Converting Sound into Dangerous Visions: ‘Masking Threshold’ on ‘Savage Planets’

Review of Johannes Grenzfurthner’s film Masking Threshold on Savage Planets.

What if the monster is your own mind? Masking Threshold is a horror film wrapped in an art film. It is a monologue that starts out tedious in its details, as a technique to control the film viewer’s experience and help them slow down to the pace of the main character. Then he leads you into a labyrinth of science, alchemy, and ultimately madness within his mind.

Visually, it is magical, taking us into the day-to-day horror of the micro-world that we don’t see, or we do see, but not in its skin- crawling graphic detail. It is one man’s voyage into what he is told by specialists is tinnitus, but is something far more sinister as he explores and experiments to understand it, and along the way himself. The masking threshold is the sound pressure level of a sound needed to make the sound audible in the presence of another noise called a “masker”. Read into it what you will.


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