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"Sound of Noise": Sonic Intifadists Go Soft 

Wednesday, Mar 21 2012

More an intriguing premise than a successful film, the Malmo-set Sound of Noise, about a group of "musical terrorists," quickly loses its novelty and becomes about as bold as a Swedish production of Stomp. Sonic intifadists Magnus (Magnus Borjeson) and Sanna (Sanna Persson) assemble four other misfit percussionists to perform their magnum opus, Music for One City and Six Drummers. These slaves to the rhythm execute their instrumental bricolage on, among others, overhead power lines and a hospital patient whose blubbery gut produces the desired resonance. Their acts of sabotage make them the prey of Amadeus Warnebring (Bengt Nilsson), the tone-deaf head of an antiterrorist unit born into a family of musical prodigies — the defining facile irony in the first feature by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson. Beyond the deliberate cacophony, the movie is filled with unintended aural abrasions, such as Sanna's crowing, "It'll be one hell of a work of art," which the filmmakers insist we believe as wholeheartedly as the drummers do. As for the insurrectionist composition itself (one of whose four parts is entitled "Fuck the Music! Kill, Kill," further proof of the directors' silly ideas about what constitutes "revolutionary"), it occasionally recalls — and compares unfavorably to — the rousing, clanging factory-machine din in Bjork's "Cvalda" from Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark.

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Melissa Anderson


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