SXSW Film Reviews

Documentarian Alan Berliner explores his obsession with names, most specifically, his own name and the fact that he must share it with at least 12 other Alan (or Allen or Allan …) Berliners in the world.

The Sweetest Sound

D: Alan Berliner. (16mm, 60 min.)

In The Sweetest Sound, director Berliner explores his obsession with names, most specifically, his own name and the fact that he must share it with at least 12 other Alan (or Allen or Allan ...) Berliners in the world. How has their name affected them? Do they have transcendental connections, like twins separated at birth? Is a name a sort of cosmic predestination? Berliner gives us his own whimsical, neurotic, contemplative, and exhaustive views on the subject and throws in those of a few relatives and men and women on the street as well. He also invites all of the other Alan Berliners to dinner to further explore the matter. Insightful, hilarious, silly, and slightly alarming (at least for people whose names begin with letters at the end of the alphabet), The Sweetest Sound is a feast of oddball trivia, engaging personalities, and rhythmical visual imagery. It is such a good time and its host so charming that I can't help wishing that my name were Alan Berliner, so that I might be invited to dinner, too. (Dobie, 3/17, 5:30pm)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Questioning How We Embrace Mortality in <i>She Dies Tomorrow</i>
Questioning How We Embrace Mortality in She Dies Tomorrow
Director Amy Seimetz new film is death positive

Jenny Nulf, July 31, 2020

<i>Pet Sematary</i> Remake to Close SXSW Film
Pet Sematary Remake to Close SXSW Film
Midnighters, Festival Favorites, plus shorts all announced

Richard Whittaker, Feb. 6, 2019

More Screens
Austin Artist Brings Gamera to Vibrant Life in a New Box Set
Austin Artist Brings Gamera to Vibrant Life in a New Box Set
Matt Frank builds the perfect monster

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 28, 2020

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Richard Whittaker, March 15, 2013

More by Hollis Chacona
Luminarias

July 14, 2000

Dill Scallion

Oct. 8, 1999

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

sxsw film, Alan Berliner, the sweetest sound, sweetest sound

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle