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.
Stop 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.
A Northern Soul
Documentary201873 minsDirector: Sean McAllister
Acclaimed filmmaker Sean McAllister (A Syrian Love Story) returns to his hometown of Hull to profile local resident Steve Arnott, a struggling warehouse worker who harbours his own creative dream of breaking into hip-hop.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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?
Documentary200545 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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.