The Sounds Of #LFF2017: Create and Beyond


The Programme for this year’s BFI London Film Festival has been announced and, as usual, its vast selection of over 240 films becomes a treasure trove for cinephiles of all kinds and persuasions. As we did the last two years, our blog will be covering the festival, which runs from the 4th to the 15th of October, bringing you all the excitement, tips, news and reviews that we can pack in.

As it is our custom, we begin this year’s coverage taking a look at what the festival has to offer to music aficionados. On this edition, there isn’t a Sonic strand anymore. Music titles are now part of the brand new Create strand instead, dedicated to the interaction between film and other artistic disciplines. Good news is that, despite not having an specific area any longer, the festival features so many interesting music-related works that we may not have time to miss it. To help you sample the sounds of most of those artists, check the Youtube and Spotify playlists we’ve also made featuring the LFF’s 2017 sonic highlights. Hope you enjoy it!

The jewel in the music documentaries’ crown this year has to be Here To Be Heard: The Story of The Slits, telling the story of the iconic British female punk trio. The Slits are in good company as British folk legend Shirley Collins (The Ballad of Shirley Collins); Korean grindcore duo Bamseon Pirates (Bamseon Pirates Seoul Inferno); Irish Celtic singer Joe Heaney (Song Of Granite) and a portrait of legendary singer-songwriter Marianne Faithfull (Faithfull) directed by French actress Sandrine Bonnaire are also the subjects of some of the films presented.

A look at the influential West-Coast nineties hip-hop movement G Funk, as made popular by Dr. Dre, Warren G and Snoop Dogg, is also part of the programme; as are, from a wider cultural context, the scenes of London’s swinging sixties, introduced by Sir Michael Caine, in My Generation; the Californian Disco Alley’s roller skating subculture, which spawned such “unforgettable” moments as Xanadu, in Roller Dreams or the disco-tinged 1970s New York and Paris fashion world, as depicted in the work of a Puerto Rican illustrator, Antonio López 1970: Sex, Fashion and Disco.

Eugene Jarecki takes Elvis Presley’s 1963’s Rolls to reflect about the cultural legacy of the King of Rock in pre-Trump America on his latest, superb documentary, Promise Land, where actors and musicians of such calibre as Emmylou Harris or John Hiatt are invited to perform and share their thoughts while going for a ride. On another continent, the Kinshasa music scene is the backdrop in Alain Gomis’ latest feature Felicité, whose soundtrack is performed by acclaimed Congolese collective Kasai Allstars.

The Treasures strand offers the disco-era emblematic classic Saturday Night Fever and the 4K restoration of Italian horror master Dario Argento’s career peak, Suspiria. Their time-defining soundtracks by The Bee Gees and Goblin, respectively, play a big role in their timeless appeal.

And, for soundtrack enthusiasts, electronic innovator Oneohtrix Point Never brings impossible tension and nerve-racking rhythms to the Safdie Brother’s frantic thriller Good Time. After his collaborations with Paul Thomas Anderson, Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood has written the excellent score for Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really There and Portishead’s Adrian Utley with Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory wrote the score for Paul Wright’s archive footage film about Britain’s evolving relationship with the land, Arcadia. Meanwhile, Brooklyn indie troubadour Sufjan Stevens brings ‘Mysteries Of Love,’ the first song since his heartbreaking album of the year ‘Carrie and Lowell,’ to the soundtrack of Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed gay romance Call Me By Your Name.

Elsewhere, Mary J. Blige has an important role in Dee Rees’ post World War II drama Sundance sensation, Mudbound, the follow-up to her notable debut Pariah. The death of Michael Jackson causes a crisis of faith in Islamic cleric/obsessive fan in the very intriguing-sounding Egyptian drama Sheikh Jackson. Last but not least, the work of British Indian soundtrack composer Nitin Sawhney will be celebrated and discussed in one of LFF connects’ series of interdisciplinary talks, which this year also brings the likes of Ian McEwan, Julian Rosefeldt & Cate Blanchett or David Fincher.

LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2017 PLAYLIST: THE SOUNDS OF THE LFF (Spotify Playlist HERE)
THE SLITS-I Heard It Through The Grapevine
(From William Badgely's documentary "HERE TO BE HEARD: THE STORY OF THE SLITS")
BAMSEOM PIRATES
(Stars of Jung Yoon-suk's documentary "BAMSEOM PIRATES SEOUL INFERNO")
GRACE JONES-Do Or Die
(Grace Jones is one of the interviewees in James Crump's documentary "ANTONIO CAMPOS 1970: SEX, FASHION AND DISCO")
WARREN
G FEAT. NATE DOGG-Regulate
(From Karam Gill's documentary "G FUNK")
MARIANNE FAITHFULL-The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan
(From Sandrine Bonnaires's documentary "FAITHFULL")
ELVIS PRESLEY-Promised Land
(From Eugene Jarecki's documentary "PROMISED LAND")
KASAI ALLSTARS-Drowning Goat
(From the soundtrack of Alain Gomis' feature "FELICITÉ")
SHIRLEY COLLINS-Pretty Polly
(From Rob Curry's documentary "THE BALLAD OF SHIRLEY COLLINS")
JOE HEANEY-A Stor Mo Chroi
(From Pat Collins' documentary "SONG OF GRANITE")
THE WHO-My Generation
(From the soundtrack of David Batty's documentary "MY GENERATION")
BEE GEES-Night Fever
(From the soundtrack of John Badham's "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER")
HOKIS POKIS-Keep On Rollin'
(From the soundtrack of Kate Hickey's documentary "ROLLER DREAMS")
GOBLIN-Suspiria
(From the soundtrack of Dario Argento's classic "SUSPIRIA")
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER-Good Time
(From the soundtrack of Safdie Brothers' feature "GOOD TIME")
ETTA JAMES-At Last
(From Claire Denis' feature "LET THE SUNSHINE IN")
MICHAEL
JACKSON-Rock With You
(Jackson is part of the story of Amr Salama's feature "SHEIKH JACKSON")
THE DAMNED-New Rose
(From the soundtrack of John Cameron Mitchell's feature "HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES")
STEVE MILLER BAND- Abracadabra
(From the soundtrack of Pablo Berger's feature "ABRACADABRA")
MARY J. BLIGE-Family Affair
(Blige is one of the actors in Dee Rees's feature "MUDBOUND")
SUFJAN STEVENS-Mysteries Of Love
(From the soundtrack of Luca Guadagnino's feature "CALL ME BY YOUR NAME")
NITIN SAWHNEY-The Lodger
(Soundtrack of Alfred Hitchcock's silent classic)

,