An Eyeful of Sound (2010) dir. Samantha Moore
“I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a goat eating carrots? It’s almost too much, it’s so lovely.”
This is a lovely movie that I keep returning to periodically. I’m a sucker for overlapping and recursive interview editing – a technique that makes the traditional head-and-shoulders doc impossible. Also I’m fascinated by the subject of synesthesia, the phenomenon where a person’s senses mix, so you may see colors or shapes in response to music or taste vivid colors, for example. Like all sensations born of our personal perceptions, it’s impossible for others to quite understand what it’s like.
Fortunately, film is a medium for sharing a different perception of the world, and it’s particularly adept at mixing sensations like sound and color. Director Samantha Moore channels movies like Fantasia and uses traditional and digital animation techniques to simulate the experiences of synesthesia as described by interview participants. Also in the spirit of synthesis, she adds a dash of science to the art. The result is a celebration of synesthesia as an enjoyable quirk of humanity and something of a scientific mystery.
Collaboration is the other synthesis that film necessitates. The music and sound design merit mention. They’re both by Adam Goddard, and an essential part of the experience. Others may not be able to experience the world as we do, but a good film can help us find a starting point.