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Sonic: Music in Movies

Pump up the volume for this selection of music-themed films; compiled in a long-player with copious sleeve-notes.

Music has been an essential part of the seventh art ever since The Jazz Singer first took a bow. The films here display many different sides to the collision of music and film; from rescored silent cinema to the latest cross-disciplinary collaborations.

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Stop Making Sense
Stop Making Sense
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Stop Making Sense

198488 minsDirector: Jonathan Demme

Widely acknowledged as among the best concert films ever, Jonathan Demme's inventive film of Talking Heads' thrilling live show remains the yardstick by which all other music films are measured by.

Soul Power
Soul Power
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Soul Power

Documentary200892 minsDirector: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte

James Brown, Sister Sledge and B.B King feature in this stunning concert film, shot during the Ali-Foreman 'Rumble in the Jungle' of 1974.

Buena Vista Social Club
Buena Vista Social Club
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Buena Vista Social Club

Documentary1999101 minsDirector: Wim Wenders

Cuba’s rich and colourful past comes vividly to life in this legendary, Oscar-nominated documentary from director Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire).

A Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night
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A Hard Day's Night

Musical196488 minsDirector: Richard Lester

The Beatles’ freewheeling film debut remains the pinnacle of rock-n-roll cinema; still deliriously entertaining 50 years on.

Hit So Hard
Hit So Hard
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Hit So Hard

Documentary2011103 minsDirector: P. David Ebersole

Patty Schemel, one-time drummer of grunge band Hole, recounts her turbulent years on tour with the band, piecing together a compelling tale of rock and roll excess, and the personal story of one woman’s survival.

Honeydripper
Honeydripper
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Honeydripper

Drama2007124 minsDirector: John Sayles

Acclaimed writer-director John Sayles brings the birth of rock 'n' roll to life with electrifying effect, with Danny Glover heading up a stellar cast.

The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)
The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)
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The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)

Drama1972105 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder

Different worlds collide when a chic young diplomat's wife meets an intriguing adventurer and his hippy friends in Barbet Schroeder's striking second feature.

Radio On
Radio On
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Radio On

Road movie1979100 minsDirector: Chris Petit

Chris Petit's cult classic is one of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema – a haunting blend of edgy mystery story and existential road movie.

More
More
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More

Drama1969116 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder

The first feature by Barbet Schroeder (Maîtresse, The Valley), More created a sensation when it was released in 1969, quickly becoming a cult classic and famed for its Pink Floyd soundtrack.

Finisterre
Finisterre
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Finisterre

Documentary200359 minsDirector: Kieran Evans

A journey from London’s suburbs to its heart, charting the influence of the city on indie pop band Saint Etienne.

This Is Tomorrow
This Is Tomorrow
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This Is Tomorrow

200754 minsDirector: Paul Kelly

The final part of Saint Etienne and Paul Kelly’s London trilogy follows the renovation and reopening of the Royal Festival Hall through 2005-7.

What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day?
What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day?
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What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day?

200545 minsDirector: Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly’s second collaboration with pop band Saint Etienne traces the hidden history of East London’s Lower Lea Valley before its Olympic makeover.

Straight to Hell
Straight to Hell
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Straight to Hell

Comedy198786 minsDirector: Alex Cox

Alex Cox’s anarchic homage to the spaghetti western, with arguably cinema’s wildest cast: Dennis Hopper, Joe Strummer, Courtney Love, Grace Jones and Shane MacGowan.

From the Sea to the Land Beyond
From the Sea to the Land Beyond
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From the Sea to the Land Beyond

Documentary201273 minsDirector: Penny Woolcock

This fascinating and moving film by award-winning director Penny Woolcock is a lyrical portrait of Britain's coastline which features a score by British Sea Power.

Paris, Texas
Paris, Texas
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Paris, Texas

Drama1984145 minsDirector: Wim Wenders

The late, great Harry Dean Stanton's finest role came as the near-mute Travis, on a journey across America to reunite his family, in Wim Wenders' moving tale of loss and redemption.

One Love
One Love
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One Love

Romance200396 minsDirector: Rick Elgood

The legendary Don Letts directs this reggae romance about a rasta musician whose affair with a gospel-singing preacher’s daughter causes a stir in Kingston.

Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
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Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Crime192691 minsSilentDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Ivor Novello plays a strange lodger who may be behind a number of Jack the Ripper-style killings in Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller.

The Moon over the Alley
The Moon over the Alley
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The Moon over the Alley

Musical1977108 minsDirector: Joseph Despins

The Moon Over the Alley is a bizarre and compelling musical exploring the problems of multicultural Notting Hill residents in the early 1970s.

Bread
Bread
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Bread

Drama197168 minsDirector: Stanley A. Long

A fun tale of hippies and rock and roll directed by the legendary Stanley Long and featuring cult British rock bands Juicy Lucy and Crazy Mabel.

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone from Sonic

More music films in our Rentals collection: Sonic.