Synopsis by Michael Hastings
Coming as part of a spate of interrelated films made in collaboration with San Francisco's experimental theater troupe the Tenderloin yGroup, venerable indie filmmaker Rob Nillson delivers this Cassavetes-style meditation on a group of desperate, downtrodden characters who try to find connection with each other -- with varying degrees of success. The lead character of Noise is Ben (Robert Viharo), a recent ex-con who returns to San Francisco to visit old friends, only to find that the city has changed since he last saw it 20 years ago, and that his means of getting by -- counterfeiting - could cause him more trouble than even he knows. After his luck turns bad at a less-than-friendly party, Ben tries to contact a pen-pal he made from behind bars, also with little success. Noise is the sixth part of a seven-film series made between 2000 and 2003 called "9@Night," which all involve the same 40 actors from the theater troupe, and are made according to Nillson's theory of "Direct Action Cinema" -- digitally-shot, improvised films that attempt to heighten the viewer's awareness of social issues.