Switching gears from atmospheric horror pic "Bad Blood," helmers Tiago Guedes and Frederico Serra delve into the unbearable miserableness of being with the unrelentingly dreary "Noise."

Switching gears from atmospheric horror pic “Bad Blood,” helmers Tiago Guedes and Frederico Serra delve into the unbearable miserableness of being with the unrelentingly dreary “Noise.” A prime example of how the Nordic nexus of despair has migrated south to Portugal, “Noise” uses crisp but unnecessary B&W lensing to plumb the depths of a working-class family’s all-encompassing depression. Some fests may listen up, but most will choose to shut out the din.

Construction worker Paulo (Felipe Duarte) gets fired after reporting an accident to the authorities. His wife Lucia (Isabel Abreu) can barely keep the family afloat on her salary as a cleaning woman, but he’s doing little to find other employment. At least his half-sister Bela (Lavinia Moreira) has a steady job as a nurse, but she’s got her hands full looking after their nasty, morose father (Luis Filipe Rocha) and dying patient Nuno (Goncalo Waddington). Characters are introduced breaking into floods of tears, while the handheld camera seems to permanently loiter in bathroom or kitchen doorways. Pic offers no insight into the human condition, but instead wallows in misery, with the occasional guitar chord underlining everyone’s gloom.

Noise

Portugal - Brazil

Production

A Clap Filmes (Portugal)/Plateau Producoes (Brazil) production. (International sales: Mad Filmes, Lisbon.) Produced by Paulo Branco. Executive producer, Roberto Tibirica. Directed by Tiago Guedes, Frederico Serra. Screenplay, Rodrigo Guedes de Carvalho.

Crew

Camera (B&W), Paulo Ares; editors, Mair Tavares, Mariana Gaivao; music, Jorge Coelho; production designer, Isabel Branco; costume designer, Maria da Luz d’Orey. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (Zabaltegi), Sept. 19, 2008. (Original title: Entre os dedos). Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Felipe Duarte, Isabel Abreu, Lavinia Moreira, Goncalo Waddington, Luis Filipe Rocha, Fernanda Lapa, Paula Sa Nogueira, Joao Pedro Vaz, Eunice Munoz, Adriano Luz, Nuria Mencia, Nuno Lopes, Claudia Jardim, Liliana Soudo, Ruben Correia, Edward Fao, Bruno Matay, Adriana Queiroz.

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