18-year-old Julia has just arrived from Paris to New York to move in with her father. One day she meets Melvin, a young New Yorker that makes money posting beatboxing battles on the Internet. After several failed attempts, Melvin manages to convince Julia to quit her job at a specialized film shop and focus professionally on music, participating in the battles he organizes in the city’s streets. As in any other job, very soon Julia will have to face her rivals and confront many difficulties.
Beatboxing is a musical vocal percussion that has its origins in several tribal traditions from around the world, where vocals where used to produce guttural sounds and percussive rhythms and instead of using other instruments. Its closest ancestor in north American culture is found in the 1930s bebop movement, which consisted of a type of jazz where the big band sounds of clarinets, saxophones and trumpets where recreated vocally. The figure of the beatboxer was born during the 80s and 90s, hand in hand with the subcultures of rap, hip hop and grafitti. In neighborhoods like The Bronx, percussion instruments or radios were considered a luxury, so musicians started imitating hip hop and rap’s electronic bases to improvise in the streets.
Thomas Aufort’s The Mouth portrays in this 45-minute-long film the clandestine atmosphere of New York City beatboxers. This project was filmed with a reduced budget and its filming took only nine days. It is Aufort’s first phantasy film, and it picks up his experience as an audiovisual director of video clips for musical groups of his home town, Caen, such Kim Novak and Concrete Knives.
The Mouth is part of the Official Section of the 9th edition of the International Medium-length Film Festival La Cabina that will be celebrated from the 3rd to the 13th of November at the Filmoteca of Valencia.