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Sonic: Music in Movies

Personal, powerful and lyrical, this is where music and film collide, a meeting place for rock biopics, probing documentaries, groundbreakers and old stagers.

Inspired by the hugely popular Sonic Cinema strand from the BFI London Film Festival and BFI Southbank.

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The KLF: 23 Seconds to EternityThe KLF: 23 Seconds to Eternity

Anthology2023121 minsDirector: Bill Butt

Journey through the collected films of The KLF, one of the most successful, enigmatic and outrageous electronic bands of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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Getting It Back: The Story of CymandeGetting It Back: The Story of Cymande

Documentary202290 minsDirector: Tim MacKenzie-Smith

The incredible story of a band you may never have heard of but whose sound has influenced generations with their irresistible rhythms and message of peace.

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Out of the BlueOut of the Blue

Drama198096 minsDirector: Dennis Hopper

Directed by Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) this story of a blue-collar family coming apart features an astonishing performance from Linda Manz (Days of Heaven).

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Dance CrazeDance Craze

Documentary198189 minsDirector: Joe Massot

Legendary concert film that brilliantly captures the cultural phenomenon that was the 2 Tone movement, and showcases the very best of the British Ska revival.

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Radio OnRadio 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.

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Christiane F.Christiane F.

Drama1981131 minsDirector: Uli Edel

David Bowie’s image and music gives brooding energy to this tale of a junkie sex-worker in 70s Berlin.

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I've Been Trying to Tell YouI've Been Trying to Tell You

Narrative music video202145 minsDirector: Alasdair McLellan

Saint Etienne present a beautiful and enveloping nostalgia trip through 1990s Britain.

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Being Frank: The Chris Sievey StoryBeing Frank: The Chris Sievey Story

Biopic2018101 minsDirector: Steve Sullivan

Frank Sidebottom was a pillar of alternative comedy of the late 80s/early 90s, and this charming documentary remembers the man behind the papier-mâché head.

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The ScoreThe Score

Musical2021100 minsDirector: Malachi Smyth

A British heist musical with an unsettling edge, starring Naomi Ackie, Johnny Flynn and Will Poulter.

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Lawrence of BelgraviaLawrence of Belgravia

Documentary201285 minsDirector: Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly's stirring and acclaimed character study of enigmatic musician Lawrence (Felt, Denim and Go-Kart Mozart).

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Rebel DreadRebel Dread

Biopic202183 minsDirector: William E. Badgley

This is the story of the iconic Don Letts, the coolest cultural polymath – narrated by the man himself.

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Last and First MenLast and First Men

Animation & Artists Moving Image202070 minsDirector: Jóhann Jóhannsson

Two billion years ahead of us, a future race of humans finds itself on the verge of extinction. Tilda Swinton narrates this visually stunning lament for humanity by acclaimed composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario, Arrival).

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I Am WeekenderI Am Weekender

Anthology202372 minsDirector: Wiz and Chloé Raunet

Groundbreaking 1992 music film Weekender, coupled with Chloé Raunet’s documentary about the making of the film and its enduring impact, offering a unique insight into the heart of acid house.

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JubileeJubilee

Drama1978106 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.

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The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)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.

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The Story of Lover's RockThe Story of Lover's Rock

Documentary2011100 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz

Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion) shines a light on the music genre often dubbed ‘romantic reggae’; a uniquely black British sound that developed in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems.

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Black OrpheusBlack Orpheus

Romance1959107 minsDirector: Marcel Camus

Academy Award and Palme d'Or-winning adaption of the Orpheus myth, incorporating the music, costume and dance of Brazil’s Rio Festival.

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You and the NightYou and the Night

Drama201389 minsDirector: Yann Gonzalez

Eric Cantona and Beatrice Dalle star in an outrageous erotic fever dream about a couple who invite four diverse guests to their midnight orgy.

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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.

More music films in our Rentals collection: Sonic.