Sweden/France/Denmark, 2010, 98 min
The sound-and-image anarchists behind Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers, the 2001 cult short film, successfully transfer to a larger arena in Sound of Noise, a delightful comic cocktail mixing a modern urban symphony, a police procedural and a love story. The up-tempo feature debut of Swedish directors Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson boasts the most complex and wacky musical numbers since Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Delicatessen, hitting notes alternately silly, raucous and rhapsodic. The narrative revolves around police officer Amadeus Warnebring (an engaging Bengt Nilsson), tone-deaf scion of a distinguished musical family, and his attempts to track down a group of six guerrilla percussionists whose public performances are terrorizing the city. The drumming set pieces correspond to an avant-garde score in four movements: “Doctor, Doctor, Gimme Gas (In My Ass),” “Money 4 U, Honey,” “Fuck the Music Kill! Kill!” and “Electric Love.” Where the short film had the six drummers imaginatively using standard apartment furnishings as their instruments, the feature unleashes them on an unspecified city’s civic and cultural institutions. “Doctor, Doctor” plays out in a hospital operating room, literally removing the sound from a windbag patient; staged like a robbery, “Money” makes beautiful music from a bank’s paraphernalia; the classical music establishment comes under attack from heavy machinery in “Music;” and daredevil “Love” unfurls in midair on the city’s electric lines. There is even an amusing backstory for each of the soberly dressed drummers and investigator Warnebring, their music-hating nemesis.
Special support for this program generously provided by Katie and Todd Traina.