The sound of authenticity

I was really impressed to read about these details in Steven  Spielberg’s “Lincoln:”

That pure, unadulterated tick is the sound of an original watch that Lincoln carried.

“I heard the actual pocket watch existed,” Spielberg said in an interview with The Post, “and I wanted to know whether they’d let us wind it and record it. I didn’t know if they would, and they did. I thought that was very important. So, every time you hear that little ticking in the story, that’s Abraham Lincoln’s actual pocket watch.”

Spielberg dispatched a team to find other sounds that surrounded Lincoln in his final days. They collected the ring of the bell at the church Lincoln attended, the squeak of latches at the White House, the snatch of Lincoln’s carriage door, the weight of boots as a weary Lincoln walked through the White House, the creak of a seat from which he rose…

Wow. Very cool.

Reminds me of a story I heard about “Mad Men.” The cousin or nephew or something of one of my wife’s best friends had a bit part in the opening episode of last season. Remember when some young white jerks from a rival agency were dropping bags full of water on civil rights demonstrators down on the street? He was one of the young white jerks. Anyway, the interesting thing was the way they impressed upon him that he must not, under any circumstances, spill the water on any of the props in the office set. Because everything, down to the paper clips, was authentic, real like-new items from the mid-60s.

But these sound details seem to go beyond that. Too bad I’m losing my hearing.

Looking forward to seeing “Lincoln,” but I want to finish reading Team of Rivals first. I’m only a couple of hundred pages into it so far…

22 thoughts on “The sound of authenticity

  1. bud

    Brad sorry to hear about your hearing. Has your doctor mentioned surgery? If you have it in the early stages it may ward off the hearing decline.

  2. bud

    As for the Lincoln movie it looks really good. I watched the Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter movie recently and it was every bit as awful as the trailers suggested. But what can you say when the wife is into vampire movies and really wants to see it?

  3. Brad

    As I mentioned on a previous thread, I had another hearing test the other day, and my comprehension of speech in my right ear had declined, in a month, from 92 percent to 72 percent.

    I had an MRI this week. Waiting for the results.

  4. Maggie

    Brad, I had a similar experience a few months ago – severe pain in one ear, sudden loss of hearing and mild vertigo. Antibiotics did nothing. Had an MRI and freaked out a little one day — who knew people would post their own brain scans of acoustic neuromas on YouTube? Anyway, after that looked OK they put in an ear tube in my ear, sucked out some fluid and my hearing improved greatly. Hope you come out as well.

  5. bud

    Silence, I don’t need convincing that Obamacare is imperfect. But it should be an improvement over what we had previously. But suppose we repealed Obamacare. If you could get your way what exactly would you do then? I don’t think its even feasible to go back to the old way. As for me, single payer seems to work well in other countries. Why wouldn’t it work here?

  6. Burl Burlingame

    We’ve had a health-care payment system in Hawaii that’s more in-depth than ObamaCare for the last 35 years. The upshot is that Hawaii citizens are considered among the healthiest in the nation and live longest, plus there are far fewer sick days for workers than in other states.

  7. Burl Burlingame

    But what I meant to say was that when Spielberg was filming “Saving Private Ryan” his crew went to the Jacques Littlefield collection and recorded an actual Tiger tank moving through debris. But when he heard it, Spielberg decided it wasn’t tanky enough or something. So when you see the Tiger in the movie, what you’re hearing is actually a Caterpillar bulldozer.

  8. Scout

    I’m sorry about your hearing, also.

    About the Lincoln movie, I also heard that Daniel Day Lewis is doing his voice higher than his own voice because even though there are no recordings of Lincoln, he was reported to have a high tenor voice that carried over crowds.

    Kinda cool.

  9. Brad

    I exaggerate on the hearing thing. My left ear has some loss at one end of the spectrum of sound, but is normal at most levels. My comprehension of words in that ear in the last test was 100 percent.

    It’s just this weirdness with my right ear that’s bugging me.

    The slight loss in the left ear is probably normal aging. The right ear problem is not; hence the MRI.

  10. Bart

    This is one movie I would actually like to see if for no other reason than to compare it to a book about Lincoln written by Dale Carnegie. The book is titled, “Lincoln, The Unknown”. It delved into his life behind the public persona and examined a lot of the influences on him as he grew into a man and later into politics. Good book.

  11. Joey Oppermann

    Saw the film yesterday. The script was pretty well grounded in the book, but it doesn’t follow the same narrative structure. So the events of the script fit into a very small portion of the later part of the book. You’d be ok seeing it without finishing the book if you really want to, I doubt it would hinder your experience of either. Both are amazingly good.

  12. Burl Burlingame

    I saw it yesterday. A bit didactic at times and it has a couple of false endings, but the dialogue is wonderful and the sense of period amazing. Spoiler alert: no vampires.

  13. Brad

    What about zombies?

    Speaking of which, I got “28 Days Later” from Netflix and watched it over the weekend. Turns out they weren’t… really… zombies. I mean, come on; they weren’t even dead! Call that a zombie movie? ‘Cause I don’t.

    So far, then, the best British zombie movie remains the comedy “Shawn of the Dead.” And the best zombie program featuring English actors is “The Walking Dead.”

    “28 Days” was OK for what it was, and I’ve already put “28 Weeks Later” near the top of my queue — although I’m a bit disappointed to see that it doesn’t have the same actors in it, which seems to indicate it isn’t really a sequel…

    Also, the most original movie yet that is set in London and involves an assault by otherworldly creaters is “Attack the Block!” — which I recorded on my DVR over the weekend, and am looking forward to seeing again — after I watch last night’s “Walking Dead,” of course…

  14. Kathryn Fenner

    I would have thought you’d be all over Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

    And where were the zombie voters this election? We haven’t heard about them

  15. Brad

    I read the first chapter in the bookstore. It was worth a smile, but I was already pretty tired of the premise by that point…

    Zombie movies don’t need to be tarted up with Jane Austen or historical figures. If they’re well-done, they hold up on their own.

    The whole thing about “Walking Dead” is that it’s about how ordinary people cope…

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