Great World of Sound
is a comedy about the music industry; the fact it's half-made of awkward silences is a big part of the joke. It's part High Fidelity, part Glengarry Glenn Ross -- the love of music and the war of business -- and also has a subtle, Southern sensibility to it, as well as hints of everything from The Music Man to Robert Altman's Nashville to Death of a Salesman to Christopher Guest's stumbling, stammering mock-umentaries. Directed by Craig Zobel -- and co-written by Zobel and George Smith -- Great World of Sound might be the best American independent comedy of recent memory -- funny and vital and tough. Watching Great World of Sound, I wasn't sure if things were going to get funnier or get uglier -- and that kind of uncertainty is a rare pleasure at the movies. There's comedy in Great World of Sound -- funny, laugh-out-loud stuff -- but it's also razor-sharp and real about how wonderful music is, and how ugly the music business (or any business) can be.

After years of scuffling around radio and music, Martin (Pat Healy) is now ... scuffling even more. Martin gets a job as a producer with Great World of Sound -- finding and signing acts so that Great World of Sound can help them produce songs which will be distributed to possible outlets -- all the signed acts have to do is make a 30% contribution to the total cost of the package of services. ... Martin hits the road with Clarence (Kene Holiday), and their mutual enthusiasm -- for being a given a chance to work, to achieve, to tell themselves that what they're doing matters -- is infectious, with all that phrase implies.