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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 SenseStop Making Sense

Performance198488 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.

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Black OrpheusBlack Orpheus

Romance1959107 minsDirector: Marcel Camus

Thrilling re-working of the Orpheus myth, incorporating the music, costume and dance of Brazil’s Rio Festival.

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Sympathy for the DevilSympathy for the Devil

Drama1968101 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Luc Godard intercuts footage of The Rolling Stones composing their classic Sympathy for the Devil with punchy agitprop sketches on the global anti-imperialist struggle.

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JubileeJubilee

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.

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A Hard Day's NightA 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.

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HoneydripperHoneydripper

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.

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Chico & RitaChico & Rita

Animation & Artists Moving Image201094 minsDirector: Fernando Trueba

An evocative animated love story set in the jazz nightclubs of Havana and New York.

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EdenEden

Drama2014131 minsDirector: Mia Hansen-Løve

Mia Hansen-Løve’s stylish and transcendent story of house music is one of the great films about dance culture.

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The Harder They ComeThe Harder They Come

Drama1972103 minsDirector: Perry Henzell

The cult classic, acknowledged as the catalyst for the popularisation of reggae in the US, sees Jimmy Cliff traversing the underbelly of Jamaican shanty-town life.

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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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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.

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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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ArcadiaArcadia

Documentary201779 minsDirector: Paul Wright

A folk horror wrapped up in an archive film, set to a soundtrack by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp).

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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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OnceOnce

Musical200787 minsDirector: John Carney

The unique, charming musical about the whirlwind romance between an Irish street musician and a Czech immigrant; winner of an Oscar® and a major prize at Sundance Film Festival.

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Paris, TexasParis, 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.

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Leave It on the FloorLeave It on the Floor

Drama2011106 minsDirector: Sheldon Larry

Sheldon Larry’s audacious, raunchy and big-hearted voguing musical, set in downtown LA.

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Buena Vista Social ClubBuena 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).

More music films in our Rentals collection: Sonic.