Saturday, December 24, 2011

Films We Want to See: Sound of Noise (Sweden: Ola Simonsson & Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, 2010)

Sound of Noise. This imaginative comedy follows a band of outlaw musicians who wreak havoc on an unsuspecting city. The sonic outlaws devise a plan to take their percussion-based, avant-garde music to the streets. The group’s opus is titled “Music for One City and Six Drummers.” The outlaws consist of the band’s leader—a spunky heroine named Sanna Persson—and five percussionists who invade four of the city’s civic or corporate institutions to make music with whatever tools, machines, or equipment they find.

An example of their musical activism is the first movement of their opus titled “Doctor, Doctor Gimme Gas (In My Ass).” They invade a hospital, kidnap a flabby patient with gastric issues, and then lock themselves in an operating room. There they proceed to play music using scalpels, the heart machine, ventilators, and other operating equipment as their instruments. They even “play” the patient, a well-known television personality whose problems with gas make him a good percussive instrument with just the right resonance as one of the drummers pounds on his rotund belly. There are four musical movements all together, each of them funny, awe-inspiring, and politically provocative. The group’s assaults on a hospital, bank, symphony hall, and power station amount to acts of anarchy against civic and corporate institutions that play a role in lulling the masses into lives filled with the unimaginative routines of the status quo.

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