All Ear is Dread Hear by Sara Gross
Sara Christina Gross is an elusive name in film and music these days. With the guest appearance on Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s first solo release and sounbtrack score, A Manual Dexterity, she displayed the vast sonic possibilities she was capable with her instrument of choice: the saxophone. The landscape of emotion in her phrasing was a perfect element to coincide with film and it’s a shame we never got to see the full realization with a release of the film A Manual Dexterity. Sara was later included on the Mars Volta’s masterpiece, Amputecthure and the all star group outing of Calibration. With her vast work in keeping busy in the music world, her output in film releases has been a slower process. In 2010, Sara’s long time friend and At The Drive-In and Mars Volta leaders Omar Rordiguez-Lopez released his first film feature, The Sentimental Engine Slayer with screenings at Tribeca and many other major film festivals. Sara was a force in this film, acting as associate producer under John Frusciante, Angel Marcelo, Frances Rodriguez-Lopez, and of course Omar Rodriguez-Lopez himself. Film is now a creative side of hers that has seen full fruition on her own terms with the release of, All Ear is Dread Hear with film maker Wil Magness.
Stunning, undefined and vastly large in scale when considering how the characters relationships exists, it took well over 3 full intense views of All Ear is Dread Hear to present a single calculated and meaningful response to my colleague when asked about its contents. Mysterious, intelligent, clever and raw, this is the type of creative expression that reflects all the great film makers whose innovative mind tricks and plot outlines out-weighed high production sets. Sara acts in the film along with fulfilling directing, and editing duties. She plays the roll of Jesse in All Ear is Dread Hear and the amount of characters introduced brings you to the thick moggy state of a Jack Kerouac read and the piles of rich content atmosphere and setting that unfolds from the smallest situation.
Within the very first minute of All Ear is Dread Hear, the viewer can immediately see how this short film differs from the rest. The simple and profound use of experimentation to aide the story. This is something that we at SCV look for while viewing films. Are the film makers looking to stray away from the plastic and used-up techniques of everyday cinema? Or is the film maker looking to further themselves and their story by use of fundamentally diverse tools. By now you may be wondering what the hell am I talking about, what tools? What techniques?
Let me just say that this film by Sara Gross and Wil Magness makes use of black & white, sepia, basically any kind of editing matte and tool known to man in the most interesting way I’ve ever seen.
The film starts off with a couple who get together in a motel room while confronting their past troubles. The type of music played throughout the first ten minutes are soothing, and very surreal works. Whether it be jazz, lounge, whatever you must call it; it is another tool that aides the story and fluidity of the film. The main character in this short film is a royal blue Cadillac.
I think it’s very safe to say that All Ear is Dread Hear proves to be one hell of a low budget film. The use of all the technical aspects of the editing and effects are very obvious to the common eye, and really puts truth to the cliche “a little bit goes a long way.”
All Ear is Dread Hear is a film split into three parts, the first being drama, the second being comedy, and the third being mystery.
All Photos come from the archives of Sara Gross.