Modern films/old films

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Modern films/old films

Post by Vintage on Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:57 pm

Anyone else fed up of not being able to see or hear what's going on in modern films, why is everyone apparently mumbling all the time. I have just spent a lazy afternoon watching films from the 50's and 60's, sometimes they are 30's & 40's. Ok there is a lot to be desired with scenery which is either depressing, in a city or very fake but there is a story which you can follow and the enunciation of the actors is very good, also a scene in the dark isn't so pitch black that you haven't a clue what's happening. I normally like action/science fiction yet quite a lot of what I watch these days are old time crime with some science fiction.
Today I watched a sci fi film about the US and Russia testing nuclear bombs simultaneously and changing the earth's tilt and distance from the sun, making the world's rivers and oceans effectively boil away into steam, it was surprisingly good and kept my attention. The other one I saw was with the Dixon of Dock Green actor solving a murder in 1960's Brighton, again this kept my attention, usually I get a cup of tea every so often with modern stuff. I watched a film which I should have enjoyed a few weeks ago but had to turn the volume up to 50, the top of the range on our tv and still missed so much I considered turning on the subtitles, it was so annoying, I know my hearing may not be 100% but when the adverts came on the volume could have shattered glass - and my eardrums. I don't have problems with the news except the morning news programme where they don't enunciate, talk into their ties, do talk at the same time and giggle through the programme, there's one man whose voice goes up and down like a wave in a wave tank.
I had some box sets, Christmas presents and am enjoying the original Survivors series all over again, I know it has diversity and class problems but it beats the remake hands down, which could have been good except for the pc, I also have Day of the Triffids - original - although the remake of that wasn't too bad.

I can't think of anything ground breaking or earth shattering to post right now.

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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by Syl on Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:05 pm

I have no idea why with all the new technology film and some TV soundtracks are so rubbish nowadays.
Sometimes I have to sit with the remote in my hand constantly having to adjust the sound levels for a film because they vary so much from muffling to bellowing. Rolling Eyes


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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by nicko on Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:37 am

I agree with both the above posts, and scenes in the dark get me shouting "put some money in the Meter" !
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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by Raggamuffin on Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:41 am

I agree about the mumbling. It's very common in American films IMO. I do sometimes lose the plot because of the mumbling and because they speak too fast, and then there's no point in watching the film. Also, the background music is often too loud.

I watched Survivors not long back too.

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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by Fred Moletrousers on Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:04 am

Syl wrote:I have no idea why with all the new technology film and some TV soundtracks are so rubbish nowadays.
Sometimes I have to sit with the remote in my hand constantly having to adjust the sound levels for a film because they vary so much from muffling to bellowing. Rolling Eyes



I do that...and then daughter walks in and yells "Dad, either turn the sound down or put year hearing aids in..."
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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by nicko on Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:47 am

+1.
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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by Original Quill on Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:18 pm

Apropos of the topic:

Sydney Morning Herald wrote:Speak up! How 'mumble acting' is ruining TV and film

Can't hear a word actors are saying now? Yes, it's a problem.

You're not going deaf. (Well, we all are, slowly, thanks to the Apple corporation's various iThings.)

But if you've ever found yourself grasping for your remote and asking, "What did he say?", you're not alone.

Chances are, you're watching an acclaimed American cable show. Or a BBC period drama. Or an Aussie arthouse flick.

Just as film and movies have become literally too dark – an over-used device meant to signal "quality" – they've also become filled with actors who mumble, whisper or growl their way through a script.

This "mumble-acting" has even infected superhero films. As Slate memorably put it: "Christian Bale's Batman sounds nothing like Christian Bale. Or a human being."

No one expects Batman to have Malcolm Turnbull's patrician boom (or worse, enunciate every damn syllable like Eric Abetz). But at least Michael Keaton's Batman managed to whisper without making us go "Huh?" every five minutes.

The latest season of Transparent is sublime; as near to perfect as TV drama gets. Still, it's blighted by a few stylistic tricks currently in vogue. Its sunny California is rendered bizarrely pallid by a hazy filter. Sometimes, its wobble-cam effect progresses from "realistic" to "earthquake". But sound is its biggest problem.

We find Josh (Jay Duplass) mumbling about a relationship he's just screwed up. (This isn't a spoiler; this is Josh's default mode.) The background noise makes him even harder to hear. (To be clear, the noise is in the show; to enhance its realism.) So we scroll back and play the scene again, this time cranking the volume up. Which simply results in louder mumbling.

Eventually, we cut to a scene with Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) in a bar. The thumping music is three times as loud as the dialogue that preceded it. Before I can stab the volume button, my neighbour is pounding our poorly-insulated wall.

Is it just me?

Apparently, no.

In 2013, BBC boss Tony Hall said the corporation should do more to stop actors "muttering" in its dramas, following sustained complaints from viewers.

"Muttering can be testing [when viewers find they] have missed a line... you have to remember that you have an audience."

Among the Beeb's worst offenders, according to UK press reports, were the dramas Happy Valleyand Jamaica Inn, which debuted the following year.

