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Soundwatch Music Film Festival: Playing loud in kinos

Soundwatch invites you to SO36 and Lichtblick Kino for a programme of films exploring the relationship between music and cinema.

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Delia DerbyshireThe Myths and the Legendary Tapes screens at Soundwatch this year. 

After 2020’s successful digital edition, Soundwatch returns to the kinos this month (Nov 10-17) with a stellar line-up of music docs and features that explore the relationship between music and cinema.

The 5th edition’s opening film is the German premiere of Marcus Werner Hed and Dan Fox’s Other, Like Me – A Film About COUM and Throbbing Gristle, taking place at SO36 (20:00), where the performance artists and industrial pioneers played a legendary concert in 1981. Head to Lichtblick Kino for the rest of the line-up, which includes two (German premiering) stand-outs: Fanny: The Right To Rock, an in-depth look at the all-female early-70s rock pioneers who paved the way for the The Runaways and The Go-Go’s (11/11, 19:30, followed by a digital Q&A with director Bobbi Jo Hart), and The Nowhere Inn, Bill Benz’ meta-mockumentary which sees Carrie Brownstein tour with her friend Annie Clark (aka: St. Vincent) to get a glimpse of the woman behind the celebrated singer. Or so it seems, as the boundaries between authentic exposé and, surprisingly, surreal horror get blurred in the wittiest way possible, revealing The Nowhere Inn as the answer to the question: What if Nicolas Roeg directed Spinal Tap? If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will. (13/11 at 19:30, also followed by a Q&A with the director.)

Whatever you do, reserve your evening of the 12/11 for a fantastic documentary double feature: the Laurie Anderson-narrated Sisters With Transistors, which tells the untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers and composers (including Clara Rockmore, Suzanne Ciani and Laurie Spiegel) and Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes, which explores the remarkable legacy of the titular BBC Radiophonic Workshop doyenne. Caroline Catz’ masterful documentary is a bewitching piece of work, one that suggests that, much like that beloved Tardis-dwelling time-hopper, this composer wasn’t tethered to the same rules of time and space the rest of us are. It’s essential viewing, and the Berlin premiere will be in presence of Catz.

Finally, you could do a lot worse than to an eye-and-earful of the Philipp Virus Retrospective (1993-2021), a curation of music videos and shorts by the Berlin-based director, who will be in attendance to present his selection of works. Stop reading, start booking here.

Soundwatch / Nov 10-17, Lichtblick Kino and SO36.