The Sound of Small Things

The Sound of Small Things makes it clear early on that sound is as much a character in this film as the leads themselves opening on the sound of sheets rustling as a couple wakes up in bed together. Sam (Sam Hoolihan) and Cara (Cara Krippner) are newly weds who have just purchased their first home together and are settling in to life as a married couple. Sam and Cara play the role with the excited and cautious emotions you would expect from two people just starting out on their lives together. Cara looks at Sam with loving eyes when he talks to his friends and Sam is always aware of making sure Cara is comfortable and happy. While they are the picture of normal newlyweds in many ways there is one aspect of Sam and Cara’s relationship that is unique – Cara is deaf. She does not use sign language to communicate instead opting to read the lips of the person talking to her. This allows things like Sam (an amateur drummer) to practice at all hours without disturbing Cara since she can only feel the vibrations of his playing making her condition seem like one of the ways their relationship works.

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Sleepy old Park City, Utah is lucky enough to host not just one, but two world-class festivals come mid-January. While Sundance is the more famous of the two, just up Main Street, the Slamdance Film Festival consistently delivers exciting and innovative new works to cinephiles. This year, one of those new works promises to be Peter McLarnan‘s The Sound of Small Things. A visual artist by trade and training, Small Things is McLarnan’s first feature film. For his film, McLarnan gathered like-minded creatives to star, including Sam Hoolihan (a photographer, musician, filmmaker and professor), Cara Krippner (a dancer and choreographer), Mike and Nick Hoolihan (musicians and songwriters), and Andrea Pittel (an attorney and country singer). The homespun feel of the film looks to only add to its emotional impact, as it follows “Sam, a hobby musician and copywriter, and Cara, a survivor of a mysterious accident resulting in a loss of hearing” who “are navigating a fragile young marriage. Their nascent relationship becomes troubled, as a series of secrets and interlopers begin to blur the borders of truthful communication between them. Both struggling with their perception of the situation, innocence and culpability for the difficulties in their relationship are clouded within the space of silence between them.” The film will have is world premiere at Slamdance, and is part of the Narrative Feature Competition. Check out the film’s first (two!) posters after the break, along with screening information for the festival.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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