Synopsis: Police officer Amadeus Warnebring was born into a musical family with a long history of famous musicians. Ironically, he hates music. His life is thrown into chaos when a band of crazy musicians decides to perform a musical apocalypse using the city as their orchestra… Reluctantly, Warnebring embarks on his first musical investigation…
Release Date: March 9, 2012 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Comedy, Musical
Swedish filmmakers Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson, widely known for their immensely popular short film Music For One Apartment and Six Drummers (2001) have made their feature film debut with Sound of Noise. Keeping with their style of bringing unconventional music methods to the screen, Sound of Noise focuses on a group of renegade musicians whose plan to provoke anarchy in their city by way of music stands as an allegory for breaking the bonds of bureaucracy and conformity. The movie is very much a musical police drama, with hidden messages scattered throughout by way of the choices the musicians make in their “terrorist” acts. It is the music, and hidden meanings, that create a dark comedic tone to the film, as well as the anti-music detective Amadeus Warnebring (Bengt Nilsson) who is determined to silence them.
The six musicians, primarily drummers, include Sanna (Sanna Persson Halapi), Magnus (Magnus Borjeson), Johannes (Johannes Bjork), Myran (Fredrik Myhr), Marcus (Marcus Haraldson Boij), and Anders (Anders Vestergard). A definite quirky bunch they spend the majority of their time preparing for the four attacks on the city, and procuring the necessary items to create their sounds. The antagonist of the film would seem to be Detective Warnebring, but as a viewer the enemy quickly emerges as Detective Warnebring’s brother, Oscar (Sven Ahlstrom), because of his stance on music. He is the conductor of the symphony that everyone in the city praises, the catalyst in keeping music as stale and lacking originality as possible. Oscar and Amadeus’ relationship, being Amadeus is tone-deaf and hates music, and Oscar is celebrated for his musical talents, lends a much needed humanist side to the story; it also provides for the aforementioned dark humor scattered throughout.
Sound of Noise is not so much a character piece but a film that allows the music to make up for the lack of heavy dialogue. This method makes it more enjoyable, whereas you do not feel the message is being pushed up you but there for your own analysis should you decide to take that route. Otherwise, you can just sit back and enjoy the story that is Sound of Noise. Revel in the imagined city that features characters who do not quite fit in, has a group of police officers who are all but daft and therefore ripe for being made the joke of time and again. Or simply surround yourself in the music, the off-beat tracks created out of everyday objects, machines, and other things you would not imagine could make a sound so enjoyable to the ear, and as disruptive to a classical society possible.
The music in Sound of Noise is created via a variety of methods, and the careful choices made cannot be overlooked, nor the excellent execution. The characters are working off of a written piece of music entitled “Music For One City and Six Drummers”–a definite nod to the filmmakers prior short film, “Music For One Apartment and Six Drummers”. The expansion city-wide enables the music to be brought outside of constraints and the items available to use grows exponentially. The musical arrangement is set up into four parts, each taking place in a different area and using different materials. A hospital, bank, concert hall, and main electricity grid are the targeted places for these musical “terrorists” (sarcasm intended). Each place can be acquainted to a place where bureaucracy lives, or widespread control is maintained within the city. The subtlety as to why these places were chosen is always present, and never explained–a welcome choice by screenwriters and directors Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson. The film was shot over the course of ten weeks in Malmo, Sweden on an extremely low budget. You would never know the budget was so small considering the exceptional sound quality to the entire picture; a must in order for it to work because it is ALL about the sound of the score.
French Foley Artist Nicolas Becker recorded the sounds and foley while the film was being shot. Composer Magnus Borjeson put all of the sounds Becker, and the Drummers themselves, had compiled over the course of a year to create the score for the film. In addition, the classical music was created by French composer Fred Avril. Everything in the score is based on the idea of music, not necessarily the common consensus of music. The sound of a drum can be created by beating on a man’s chest, and money being put through a shredder has a great synthesized sound. Bulldozers banging on concrete adds bass, and the tapping of an electrical wire with the proper metal rod can create a sound that resonates. Sound of Noise‘s score is remarkably done, both on the production level and for the viewer as you watch the film. It brings together the art of Foley and Composing beautifully, and even plays with the art of silence as beauty as well. For such a small production, the creativity has not suffered nor the one piece of the film that needed to be exceptional, the score.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Ola Simonsson
- Producer(s): Christophe AudeguisJim BirmantOlivier GuerpillonGuy Pechard
- Screenwriter(s): Ola SimonssonJohannes Stjarne Nilsson
- Cast: Bengt Nisson (Amadeus Warnebring)Sanna Persson (Sanna)Magnus Borjeson (Magnus) Marcus Boij (Marcus)Fredrik Myhr (Myran)Anders Vestergard (Anders)Johannes Bjork (Johannes)Sven Ahistrom (Oscar Warnebring)
- Cinematographer: Charlotta Tengroth
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Fred Avril
- Music Performed By: Magnus Borjeson
- Country Of Origin: SwedenFrance