes. And that’s where the power comes from. Now, at the very end of it, I mean, do you

Andrew Sweatman 56:03
talk about the very end? Go ahead. I was gonna say next, what do you think about the very, very ending? A bunch of stuff to say about it, but

Unknown Speaker 56:11
I think that, uh,

Johnnie Brannon 56:12
I don’t know, part of me is like, I hope he goes back, you know, to,to the community, although I don’t think he will.

Andrew Sweatman 56:21
So you’re you think you’re reading is that he’s gonna continue to try to do music and stuff? I don’t know.

Johnnie Brannon 56:27
I really don’t know. Yeah, I don’t know.

Andrew Sweatman 56:29
Yeah. Okay, I’ll give you all my thoughts. Just my thesis. I wrote an essay in my notes here. So I’ll try to keep it brief. But the way I read the ending is that he’s kind of finally coming to terms with it. And like, so he, so what happens is, he’s on the street, he sits on the bench, there’s a lot of noise. And then he just pulls up and pulses implant off like a unplugs it, and it’s just in the silence. And so I take that to mean like, here’s this final step towards accepting that, like this new life like this, it’s not gonna go back to the way things were. Now, whether he not he goes back to the deaf community, I don’t know. But I think he’s going to kind of accept the, the deafness and, and live, you know, without trying to relive his old life. That’s kind of the way I read that. And, and I, when I first watched it, I like kind of took my breath away. So here’s, here’s another side, side thing, and I’m gonna go off on a tangent, I’m sorry. So I’ve kind of had this feeling for a long time, that, that cinema can be a very spiritual thing. And it’s kind of hard to explain, like what I mean by that. But I had that experience with this movie, and specifically with the ending. And I guess what that means is kind of like, when like my brain and my emotions are kind of in sync. And like, basically, I come away from it feeling like I’ve grown as a person like this, this, this movie kind of changed me a little bit, is kind of the feeling that I have. And so at the end of this movie, that’s kind of what happens for Ruben too, in the way I read it is that he’s, he’s finally coming to some acceptance of this. And like self acceptance, maybe you’re expecting this new, this new normal, this new paradigm that he’s kind of found himself in. And so he’s, you know, he sits there, and he’s so overwhelmed by the noise, it seemed like and then he, he reached reaches up and unplugs up, and he’s finally able to sit and just be still until like the last I don’t know how long that last shot last, but it’s just silent. And it’s just on his face. And it seems like he’s he’s experiencing that stillness that, that Paul races character talked about. So it’s a few levels to them. So So one is that the spiritual experience that I felt while watching this, when I watched it a second time, I realized, so that the main noise that he’s hearing is church bells actually said like, there’s these loud church bells, and there’s all these kids around and stuff. But then there’s this long shot on this church too. And so I think I almost wonder if the filmmaker wants us to bring a connection there to think like, some in some way, this is a spiritual experience for him that kind of bringing in the church in that way. So that’s just a theory. I don’t know. But then I think it does call back to a couple things in the movie. So one is with Joe with Paul races character. When that during that confrontation scene, he also says, during all this time that you’ve been sitting and writing, have you ever been able to really be still unexperienced this stillness? And then he talks more about it and says, Those moments that you can really feel stillness, like this world is crazy. This world will beat you up, like all these things, can be really crappy place, but when you can really sit and be still. He says the exact phrase he says, that’s the kingdom of God. I thought that was really interesting. And so I think that also is like, here’s here’s Ruben finally being still and then another thing is that it calls back to when he first loses his hearing, and they’re sitting in his diner. And his girlfriend Lou calls his sponsor, because he’s had a cigarette for the first time which he continued smoking throughout the movie, to which may That’s a sign that he’s like, not doing well this whole time. Like he’s, he’s still not accepting, you know, everything. But so he has a cigarette outside this diner. So Luke calls a sponsor. And he’s kind of hollering at the phone because he can’t hear, right. He’s like, I can’t hear what you’re saying. But here’s what you would probably say, like, are you? Are you okay? Yeah, like, are you? And he said, He’s kind of like, throwing out all these things that his sponsor would probably be saying, and he’s kind of annoyed, and he’s like, but I’m good. I’ve got this, it’s fine. I’m gonna fix it, whatever. Well, one of the things that he says, and that his sponsor would probably say, Yeah, I wrote this down, because I didn’t realize this till the second time. But it’s serenity is something you get when you stop wishing for different paths. And that exactly nails. The ending for me, too, is that like, he finally has serenity now. Because he’s, he’s stopped wishing for something different for his life. So that was a really sneaky little foreshadowing right at the very beginning of the movie, that really kind of explains exactly what’s going to happen here is like he has to get to this place. And you know, sometimes you hear the same kind of mantra, you learn this lesson over and over, but you don’t really learn it or understand it until you like, feel it, I guess, and that it feels like an experience of that, like, finally, this came together for him. Anyway, I really like that ending. I think, too. There are certain movies that can can really use the like the fade to black or the cut to black in a really powerful moment. Like I think about

