Personal, powerful and lyrical, this is where music and film collide, a meeting place for rock biopics, probing documentaries, groundbreakers and old stagers.
The hugely popular sonic cinema strand from the BFI London Film Festival and BFI Southbank can now be enjoyed on BFI Player.
The Man from Mo'Wax
Documentary2017116 minsDirector: Matthew Jones
The exhilarating, no holds-barred story of Mo'Wax records founder James Lavelle, one of the most enigmatic yet influential figures in British music culture.
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Documentary201897 minsDirector: David Soutar
Matt and Luke Goss take on the big screen – and each other – in this candid documentary charting the reunion of 80s pop sensations Bros; an affectionate portrait that generates more than a touch of Spinal Tap-esque hilarity.
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
Documentary2017101 minsDirector: Stephen Schible
A graceful, intimate study of a the legendary Japanese musician, composer, actor, writer and activist.
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami
Documentary2017115 minsDirector: Sophie Fiennes
Grace Jones is laid bare in this intimate and electrifying insight into the fascinating world of a pop-cultural phenomenon.
Documentary2018120 minsDirector: Kevin Macdonald
Stunning revelations and captivating reminiscences paint a picture of the extraordinary life of singer Whitney Houston, in this in-depth portrait by acclaimed filmmaker Kevin MacDonald (Touching the Void, Marley).
Whitney: Can I Be Me
Documentary2017101 minsDirector: Nick Broomfield
Documentary titan Nick Broomfield turns his gaze to the troubled pop star whose sensational voice masked an inner identity crisis.
Biopic2007122 minsDirector: Anton Corbijn
The life story of Ian Curtis, the tortured singer of Joy Division who suffered epilepsy and crippling self-doubt, filmed in stunning monochrome.
England Is Mine
Biopic201794 minsDirector: Mark Gill
A deeply insecure young Morrissey dreams of escaping drudgery but seeks the confidence to bloom, in this captivating account of The Smiths' genesis.
Searching for Sugar Man
Documentary201286 minsDirector: Malik Bendjelloul
The BAFTA and Oscar-winning documentary sensation uncovers the mystery behind Sixto Rodriguez, a forgotten musical hero of apartheid-era South Africa.
On the Road
Drama-documentary2016121 minsDirector: Michael Winterbottom
Michael Winterbottom’s sexy and idiosyncratic tour film follows 2018 Mercury Prize winners Wolf Alice, merging thrilling live footage with a fictional backstage romance.
20 Feet from Stardom
Documentary201387 minsDirector: Morgan Neville
This moving documentary shines a spotlight on the backing singers behind some of the great musical hits of the 21st century.
Fantasy1978134 minsDirector: Sidney Lumet
NYC becomes Oz in the cult, urban reimagining of the family favourite, featuring an all-African American cast including Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story
Documentary2019101 minsDirector: Steve Sullivan
Frank Sidebottom was a pillar of alternative comedy of the late 80s/early 90s, this charming documentary remembers the man behind the papier-mâché head.
Comedy201395 minsDirector: Lenny Abrahamson
Michael Fassbender is the man inside the papier-mâché head, in this fictionalised reimagining of the story of northern entertainer Frank Sidebottom.
We Are the Best!
Drama201398 minsDirector: Lukas Moodysson
A raucous coming-of-age comedy about three schoolgirls who form a punk band in 1982 Stockholm, from director Lukas Moodysson (Show Me Love).
The Stone Roses: Made of Stone
Performance201396 minsDirector: Shane Meadows
Avid Stone Roses fan Shane Meadows records the reunion of the pivotal 1990s rock band, in this heartfelt and inspiring documentary
Pulp: A Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets
Documentary201490 minsDirector: Florian Habicht
Jarvis and co’s farewell concert is captured in Florian Habicht’s affectionate and intriguing documentary, which also acts as a profile of Pulp’s home city of Sheffield and its residents.
The Big Melt
Documentary201371 minsDirector: Martin Wallace
Jarvis Cocker and acclaimed director Martin Wallace's feature-length elegy to the men and women who toiled in Sheffield's steelworks is a hymn to Britain's proud industrial past.
The Possibilities Are Endless
Documentary201483 minsDirector: Edward Lovelace
A moving and haunting account of singer Edwyn Collins’s long and difficult recovery from a stroke.
Song of Granite
Biopic201797 minsDirector: Pat Collins
A formally audacious account of the life and times of traditional Irish folk singer Joe Heaney, combining ‘fictional’ drama, documentary footage and musical sequence
Musical199877 minsDirector: Julian Henriques
Neeta and her crew rise to dancehall fame in North West London's Caribbean community, in the first Black British musical.
Drama2015106 minsDirector: John Carney
The third in John Carney’s trilogy of musical films is the utterly charming story a boy who escapes his troubles through fronting a pop band.
Only Lovers Left Alive
Romance2013123 minsDirector: Jim Jarmusch
Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton star as ageless, blood-drinking lovers in Jim Jarmusch’s clever, funny and sexy vampire tale.
David Brent: Life on the Road
Comedy201696 minsDirector: Ricky Gervais
The long-awaited big-screen outing for Slough’s premier paper salesman finds Ricky Gervais’ genius comic creation cashing in his pension for one last shot at rock ‘n’ roll success.
Drama1977106 minsDirector: Derek Jarman
The mythological past and a soon-to-be bleak future converge on the sparse, grey streets of London in Jarman’s personal vision of the punk movement.
Science Fiction1967103 minsDirector: Peter Watkins
An exalted pop star holds the country's youth in his thrall, but secretly his popularity is being carefully managed by the state.
The Music Machine
Drama197990 minsDirector: Ian Sharp
Get Saturday night fever - North London style - with Patti Boulaye and Gerry Sundquist in this bubbly British disco drama.
Lambert & Stamp
Documentary2014118 minsDirector: James D. Cooper
The fascinating story of how two aspiring filmmakers set out to capture swinging 1960s London, but instead inadvertently helped create The Who.
1988113 minsDirector: Laurens C. Postma
Big Audio Dynamite’s Don Letts made his acting debut in this gripping, gritty 1990 drama of dreads, drugs, and music business corruption.
Beats of the Antonov
Documentary201468 minsDirector: Hajooj Kuka
A beautiful documentary capturing the lives of the communities of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains, who defiantly persist with their musical traditions even while under threat of aerial bombardment.
Cleo and John
198255 minsDirector: Vernon Lawrence
Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth cook up red hot jazz together live on stage, chat about married life together, and recall lengthy musical careers.
Cool for Cats
195826 minsDirector: Brian Taylor
The only known existent edition of this long-running 1950s ITV pop show features songs by Tommy Steele, Paul Anka and Connie Francis.
195622 minsDirector: Peter Morley
Straight from the earliest days of teenage pop-star adulation, an eye-opening investigation into the strange and startling world of obsessional fans.
Jimi All Is by My Side
Biopic2013118 minsDirector: John Ridley
OutKast’s André Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix on the cusp of greatness, honing his act in Swinging London, in this revealing and alternative take on the rock biopic.