Designed For Sound | May 16

Every week we highlight a movie with outstanding sound, whether that’s for it’s importance to cinematic history, it’s creative use of sound or the sheer audio enjoyment factor of the film.

Delicatessen (1991)

The good weather that has finally reached these isles has kept us off the screens for a few days. But now that our week of summer is over, we can pick up right where we left, with another great sounding movie: Delicatessen (1991) - written and directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro.

© 1991 Miramax Films

Set in a post-apocalyptic 1950's French town, a butcher-landlord serves human meat to its tenants who keep "mysteriously" disappearing. The importance of this small film is very much underestimated as it has had a huge influence on a whole generation of filmmakers from the nineties to present days. The film is plagued with scenes where sound, images and music interweave, creating an atmosphere that is difficult to forget. That synergy is the product of the brilliant collaboration between Jeunet - who gave us Amelie 10 years later - and Caro, whose multidisciplinary talents know no borders as he is credited Chief Sound on this too. The richness and texture of the audio language deployed in Delicatessen is an absolute feast to the ears. Not to be missed. 

Sound Department (15)
Vincent Arnardi... sound re-recording mixer
Marc Caro...sound effects
Laurent Dreyer...assistant sound mixer
Gérard Hardy...sound editor
Larry Hopkins...layback sound mixer
Didier Jouyaux...assistant sound editor
Jean-Pierre Lelong...foley artist
Anne-Marie Lhote...sound editor (as Anne-Marie L'Hote)
Mario Melchiorri...assistant foley artist
Muriel Moreau...dialogue editor
Daniel Orsini...assistant dialogue editor
Julie Pribula...trainee dialogue editor
Jérôme Thiault...sound effects / sound engineer / sound
Jacques Thomas-Gérard...adr mixer
Laurent Zeilig...assistant sound engineer / boom operator


MicMacs (2009)

© 2010 Sony Pictures Classics

Following the Delicatessen thread we came to another unmissable film with outstanding sound design. Equally quirky, with that unmistakable 'Jeunet' production design and cinematography, Micmacs à Tire-Larigot (as its strange original title goes), is a black comedy with a good dose of action. Barely a scene goes by where sound is not a major contributor to the story. If it's not centre stage, it's adding a layer of commentary in the background. The characters all have a distinctive way of communicating, some loudly, some quietly, some are also mute, and its the noises they make and the objects they interact with that tell us about them. Even the score is at times full of sound effects. This whole movie is imbued with dynamic musical sounds, resulting in a rich, purposeful and simply beautiful soundtrack. Pure sonic dynamite.

Sound Department (13)
Vincent Arnardi...sound re-recording mixer
Selim Azzazi...sound effects editor
Nicolas Becker...fx foley artist
Sophie Chiabaut...boom operator
Rym editor
Gérard Hardy...sound editor
Alain Lé
Pierre Martens...sound recordist
Josselin Panchout...adr boom operator / second sound assistant
Julien Perez...sound re-recording mixer
Jean Umansky...sound engineer
Marilena Cavola...supervising dialogue editor
Jean-Pierre Lelong...supervising foley editor (uncredited)


Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (2006)

When you step on to the field, you can hear and feel, the presence of the crowd. There is sound. The sound of noise
— Zinedine Zidane

© 2006 Anna Lena Films/Palomar

Zidane, un portrait du 21e siècle is a one-of-a-kind documentary that follows the sporting icon during a football match, in real time, shot from 17 angles. Whether you like football or not is almost irrelevant. This slow-paced intimate film portrays a guy going about his daily job.

The visuals are mundane and vastly repetitious, and it is only through sound that this movie becomes special. Through sound we feel the gravity of an experience for the individual- it is this that is key. The level of intimacy achieved, despite the subject being one so often portrayed on a grand panoramic scale, is impressive. The brushing of grass on boots, the flashbacks to an algerian childhood of playing in the streets, are all private moments of this players experience that we as an audience have never been privy to before. A football match is such a connecting event, one that brings people together as if becomming one organism. But the soundtrack of this movie reminds us that there is always the private experience- no matter how public or open the action is.

A big shout-out to Supervising Sound Editor Selim Azzazi and team who spent a week in Madrid gathering a blend of field recordings (stadium crowds, players training, spanish crowds) that came essential in post to build this outstanding soundtrack.

Sound Department 
Selim Azzazi...supervising sound editor
Nicolas Becker...foley artist
Nicolas Bourgeois...assistant sound editor
Clément Cartallas...sound operator
Alan Collins...sound facility director: ardmore sound
Vincent re-recording mixer
François Fayard...sound effects editor
Jon Goc...assistant sound editor (as Jonathan Goc)
Jaime Guijarro...assistant sound recordist
Scott Guitteau...sound operator
Alex Hudd...sound consultant: dolby
Erwan Kerzanet...sound operator
Damien Lazzerini...foley engineer (as Damien Bera)
Guillaume Leriche...foley engineer
Hubert Persat...sound effects editor
Cyrille Richard...sound editor
Mathieu Weber...boom operator
Alexandre Widmer...sound editor
Clément Cartallas...assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Will Files...assistant sound designer (uncredited)
Tom mixer (uncredited)
Randy Thom...sound designer (uncredited)