O Som ao Redor (Neighbouring Sounds) (2012)
A history of violence and oppression threatens to engulf the residents of an affluent seaside community in Neighboring Sounds, a thrilling debut from filmmaker Kleber Mendonca Filho. A palpable sense of unease hangs over a single city block in the coastal town of Recife, Brazil. Home to prosperous families and the servants who work for them, the area is ruled by an aging patriarch and his sons. When a private security firm is reluctantly brought in to protect the residents from a recent spate of petty crime, it unleashes the fears, anxieties and resentments of a divided society still haunted by its troubled past. -- (C) Cinema Guild … More
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Critic Reviews for O Som ao Redor (Neighbouring Sounds)
The film promises a little more than it delivers, and at over two hours there are moments where it drags. But as a statement of intent, 'Neighbouring Sounds' is incredibly bold.
Economically packed with social issues of wealth, property and class, and deft cinematic references, this is a movie built for the modern global high-rise condo market.
Similar to the slow-creep style of Dogtooth director Giorgos Lanthimos, the narrative unfolds with escalating tension, the cause of which is heard and felt but not always seen.
"Neighboring Sounds" presents itself not only as a character study, but also as an authentic socio-economic class study.
Rural and urban, property lines and blood feuds, family histories and petty battles . . . in a film that reframes Brazil as a place where blood is thicker and murkier than water, even in homes that seem so clean and white and safe.
Empty, anxious and puzzling: Neighboring Sounds has an intriguing tone of half-seen unhappiness that never pays off either in black humour or the terror of modern existence.
It's a remarkable, understated fable about social strata and urban paranoia, although its stretches of plotlessness may push patience at 124 minutes.
With each scene, Kleber Mendonça Filho adds layers of meaning to his characters and the neighbourhood, many that no doubt can only be properly appreciated by Brazilian audiences.
Has echoes of Michael Haneke as it explores the guilty secrets and bitter resentments lurking beneath the calm, respectable surface of a community in affluent Recife.
It is too long and sometimes drags, but burrs into the memory through naturalistic acting and a real sense of the perils of Brazilian life.
For those who don't mind that lingering, almost voyeuristic display of human behaviour, this confident and promising debut is a must-see.
Violence feels just around the corner, and we're kept guessing where it might come from.
Neighbouring Sounds is scary, funny, mischievous, intelligent, magisterial: a picture of man and woman as social animal in which the animal never lurks far beneath the social.
Filho's use of space is masterful, as fine as Antonioni or Polanski, with long Steadicam tracks and crisp wide shots giving us a fine-grained rendering of the block's communal and private spaces.
This is a movie to get lost in. Kleber Mendonça Filho - you're on our list.
With its inventive sound, masterly lensing and diverse mix of characters, Filho reveals a society haunted by both its past and by the threat of future violence.
Audience Reviews for O Som ao Redor (Neighbouring Sounds)
An extremely intelligent and thought-provoking Brazilian film that uses a street in Recife as a microcosm for the social issues of middle class - exposing the underlying fears of bourgeoisie while creating a clever parallel between a guilty past and the promise of a violent future.More
'Neighbouring Sounds'. A wonderful mix of direction, sound design, classes and characters in this suburban microcosm of Brazil.More
n "Neighboring Sounds," Joao(Gustavo Jahn) has spent the night getting acquainted physically with Sofia(Irma Brown). In the morning, they spend a lot of the time collecting their clothing and avoiding the maid and children. Then, Sofia finds her car stereo stolen. Luckily, Joao has a culprit in mind, Dinho(Yuri Holanda) who is also apparently responsible for every bit of crime around the neighborhood. What he is not responsible however is the dog that keeps Bia(Maeve Jenkings) awake. So, instead of taking sleeping pills herself, she uses them on the dog.
"Neighboring Sounds" is a finely tuned look at class politics in Recife, Brazil where classes live close to each other, separated from each other by concrete walls. On the plus side, there is plenty of work to go around in security, even if it is very boring. And with such differences in reality, it is no surprise that the dream sequences work as well as they do, as does a key sequence where an old man goes swimming which makes the movie's point wonderfully and subtly. What does not work as well is Bia's battle with the dog, as I'm not quite sure what that symbolizes.
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