"Again a good show is spoilt by the sound, too much whispering and mumbling," tweeted one viewer.
"Shocking sound BBC. Hard to follow the mumbling," wrote another.

Some struggled to understand David Tennant in Broadchurch – and even Doctor Who. Then there was the BBC's adaptation of Birdsong, described by The Guardian as "the great granddaddy of all television mumbling ... never have so many dedicated such effort to being understood by so few. It's almost as if Eddie Redmayne was allergic to microphone, such was the herculean effort he put into his mumbling ... preferring to deliver his lines via a series of strangulated squeaks from the back of his throat."

Not that Americans are doing much better.
I stuck with True Detective until Matthew McConaughey's mumbling spawned a parody, and I gave up.

There's also The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and almost everything with Kiefer Sutherland (his whisper-growl inherited from dad Donald). Mad Men was mostly fine, but threw in bursts unintelligible dialogue to keep us on our toes.

For a decent list of mumble-prone-but-highly-decorated US dramas, just watch the excellent Portlandia parody.

I adored Somersault, Candy and other unsparingly bleak works favoured by a certain breed of local filmmaker. But again, the spell was broken by cinema patrons whispering "Did you catch that?" whenever a character expelled some air while half-heartedly attempting to form a few words.

Just turn on the subtitles, I hear you say!

Well, directors can't have it both ways. If their creative vision includes characters in underlit rooms muttering unintelligible dialogue, with digitally-added car horns for "grittiness", that's fine. But are they cool with us blocking part the lower part of the screen with ugly text? And reading captions instead of the actors' expressions?

Just as technology enabled dark TV, it spurred the rise of mumble-acting. Small body microphones and post-production editing advances encourage actors to channel their inner Brando. And if things stuff up, the audio can be re-recorded and spliced in.

Freed from old tech constraints, "quality" producers try to distinguish themselves from mainstream productions in every way. Whereas over-lit reality TV contestant must clunkily re-cap what viewers saw just two minutes ago – driving us all mad – indie filmmakers have done the opposite: they've left everyone muttering in the dark.

Look. It's great to experiment. But there's a fine line between trying something new and being wilfully obtuse. Those who make film and TV are in the business of communicating, after all. That doesn't mean everything has to be spelled out. Perhaps this leaves us uncomfortable or disturbed, yet not able to articulate why. As it should be.

The last thing we want, of course, is a return to the stuffy "received pronunciation" mimicry that dominated early Australian television.

But incomprehensible drawl has become a lazy way of suggesting This Is A Premium Show. Let the writing shine instead.

If it's realism you're after, step outside. (Sure, there are those who affect a world-weary monotone but they're profoundly irritating and best ignored.) Reflecting the whole range of sounds and voices most of us use in a typical day? That's real.

Michael Lallo is a Senior Entertainment Writer for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. He has also been a news reporter for The Sunday Age, a deputy editor of Green Guide and a columnist and critic.

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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by nicko on Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:45 pm

Perhaps you need a new hearing aid then Laughing
[I know I do]
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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by Syl on Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:51 pm

I dont think it always has much to do with your hearing aid....the BBC have come in for a lot of criticism recently about their poor sound quality after they have spent fortunes on some new serial.

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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by Vintage on Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:19 pm

I was one of the many that gave up on Jamaica Inn. Christian Bale was inaudible most of the time in Hostiles, especially with the scaggy moustache all but concealing his mouth

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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:18 am

Arrow

I've noticed a lot of bad audio quality on TV recently, as well..

Have to keep the remote handy to adjust the volume up as the sound fades out, and down again with blaring advert's and action scenes..

Can't blame any of the 'devices' either, as the same problem exists across various televisions, computers and tablets.

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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by Original Quill on Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:56 pm

And the turning up on volume when the commercials come on. It's ridiculous.

But, it truth, it is sometimes the only reminder of how I've have been unconsciously upping the volume during the film/show, whatever it is. affraid

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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by Fred Moletrousers on Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:31 pm

Original Quill wrote:And the turning up on volume when the commercials come on.  It's ridiculous.

But, it truth, it is sometimes the only reminder of how I've have been unconsciously upping the volume during the film/show, whatever it is.  affraid

The advertising industry always deny that this is the case....yet there is much scientific and technical proof that it happens...including simple decibel comparisons.

My hearing aid suggests that the advertisers are liars and that the technocrats are being as honest as the day....
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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by eddie on Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:05 pm

Speaking of films and mumbling, what is it with the rabbits and hares in Watership Down? I couldn’t understand a fucking word they said!

And more to the point, why were they so hairy?

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Re: Modern films/old films

Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:07 pm

eddie wrote:Speaking of films and mumbling, what is it with the rabbits and hares in Watership Down? I couldn’t understand a fucking word they said!

And more to the point, why were they so hairy?

I really loved Watership Down but the one part where I really felt like they missed a golden opportunity was, they should have had one of the rabbits bite one of the farmers and then that farmer becomes a Were-Rabbit.

He'd go rip-romping through the night of each full moon, the Rabbit-Man, terrorizing people's vegetable gardens.

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