The Glasgow Film Festival returns for its 2015 edition next month (18 February – 1 March), boasting a strong music and movies cross over. The curator of the event's Sound & Vision strand Sean Greenhorn has written Q a guest blog – and made us a playlist – exploring what's on the big screen this year.
For as long as cinema has been able to capture it, music has always had a remarkable place in the viewing experience. Just look at some of film’s most iconic scenes – Anna Karenina et al dancing in Godard’s Bande Apart, De Niro’s entrance in Mean Streets to the sound of the Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash, the medley under the fireworks in Lovers on the Bridge; and we can see the capability of adding melody to the moving image. Music has the power to charge a scene full of emotion, connect audience to characters and give three dimensions to the otherwise flat screen (without having to wear silly glasses).
I have been programming the Sound & Vision strand of the festival for several years now, watching a vast array of films that are being made with musicians, about musicians or with a deep understanding of how music works. Along with doing this, I also look for artists and filmmakers who might be interested in developing works that can be performed live in the festival. Music is important to GFF as it adds to the feeling of celebration that is the touchstone of any festival. Many of the films cannot be seen in any other way (try catching an utterly charming documentary about an otherwise forgotten Leeds punk band at your local multiplex) and our events are really one-off chances to see the wonders of sound and vision working together in a live context.
It is thrilling to be able to bring these films to our audiences, ranging from the spellbinding look at a man lost in his own creativity with the dreamlike Memphis, to unearthing an unknown story about The Clash frontman Joe Strummer’s quest to find his Dodge Challenger in Spain with I Need a Dodge! Joe Strummer on the Run and Mia Hansen-Love’s beautiful, sensitive and very cool look at the French ‘touch’ EDM scene that Daft Punk emerged from with Eden. We are also extremely excited to welcome the composer Ólafur Arnulds to the festival, who will be performing his award-winning score to hit ITV drama Broadchurch.
Then of course we have our sonic cinema extravaganza, A Night at the Regal, which features visuals from acclaimed filmmakers such as Mark Cousins, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. On the music side of this event we have up-and-coming musicians eagleowl and Monoganon, along with Joe McAlinden and the formidable British Sea Power, whose ability to move from esoteric soundscapes to jagged rock anthems makes them quite simply some of the most innovative and exciting bands working today. Sean Greenhorn @sgreenhorn
For full details and screenings head to Glasgowfilm.org/festival.