The Power of the Score
Bristol’s Filmic returns in March with another explorative two-month long season celebrating the creative connections across film and music. To kick off, director/musician sibling pairing Gerard and Matt Johnson, fresh off the back of their recent collaboration on Hyena, revisit some of the film scores that proved influential to them, to curate our Sunday brunch screenings this month. A filmic plethora of both aural and visual brilliance lies in wait.
Gerard Johnson is the writer/ director of two British feature films. His first, Tony (2009) a striking and darkly comic thriller about a serial killer set in east London, received widespread critical acclaim. His follow up, Hyena seems set to take a place amongst the ranks of raw British crime thrillers with its story of an amoral cop who has to extricate himself from a deadly situation of his own making. Soundtracks to both films came through collaboration with his musical sibling. Musician and composer Matt Johnson is the founding member of post-punk British group The The. In recent years Matt has turned his attention to soundtrack work, scoring numerous documentaries and films and in doing so, refining the art of blending the visual, aural and lyrical into twisted cinematic packages.
Gerard and Matt will be in conversation with our cinema curator Mark Cosgrove on Sun 8 March, discussing their work, their influences and their recent collaboration on Hyena, which opens on Fri 6 March.
Film and music have a rich and varied history. So how does one go about putting together a season of films upon which the marriage of image and sound is the key ingredients for the magic? Here is the brothers’ take on the challenges that lay in store for them:
“What makes a soundtrack great? Well, it’s not just the melodies, rhythms and production quality of the music itself, of course, but fundamentally the way in which it interacts with the cinematography, the dialogue and the performances of the actors. A great soundtrack can create an additional dimension to the experience of watching a film by communicating between the lines of dialogue and the frames of celluloid.
"Music possesses a unique power to cut deep into the soul of human beings and consequently imbue a film with an emotional intensity it would otherwise be impossible for it to possess. But, on the other hand, what is the most wonderful soundtrack without a great film to accompany it? The soundtracks I love the most also happen to form part of the films I love the most too. Gerard and I share a similar (though not identical) taste in music and films. It was hard for us to narrow down our selection of favourite soundtracks for this season as we had so many to choose from. In the end our decision was made slightly easier by the unavailability of certain films but I hope we’ve managed to choose a nice balance for your enjoyment through a month of drizzly English Sundays in March.”
“Initially I thought this would be easy, pick five favorite soundtracks that have influenced me. But, once I started to put pen to paper it became far more difficult. I wanted to stay away from scores that were maybe too famous - my favorite film is Taxi Driver but it seemed almost unjust to talk about it again. Blade Runner is another score that is probably too well known. Same goes for A Clockwork Orange. The main reason for our final choice is that it’s impossible to imagine these films without their score. That is the power of the film soundtrack in essence. It is almost always the last thing to be added yet is the missing ingredient that gels all the other cinematic elements together. A good soundtrack can also stand alone; it becomes a classic in it’s own right and the five we have chosen for this season do just that.”
Tickets: £5.50 full / £4.00 concessions and get £1.00 off all meal orders £7.00 or over in the Café/Bar on the same day with your ticket. See our full range of menus here.
Image credit: Gerald Jenkins