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June 10th, 2009 · No Comments

Hukkle Theme Song

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Hukkle Stills

Hukkle Stills

Hukkle Stills

Some people have described Gyorgy Palfi’s Hukkle as a silent movie. Far from it. While it may be nearly dialogue free, it has some of the most vivid and expressionistic sound design I’ve ever heard. The film could be described as Agatha Christie meets David Attenborough…that is to say it’s a murder-mystery cloaked in images of nature. The soundtrack is dominated by micro-aural sounds. By saying micro-aural, I mean sounds that are too small for us to typically hear. Sounds like the rubbing of snake scales against one another, or bugs burrowing beneath the earth. It requires the magnification of the film soundtrack for us to appreciate the sound. While the film is rich in very tiny sounds, there is a sound so large and phenomenal at the end of the film that part of the sequence must be run in slow-motion for the audience to appreciate it. This is the sound of a fighter jet screaming above a small creek and passing underneath a bridge. The accompanying sound effect reminds me of what a warp zone or a wormhole must sound like. There are also several instances of imaginary sounds in Hukkle. That is, sounds that might very well exist, but that we can not hear. In a time-lapse sequence of growing plants, the growth is accompanied by a rich, clastic, sinewy, stalky sound. If our perception of time were different, would a plant growing make a sound? Other sounds in the film are almost cartoonish. In one of the opening sequences of a glass of milk being poured, the splashing sound of milk is foregrounded. Milk has never sounded so…milky. In short, the film is a celebration of the musicality of everyday life. Even in something as simple as a hiccup.

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