Our annual celebration of all things ‘filmic’ returns with gigs and screenings that highlight the symbiotic relationship between music and the moving image. This is not simply in the ways in which they are used together, but also how each one can inspire the other. This is music for the movie in your mind, or the soundtrack in your head.
This year we focus largely on ideas of technology in sound and vision, from the breath-driven atmospherics of Colin Stetson at St George's (8 March) to the role the theremin the film soundtracks of Alfred Hitchcock and Tim Burton (21 April) and the digital mapping of film and music in ‘Places of Worship’ (12 May). Here at Watershed we are offering up a smorgasbord of engaging and entertaining films, and this year we’re thrilled to be joined by Colston Hall, which hosts Moogmemory (4 March) and the brilliant Tindersticks (7 May).
Filmic is now in its glorious fifth year and fuses film and music, with reinterpretations, introductions from directors, and live performance. Composer and record producer Marc Collin gives familiar beats, and new songs, a 1960s make-over at St George's on 16 June – in the 25th anniversary year of Massive Attack’s Blue Lines album. The ‘Bristol’ sound is seen by many as seminal, marking a major cultural turning point for the city and one of the reasons BBC 6 Music chose our vibrant city for its annual festival.
Mark Cosgrove, Watershed's Cinema Curator said:
“As part of this year’s Filmic we explore the influence of electronic instruments and instrumentation on films and filmmakers. At Watershed this will include early experiments with the other-worldly pitch of the theremin and the wild sounds created by Oskar Sala on a trautonium for Hitchcock’s The Birds plus the groundbreaking simplicity of John Carpenter’s electronic keyboard scores for his films such as Halloween and Escape from New York. We’ll also have live performances to rarely screened silent films.”
Phil Johnson, Programmer at St George's says:
“Filmic is now in its fifth year, and introduces audiences to a new take on music in film. We are delighted to be working with Watershed, and Colston Hall, to introduce some of the world’s most intriguing music-makers from a thereminist and a saxophone sound-sculptor to a sound and vision art piece with places of worship projected on to St George’s walls.”
“It is especially apt that we include Bristol, a reimagining of the trip-hop sound in the same year our city is marking the 25th anniversary of Massive Attack’s Blue Lines.”
Here at Watershed we are screening a two-month season of films (on sale soon!) that feature the earliest experiments with electronic instrumentation from Franz Waxman’s early experiments with electronic sound in 1935's The Bride of Frankenstein (Sun 3 April); Miklós Rózsa's pioneering use and popularisation of the theremin in Hitchcock’s Spellbound (Sun 10 April); the work of Oskar Sala and his electronic Trautonium to create the unsettling squarks and sounds for Hitchcock’s The Birds (Sun 17 April); to Vangelis’ totemic anthem of electronic composition that lies at the heart of British cinema classic Chariots of Fire (Sun 24 April).
There will also be live performances to silent film including Bristol based musician Guy Bartell with Bronnt Industries Kapital playing to rarely screened classic of early Soviet cinema Arsenal (1929) directed by Alexander Dovzhenko (10 April) - which promises to be a real treat!