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Saturday, October 20, 2012

October at BAMcinématek: The Soundtrack

We hope you’ve been enjoying this month’s repertory programming, which so far has taken us from the grim Cold War-era espionage tales of John le Carré to raunchy apocalyptic confections like the X-rated Glen and Randa to some of the most radical entries in the LGBT film canon. The broad, international scope of the films we have in store in the coming weeks has inspired us to put together a playlist we hope will aurally reflect the variety of October at BAMcinématek. Among our selections are songs central (well, in some cases just incidental) to the films we’re playing, as well as some staff favorites that sum up the spirit of a particular series.

We wanted to kick off the playlist with an Apocalypse Soon tune and did not resist the temptation to include R.E.M.’s notoriously wordy karaoke classic “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.” From there we move to a grab-bag of stark queer contrasts. First up is The Red Krayola’s no-wave title song from Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames, which served as the name for our New Queer Cinema retrospective and captures the radical downtown scene of ’80s New York.

Then we serve up a seminal hip-hop/house collabo from Jungle Brothers, which will have you feeling as fierce as the queens in Paris is Burning; two ’90s female-rocker cuts from the lesbian cult classic All Over Me; a doo-wop-inflected Madonna hit prominently featured in My Own Private Idaho; a driving tune from Le Tigre, which once counted filmmaker Sadie Benning (from our Playhouse: Shorts program) among its ranks; and Annie Lennox’s goosebump-inducing rendition of Cole Porter’s “Everytime We Say Goodbye,” which appears in the score of Derek Jarman’s wildly anachronistic Edward II.

A number of the filmmakers whose new works will be showcased in our IFC Sneaks program know how to use music for both period detail and emotional resonance. One of them is great French auteur Olivier Assayas, whose acclaimed 1970s coming-of-age story Something in the Air features the irresistible likes of Captain Beefheart and Booker T. and the MGs. Newcomer Adam Leon’s effervescent, graffiti-scene dramedy Gimme the Loot wisely opts out of a predictable hip-hop-heavy soundtrack in favor of blues and gospel, but we still wanted to throw in the immortal Biggie track whose name it bears. As for Black Sabbath’s “The Shining,” we thought this furious metal epic might get you in the mood for Room 237, a documentary that chronicles fans’ loopy dissections of Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic.

On October 29, as part of our ongoing Brooklyn Close-Up series, we will present the Bay Ridge-set disco classic Saturday Night Fever, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. We welcome you to break out your bell bottoms and shake your groove thing down the cinema aisles when the time comes, but for now we wanted to go a little against the grain and include the soft, sweet, endlessly covered ballad from the soundtrack (Robin Gibb, R.I.P.).

And finally, this monster playlist wraps up with a musical nod to this year’s Halloween series, dedicated to the demon lover in all of us.

Feel free to come up with your own musical associations to our October films and let us know what we may have left out. Stay tuned for the November playlist, which will surely include a sizable chunk of The Who, whose upcoming concert at the Barclay's Center we will be celebrating with a film retrospective.

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