Even Other Directors Hate Christopher Nolan's Sound Mixing

It seems that no one except for Christopher Nolan appreciates the, erm, nuance of his films' sound mixing. Reprimanded for being too loud and too soft, among a whole host of other issues, the director's audio choices have garnered flack from, well, people who like audible dialogue in the films they watch. Yet YouTube film analysts ...

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.. snarky Twitter users ...

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... and exasperated fans on Reddit ...

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... aren't the only ones frustrated. According to Tom Shone's new book, The Nolan Variations, several fellow filmmakers allegedly hated Nolan's  sound mixing so much that they called him to complain. "I actually got calls from other filmmakers who would say, 'I just saw your film, and the dialogue is inaudible'  Some people thought maybe the music's too loud, but the truth was it was kind of the whole enchilada of how we had chosen to mix it," he explained.  

Yet instead of taking their words to heart, Nolan stuck to his guns, defending his artistic vision and even throwing a little shade in the face of the critiques. "It was a very, very radical mix. I was a little shocked to realize how conservative people are when it comes to sound. Because you can make a film that looks like anything, you can shoot on your iPhone, no one’s going to complain. But if you mix the sound a certain way, or if you use certain sub-frequencies, people get up in arms."

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However, he didn't take all the blame for this, noting Hans Zimmer's musical contributions as a point of inspiration. "A lot of it was the music where Hans had this organ and he used the absolutely lowest note, which would literally make your chest drop. There's certain low end frequencies that automatically get filtered out by the software. He took all of those controls off, so there are all those sub-frequencies there. And we did the same on the dub stage. It's a pretty fascinating sound mix. If you see it particularly in an IMAX theater, projected, it's pretty remarkable."

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In these divided times, at least there's one thing we can agree upon --  the state of Christopher Nolan's sound mixing. And hey, if it gets to be too much, at least there's always our $20 remake Tenent, all the action, with even more audibility. 

For more internet nonsense, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ and on Twitter @TennesAnyone.

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