PIFF 2022: For The Love Of Noise – Review

Release Date – TBC, Cert – N/A, Run-time – 55 minutes, Director – Alan Cross

A look at Brighton’s experimental noise scene and how it has developed over the years.

It’s hard not to have your interest peaked when hearing band names such as Leopard Leg, Thee Bald Knobbers and Cementimental. More so when you hear of the kind of music which they produce. It’s less music and more noise – in fact, its more often referred to as noise than anything else. From experimenting with common instruments and vocals to simply smacking a the inside of a wheelie bin in a cluttered space Alan Moore’s documentary takes a look at the “sound collage” of the underground noise scene that’s been unfolding in Brighton for many years.

Throughout the film we see various talking heads of figures involved with the noise scene at some stage or another. Speaking about their passions and the creative freedom which they feel is provided to them by the performance spaces that they are offered. There are certainly plenty of oddities on display when it comes to the music, and there’s no denying that even if it isn’t something you’d indulge in yourself that there’s a point of interest to be found. Particularly as the various faces that pop up throughout the film discuss their own personal viewpoints on the scene and put on their own experimental displays. Much of this, admittedly, comes in the final 10-15 minutes, with the 40 or so minutes beforehand diving more into the love thatthose involved have for what they do, create and hear. “It’s not motivated by anything other than the need to create” is a point which echoes throughout the film, agreed upon by most of the talking heads in some way or another – all interviewed separately – as is most of what the film brings up.

Things don’t quite become repetitive within the film’s short run time, but the feeling does begin to arise and slightly settle in that many views on each topic are echoed and gone back to. Where the biggest point of interest lies is in the creative process for making the noise and music. What inspires people and their own interaction with the listener, and even their own stage persona (if they have one). It’s interesting to hear someone say of something such as this kind of music “it’s not comfort listening… You kind of have to meet your audience half way”. Phrases such as this manage to create more of a connection with the subject matter, and those who are discussing it. Showing more of the process and thought behind it rather than the effect that it can have and the connection that others already have with it.

It’s during such strands where the film is at its best. It certainly has a lot to get in in just 55 minutes, and it gives a good idea and flavour of the Brighton noise scene, but never feels as if it goes into anything in-depth. Even towards the end as the film explores influences and processes, etc – once you’re more engaged with the piece and have the understanding of what the noise scene is, especially for those coming into things completely new. And while it doesn’t bring the film down entirely or make it feel entirely made up of basics you do sometimes wish for something slightly more in-depth, or at least more time spent looking at the themes of the brief closing stages where the imagination and creativity that’s talked about so much in the majority of the film is truly on display.

There’s an engaging nature to the delve into creativity and inspirations within For The Love Of Noise, but it feels brief in comparison to the slightly echoing expressions of love for the noise scene beforehand.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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