In the summer of 1983, just days before the birth of his first son, writer and theologian John Hull went blind. In order to make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began keeping a diary ...
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In the summer of 1983, just days before the birth of his first son, writer and theologian John Hull went blind. In order to make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began keeping a diary on audiocassette. Upon their publication in 1990, Oliver Sacks described the work as 'the most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read. It is to my mind a masterpiece.' With exclusive access to these original recordings, NOTES ON BLINDNESS encompasses dreams, memory and imaginative life, excavating the interior world of blindness.
When it was shown on British TV, the film was made available with two soundtracks. The first was a "heightened soundtrack" produced by one of Europe's leading sound designers, Joakim Sundström, who created a rich, immersive soundtrack calibrated specifically for blind audiences, using enhanced sound design and additional audio from the characters to guide the audience through the story. The second was a more regular audio described version read by Stephen Mangan. See more »
John M. Hull:
What I remember about you most vividly in those years was your amazing practicality. You never expressed regrets. You just got on with the next thing, step by step. The way you did that, I always thought was incredible.
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I love the concept behind these. Using actual tapes, editing them together in a way to present them as a narrative, and then creating the visuals to match it. The fact that it is a story about a man who no longer can see, adds to it. It's an interesting way to mix truth and fiction, because the story and dialogue is all real, and could have been presented as a documentary of sorts. But by editing them, adding the environmental sounds, and getting actors to "play it out", it blurs the line in a really interesting way. That, in addition to some of the insights into how it is to become blind, are the clear highlights of the movie. Sadly, it does not have much more to offer that's very interesting.
In a way, ironically, I think this story would work better as just the audio. The editing done was brilliant, and combine with the atmospheric sounds added, I think it could have been a really good radio story. With an added level that a story about blindness would have no visuals.
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