FILM: Sound of Noise

Presented with the 2010 Young Critics Award at Cannes Film Festival, Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson bring us the quirky Swedish musical heist film, Sound of Noise. Inspired by a new manifesto, “Music for One City and Six Drummers,” Sanna Perrson and her band of musical anarchists take their rhythms to the streets, while tone deaf policeman Amadeus Warnebring dreaming of music made of silence, follows their “crime scene” metronomes in hopes of preventing the next musical “apocalypse.” The musicians present “Four Movements” in four locations, a hospital, a bank (“This is a gig!”), outside of the philharmonic, and dangling from the city’s electrical lines, and these orchestrations are the films core, truly original demonstrations of turning commonplace noise into music, into performance, into art. Sanna, known as a disgrace to the Musical Academy establishment, lives in a city contaminated by irreverent music and she and the gang ingeniously strike back.

The film is whacky and absurd, but the lack of plot, character depth, or any real musical impact on the city, make the film drag and feel foreign. I wished the film kept with the amphetamine pace of the prologue. Sanna’s got her foot on the gas pedal, swerving to avoid pedestrians and cops, and in the back of the van, Magnus, bangs away at his drum set. It is this fast, chaotic, out of control whirl wind that would have helped energize Sound of Noise. The movie feels like a shelved Simon Pegg semi love story, its cheekiness is flat and ignores the larger issues of escaping establishment through art.

Sound of Noise is in select theater now. 

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