EW's exclusive trailer for the Sundance breakout sees Peter Sarsgaard playing a house tuner aiming to calm the anxieties of a chronically exhausted woman played by Rashida Jones
The clip (above) charts the pairing of Peter (Sarsgaard), a “house tuner” who meticulously works in various New Yorkers’ homes to diagnose ambient noises creating adverse subconscious effects, and Ellen (Jones), a lonely woman plagued by chronic fatigue before Peter offers the opportunity to help her.
Though he suggests minor fixes to her immediate aural environment — including the purchase of a new toaster — Peter soon finds Ellen’s condition to be far more complex than he initially imagined, and his intrigue soon brings the duo closer than he could’ve ever imagined.
“Like Ellen — the client whose issue is not as simple for Peter to solve — I’m naturally skeptical of seemingly simple remedies to complex problems. Beyond the novelty of tuning household appliances on a musical scale as a sort of pseudo-prescription, I was even more intrigued to explore the character behind such a practice. Pulling back the curtain, we find not a charlatan, but a dogmatic believer in the science behind his methodology and work. In a field of his own making, Peter is trying to prove his findings while surrounded by skeptics — which to me is a very romantic notion,” filmmaker Michael Tyburski — who makes his feature debut with the film — says in a director’s statement.
“Part love letter to the city I reside in, I wanted to tell a layered narrative about human connection with sound at the center,” he continues. “The central characters in the story are fixated on external validation and solutions to their problems, yet we find it’s internal change that brings them closer to resolve in the end. Regardless of whether you subscribe to the theories behind house tuning, I think it’s vital to examine just how much the sounds around us can affect our daily lives.”
Following its breakout bow at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January, where it earned positive critical reviews, The Sound of Silence opens Sept. 13 in theaters and on VOD via IFC Films. Watch EW’s exclusive trailer above, and check out the new poster below.