Friday, July 08, 2005

Why "theatre of noise"?

Besides being the name of my longstanding (and now defunct) website, this blog is named after a quote from the 1971 SF film THX-1138.

"The theatre of noise is proof of our potential" someone is heard to say amidst the electronic clattering and multitracked voices which constitute the incredible sound montage by Walter Murch.

Recently issued on DVD, this film has unfortunately been "revised" by director George Lucas, in order to include flashy new visual effects which break the claustrophobic monochrome tone of the original. Maybe someone out there will take the beautiful DVD transfer, edit out all the new bits, and give us the film as we should have it.

Anyway, if you have any interest whatsoever in audio you need to hear this film. I once played the kinoscape (my name for the audio track of a film, not to be confused with the soundtrack) as an episode of my radio programme Missing 15 Minutes. The audio stands on its own, and when you consider that no digital effects were available at the time, it is even more astounding.

Murch is much-respected in the film industry. You can read about him in many places, one of the best being this article at The Transom Review. He also does special commentary sections on the DVD, which I recommend despite the fact that Lucas has done his best to revise history for the worst.



joe g said...

I just watched the DVD and was very disappointed to see the new Lucas CGI sequences...I will now have to hunt down an unaltered version, if one exists. Ah well.

robin said...

I believe only a VHS version of the original was released. I wonder if anyone has yet re-edited the DVD as I proposed?

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