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Sonic

Music-inspired films and events that will leave you dancing in the aisles.

BFI Southbank’s year round ‘Sonic Cinema’ programme spreads its wings with this year’s BFI London Film Festival. Walter Pater wrote that ‘All art aspires toward the condition of music’, a maxim that resonates in the selection of films and events here. We find passion in abundance across a broad musical spectrum from punk, electronica and classic pop to soul, film scores and twisted rave. We welcome one of Britain’s foremost composers Michael Nyman, and there’s a rare chance to see wild Portuguese sound system Buraka Son Sistema play live. As another famous Englishman once said: ‘If music be the food of love, play on.’

Stuart Brown

Sonic Gala

We Are the Best!We Are the Best!

Lukas Moodysson’s warm and witty coming of age tale about three teenage girls in Stockholm forming a punk band.

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Becoming TraviataBecoming Traviata

Philippe Béziat’s extraordinary access to Jean François Sivadier’s production of La Traviata offers an engrossing insight into the creative process.

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Broadway IdiotBroadway Idiot

Behind the scenes of the surprise hit musical based on Green Day’s American Idiot album, in Doug Hamilton’s treat for fans and theatre buffs alike.

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Electro ShaabiElectro Shaabi

A peek into the underground world of a music craze that has taken Egypt’s youth by storm with its pulsating beats and revolutionary lyrics.

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Good Ol’ FredaGood Ol’ Freda

For the first time and in her own words, Freda Kelly tells how she went from Liverpool typist to the heart of The Beatles' musical revolution.

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How We Used to LiveHow We Used to Live

Paul Kelly and Saint Etienne return with an impressionistic, poetic vision of a vanishing London, with footage from the BFI National Archive.

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Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For LoveMarvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

The man who soundtracked the movies for much of the late 20th century is affectionately profiled in Dori Berinstein’s deeply personal portrait.

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Mistaken for StrangersMistaken for Strangers

A tour doc with a difference with US band The National – the director is singer Matt’s little brother and sibling tension is beginning to show.

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Off the Beaten TrackOff the Beaten Track

A wild ride with Portuguese sensation Buraka Som Sistema in the studio and on their travels across the lusophone world and beyond.

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The Punk SingerThe Punk Singer

A rousing and heartfelt document of the extraordinary feminist rock icon Kathleen Hanna, singer from Bikini Kill and Le Tigre.

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Twenty Feet From StardomTwenty Feet From Stardom

Exuberant, revealing documentary on the lives and careers of a group of legendary American female backing vocalists.

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Festival calendar


Digital edition programme
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