For its 2012 retrospective, the Glasgow Film Festival toasts inimitable hot-stepper Gene Kelly by screening a selection of his most celebrated celluloid. But for those with music tastes beyond Gershwin and Bernstein, the festival’s most intriguing syntheses of sound and vision lie elsewhere in the programme.
Back for a fourth time, the Arches and GFT-curated Music and Film Festival offers up every combination of its titular arts that you could hope for: films about music, music about film, and plenty of more tricky-to-classify listings besides.
In the first category are a diverse selection of documentaries, spanning Icelandic block parties (Backyard, which sees Reykjavik’s finest play a show in FM Belfast’s Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson’s garden) and hip hop reunions (Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, which follows the New York trailblazers on their 2008 tour, with contributions from the likes of Mos Def and De La Soul). Then there’s The Other F Word, which quizzes members of Rancid, Pennywise and Black Flag, amongst others, on the subject of fatherhood; as Fat Mike of NOFX points out in the trailer, explaining away prominent dominatrix tattoos to a four year-old ain't easy.
While the film selection holds definite promise, it’s the innovative live events that have made the GMFF such a compelling fixture of the main festival, and this year’s line-up looks set to maintain the high standard. Particularly exciting is a rare visit from Simeon Coxe III of influential electronic-rock pioneers Silver Apples: in addition to performing live at Mono, Simeon will attend the world premiere of Silver Apples: Play Twice Before Listening, taking part in a Q&A alongside the film’s director Barak Soval.
Elsewhere, much of the schedule lurks in the shade: as well as Umberto’s horror-synth stylings, classic Universal monster movie The Phantom of the Opera will screen with live Wurlitzer accompaniment, while the enigmatic The Psychocinematic Ritual promises an occult celebration of 'the disturbing power of music and cinema', with members of Desalvo, Sons and Daughters and The Unwinding Hours joining forces for a dark mass at the Old Hairdressers. Meanwhile, those with less sinister appetites can look forward to the return of aquatics/acoustics amalgam Wet Sounds, its singular pool-based performance certain to send shivers of a different kind down swim-suited punters’ spines.
+ Three more recommended music/film events scattered throughout the rest of the strands…
- Douglas Hart Music Videos (Short Film Festival // 11 Feb, 9pm, CCA) – Ex-Jesus and Mary Chain bassist Hart introduces a selection of his work
- Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Weimarvellous // 18 Feb, 3pm, CCA) – Renowned 1927 documentary, featuring an improvised jazz score by Trio AAB
- This Must Be the Place (Gala // 20 Feb, 8.30pm, Cineworld and 21 Feb, 1.15pm, Cineworld) – Sean Penn dons Robert Smith-esque goth-rock get-up in Il Divo director Paolo Sorrentino’s Cannes-winning drama