Unfortunately for him, avant-garde musicians Sanna (Sanna Persson) and Magnus (Magnus Börjeson) are plotting something big: a full-scale, public performance of his masterpiece, Music for One City and Six Drummers. They only need four more drummers, so they recruit them Blues Brothers style, in order to “give this city a concert it’ll never forget.”
Welcome to Sound of Noise, one of the most joyous films in recent memory, in any language. This one just happens to be Swedish.
Magnus’ masterpiece is composed of four movements in four locations — most of it illegal, some of it dangerous — but our harmonic half-dozen is committed to mounting this massively orchestrated production. See, they use only found objects indigenous to a specific location as their instruments. I don’t wish to spoil where they play their pieces (let the trailer do that, if you so choose), so I’ll say only that oxygen tanks, rolled coins, bulldozers and electrical lines are involved. Imagine if Stomp were portable and paid no mind to trespassing laws.
For a film of such felonious quirk and mirth, comedic timing is as important as musical timing. Luckily, both are impeccable. Sound of Noise is a true original, as inventive as it is infectious. Perhaps the biggest surprise isn’t that co-directors Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson were able to pull off these exciting set pieces, but that you root for both sides of the law.
I loved this movie so much, I wanted it to keep going. Magnolia Home Entertainment’s DVD allows the band to keep on playing, sort of, via the extra features. Two five-minute shorts, “Music for One Xmas and Six Drummers” and “Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers,” in which our ensemble does its thing at, respectively, a retirement home’s Christmas craft room and a flat while its residents walk the dog. “Soundcard Stockholm (Six Drummers)” has them playing together, but each in a different locale, with the screen divvied up like The Brady Bunch grid. This, too, is awesome, but only a hair longer than one minute.
Fear not the subtitles. Allow Sound of Noise to do to you what it did to me: Plant a big, stupid smile on your face as it moves your favored foot like a finely calibrated metronome. —Rod Lott