In the Swedish film, Sound of Noise, directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, six rogue, experimental musicians coordinate four guerilla performances throughout their city in an attempt to free its inhabitants from the stodgy tyranny of classical music. These six drummers hijack four different locations, performing avant-garde movements from their revolutionary score, “Music for One City and Six Drummers.” In each location, the group of criminal composers utilize everyday objects—a heart monitor, a shredding machine and even power lines, for example—in order to create a musical performance like no other. They break a few laws along the way.
These performances attract the attention of a tone-deaf police officer, Amadeus Warnebring (Bengt Nilsson), the black sheep of a family of professional, classical musicians and a hater of music, who makes it his sole mission to track down these criminals. What begins, however, as a cut-and-dry job for Warnebring slowly becomes increasingly complicated. Not only is he slowly falling in love with Sanna (Sanna Persson), one of the ringleaders of these percussive terrorists, but, also, he begins to realize that these crimes might actually provide him with the complete and utter silence he’s been searching for since he was a young child.
Sound of Noise is a delight from start to finish. The film manages to be highly entertaining and amusing while also presenting a totally unique and original idea. Although the film can be viewed as merely a fun experimentation with sound, it manages to go well beyond that, making gestures at the grander mysteries of life and being human. Though the stories contained focus on a single string of events and a small group of individuals, as a whole they are able to delve into and aptly dissect hugely abstract ideas such as art, personal expression, and family dynamics without reducing them into trite aphorisms or belittling their complexity. The film takes a whimsical and youthful approach to storytelling, while simultaneously refusing to pander to its audience or lose any of its intellectual edge. This is a refreshing stance for a film to take, especially considering the deluge of big-on-budget, low-on-plot Hollywood blockbusters and remakes that have been flooding the theaters as of late. Sound of Noise rescues boring objects from quotidian life and casts them in a new light, and it is exactly this sense of possibility and wonder that the film inspires in its’ viewers.
Director: Ola Simonsson & Johannes Stjärne Nilsson
Starring: Bengt Nilsson, Sanna Persson, Magnus Börjeson
Release Date: Mar. 9, 2012