Watched a slightly surreal comedy crime drama movie last night. A Swedish / French production from 2010, “Sound Of Noise” was written and directed by Johannes Stjärne Nilsson and Ola Simonsson (“Woman And Gramophone”, “Coastal Forecast”) in their only full-length film to date, which follows their own short film “Music For One Apartment And Six Drummers”.
The opening of the film has a voice over from Amadeus Warnebring (Bengt Nilsson – “Lite Som Du”, “God Save The King”). Warnebring was born into a very musical family, but is completely tone-deaf, hates music and longs for silence.
He has become an Inspector with the police, whilst his younger brother Oscar (Sven Ahlström – “Call Girl”, “Wallander”) is a famous orchestral conductor.
Sanna (Sanna Persson – “I Anneli”, “Mysteriet På Greveholm – Grevens Aterkomst”) and Magnus (Magnus Börjeson – “HippHipp!”, “Morgan Pålsson – Världsreporter”) are travelling along in a van. Sanna is driving and Magnus is in the back pounding out a beat on a drum kit. The van’s speed gets faster and faster and when the police make chase Magnus kicks the drum kit out of the back of the van at them before they crash and abandon the van.
When Warnebring arrives on the scene, where the cordoned-off van is ticking and suspected as being involved in a terrorist incident, he discovers that it is a metronome ticking in the van.
Magnus and Sanna discuss performing a conceptual piece of music, entitled “Music For One City And Six Drummers” and the four extra drummers that they will need to pull it off.
Johannes (Johannes Björk – “Music For One Apartment And Six Drummers”) is playing in a dull dance band until he causes chaos when he decides the musically accompany a butterfly on its travels round the dance floor instead of the band.
The second drummer, Marcus (Marcus Boij – his only role to date) is seen in his pants, playing on his electronic drum kit and managing to blow the power to his apartment building, to his neighbours’ intense frustration.
Drummer number three, Myran (Fredrik Myhr – “Music For One Apartment And Six Drummers”) is visibly bored playing in a rather strange nightclub group and ends up fighting with a drunk customer.
And finally there is Anders (Anders Vestergard – “Music For One Apartment And Six Drummers”), who gets thrown out of the orchestra he plays for after and altercation with the conductor.
The six misfits get together and plan to perform the piece of music, in four movements, in four different locations across the city, using objects that one would not normally consider to be musical in any way.
Movement one “Doctor, Doctor, Give Me Gas (In My Ass)” takes place in a hospital operating theatre, number two “Money 4 U Honey” during a bank raid, the third movement “Fuck The Music, Kill! Kill!” during one of Warnebring’s brother’s concerts and the final movement, “Electric Love” involves the city’s power supply.
As the group go through their repertoire Warnebring is gradually getting closer to finding and stopping them, as the metronomes he discovers mount up on his desk, but then finds that they may be able to help him in a way that he couldn’t have imagined…
This won’t be a movie that appeals to everyone, I’m sure, but deserves a wider audience than I suspect it will receive. Perhaps my own love of drums and rhythm helped, but despite being in Swedish and a rather bizarre film, I found “Sound Of Noise” to be tremendous fun. The final movement is less satisfying musically, but throughout the movie the choreography for the musical movements is very well done. Overall it is a very funny film, well worth checking out…