the movie before sunset. The second one in the before trilogy has a great fade out like I there’s certain endings that I just think about, like when it comes to black and you weren’t exactly expecting it. And how great that is. This is one of those endings for me too, is that it is sitting there and I think, is this gonna be the end? And then it just cuts and it’s like, oh, that was a great, final moment. Anyway, all those things came together. I really, really liked the ending of this movie. But yes, I’ve talked to plenty. No, no, no,

Johnnie Brannon 1:01:51
you’re absolutely right. Yeah, I had to think about that. And but yeah, yeah, I guess is less or less part of him where he’s just, you know, sitting in silence. And now it does. And you can you can see it in his eyes that, you know, he’s just, you know, it’s like that, you know, is that performance, you know, as as being such a strong actor that, yeah, you can relate that you can put you can put, you know, push that towards, you know, the viewers, and it gives you a sense of calm, you know, but you know, he’s at peace with this. And so, yeah, yeah, very subtle, but very, very, very effective and pretty powerful at the same time.

Andrew Sweatman 1:02:28
We’re gonna do that is sound of metal there. Do you have any other thoughts? Before we wrap up? I think we’ve we’ve made it to the end of the movie. I guess. We should stop talking at some point. But

Johnnie Brannon 1:02:37
there’s a it’s really interesting, because, you know, you think sound of metal and you think, well, it is about a heavy metal group. But at the same time, it’s like, you know, it, it can mean so many different things. But yeah, this is definitely This is an excellent film, and, and I’m definitely going to revisit and looking forward to it. So anybody out there is listening, for sure. Definitely. Definitely check out this film. I think you’ll watch it.

Andrew Sweatman 1:03:05
Yes, highly recommend it as well. And I think you’re right that the title is almost a double meaning, even like the sound of the cochlear implant is like a metallic kind of sound or like the the ringing that he’s hearing sometimes. So I think you’re right that it’s like, it’s kind of pointing to that too. Yes. Clever title. Very good movie. Sound of metal streaming now on amazon prime. Thank you so much, Johnny, for coming back on the podcast. Always a pleasure. It was a really great conversation. I appreciate it.

Johnnie Brannon 1:03:31
Absolutely. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Andrew Sweatman 1:03:33
Of course.

Johnnie Brannon 1:03:34
I love the show. And thanks again

Andrew Sweatman 1:03:38
Well, I’m so excited for made in Arkansas in a few weeks down the road here. So I’ll be definitely tuning into that. And I’ll be linking to everything on Facebook that I can for my listeners to, to tune into that as well. But all right, well, thanks so much again, and I guess we can say bye bye for now. I’ll talk to you soon.

Johnnie Brannon 1:03:58
Thank you.

Andrew Sweatman 1:03:59
Thanks again to Johnnie Brannon for being here. It’s always a pleasure to talk movies with that guy. Do keep your eyes peeled for more info on the Made in Arkansas Film Festival coming up in May. If it ends up going virtual the silver lining is that you don’t have to live in Arkansas to attend. I’ll share out everything I can on social media. On the next episode of art house garage, we’ve got an Oscars preview, plus a discussion of Best Picture nominee Minari I’m joined by filmmaker Andrew camera Hello for that conversation. And thank you so much for listening to arthouse garage. We’ve got a few years worth of episodes and you can hear all of those in your podcast app of choice. Our theme music is by composer Paul Huenefeld. Learn more at www.apaulingproductions.com or find the link in the show notes. If you want to support arthouse garage, leave a rating or review in your podcast app or you can buy an art house garage t shirt at arthousegarage.com/shop. stay in the loop about art house garage and the films we’re covering by subscribing to our email newsletter by going to arthousegarage.com/subscribe or you can email me directly Andrew@arthousegarage.com And of course follow on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and letterboxed just search @arthousegarage in all those places or find links in the show notes. And that will do it for this episode. Thank you again so much for listening, and until next time, keep it snob free!

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Andrew Sweatman

Andrew Sweatman

Andrew is a writer, podcaster, and film lover who wants to help people think critically about movies. He lives in central Arkansas with his wife Allison and two children, Rosie & Beau. Andrew is the Senior Editor at Arthouse Garage and a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA). Find him at ArthouseGarage.com and on Twitter and Instagram: @ArthouseGarage.

Share This Episode

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Leave a Reply

Sign up for our Newsletter